Garlic has been an important part of everyday life for centuries; used to spice food, prepare soldiers for war, cure colds, heal infections, and treat ailments, including heart disease and cancer.
After over 6,000 years of use in traditional medicine, modern science shows garlic to be an amazing resource of phytochemicals (botanicals) that benefit health. Research shows that the odorless aged garlic extract (AGE), produced from organic garlic, is richer in antioxidants than fresh garlic and often even more effective, without causing digestive disorders and “garlic breath.”
AGE’S HEALTHY COMPOUNDS
Garlic contains hundreds of compounds, with the most effective being its organosulfur substances. From a medicinal point of view, the most beneficial of these include S-allyl cysteine, S-allyl mercaptocysteine (unique to AGE), and other sulfur amino acids because they are water soluble and comprise the major compounds in AGE. Stable and safe, with high antioxidant activity, S-allyl cysteine moves easily into the circulatory system from the gut due to its 98% absorption rate. It has been shown to have multiple health and anti-aging benefits, including the protection of heart, artery, and brain cells from toxic chemicals and disease-triggering free radicals and increased immunity. S-allyl mercaptocysteine has been found to help fight cancer by killing cancer cells by cell suicide (apoptosis).
Eating enough fresh garlic to achieve the doses of beneficial organosulfur compounds would require amounts considered both physically (gastrointestinal) and socially (bad breath) problematic. The best solution is a garlic supplement scientifically validated for its health benefits and consistent quality. Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract, from Wakunaga, fits this category. In contrast to other allicin-based garlic preparations, which are volatile and unstable and, therefore, inconsistent, AGE is standardized with highly stable and bioavailable S-allyl cysteine. S-allyl cysteine is a powerful antioxidant capable of eliminating damaging free radicals associated with atherosclerosis, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other age-related conditions. Because of its efficacy, reliability, and quality control, AGE has been the choice garlic preparation for studying the health effects of garlic, with over 550 medical and scientific reports; it is also the most popular health-supporting garlic supplement.
ATHEROSCLEROSIS, HEART ATTACK, AND STROKE PROTECTION
High blood LDL (bad) cholesterol in its most oxidized form, high levels of fatty acids (triglycerides), and processes generated by free radicals contribute to atherosclerosis. The formation of atherosclerotic plaques can block arteries and cause heart attacks and stroke (with stroke often leading to dementia). Other factors include high blood pressure, platelet aggregation, poor circulation, and high homocysteine. Studies with garlic preparations found AGE to be the most consistent at lowering multiple cardiovascular risk factors. Given to patients with high levels of cholesterol, AGE (2.4 – 4.8 gm/day, for six months) lowered cholesterol by 5 – 7% as well as reduced LDL (preventing its oxidation), triglycerides, and blood pressure. Other studies showed AGE had increased blood circulation, reduced homocysteine, and decreased the platelet clumping in blood vessels that lead to clots. It also elevated HDL (good) cholesterol. A major breakthrough at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) showed that AGE slowed plaque formation in heart arteries by 67% in those with heart disease, greatly reducing their risk of heart attacks.
The immune system consists of many types of cells and protective substances that fight infections, the common cold, and help battle life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. A large number of experimental and human studies have shown AGE to increase the number and activity of immune cells, particularly natural killers—a type that destroys invaders and cancer cells. Subjects receiving 1800 mg/day for three weeks showed a 155.5% increase in natural-killer cell activity. Other subjects that received fresh garlic, an equivalent of 10 cloves/day, showed an increase of only 139.9% in the killer cells.
Memory loss, dementia, and its common form, Alzheimer’s disease, are age-related conditions that we fear. Alzheimer’s disease is associated with beta amyloid peptide, which forms free radicals that kill neurons. Preclinical studies with AGE and S-allyl cysteine, its key compound, prevented the death of neurons by Abeta, prevented the degeneration of the frontal lobe of the brain, increased the growth and branching of nerve cells, and enhanced learning ability, memory, and lifespan in models that are prone to early aging. Fresh garlic is tasty in food, but odorless AGE is preferred as a supplement, providing garlic’s health benefits without the unpleasant side effects of the fresh bulb.
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