Garlic has been reported to reduce blood pressure and help with cardiovascular health.
In a research paper published in BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that garlic skin (the papery covering of the cloves) and fresh extract prevents oxidative stress, hypertrophy and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes.
What does that mean?
Essentially that some active ingredient in the garlic is helping to protect heart cells.
In the study, researchers used cardiomyocytes – the cells that make up cardiac tissue (which in turn build the heart) to test the effectiveness of garlic skins or extract on cell death (apoptosis).
Norepinephrine was used to induce hypertrophy (increase in size of the cells that leads to death of the cell) in the cardiomyocytes of adult rats that had been pre-treated with garlic skins or fresh garlic extracts.
What they found was that exposure to the garlic significantly reduced the hypertrophy and death of the cells. The response was dose-dependent, meaning that the more extract, the better protection.
Read the research paper.
As a side note, why not consider adding garlic to some of your vegetable juices? Tomato, cucumber, peppers and garlic put through your juicer and then chilled, makes a tasty, healthy juice.