Eating Black Garlic May Help Lower Blood Pressure, According to New Research – Martha Stewart

If you're looking for a natural way to lower your blood pressure, there is one hero supplement that new research says you should be stocking up on: black garlic. If you're not familiar with the ingredient, black garlic is a type of aged garlic that is soft in texture with a sweet and slightly acidic bite. For cooking, it's commonly spread on toasted sourdough or used as a pizza topper, but it does so much more than simply deepen the flavor of your food—it can also help reduce blood pressure in people with high cholesterol.
A new study published in the journal Nutrients found that at six weeks of taking 250 milligrams of aged black garlic, participants saw notable reductions of diastolic blood pressure compared to the control group, especially among men. In addition to taking the supplement, subjects were also assigned a set diet that excluded lipo-lowering and anti-hypertensive foods. "Aged black garlic has long been regarded as a culinary delicacy and integral component of the Asian diet, as well as a tool to maintain health," Alberto Espinel, spokesperson for Pharmactive, a biotech company that produced aged black garlic extract, said in a press release. "Empirical evidence is unfolding on the beneficial effects of black garlic on cardiovascular health."
Related: All About Black Garlic, Including What It Is and Why You Should Start Cooking with It
The ingredient is produced by aging whole bulbs of a specific Spanish species of fresh garlic at high humidity and temperatures for a few weeks. The cloves turn dark and become soft in texture, losing the pungent flavor of regular garlic. During the production, the aged bulbs undergo several biochemical changes—the compounds found in fresh garlic are diminished and a bioactive complex of soluble polyphenols is significantly increased. The action of these antioxidants is thought to be the main source of black garlic's ability to improve heart health. "Empirical evidence is unfolding on the beneficial effects of black garlic on cardiovascular health," Espinel notes. "However, the magnitude of its effect depends on the amount and type of chemical compounds accumulated during the aging process and the ability to extract and preserve those compounds during processing."
This inaugural clinical study of aged black garlic was inspired by two previous Pharmactive animal trials that demonstrated the ingredient's ability to balance blood lipids and improve vascular function. "This is some of the first evidence emerging on the blood pressure-balancing effect of an aged black garlic extract, as a natural alternative, in a population where the strategies of intervention are based on diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle," says Espinel. "Importantly, its positive effects were achieved following a simple protocol of consuming one aged black garlic extract tablet daily."