The randomised, double-blind intervention was carried out at the Sant Joan de Reus University Hospital in Barcelona and assessed the impact of ABG on those with slightly high cholesterol levels.
A total of 67 adults took part in the study, consuming 250 milligrams (mg) of Pharmactive’s Biotech Products’ black garlic supplement called ABG+ or a placebo over a six-week period, with three weeks’ washout before the crossover. The participants were also given a set diet that excluded hypertensive foods and lipo-lowering.
The main aim of the research was to measure the impact of daily consumption of ABG extract with a standardised amount of S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC) combined with dietary recommendations concerning cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among people with moderate hypercholesterolemia.
As the first clinical research with ABG, the study followed two previous animal trials which successfully demonstrated the ingredient’s role in managing blood pressure, as well as its role in balancing blood lipids and boosting vascular function.
Blood and pulse pressure, as well as other CVD risk biomarkers were measured at the start and end of every intervention.
After six weeks, the results showed that when compared to the placebo ABG substantially lowered diastolic blood pressure (DBP) by an average of 5.85 millimetre of mercury (mm Hg). The positive result was especially evident among men.
Alberto Espinel, Head of R&D for Pharmactive, says: “A reduction of just 5mm Hg of diastolic blood pressure lowers substantially the risk of stroke and other vascular events."
The study showed that consuming an enhanced ABG extract with 1.25 mg of SAC reduced DBP, especially for men with moderate hypercholesterolemia.
It concluded that the potential advantage of ABG may well be gaining an optimal DBP.
Espinel adds: “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.
"Empirical evidence is unfolding on the beneficial effects of black garlic on cardiovascular health. However, the magnitude of its effect depends on the amount and type of chemical compounds accumulated during the ageing process and the ability to extract and preserve those compounds during processing.”
According to the researchers, the proposed mechanisms of action which would enable ABG to control blood pressure include “antioxidant activity by organosulfur compounds, such as SAC, in addition to allicin-derived polysulfides and the NOx and hydrogen sulfide signaling pathways, the regulation of transcription factors involved in hypertension, and ACE regulation [39,45]. Some of them have already been identified in the current ABG extract: antioxidant properties in vitro, improvement of vasodilation and levels of iNOS and eNOS, and regulation of the expression and levels of proinflammatory TNF-α [20,21,22]”.
The ABG+ ingredients are all water-soluble and are suitable for use in multiple applications, including syrups, capsules, gummies, soft gels and powders. Since they do not contain garlic's characteristic smell and taste, they are also useful for functional foods.
Published online: doi.org/10.3390/nu14030405
‘Effects of an Optimized Aged Garlic Extract on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Moderate Hypercholesterolemic Subjects: A Randomized, Crossover, Double-Blind, Sustained and Controlled Study’
Authors: Rosa M. Valls et al.