Freshly crushed garlic better for the heart than processed

July 29, 2009,
Freshly crushed garlic is better for the heart than dried garlic, scientists are reporting. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A new study reports what scientists term the first scientific evidence that freshly crushed garlic has more potent heart-healthy effects than dried garlic. Scheduled for the Aug. 12 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it also challenges the widespread belief that most of garlic's benefits are due to its rich array of antioxidants. Instead, garlic's heart-healthy effects seem to result mainly from hydrogen sulfide, a chemical signaling substance that forms after garlic is cut or crushed and relaxes blood vessels when eaten.

In the study, Dipak K. Das and colleagues point out that raw, crushed garlic generates through a chemical reaction. Although best known as the stuff that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor, hydrogen sulfide also acts as a chemical messenger in the body, relaxing blood vessels and allowing more blood to pass through. Processed and cooked garlic, however, loses its ability to generate hydrogen sulfide.

The scientists gave freshly crushed garlic and processed garlic to two groups of lab rats, and then studied how well the animals' hearts recovered from simulated heart attacks. "Both crushed and processed garlic reduced damage from lack of oxygen, but the fresh garlic group had a significantly greater effect on restoring good flow in the aorta and increased pressure in the left ventricle of the heart," Das said.

More information: "Freshly crushed garlic is a superior cardioprotective agent than processed "; Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Source: American Chemical Society (news : web)

Explore further: Recipe for healthy garlic: Crush before cooking

Related Stories

Recipe for healthy garlic: Crush before cooking

February 15, 2007

"Stop and smell the garlic — that's all you have to do," advised William Shatner, whose starring roles ranged from Captain Kirk in Star Trek to himself in Iron Chef USA. New scientific research is editing Shatner's advice ...

Love that garlic? Fresh may be healthier than bottled

June 9, 2008

The next time you use garlic for its renowned antibacterial effects, consider fresh garlic instead of those bottles of chopped garlic. Researchers in Japan report that fresh garlic maintains higher levels of a key healthy ...

Garlic boosts hydrogen sulfide to relax arteries

October 15, 2007

Eating garlic is one of the best ways to lower high blood pressure and protect yourself from cardiovascular disease. A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) shows this protective effect is closely linked ...

Mysteries of garlic are revealed

August 16, 2005

University of California scientists have determined garlic's active ingredients work the same in the same way as the chemicals in chili peppers and wasabi.

Recommended for you

A protein that self-replicates

February 22, 2018

ETH scientists have been able to prove that a protein structure widespread in nature – the amyloid – is theoretically capable of multiplying itself. This makes it a potential predecessor to molecules that are regarded ...

Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen

February 22, 2018

Wheat, millet and maize all need nitrogen to grow. Fertilisers therefore contain large amounts of nitrogenous compounds, which are usually synthesised by converting nitrogen to ammonia in the industrial Haber-Bosch process, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.