Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Garlic's heart benefits pinpointed

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The chemical compounds behind garlic's breath-tainting properties may also be the source of its heart benefits, according to new research from the US.

Metabolism of garlic's active ingredient allicin produces hydrogen sulphide, which signals blood vessels to relax, increase blood flow and boost heart health, wrote the researchers in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research could lead to a method to standardise dietary garlic supplements, said lead researcher Gloria Benavides from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, by simply measuring the production of hydrogen sulphide in red blood cells.

This could be the first step towards creating supplements that are standardized to produce the desired results. Let's hope that more and more studies are forthcoming on this fantastic plant. In the meantime, you can still enjoy garlic in a variety of ways in a variety of foods. Just freshen your mouth afterwards. =)

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