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Garlic may be a therapy for blood pressure (BP) control used by hypertensive patients

7 May 2015

A common ingredient used in many households, garlic, according to a recent meta-analysis carried out by researchers and published in Phytochemistry may aid individuals suffering from hypertension, a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  The aim of the study was to systematically review the medical literature to investigate the current evidence of garlic for the treatment of hypertension.  Only randomized, placebo-controlled trials evaluating the effects of garlic or garlic-based preparations on hypertensive patients were considered.

Seven trials from 1988 to 2014 containing 391 hypertensive patients were included.

Whilst no conclusion could be made about garlic for mortality or cardiovascular events, the results demonstrated that garlic had a significant and clinically meaningful effect on systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreasing it by 6.71 mmHg and on diastolic blood pressure (DBP) decreasing it by 4.79 mmHg as compared to the placebo.  As detailed in a recent meta-analysis of 147 randomised trials totally 958,000 people reduction in SBP by 10 mmHg or DBP by 5 mmHg reduces coronary heart disease events by a quarter and stroke by about a third.

This meta-analysis suggests that garlic is an effective and safe approach for the management of hypertension.  However, evidence suggesting that garlic is an effective modality for treatment remains limited.  The researchers suggest that further insights into the is topic are needed to provide stronger evidence of the use of garlic for hypertension.

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