What Is Black Garlic?
Black garlic is a form of garlic that has been aged in specific conditions. To make black garlic, raw garlic is fermented at a warm temperature (60–90°C or 140-194F) and high humidity (70-90%) for an extended period of time. Such conditions result in the black color of garlic cloves, a sweeter taste, and a soft, chewer texture. In addition to physical alterations of garlic, fermentation also modifies its chemical composition. There are more health benefits associated with black garlic due to its higher antioxidant content.
In recent years, black garlic has gained increasing popularity in the United States, but it already has long been used in Asian countries.
Benefits Of Black Garlic For The Heart Health
It is intriguing to discover what effects black garlic has on heart health, given that raw garlic is believed to be beneficial for cardiovascular health. Therefore, several studies were conducted to investigate the cardioprotective properties of black garlic.
One study demonstrated the cardioprotective effect of aged black garlic supplementation in patients with mild hypercholesterolemia. In this research, patients received either black garlic or a placebo before eating a meal every morning and evening for 12 weeks. After the designated time, patients who took black garlic showed increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) levels and overall cardioprotection.
Another study demonstrated that black garlic effectively decreases blood pressure in patients with uncontrolled hypertension. In this research, patients received either black garlic or a placebo to determine the effect of black garlic on blood pressure. Along with the reduction in central and peripheral blood pressure, this research has demonstrated the possibility of black garlic to reduce arterial stiffness, inflammation, and other cardiovascular markers.
However, more clinical studies are required to confirm the effect of black garlic on heart health and its cardioprotective activity. Therefore, you should consult with the doctor before beginning a regimen of black garlic supplements.
Are Black Garlic Supplements Safe To Take?
Even though black garlic supplements are generally considered safe to consume, you should consult your healthcare provider before taking them. Certain groups of people need to be cautious when taking black garlic or avoid it altogether.
- Patients with diabetes. In diabetic patients, black garlic may cause a significant drop in blood sugar levels that may even result in a diabetic coma. Therefore, diabetic patients need to talk with their doctor prior to taking black garlic supplements.
- People at increased risk of bleeding. Patients with chronic bleeding or after surgery should avoid taking black garlic supplements as they may increase the risk of bleeding.
- Children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women. Listed categories of people should be cautious when taking black garlic supplements, consume them in low amounts, and consult with the doctor before beginning a regimen of black garlic supplements. In addition, they should avoid applying black garlic topically as it may cause skin irritation.
- People with low blood pressure. Consumption of black garlic reduces blood pressure. In people with chronic low blood pressure (hypotonic), taking black garlic supplements may cause a considerable reduction in blood pressure. Excessive amounts could even result in a coma. Therefore, you should avoid taking black garlic supplements if you have a history of low blood pressure.
- People with digestive problems. Taling black garlic may result in gastrointestinal distress. Therefore, patients with a history of digestive issues should consult their physicians before taking black garlic supplements.
People on blood-thinning medications as well as people with an allergic reaction to garlic or any other component of the supplement, should also avoid taking black garlic and its supplements.
Studies in humans have shown that black garlic and its supplements have a cardioprotective effect. They demonstrated the ability of black garlic to lower blood pressure, increase the “good” cholesterol content of the body, and protect the heart. However, more clinical studies are required to confirm these investigations. Therefore, you should talk to your doctor before starting a regimen of black garlic or its supplements.