Garlic vs. Atenolol for High Blood Pressure
The number of people with high blood pressure continues to grow worldwide. Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from the condition(6), and only half have their condition under sufficient control. Cleary, there is need for effective interventions.
Herbs such as garlic may possess significant benefits for blood pressure. In a recent trial led by Rizwan Ashraf at King Khalid University (Abha, Saudi Arabia), researchers compared the effects of garlic supplementation to effects of the drug atenolol (a beta-blocker) and placebo in individuals with high blood pressure.(7)
In the 24-week study, 210 individuals with hypertension were divided into seven groups. Five groups consumed garlic in doses ranging from 300 mg daily to 1,500 mg daily. One group used atenolol (100 mg daily). One group consumed placebo. Blood pressure readings were taken at baseline, at week 12, and at week 24.
In the garlic groups, there was a significant dose-dependent reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The results of the higher-dose garlic groups were comparable to those achieved by the drug atenolol. In the group consuming 1,500 mg of the garlic preparation daily, the average systolic blood pressure reduction was 7.6 mm Hg, while with atenolol, the average decrease was 9.2 mm Hg. This study indicates that garlic preparations are effective for reducing blood pressure and that the results may be on par with first-line drug therapies.
Irfan Qureshi is executive director, research and regulatory affairs, for Healthy Directions.
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