Most readers will already know that natural interventions can help maintain general heart health, specifically diastolic blood pressure (DBP). These interventions include changing one’s diet and introducing more physical activity. Research has shown that dietary interventions like those described in “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” (DASH) can effectively contribute to decreasing DBP to normal ranges. The problem is that knowing how to “eat right” does not mean that we do! We should be eating a diet low in salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables, and dietary fibres. However, adopting and sustaining healthy behaviours can be challenging, even when faced with an increased risk of developing potentially life-threatening cardiovascular diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are disorders of the heart and blood vessels and are the leading cause of mortality worldwide, resulting in 17.9 million deaths every year1.
– Approximately 80% of CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, with one in three of these deaths occurring in people below the age of seventy.
– Elevated blood pressure affects one-third of adults globally and is a leading preventable risk factor for cardiovascular problems and all-cause mortality.
– The risks of cardiovascular issues and stroke double with every 10mm Hg diastolic increase among those aged 40-89.
Behavioural risk factors of CVD and stroke include an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. These factors can manifest in those impacted as a rise in blood pressure, blood glucose, blood lipids, and being overweight.
A new clinical study shows the supportive effects of ABG+® on CVD risk factors.
The results of a human clinical study, published in 2022, showed a reduction in DBP, by an optimized aged garlic extract (Allium sativum L.) that is comparable to the effects of successful dietary approaches2. These approaches include the effects of the “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” (DASH) diet on blood pressure and other dietary guidelines such as the Mediterranean or the palaeolithic diets. It remains true that food supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. However, ABG+® may contribute to closing nutritional gaps, thereby helping provide scientifically supported cardioprotective effects.
Study participants were healthy volunteers, men and women with moderate hypercholesterolemia, a BMI ≤35/m2, fasting blood glucose ≤126 mg/dl who were not anaemic and were not taking supplements or medication to regulate their glucose levels, lipid profile, or blood glucose. The optimized aged black garlic used in the study was ABG+® from Pharmactive Biotech Products SLU. Each randomized, crossover, double-blind, sustained, and controlled study participant consumed 250mg ABG+® or a placebo over six weeks. Study participants were asked to adhere to cardioprotective dietary recommendations and instructed to avoid consuming lipid-lowering and antihypertensive food. Dietary adherence was monitored throughout the study by trained nutritionists. There was no intertreatment difference in dietary adherence found at the end of the intervention period.
To learn more about this Clinical Study results, please click here.
Supplementing with ABG+® can provide support for healthy people trying to reduce CV risk factors, who, for whatever reason, do not sufficiently follow dietary guidelines about eating “heart smart.”
Antioxidant properties of ABG+®
Studies show that ABG+® is a powerful antioxidant that improves the antioxidative capacity of the body by increasing the pool of antioxidants3. The aging process is enhanced by oxidation4 due in part to environmental factors such as pollution, first and second-hand smoke, UV exposure, alcohol consumption, and eating heavily processed foods, which increase the number of free radicals in our bodies.
Aged Black Garlic shows a total polyphenol concentration much higher than raw garlic5, which may explain why ABG+® has 10-times higher antioxidant activity than the existing gold standard botanic/ferment extracts6, including the aged garlic extract and red yeast extract. This superior antioxidant capacity has a positive impact on maintaining cardiovascular and immune health.
ABG+® supports a healthy immune system
In a recent study, it was observed that patients who regularly consumed aged black garlic experienced fewer symptoms related to rhinitis and epiphora (excessive tearing)7. These results are in line with those obtained in a further study in which ABG+® decreased IL-4 levels8. Less IL-4 in vivo implies lower activity of B-lymphocytes which in turn leads to lower production of the antibody IgE9. Avoiding excessive excitation of the immune system during allergic processes may mitigate the unpleasant symptoms associated with allergic rhinitis. The immune support provided by aged black garlic is likely a result of the S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC) polyphenols present, that are virtually absent in fresh garlic10.
How is aged black garlic different from fresh garlic, and what makes ABG+® so valuable and unique?
As a result of undergoing an ageing process, fresh garlic is transformed into aged black garlic as bulbs become enriched with potent antioxidants and cholesterol and blood pressure balancing compounds. S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC), which contributes to reducing oxidative stress, is the most important of these compounds for maintaining heart health. Its antioxidant capacity is ten times higher than in white or fresh garlic. Also, during the ageing process, the potency of the organoleptic compounds allin and allicin is reduced, making it possible to produce aged black garlic that is odourless and does not cause the uncomfortable reflux that can result from fresh garlic preparations.
Features of ABG+®
Proprietary ageing and extraction: The garlic plant used in ABG+® is grown and cultivated locally in Spain and is processed at a Pharmacative Biotech Products S.L.U. facility using a gentle, green, proprietary extraction process called ABG Cool-TechTM enabling it to achieve a high concentration of active compounds. This method is superior to industrial processes that soak the garlic bulb in organic solvents and call the result “aged garlic”. The presence and concentration of active substances in aged black garlic rely significantly on the production process!
Bioactive compounds: ABG+® extract can be standardized to different amounts of of S-allyl-L-cysteine (SAC) to meet formulation demands and ensure a consistent dose and quality of the bioactive compounds. The most common standardirization is to 0.1% native SAC content (ABG10+®). ABG+® is rich in polyphenols, virtually absent in fresh garlic and also also includes flavonoids and melanoidins which may act synergistically to maintain heart health.
Multifaceted mechanism of action: ABG+® supports cardiac function11 by balancing blood pressure through modulating coronary perfusion pressure. It also promotes the increase of heart contractility, therefore allowing the heart to pump more oxygen and nutrients to the body. Moreover, it has a powerful antioxidant capacity, which contributes to helping reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases12, and supports a healthy immune function.
Galenic applications: The ABG+® range of products is water-soluble and suited for use in different application forms, such as gummies, capsules, soft gels, syrups, effervescent tabs, ampoules, sachets, and functional foods and beverages. ABG+® containing products can therefore be formulated based on users differing needs and preferences.
Understandably, premium aged black garlic is one of the fastest-growing functional ingredients globally13. The success of ABG+® products is a direct result of the expertise that Pharmactive Biotech Products S.L.U. has in bioactive extraction and its commitment to scientific rigour and ongoing research and development.
- World Health Organization. Conducting systematic reviews to inform WHO Guidelines for the pharmacological treatment of hypertension. Office of Library and Health Literature Services. (2022)
- Valls RM, et al. Nutrients 2022; 14(3):405
- González-Hedström, D. et asl. World Summit on Nutrition and Eating Disorders, 2019.Nov 20-21, Madrid (Spain)
- Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, 2019
- Kim, J. H., Nam, S. H., Rico, C. W., & Kang, M. Y. (2012). A comparative study on the antioxidative and anti‐allergic activities of fresh and aged black garlic extracts. International journal of food science & technology, 47(6), 1176-1182
- González-Hedström, D. et al. World Summit on Nutr. & Eating Disord. 2019. Nov 20-21, Madrid (Spain)NutraIngredients, Trend tracker 2021.
- Kimura S, et al, Journal of Food and Drug Analysis Volume 25, Issue 1, January 2017, Pages 62-70García-Villalón AL, et al. Journal of Functional Foods. 2016. 27: 189-2000
- Charles et al. 2001
- Wang D, et al; Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Biotechnology, 2010
- Jones MG, et al (2007), Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Biotechnology 1 (1), 21-24
- García-Villalón AL, et al. Journal of Functional Foods. 2016. 27: 189-2000
- González-Hedström, D. et al. World Summit on Nutr. & Eating Disord. 2019. Nov 20-21, Madrid (Spain)
- NutraIngredients, Trend tracker 2021
Dr. Natalie Vladi, MRPharmS.
Scientific Advisor Pharmactive Biotech Products, S.L.
Managing Director Fountain House GmbH, home to the premium food supplements brand Foondiert®