For years, doctors, nutritionists, and even the American Heart Association have encouraged people to consume more omega-3 fatty acids, primarily in the form of fish or fish oil supplements.1, But as beneficial as fish oil can be, there may be a better way to protect your heart.
The Cardiovascular Benefits of Fish Oil PLUS Aged Garlic Extract
According to evolving research, adding Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) to your fish oil supplement is an easy and effective way to level up your heart smart strategy.2,3 Let’s take a closer look at how these nutrients work in tandem to improve your cardiovascular health.
Fish Oil Facts
Traditional fish oil supplements come from several sources, including salmon, sardines, and anchovies. The resulting oil contains two important omega-3s: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). DHA and EPA produce powerful molecules known as “resolvins,” which are aptly named for their ability to resolve inflammation.4 In one study, men who took a DHA supplement for 6-12 weeks experienced a 20 percent decrease in several inflammatory markers.5 This matters since inflammation plays a key role in the development of atherosclerosis—the buildup of plaque inside arteries that causes them to narrow and stiffen. Over time, atherosclerosis can increase your risk of heart attack, heart failure, or angina (chest pain).6
Other research shows that these omega-3s reduce triglycerides by up to 50 percent, lower oxidative stress, and discourage platelets from sticking together inside arteries.7,8,9 To read more about the difference between Omega 3 vs Omega 6, and the benefits of each, click here. There is also evidence that fish oil lowers blood pressure. In one analysis of 70 clinical trials, supplementing with fish oil significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.10 But fish oil’s cardiovascular benefits don’t stop there. In a recent study, high doses of fish oil improved patients’ heart function and reduced heart scarring in patients who had recently suffered a heart attack.11 If you are interested in reading more about AGE and fish oil, and how they are different, click here.
AGE’s Artery-Boosting Actions
Garlic has been used for centuries as a natural way to enhance health. But, when it comes to the heart, aging is the real key to unlocking garlic’s cardiovascular benefits. AGE is created by naturally aging organic garlic in special stainless steel tanks under carefully controlled conditions for up to 20 months. As it ages, the harsh and unstable organosulfur compounds in garlic are transformed into beneficial, compounds such as the heart healthy antioxidant S-allyl cysteine.12 To read more about the heart health benefits of AGE, click here.
One 12-week clinical study of 88 patients with uncontrolled hypertension found that AGE reduced systolic blood pressure by 11.5 mmHg and diastolic pressure by 6.3 mmHg compared to a placebo.13 This same study discovered that AGE improved cholesterol levels and arterial stiffness while also reducing artery-damaging inflammation. A more recent review of 12 clinical trials reported similar results and noted that this AGE-induced reduction in blood pressure was associated with a 16 to 40 percent drop in the risk of experiencing a cardiovascular event.14
But blood pressure is only the beginning of AGE’s cardiovascular benefits. According to other studies, AGE can also lower total cholesterol by 7 percent and LDL (bad) cholesterol by 10 percent, reduces the buildup of low attenuation (soft) plaque in coronary arteries, prevents platelets from sticking together, and halts the progression of dangerous coronary artery calcification.15,16,17,18,19 These factors can decrease blood flow and reduce arterial flexibility, boosting the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
As you can see, fish oil and AGE can reduce the multiple risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease. What’s more, each nutrient fills in the gaps left by the other to provide a comprehensive supplement strategy for better heart health. Paired with a heart-smart diet and regular exercise, these two nutrients can up your cardiovascular game every day.
CARDIOVASCULAR BENEFITS OF FISH OIL & AGED GARLIC EXTRACT
|Lowers HDL22||Raises LDL Particle Size23
|Plaque in Arteries||Lowers plaque formation16||Decreases plaque26||—-|
|Blood Pressure||Lowers SBP and DBP13||—-||Lowers heart rate27
Lowers blood pressure28
|Endothelial Function||Raises nitric oxide29||—-||—–|
|Blood Clotting||—-||—-||Reduces risk of clotting33|
- Rimm EB, Appel LJ, Chiuve SE, et al. Seafood Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association. 2018;138(1):e35-47.
- Adler AJ, Holube BJ. Effect of garlic and fish-oil supplementation on serum lipid and lipoprotein concentration in hypercholesterolemic men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1997;65(2):445-450.
- Morcos, N.C. Modulation of lipid profile by fish oil and garlic combination. Journal of the National Medical Association.1997;89(10):673-678.
- Capo X, Marorell M, Busquets-Cortés C, et al. Resolvins as pro-resolving inflammatory mediators in cardiovascular disease. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2018;153:123-130.
- Kelly DS, Siegel D., Fedor, DM, et al. DHA supplementation decreases serum C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in hypertriglyceridemic men. The Journal of Nutrition. 2009;139(3):495-501.
- Arterioslerosis/Atherosclerosis. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arteriosclerosis-atherosclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350569
- Shearer GC, Savinova OV, & Harris WS. Fish oil—how does it reduce plasma triglycerides? Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 2012;182(5):843-851.
- Meital LT, Windsor, MT, Perissiou M, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease oxidative stress and inflammation in macrophages from patients with small abdominal aortic aneurysm. Science Reports. 2019;9:12978.
- Li XL & Steiner M. Fish oil: a potent inhibitor of platelet adhesiveness. 1990;76(5):938-945.
- Miller PE, Van Elswyk M, & Alexander DD. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Hypertension. 2014;27(7):885-896.
- Heydari B, Abdullah S, Pottala JV, et al. Effect of omega-3 acid ethyl esters on left ventricular remodeling after acute myocardial infarction: the OMEGA-REMODEL randomized clinical trial. 2016;134(5):378-391.
- Colin-González AL, Santana RA, Silva-Islas CA, et al. The antioxidant mechanisms underlying the aged garlic extract and S-allylcysteine-induced protection. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2012;2012:907162.
- Ried K, Travica N, & Sali A. The effect of aged garlic extract on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors in uncontrolled hypertensives: the AGE at Heart trial. Integrated Blood Pressure Control. 2016;9:9-21.
- Ried K. Garlic lowers blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, improves arterial stiffness and gut microbiota: a review and meta-analysis. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2020;19(2):1472-1478.
- Yeh YY & Liu L. Cholesterol-lowering effect of garlic extracts and organosulfur compounds: human and animal studies. Journal of Nutrition. 2001;131(3s):989S-993S.
- Shaikh K, Kinniger A, Cherukuri L, et al Aged garlic extract reduces low attenuation plaque in coronary arteries of patients with diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2020;19(2):1457-1461.
- Rahman K, Lowe GM, Smith S. Aged garlic extract inhibits human platelet aggregation by altering intracellular signaling and platelet shape change. Journal of Nutrition. 2016;146(2):410S-415S.
- Hom C, Budoff M, Luo Y, et al. The effects of aged garlic extract on coronary artery calcification progression and blood pressure. Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. 2015;S5:005.
- Wlosinska M, Nilsson A, Hlebowica J, et al. The effect of aged garlic extract on the atherosclerotic process – a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. 2020;20:132.
- Asdaq S. Antioxidant and hypolipidemic potential of aged garlic extract and its constituent, S-allyl cysteine, in rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015;2015: 328545.
- Budoff MJ, Ahmadi N, Gul KM, et al. Aged garlic extract supplemented with B vitamins, folic acid and L-arginine retards the progression of subclinical atherosclerosis: a randomized clinical trial. Preventive Medicine. 2009;49:101-107.
- Innes JK & Calder PC. The differential effects of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid on cardiometabolic risk factors: a systematic review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2018;19(2):532.
- Allaire J, Vors, C, Temblay AJ, et al. High-dose DHA has more profound effects on LDL-related features than high-dose EPA: The ComparED Study. 2018;103(8):2909-2917.
- Weiss N, Ide N, Abahji T, et al. Aged garlic extract improves homocysteine-induced endothelial dysfunction in macro- and microcirculation. Journal of Nutrition. 2006;136(3 Suppl):750S-754S.
- Rizzo G & Langana AS. The link between homocysteine and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid: critical appraisal and future directions. 2020;10(2):219.
- Nelson JR, Wani, O, May HT, et al. Potential benefits of eicosapentaenoic acid on atherosclerotic plaques. Vascular Pharmacology. 2017;91:1-9.
- Hidayat K, Yang J, Zhang Z, et al. Effect of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on heart rate: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Europan Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2018;72:805-817.
- Lee JB, Notay K, Klingel SL, et al. Docosahexaenoic acid reduces resting blood pressure but increases muscle sympathetic outflow compared with eicosapentaenoic acid in healthy men and women. American Journal of Physiology. 2019;316(4):H873-H881.
- Morihara N, Sumioka I, Moriguch T, et al. Aged garlic extract enhances production of nitric oxide. Life Sciences. 2002;71(5):509-517.
- Ried K, Travica N, & Sali A. The effect of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract on gut microbiota, inflammation, and cardiovascular markers in hypertensives: the GarGIC Trial. Frontiers in Nutrition. 2018;5:122.
- Borek C. Antioxidant health effects of aged garlic extract. The Journal of Nutrition. 2001;131(3):1010S-1015S.
- Sakai C, Ishida M, Ohba H, et al. Fish oil omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids attenuate oxidative stress-induced DNA damage in vascular endothelial cells. PLoS One. 2017;12(11):e01879343.
- Nelson GJ, Schmidt PS, Bartolini GL, et al. The effect of dietary docosahexaenoic acid on platelet function, platelet fatty acid composition, and blood coagulation in humans. 1997;32(11):1129-1136.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.