ryanfitz, Author at Wakunaga of America

The Aged Garlic Extract Difference

Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants on the planet and has been used by various cultures for thousands of years. It was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians and thought to ward off evil spirits and increase strength. Ancient Greeks and Romans loved their garlic, too. Greek athletes and soldiers ate garlic before entering the arena or the battlefield because they also thought it had strength-enhancing properties. Greek midwives hung garlic cloves in birthing rooms to repel demons. Roman soldiers ate garlic for inspiration and courage.

Through the ages, garlic has also been credited with numerous health benefits. Hippocrates, widely known as the “father of medicine,” prescribed garlic to treat wounds, fight infection, and ease digestive disorders. Garlic’s reputation as a medicinal wonder continued into the Middle Ages. It was used in attempts to prevent the plague, cure leprosy, and treat a long list of other ailments. 

Traditionally, garlic bulbs were prepared in a variety of ways for medicinal purposes. The juice of the bulb was extracted and taken internally, while the bulb was ground into a paste for external treatment. Since then, garlic has been made into oils, tinctures, tablets, and capsules that have enjoyed much popularity thanks to its rich antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

The Aging Process

However, as a growing number of studies show, there’s significantly more to garlic’s health benefits—and aging is the key. The Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) used in Wakunaga’s Kyolic brand supplements begins with garlic from certified organic farms in California’s Central Valley, where it is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides. When fully mature, the garlic is harvested, cleaned, and sliced before being placed in specialized stainless steel containers where it is aged without heat for up to 20 months. This proprietary process increases the garlic’s antioxidant potential and converts harsh and unstable organosulfur compounds into the odorless, non-irritating, and bioavailable compounds which are responsible for AGE’s numerous health benefits.   [Learn more about the chemistry of garlic] link to article

Kyolic’s aging process is quality assured from soil to shelf. The production process is controlled by over 250 stringent quality checks to ensure its safety and efficacy. Our manufacturing facility conforms to cGMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines in addition to ISO 9001:2015 and other international standards demonstrating our company’s commitment to the Quality Management System as audited by Intertek®.  [Learn more about our quality] link to article

Over forty-seven years of clinical research have documented the numerous benefits of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract including:

  •         Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels*
  •         Slowing the progression of coronary artery calcification*
  •         Inhibiting the accumulation of “soft” unstable plaque*
  •         Decreasing blood platelet adhesion and aggregation*
  •         Enhancing circulation*
  •         Supporting immune function*
  •         Reducing the risk of gingivitis*
  •         Easing stress*
  •         Improving gut microbiota*

Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract is the most clinically researched garlic supplement on the market. To date, it has been the subject of more than 870 peer-reviewed scientific articles from prestigious universities and research institutes from around the world, documenting both its efficacy and an unparalleled safety record.  With Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract’s foundation in science, consumers can have confidence in every bottle they buy.

That’s the Kyolic difference.


The Unique Chemistry of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract

While many of these texts promoted garlic for its supposed ability to  enhance strength and increase the capacity for work, it was also used by early physicians to treat a variety of ailments.

The compound credited for garlic’s benefits throughout the ages was allicin, which is produced when fresh garlic is chopped or crushed. But, although allicin appears to provide antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant benefits in test tube experiments, human trials haven’t shown the same results. This is likely because, when allicin reacts with blood, it oxidizes and quickly metabolizes before it can do any good.

Because of this chemical instability, there are no clinical trials showing that allicin is bioavailable or beneficial to human health. In one study, participants ate 25 grams (10 cloves) of fresh garlic that had been crushed to provide a large amount of allicin. After examining blood and urine samples from each participant, the researchers found that no allicin or the 16 compounds related to allicin were present from one to 24 hours after consumption.

What’s more, research shows that most garlic supplements don’t actually contain ANY bioavailable allicin. If traditional garlic supplements don’t deliver allicin to the body, or if allicin can’t do what’s promised, what makes Aged Garlic Extract so effective?

What is S-allyl cysteine (SAC)

Wakunaga’s proprietary aging process teases out compounds in garlic other than allicin that have demonstrated an array of health benefits. The most active and abundant compound in Aged Garlic Extract is S-allyl cysteine (SAC), a safe, water-soluble organosulfur compound. Unlike allicin, SAC is stable and extremely bioavailable. In fact, after taking Aged Garlic Extract, SAC is quickly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and has nearly 100% bioavailability. Once absorbed, SAC is metabolized into the antioxidant N-acetyl-SAC. A 2012 study that appeared in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity reported that SAC was detected in several types of tissue throughout the body up to eight hours after a single dose.

Because SAC is a powerful antioxidant that prevents oxidation in the body, it has been shown to provide beneficial anti-aging properties and the ability to support a variety of bodily systems, including cardiovascular, immune, and neurological health when combined with a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, some research suggest that SAC may be an anti-inflammatory agent that further supports good health.

While SAC is the primary compound in Aged Garlic Extract, it also contains other important non-sulfur compounds like allixin and saponins. Recent studies have found that these compounds also make important contributions to Aged Garlic Extract’s health benefits. All together, the unique chemical profile of Aged Garlic Extract makes it a smart addition to the quest for a healthier life.

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.

Aged Garlic Extract and Cardiovascular Health

Managing the various aspects of cardiovascular disease is an important part of reducing your odds of a future heart attack or stroke. Here, we break down the science of how Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) helps support better cardiovascular health in four important and well-known areas: atherosclerosis, blood pressure, cholesterol, and circulation.

How AGE Keeps Arteries Healthy

Your cardiovascular system is only as healthy as the arteries that carry your blood throughout your body. Healthy arteries are flexible with a smooth, undamaged endothelium—that single layer of cells that line the inner surface of your arteries—that allows oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to flow freely to all of your organs and tissues. But over time, the effects of heredity, unhealthy habits, and age can cause the buildup of artery-damaging plaque and calcium deposits. When arteries become damaged—a condition called atherosclerosis—blood flow can eventually be hindered or even completely blocked. However, clinical trials show that Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) can reverse the buildup of plaque and coronary artery calcification, ultimately helping to minimize the progression of atherosclerosis.

One clinical trial that was published in the Journal of Nutrition found that AGE slowed the accumulation of plaque in arteries. The researchers recruited 55 patients with metabolic syndrome, all between the ages of 40 and 75. All the participants were screened using Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiography to measure the total amount of plaque and calcium in their arteries. This non-invasive imaging tool also measured the amount of low-attenuation plaque or “soft” plaque—which is fatty and unstable—that was clinging to artery walls. Low-attenuation plaque is especially dangerous because it can rupture and form a blood clot. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke. The participants were then assigned to take either a placebo or 2,400 mg of AGE every day. Follow-up testing conducted a year after the initial screening found that AGE slowed total plaque accumulation by 80% and significantly reduced the amount of soft plaque in arteries.1

Along with soft plaque, cardiologists from UCLA found that AGE—when paired with coenzyme Q10—also halted the progression of coronary artery calcification (CAC). In this particular study, 65 middle-aged firefighters who were at moderate risk of heart disease were screened to determine the severity of calcium deposits and plaque buildup in their arteries. A marker for inflammation, known as C-reactive protein or CRP, was also measured. The firefighters then were given either a placebo or a supplement containing 1,200 mg of AGE and 120 mg of CoQ10 every day for 12 months. At the end of the year, the firefighters were screened again. Those taking AGE had a significant reduction in the progression of CAC compared to those taking the placebo. They also experienced a considerable drop in CRP.2

Together, these clinical studies suggest that a daily dose of AGE can work in several ways to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis, even in people at a higher risk for the condition.

Better Blood Pressure with AGE

High blood pressure—which is defined as 130/80 mmHg or higher—is aptly called “the silent killer” because it typically has no symptoms. Although this condition often flies under the radar, it can lead to serious health problems including atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, and stroke. Human studies suggest that AGE provides blood pressure benefits similar to first-line medications.

During one recent study that appeared in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia reported that Aged Garlic Extract produced a significant drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to a placebo.3 Another study involving 88 people with high blood pressure found even better results with a reduction of 11.5 mmHg in systolic pressure and a 6.3 mmHg drop in diastolic pressure in 58% of those taking AGE.4 An earlier study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition also showed that AGE produced similar results for lowering systolic pressure.5

But as good as AGE is alone, it may be even more effective when paired with the enzyme nattokinase—which acts like a natural ACE inhibitor—and L-theanine—which has also been shown to lower blood pressure.6,7 Independent studies of these three nutrients, support their potential to have a positive impact on blood pressure.

AGE Curtails High Cholesterol

While cholesterol is important for the formation of cell membranes—as well as for the production of hormones, bile acids, and vitamin D—too much of the wrong kind of cholesterol can encourage the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Clinical studies show that AGE can lower total cholesterol, as well as harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. This was clearly shown in a review of 39 human studies published in Nutrition Reviews. The researchers found that AGE reduced total cholesterol by 17 mg/dL and LDL by 9 gm/dL in people with slightly elevated cholesterol levels.8 An earlier clinical trial reported that AGE lowered total cholesterol by 7% and LDL by 10% compared to a placebo.9  Adding plant sterols to AGE may also support healthy cholesterol levels. On their own, plant sterols were recently found to lower LDL by up to 10% in a trial of 221 people with high cholesterol levels.10

Improve Circulation with AGE

Your circulatory system is a complex superhighway made up of arteries, veins, and capillaries that carry oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. This blood delivers important nutrients to your organs and tissues and helps remove cellular waste. When the blood vessels that make up your circulatory system are healthy, blood flows freely throughout the body. But when they are damaged, the amount of blood that reaches your vital organs and extremities is reduced.

AGE has been shown to support healthy blood vessels and improve circulation in a number of ways. It promotes clear arteries by discouraging calcium deposits and plaque buildup. In addition, AGE lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Clinical research shows that AGE also reduces oxidation and inflammation, and increases the production of nitric oxide (a molecule that dilates blood vessels for better blood flow).11

AGE also works on the microcirculatory system—that network of tiny capillaries, arterioles, and venules that moves blood from larger blood vessels to your cells. This was shown in a recent study published in the International Wound Journal. Among 122 people who took part in the study, those who supplemented with AGE for a year had better microcirculation than those taking a placebo. This was especially true among the participants with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.12 These findings are good news for anyone with cardiovascular issues and especially for diabetics since microcirculation can be compromised in people with type 2 diabetes.

Disclaimer:  The scientific studies described here were conducted by independent researchers and presented for educational purpose only.  The products of the studies may be classified as dietary supplements in the United States. Those dietary supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Green Drinks 101 – Get More Green in Your Day

Nutritionists, health agencies, and mothers everywhere have long heralded the benefits of eating your vegetables daily – especially green ones. Yet, it’s a goal that very few of us meet. Despite recommendations to eat two to three cups of vegetables daily, only 1 in 10 adults actually consumes that amount, which is unfortunate, because, calorie for calorie, vegetables provide the optimal source of nutrients among any food. The star among them is greens, including arugula, broccoli, dark leafy lettuces, kale, spinach, and watercress.

Why you need more greens

Green vegetables are essential for a strong immune system, proper gut health, healthy detoxification, and better cognition. Most importantly, greens help keep your body’s pH in balance, thanks to their alkalinizing properties. But greens go beyond what you’ll find at your local grocery store or farmer’s market. Think chlorella and kelp from the sea. Or barley and wheat grasses from the fields.

Whether you’re among those who are frightened by the sight of broccoli, or you simply have trouble meeting your daily quota due to a hectic schedule, upping your intake of a variety of greens should be an essential part of your health game plan. Smoothies and smoothie bowls are a tasty way to add more green to your diet.

Build a Better Smoothie

Here are some tips to ease into smoothies and green drinks effortlessly:

Tip #1: Get to know your greens first. For first-timers, we usually recommend starting your greens journey with something mild in flavor, so it doesn’t completely catch you off guard. Take a small taste of each green before you add it to your blender. If anything seems completely off-putting to you, you can take it out. Spinach, for example, is a great, mild-tasting green that is perfect for first-timers…the same goes for cucumbers as well. You can always work your way up to stronger flavors like kale.

Tip #2: Add some fruit to the mix. We don’t mean you should throw just any fruit into the blender, we’d recommend one that is low in sugar, and high in antioxidants, such as berries (we recommend starting with half a cup). Doing this will add some sweetness to your green drink, and can offset the bitterness of some raw greens.

Tip #3: Texture matters. People often focus so much on the ingredients that are going into the smoothie, they neglect to think about how all the items they are adding in will affect the texture. Sometimes, an extremely chunky/thick smoothie is what truly sets people over the edge, causing them to give up on their smoothie. It is important to play around with different types and quantities of greens to get a texture that works for you. If you like a creamy smoothie, try adding half an avocado or half a banana, and blend on high.

Another easy way to get your quota of greens if your diet falls short, is by incorporating a nutrient-dense powdered drink mix (this can even be added to your smoothie for even greater health benefits!). Green drink mixes are a great addition to a healthy lifestyle because they not only help you meet your daily veggie intake, they support almost every system in the body and can even boost energy levels. Chlorella, kelp, wheatgrass, barley grass, and other powdered greens are packed with an array of concentrated vitamins and minerals essential for optimal health. Just be sure to check the ingredients in a pre-mixed powder and make sure you are not getting any added sugar or artificial flavors. If you would like to try an excellent and nutritious greens powdered drink mix, we recommend starting with the Kyo-Green® line.

Brimming with organic and naturally sourced ingredients, the Kyo-Green line of products gives you a much needed edge by providing a high-quality, balanced source of bioavailable nutrients that are rapidly absorbed by the body. These drink mixes aren’t just an easy way to help you meet your daily greens quota. Each Kyo-Green Powdered Drink Mix gives you a unique blend of superfoods that offers a powerhouse of balanced nutritional benefits for the whole body. Go green to better fuel your active life!

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.