Small daily doses of allicin, the active metabolic in garlic, proved effective in preventing a severe form of pulmonary hypertension in rats, according to a study reported Saturday, April 2 by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers at the Experimental Biology 2005 meeting in San Diego. The human form of the disease – primary pulmonary hypertension – often leads to cardiovascular complications such as right heart hypertrophy and failure and is frequently lethal.
Dr. David D. Ku says the findings confirm an earlier study by the team that garlic protects against a less lethal form of acute pulmonary hypertension in rats. The new study by Ku, graduate student Hsien Chin Wu and research assistant Xiaowei Sun, not only looks at a chronic form of the disease but also goes a big step further by pinpointing the effective ingredient in garlic and demonstrating that it achieves its protective effects through vasorelaxation.
The presentation at Experimental Biology 2005 was part of the scientific sessions of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Sarah Goodwin | EurekAlert!
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