On a sunny day in southern California, over 140
health professionals, from 22 countries, gathered
at the International 2014 Garlic Symposium,
March 4–6, to report the latest findings on the
health effects of garlic and its preparations, with Kyolic Aged
Garlic Extract (Wakunaga) taking center stage.
The Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, the University of Florida
and Wakunaga of America sponsored the symposium, held
at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel, in Dana Point.
Established in 1972, the Wakunaga companies have promoted
consumer health worldwide through the research,
development, manufacturing and marketing of high quality
medicinal herbs, including Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE).
The scientific and clinical presentations included an overview
of garlic and its constituents, their effects on health, basic
and clinical studies on the cardiovascular effects of garlic,
the effects of garlic preparations on the immune system and
metabolic syndrome, a condition associated with cardiovascular
disease and other pathological conditions.
A Short Overview of Garlic
Garlic (Allium sativum) is thought to have originated in Siberia.
Its uses go back to antiquity; found in the pyramids in ancient
Egypt and in medical documents in various parts of the
ancient world, including Greece and Rome, where it served as
a remedy for many ailments. In the 19th and 20th century garlic
was listed in the USA pharmacopeia and was used to treat
wounds, as an external anti infectious agent, a prominent use
in World War II.
Modern science has confirmed garlic as a medicinal herb
but because of its potent odor that lingers on the skin and
breath and its potential gastrointestinal adverse effects, many
consumers have chosen the odorless Kyolic AGE supplement.
Safe, standardized by high quality control and highly bioavailable,
AGE has a wide range of health benefits that often exceed
those of fresh garlic and is the choice preparation in research
on garlic and health, resulting in over 700 peer-reviewed journal
Studies presented at the Garlic Symposium provided the
latest information on the health benefits of AGE, including
cardiovascular health, immune regulation and the mitigation
of metabolic syndrome, a condition where increased blood
pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat and abnormal
cholesterol levels occur together, increasing the risk of heart
disease, stroke and diabetes.
New Information On Components of AGE
Made by Wakunaga of America, from organic garlic, by lengthy
extraction and aging at room temperature, Kyolic AGE is rich
in stable water-soluble organosulfur compounds (e.g. S-allyl
cysteine and S-allyl-mercapto cysteine) and contains lipid
soluble organosulfur compound and other components with
antioxidant activity. Additional antioxidant effects include increasing
the activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and
glutathione peroxidase and scavenging hydrogen peroxide
and free radicals. As reported in the present symposium by
Drs. Hoffmann and Stark from the Technical University in
Freiburg, AGE also contains two heretofore unidentified ligning
compounds (polyphenols) that are potent antioxidants.
Dr. Toshi Ide, director of Research and Development at Wakunaga
of America, stated the importance of these newly discovered
non sulfur substances, formed in the aging process,
complementing the known organosulfur compounds present
Matthew Budoff, MD, Professor of Medicine at Harbor-UCLA
center presented four double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical
trials with AGE, showing its effects in reducing cardiovascular
risk factors, slowing the progression of atherosclerosis,
enhancing blood vessel function, improving the protective
HDL cholesterol, reducing the “bad” LDL cholesterol, lowering
C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation and reducing
levels of homocysteine a risk factor for cardiovascular disease,
Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Dr. Budoff’s most recent clinical study, showed the potential
of AGE to decrease coronary plaque in 71 patients with
metabolic syndrome, using cardiac computed tomographic
angiography. This state of the art technology confirmed that
AGE slowed the progression of total plaque accumulation by
as much as 80 percent, in these patients.
Dr. Budoff stated, “Our studies demonstrate the benefit
of Aged Garlic Extract on both plaque changes over time and
new plaque formation. We have completed four randomized
studies to date and all have led us to concur that AGE is both
beneficial for slowing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
and reversing the early stages of heart disease. Few
therapies have ever been able to slow or stop atherosclerosis
and AGE is now in an elite class of therapies that allow us to
potentially reverse the process of heart disease.“
AGE and Endothelia Cells
Dr. Norbert Weiss, from the Technical University in Dresden,
Germany, reported studies in which he collaborates with Dr.
Toshi Ide, which further confirmed the cardiovascular benefits
of AGE. The studies, related to the fact that atherosclerosis
development is associated with endothelial cell dysfunction
(cells lining blood vessels), due to a deficiency in a blood pressure
regulator nitric oxide (NO), a condition exacerbated by
high homocysteine. Their clinical studies showed that AGE
prevented the adverse vascular effects of homocysteine. Their
in vitro studies showed that AGE prevented NO deficiency by
preserving endothelial cell normal NO output, even in the
presence of high homocysteine and, furthermore reduced the
risk of atherosclerosis by inhibiting foam cell formation, that
enhance cholesterol accumulation in blood vessels.
Blood Pressure and Platelet Aggregation
High blood pressure and increased stickiness and adhesion
of blood platelets are risk factors for heart attacks and stroke.
Dr. Khalid Rahman, of Liverpool John Moores University in
the UK, showed that AGE inhibits platelet aggregation both
in vitro and in vivo, by increasing molecular regulators, cAmp
and cGMP and altering receptors on the platelet, which reduces
their binding to each other. He also showed that AGE
displays strong antioxidant properties both in vitro and in vivo.
Dr. Khalid Rahman stated, “Since AGE inhibits platelet aggregation,
we propose that AGE taken regularly may have a role
to play in reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other
thrombotic episodes in individuals with either cardiovascular
disease or at a risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
AGE may also result in a reduction in oxidative stress which is
linked to many chronic diseases.”
Dr. Toshi Ide, pointed out, “This research on AGE and
anti-platelet aggregation is one of the key mechanisms in supporting
AGE’s multiple effects on the prevention of cardiovascular
Blood Pressure and Immunity
Meta-analysis is a statistical analysis of separate but similar
experiments to test the pooled data for statistical significance.
Dr. Karin Ried, from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine
in Melbourne, Australia, reported the effects of garlic in
lowering blood pressure in a meta-analyses of 18 trials with
870 participants, showing a significant mean decrease in systolic
blood pressure of 4.7±2.2 mm Hg, compared with placebo,
and in nine trials with 400 hypertensive subjects, a mean
decrease of 8.7±2.8 mm Hg compared with placebo. Only
five of the trials involved subjects with high diastolic blood
pressure and in those, the consumption of garlic resulted in a
mean blood pressure lowering effect of 7.0±1.4 mm Hg.
A meta-analysis of the effect of garlic on blood lipids included
2300 adults showed that garlic, taken for longer than
two months reduced LDL cholesterol by 10 percent, in people
with slightly elevated levels. The reductions in blood pressure
and cholesterol are associated with a 40 percent reduced risk
of cardiovascular events.
Two clinical studies, conducted by Dr. Karin Ried also
demonstrated that Kyolic AGE lowers blood pressure, by 9–12
mm Hg systolic and 6–7 mm Hg diastolic, in medically uncontrolled
hypertensive patients. These reductions are similar
to those achieved by blood pressure medication, and are associated
with a 16–40 percent lowering of the risk of heart
attacks and stroke. Two capsules daily, containing 1.2 g AGE
were most effective. Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract is highly tolerable
and no harmful interactions with other standard blood
pressure medication were observed.
Dr. Toshi Ide pointed out, “One in three adults in the U.S.
has high blood pressure, and one in four of these are on a
medication but still do not have their blood pressure under
control, or is otherwise known as uncontrolled hypertension.
The beneficial effect of Kyolic AGE in lowering blood pressure
will have a big impact on health specialists and the public.”
Immunity and Inflammation
Dr. Susan Percival, from the University of Florida, reported
that in a randomized placebo controlled study with 120
healthy subjects, AGE (2.5 g/day) given for 45 days increase
the proliferation of immune cells (natural killer cells) NK and
a class of T cells, compared to placebo. When examined for
colds and flu, the trial showed that AGE consumed for 90
days, reduced the number and severity of inflammatory cold
and flu symptoms.
Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome
Advanced glycation end products are proteins or lipids that
have become modified by contact with sugar. These harmful
compounds can affect nearly every type of cell and molecule
in the body and are thought to be a factor in aging, blood vessel
complications in diabetes, atherosclerosis and other age-related
Dr. Nasser Ahmed from Manchester Metropolitan University
in the UK presented a study on 48 diabetic patients,
finding that high doses of AGE inhibited oxidative stress and
the formation of advanced glycation end products.
“Since cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome
often co-exist and share a number of risk factors, these findings
have real-world applications for people suffering from
these two diseases,” noted Dr. Toshi Ide.
Additional information on garlic’s health benefits was presented
by the international array of scientists in the 17 oral
presentations and the 15 posters, further ascertaining the importance
of garlic substances in protecting health and confirming
that Kyolic AGE, the odorless form of garlic, should
remain center stage in the diet, playing a role in controlling
cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and a
variety of age related conditions.