Garlic May Prevent Heart Disease in People with Diabetes
Many studies have explored the health benefits of garlic, but few have looked at its impact on a form of heart disease that affects people who have diabetes. Now the results of a new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry indicate that garlic has “significant potential” for preventing diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Garlic provides important health benefits for the heart
Authors of the new study point out that people who have diabetes have at least a twofold risk of dying from heart disease. Specifically, diabetics are susceptible to diabetic cardiomyopathy, in which the heart tissue is inflamed and weakened in response to hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels).
In 2003 in Diabetes Care, a report on diabetic cardiomyopathy noted that because the disease “is now known to have a high prevalence in the asymptomatic type 2 diabetic patient, screening for its presence at the earliest stage of development would be appropriate in order to prevent the progression to CHF” (congestive heart failure).
Scientists with the current study fed either garlic oil or corn oil to rats that had diabetes. Rats given garlic demonstrated changes that protect the heart against damage. The authors reported that the positive changes seemed to be associated with the antioxidants found in garlic, and noted that they had identified more than 20 substances that may be contributing to the heart-protective properties of garlic.
The scientists concluded that “garlic oil possesses significant potential: for protecting against heart disease, and specifically cardiomyopathy, in people who have diabetes.
American Chemical Society