Thursday, May 12, 2005

ACE Inhibitors - Bearlic to the rescue?

Interesting story on the wire today about ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors. To quote from the story:

"ACE inhibitors, a class of drugs used to lower high blood pressure, also significantly improve the survival of older adults with heart failure and kidney disease, results of a new study show.

Heart failure is a disease with poor prognosis," explained Dr. Ali Ahmed, who led the study. "ACE inhibitors are a class of drug that improves survival in these patients.

Many people with heart failure also have chronic kidney disease, he noted. "ACE inhibitors also protect kidneys of patients with chronic kidney disease (with or without heart failure). So, apparently, there is dual indication and need for use of ACE inhibitors in heart failure patients with chronic kidney disease."

A natural ACE inhibitor is Bearlic Supplement from Advanced Orthomolecular Research and offers these benefits of allicin (garlic extract):

>High content of gamma-glutamyl peptides, the phytochemicals responsible for garlic's ability to inhibit angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) - the target of the so-called "ACE inhibitor" drugs. Therefore, Allium ursinum is a more powerful natural "ACE inhibitor" than kitchen garlic extracts.

> Twenty-fold higher levels of adenosine. Adenosine works by opening up the ATP-dependent potassium (KATP) channel in the smooth muscles of blood vessels, leading them to relax and present less resistance to the force of the blood flowing through them.

> Various phytochemicals present in Allium ursinum protect adenosine from destruction, allowing a significant amount of it to be absorbed intact.

> Twice the amount of ajoenes, the components of garlic believed to be responsible for garlic's ability to prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots.

> Significantly more of many essential nutrients than common kitchen garlic, including such minerals as magnesium, manganese, and zinc.

Further research by AOR discovers that:

"Kitchen garlic, and extracts made from it, does appear to have some ability to lower blood pressure, but the effect is weak and inconsistent - hardly surprising, granted that supermarket garlic contains so little of the key phytonutrients which support lower blood pressure. Several studies show that Allium ursinum consistently supports healthy blood pressure, and does a better job than kitchen-garlic supplements.

In one study, the effects of Allium ursinum were tested in animals fed a hypertension-accelerating diet. The diet caused a dangerous 29% increase in the activity of the blood pressure elevating ACE enzyme. Along with it, their blood pressure climbed upward by 8%. Both the increase in ACE activity, and the rise in BP, suffered by the animals receiving the diet but no supplements, were not only stopped, but reversed, by Allium ursinum.

Next, three different garlic extracts (Kyolic, Kwai, or wild Allium ursinum) were tested for their effects on BP, with all animals receiving a blood-pressure promoting diet. The animals who got Allium ursinum showed the greatest reductions in blood pressure and ACE activity, followed by those receiving Kwai, while those receiving Kyolic experienced the least effect on BP and ACE. Of the three garlics, the natural "ACE-inhibitor" power of Allium ursinum was the strongest."

Fascinating stuff!