These findings, published in Clinical Nutrition, suggested that “taken consistently, [aged garlic extract] may be beneficial in preventing the development of chronic diseases associated with low-grade inflammation in adults with obesity.”
Pharmaceutical company Wakunaga of America Co., Ltd., funded the study, conducted by researchers from the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department of the University of Florida.
The researchers hypothesized that the extract may reduce chronic inflammation and improve immune functions in obese adults.
“Daily consumption of dietary supplements that support GSH production could potentially be a method of counteracting the chronic inflammation associated with obesity,” they argued.
Participant recruitment, study design, and dosage
Fifty-one healthy adults with obesity, with a mean of age 45.6 years and mean BMI of 36.1,were recruited to participate in the parallel, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study.
After being matched by BMI, participants were randomized into the aged garlic extract supplementation or placebo group.
Wakunaga of America supplied capsules, labeled as either A or B. Participants and researchers were blinded to the intervention assignments. The aged garlic extract capsule contained 0.6 g of the extract per capsule.
Participants were instructed to take a daily dose of 3.6 g aged garlic extract or placebo, three capsules with food twice a day for 6 weeks, and encouraged to continue their current dietary and exercise routines.
Blood lipid and inflammatory markers were assessed at baseline and after six weeks of supplementation. Additionally, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from whole blood and used to detect changes in immune cell populations and levels of cytokine secretion.
Results and significance
At the end of study, the inflammatory markers serum IL-6 and TNF-α of participants consuming aged garlic extract “were significantly lower than those consuming the placebo capsules,” according to the report.
The researchers also observed modulated immune cell distribution among participants who consumed the extract for six weeks.
“To our knowledge, this is the first report that evaluates the effect of aged garlic extract supplementation on immune cell populations in adults with obesity-induced inflammation,” the researchers argued.
“As obesity affects more than 600 million adults worldwide, identifying successful interventions to moderate the negative effects of obesity, like systemic inflammation and associated chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, are imperative.”
They added that further research is still needed. “We were not able to evaluate the long-term effects of aged garlic extract supplementation on inflammation and immune function in adults with obesity, as our intervention lasted only six weeks,” they wrote.
The results build on the body of science supporting aged garlic extract’s health benefits. Many of these studies, such as one conducted in China and published in 2012, point to aged garlic’s heart health benefits. A meta-analysis published in 2015 also found a positive link between the extract and heart health.
Source: Clinical Nutrition ESPEN
Published online ahead of print, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clnesp.2017.11.010Aged garlic extract supplementation modifies inflammation and immunity of adults with obesity: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial
Authors: Changjie Xu