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Influence of longterm garlic intake on pulse wave velocity along the aorta

Prof. Dr. Gustav G. Beltz, K. Breithaupt, M. Ling, G.K.Wolf* Centre for Cardiovascular Pharmacology, Mainz and *Medizinische Informatik, Heidelberg.

Pulse wave velocity along the aorta is considered to be a reliable index for the assessment of the degree of atherosclerosis in populations. Significant correlation's between the degree of arteriosclerosis of the aorta or the coronary arteries and the pulse wave velocity have been found in epidemiological studies.

In an epidemiological approach we compared the effect of a chronic (i.e. > 2 years) intake of a garlic preparation (Kwai) at least 100 mg daily in n=100 healthy people (age range between 50 and 80 years) versus a corresponding size control group of healthy volunteers who do not report garlic intake above usual German "average."

Methods: Carotid and femoral artery pulse curves are obtained by mechanosphygmometry. The distance between the upstoke of the same pulsation waves give the transmission times from which the pulse wave velocity along the aorta is calculated. Blood pressure is assessed by Korotkoff I and V sounds. Aortic elastic properties are characterized by: (i) Pulse wave velocity (PWV), (ii) by the blood pressure normalised elastic vascular resistance index (PVR) and (iii) by these parameters adjusted for age.

Results: A preliminary graphical analysis basing on a fraction of the final group shows the following tendencies: As expected there is a clear age dependent increase of PWV and EVR indicating increasing aortic stiffness with progressing age. This is evident in both the garlic and the non-garlic groups of volunteers. The two groups differ in the level of PWV which in all ages seems to be slower, and EVE which seems to be lower accordingly in the garlic group.

Conclusions: A preliminary evaluation of this epidemiological study indicates that there is the potential for a decreased stiffness of the aorta in humans with regular intake of a garlic preparation. The significance of these indications in respect to atherosclerosis of the aorta and other arteries have to be discussed.
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