Update 1/21/20. Kyolic aged garlic extract is one of the most highly researched supplements I've seen in all my years of investigating dietary supplements. The company which makes it is called Wakunaga of America. While garlic is is a well known, aged garlic extract is different. In this review of Kyolic aged garlic extract, I will show you the heart disease research on Kyolic and help you make sense of it. I'll show you what the research says – and hopefully, give researchers ideas for future clinical studies. So, does Kyolic aged garlic research work? Can it help blood pressure, slow down heart disease -or reverse heart disease? Let's see what we can discover. Also, see the bergamot review and black seed oil review.
What Is Aged Garlic Extract?
The phrase Aged garlic extract refers to how garlic in Kyolic supplements is made. Basically, they take raw garlic bulbs that are sliced and then soaked in an alcohol solution for 20 months at room temperature in stainless steel tanks. The odorless extract obtained is then concentrated into Kyolic supplements.
Even though they soak the garlic in alcohol for 20 months, there is no alcohol in Kyolic garlic supplements. Just wanted to mention that in case anyone was curious.
While the garlic concentrate contains many different compounds, one extract which gets a lot of attention by researchers is called
S-allylcysteine (sometimes called SAC). S-allylcysteine is an antioxidant and can increase something called NRF2. It may have other health properties too.
For example, preliminary evidence suggests it may help liver cancer.
For more on NFR2 see the review of the anti-aging supplement Protandim.
Aged Garlic Extract vs. Allicin
Alliin is a compound in garlic that is converted into Allicin. Allicin is the stuff that gives garlic its odor. While allicin is often said to be the active ingredient in garlic, it breaks down quickly into other compounds.
So, if allicin breaks down so fast, where are the health benefits of garlic coming from?
Like all foods, it's wise to remember garlic is more than just one ingredient. In other words, there is more to garlic than allicin.
Because of the way it's produced, aged garlic extract is odorless because it has no allicin.
Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Types
There are many different types of Kyolic supplements. The Kyolic.com website listed 25 different versions. These range from the cardiovascular formula –Formula 100 – which has 600 mg of age garlic extract per 2 capsules to supplements for focus (Kyolic Brain Focus) which has no age garlic extract.
The table below summarizes the amount of age garlic extract in the different types of Kyolic supplements:
|Kyolic Formula||Amount of Aged Garlic Extract|
|Kyolic Formula 100 (original)||2 capsules 600 mg|
|Kyolic Vegetarian Cardiovascular (capsules)||2 capsules 600 mg|
|Kyolic Liquid Vegetarian||1 ml (same as 1 capsule)|
|Kyolic Formula 101 (Stress and Fatigue)||2 capsules 600 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 101||2 capsules 600 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 103 (Immune)||2 capsules 440 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 104 (Lecithin Cholesterol)||2 capsules 600 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 105 (Detox & Anti Aging)||2 capsules 400 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 106 (Circulation)||2 capsules 600 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 107||2 capsules 600 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 108 (Total Heart Health)||2 capsules 500 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 109 (Blood Pressure Health)||2 capsules 400 mg|
|Kyolic Formula 110||2 capsules 600 mg)|
|Kyolic Curcumin||2 capsules 300 mg)|
|Kyolic Blood Pressure Balance||2 capsules 600 mg|
|Kyolic Red Yeast Rice Plus CoQ10||3 capsules 300 mg|
|Kyolic Omega 3 (Cholesterol & Circulation)||2 softgels: 240 mg|
|Kyolic Extra Strength Reserve||1 capsule: 600 mg|
|Kyolic One Per Day||1 caplet 1000 mg|
|Kyolic Liver Support (Cleanse & Detoxification)||2 capsules 200 mg|
|Kyolic Brain Memory (Learning & Recall)||1 capsule 200 mg|
|Kyolic Brain Focus (Mental Activity & Attention)||1 caplet: zero AGE|
|Kyolic Brain Energy (Mental Energy & Function)||2 capsules 400 mg|
|Kyolic Neuroo-Logic (Memory and Mental Acuity)||2 capsules 400 mg|
|Kyolic Prosta-Logic (Healthy Prostate Function)||1 softgel 100 mg|
In the table above, notice there is a version called “Kyolic One A Day” which has 1000 mg of aged garlic extract. This version is a hard shell caplet and not a capsule.
For those who like the option of opening a capsule to sprinkle the contents on food (see my Instagram post), a caplet would not as good as a capsule.
The Kyolic website (Kyolic.com) also sells weight loss supplements, probiotics, and other supplements but they are not included in this review because they do not appear to contain aged garlic extract.
Kyolic Heart Disease Research
The company which makes Kyolic says there are over 100 studies published on their product. Because this is far more than most supplements have, I won’t try to list them all here (you’re welcome!). For now, let's just look at some of heart disease research.
For this review, I’m going to specifically look at the evidence for Kyolic heart disease research. I’ll do this for two reasons:
- Heart disease is the number 1 killer of everybody. Most people reading this already have some degree of clogging of their arteries.
- Garlic is generally regarded as “heart-healthy” with studies showing it can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
OK, let’s look at the research…
Back in 1997, researchers noted that Kyolic garlic could reduce fatty streaks inside the blood vessels of rabbits. Fatty streaks are the beginning stages of heart disease.
At least one test-tube study has noted S-allylcysteine – one of the main components of age garlic extract – can protect blood vessels from free radical damage.
Cyclooxygenase (COX) is an enzyme that makes compounds called prostaglandins and some of these play roles in blood vessel constriction and making blood cells sticky. Both of these can raise the risk of a heart attack. One study, involving 20 people, noted that aged garlic extract reduced a prostaglandin called 8-iso-PGF2a in both smokers and non-smokers after only 2 weeks of use.
Bad cholesterol (LDL) has been implicated in heart disease. One thing that makes LDL bad is when it becomes oxidized. Basically, the LDL turns bad, nasty and rancid. Oxidized LDL is a pro-heart disease chemical and promotes inflammation. When researchers in Florida gave 3.6 grams (3600 mg) of aged garlic extract (or placebo) to 51 overweight adults for 6 weeks, they saw aged garlic extract significantly reduced inflammation and LDL.
In a study from 1999, researchers gave a small group of people (9 people, in their 30s) either 6 grams of garlic, 2.4 grams (2400 mg) of age garlic extract or 0.8g of vitamin E per day for 1 week. Those researchers noted the LDL cholesterol (“bad cholesterol”) from people getting either 2.4 grams of AGE per day or vitamin E – but not 6g of garlic per day – showed less LDL oxidation.
Researchers noted Kyolic garlic significantly reduced fatty streak buildup (by 64%) in aorta arteries of rabbits. This study was conducted by the same researchers who did the 1997 rabbit study above. Like the 1997 study, this one also involved 24 rabbits and lasted 6 weeks. Could this be the same study that just looked at the information from a slightly different perspective?
In a study conducted in 2002 researchers divided 20 people into two groups: smokers and non-smokers. All the people were healthy and in their early 40s. For two weeks, all the people drank 5 ml of liquid age garlic extract mixed in fruit juice in the morning. After 2 weeks, AGE caused a 35% reduction in 8-iso-PGF2a in smokers and a 29% drop in non-smokers. Two weeks later (when people were not taking garlic extract anymore), researchers noted 8-iso-PGF2a had increased 29% in non-smokers and 34% in smokers.
Basically, this says that after not taking AGE any longer, the people rebounded to where they normally were before taking Kyolic.
Age garlic extract was shown to reduce homocysteine levels in rats by 30%. In this study, AGE was given to rats who were put on a folate-deficient diet. Lack of folate is well known to raise homocysteine (a compound which can increase the risk of heart disease). Even without folic acid, AGE was able to reduce homocysteine levels.
When sugar combines with protein or fat, it forms Advanced Glycation End-products. These molecules can increase free radicals and stiffen collagen and elastin proteins which are used all over the body -including blood vessels. As such, advanced glycation end-products might contribute to the hardening of the arteries and thus, heart disease.
What Are Advanced Glycation Endproducts?
Here's a quick video I created on advanced glycation endproducts – and how to lower them.
At least one test-tube study has noted aged garlic extract can reduce advanced glycation endproducts.
65 people with no heart disease symptoms, were given either a placebo or Kyolic Formula 108 (Total Heart Health Formula) which has 250 mg of AGE plus vitamin B6 (12.5 mg), vitamin B12 (100 μg), folate (300 μg) and L-arginine (100 mg).
After 1 year, coronary calcium levels were significantly lower in the garlic group. Those taking AGE also showed:
- reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) and
- reduced homocysteine
- significant improvement in HDL (good cholesterol)
Researches noted Kyolic significantly lowered blood pressure in 50 people with high hypertension who received either 960 mg of AGE per day or a placebo. The study lasted 3 months. On average, people had a 10 point reduction in systolic blood pressure (the top number) compared to those taking a placebo.
No changes in blood pressure were seen in people whose systolic was less than 140 at the start of the study. In other words, aged garlic extract seemed to work best in people with systolic blood pressure greater than 140/90.
This study appears to be related to a 2013 study by the same researchers who also noted lower systolic blood pressures in people who took Kyolic garlic pills.
Here's a video I created on how to reduce blood pressure naturally.
Researchers looked at Kyolic and how it might slow the progression of heart disease in 65 firefighters who were randomly given either a placebo or Formula 110 which is a combination of age garlic extract (120 mg per 2 capsules) plus 60 mg of coenzyme Q10. The study lasted a year.
After 1 year, the firefighters who used Kyolic had significantly lower CRP levels (a marker of cellular inflammation) and about 4 times slower progression of heart disease (as measured by coronary calcium) compared to those taking the placebo.
Researchers noted Kyolic aged garlic extract (300 mg/day) and Coenzyme Q10 (30 mg/day) improved the elasticity of blood vessels.
Homocysteine is a chemical that makes blood cells sticky and can damage blood vessels, reducing their ability to make nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes blood vessels and helps keep blood pressure in check. At least one test-tube study noted blood vessel cells (endothelial cells) bathed in aged garlic extract solution were able to maintain their nitric oxide levels, even when homocysteine levels were elevated.
This might help explain garlic's effects on lowering blood pressure.
Sticky blood cells can contribute to blood clots and plaque formation inside blood vessels. Key players in blood clot formation (good and bad formation) are called platelets.
When researchers tested blood samples of 14 people, they noted aged garlic extract inhibited platelets from sticking together.
Adiponectin is a protein which helps to regulate appetite. In theory, this might mean AGE may have a weight loss effect although this needs to be confirmed with research.
This study showed no effect on blood pressure, endothelium function, cholesterol or other factors measured. This contradicts other research showing it does help. This study did not list the type of Kyolic they used.
Brown fat is different than white fat because it burns more calories. As such brown fat can help raise metabolic rate. One study noted aged garlic extract significantly increased brown fat in the heart and reduced white fat in the heart. This study involved 66 people (age 40-79) and lasted a year.
The people were given either a placebo or one age garlic extract (250 mg/day). Researchers noted those taking Kyolic had less calcium in their coronary arteries, lower body weight, and lower homocysteine levels.
In this study 250 mg of aged garlic extract promoted weight loss while in the study summarized just above it, 1200 mg did not. If aged garlic extract helps weight loss, better studies need to be done to confirm this.
This study specially used Kyolic Formula 108 (Total Heart Health Formula), which in addition to garlic also contained vitamin B6 (12.5 mg), vitamin B12 (100 μg), folate (300 μg), and L-arginine (100 mg).
Researchers, combined 4 previous studies together (combined they included 210 people total) and concluded people taking aged garlic extract had lower coronary artery calcium compared to those who took a placebo. This benefit was seen in both men and women.
88 people with uncontrolled high blood pressure were given either a placebo or age garlic extract (1.2g per day) for 12 weeks. Those getting AGE, had significantly lower blood pressures. In those taking AGE, systolic blood pressure (the top number) dropped by 5 points while diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) dropped by 3 points.
This study used the Kyolic Reserve Formula.
55 people with metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes) either 2400 mg of aged garlic extract or a placebo for 1 year. Those taking aged garlic extract showed less plaque in their blood vessels compared to those taking a placebo.
While this study didn’t say which Kyolic supplement they used but researchers did say it was commercially available to the public. Four capsules of Kyolic cardiovascular formula contain 2400 mg of AGE.
Summary: Aged Garlic Extract Research
Here's a summary of the human studies on Kyolic aged garlic extract and heart disease.
|Daily supplementation with aged garlic extract, but not raw garlic, protects low-density lipoprotein against in vitro oxidation||AGE ↓ LDL|
|Dietary supplementation with aged garlic extract reduces plasma and urine concentrations of 8-iso-prostaglandin F(2 alpha) in smoking and nonsmoking men and women||AGE ↓ PGF2a|
|Aged garlic extract supplemented with B vitamins, folic acid, and L-arginine retards the progression of subclinical atherosclerosis: a randomized clinical trial||AGE ↓ LDL and coronary calcium. ↑ HDL|
|Aged garlic extract lowers blood pressure in patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension: a randomized controlled trial.||AGE ↓ BP similar to meds|
|Aged garlic extract and coenzyme Q10 have favorable effect on inflammatory markers and coronary atherosclerosis progression: A randomized clinical trial.||AGE ↓ CRP and coronary calcium progression|
|Aged garlic extract reduces blood pressure in hypertensives: a dose-response trial. Human study.||AGE ↓ systolic blood pressure|
|Beneficial effects of aged garlic extract and coenzyme Q10 on vascular elasticity and endothelial function: the FAITH randomized clinical trial.||AGE ↑ blood vessel health|
|Aged Garlic Extract Reduces Low Attenuation Plaque in Coronary Arteries of Patients with Metabolic Syndrome in a Prospective Randomized Double-Blind Study.||AGE↓ plaque in arteries|
Who Makes Kyolic Age Garlic Extract?
The company is called Wakunaga of America (pronounced wok-a-nog-a) and is an offshoot of another company called Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Company, located in Japan. In the US, the company is located at 23501 Madero Mission Viejo CA 92691. If you google this address, you see a large office building the bears the name “Wakunaga.” That's good.
The Better Business Bureau gave Wakunaga a rating of “A” when this review was updated.
The company website lists these contact numbers:
They can be reached M-F, 830-430PM Pacific Standard Time. I’ve spoken to their customer service people several times and they are VERY helpful. The company's US headquarters is located at 23501 Madero Mission Viejo CA 92691 USA.
Does Kyolic Support The Research?
Yes. Many of the studies make references to grants from Wakunaga, the makers of Kyolic supplements. While some might take this as a conflict of interest, I applaud companies that believe enough in their products to support clinical research.
From what I can tell, Wakunaga only supports the research either by grants and/or by providing Kyolic supplements to researchers. They don't take part in the research.
How Does Kyolic Taste?
If you crack open a capsule (I've done this), you can taste the garlic. It's not an overwhelming garlic taste but it’s enough for me to not want to sprinkle it on my oatmeal. I have however sprinkled aged garlic extract on my “almost” world-famous sweet potato chili and it tasted great.
Does Kyolic Contain Gluten?
No. Kyolic aged garlic extract is both gluten-free and yeast-free.
Do You Burp Garlic?
I've used this supplement for many years. I've never noticed an aftertaste or any garlic burps either. I've often taken 4 capsules per day, both with food and on an empty stomach. I've had no problems.
Kyolic AGE: The Best Type To Use
As mentioned above, there are 25 different types of Kyolic supplements. Which one is the best? If you look at just the human research (see the Summary above) we can see as little as 250 mg per day has been shown to lower LDL and homocysteine levels and slow the buildup of calcium in the coronary arteries.
Other research shows taking up to 1200 mg per day might reduce CPR and homocysteine levels. This amount might also help blood pressure too. In a year-long study of 55 people with pre-diabetes, 2400 mg was shown to reduce plaque in the arteries compared to a placebo.
Based on these studies, I'd say between 1000-2400 mg per day was the sweet spot for most people. For those who are looking to reverse heart disease (who isn't), 2400 mg might be a better way to go.
I'm looking forward to more research on aged garlic extract reversing heart disease. Other than eating vegetarian or following the Dean Ornish Diet, I'm not aware of anything which does this. For some, Kyolic might be a game-changer.
How Much Does It Cost?
Kyolic supplements are not expensive – which is ironic given the number of clinical studies it has. A bottle of 200 capsules costs around $20. Vitamin Shoppe also has its own version Aged Garlic Extract. I called Kyolic about this and they told me they license the extract to Vitamin Shoppe to use under their own brand. So they are both the same thing and same quality, just in different bottles.
Kyolic Garlic Side Effects
In healthy people, I think Kyolic garlic pills are very safe. The product has been around since the 1970s and the studies don’t report any serious side effects. Even those studies lasting a year, don’t show any negative side effects. That said, if you have health issues, here are a few things to think about if you take this supplement. This list is not complete.
- Garlic can have a blood thinner effect. People with bleeding issues or those who take blood thinner medications should consult their doctor first.
- Stop taking Kyolic at least 2 weeks before having surgery
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should speak to their doctor first
- If you take any medicine, ask your doctor and pharmacist first
- Start with less for the first week to see how you respond
Does Kyolic Work?
Kyolic aged garlic extract is a very intriguing supplement boasting an impressive amount of clinical research showing it seems to have benefits for those with heart disease and blood pressure problems. This is a supplement I've used for several years. I take Formula 100. I believe this is a product worth taking a look at.