As a clinical pharmacist with 35 years in the field of integrative care, I really work hard to help people prevent disease. So I am always looking for nutrients with strong disease prevention activity. I have personally used many different supplements for my health over the years, but one with the strongest ones with preventive action is Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract. In the field of dietary supplements, one of the things you really need in order to feel confident in a supplement is a body of research providing an evidence base. Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract is one of the few supplements with a very, very strong evidence base showing its effectiveness in clinical trials. Some of the benefits seen with Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract in studies are:
- it lowers blood pressure,
- it lowers oxidized LDL,
- it improves adiponectin levels (which means it helps insulin sensitivity and management of blood sugar),
- it actually helps reverse atherosclerotic plaque (plaque in the arteries).
That last benefit is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen proven in a dietary supplement. As far as I know, no other supplement has actually been proven to reverse plaque in the arteries! So this supplement has benefits for the big chronic diseases plaguing people today: diabetes and heart disease. A recent study found that it also helps promote diversity of beneficial flora in the gut, which has benefits for gut-immune health. The recommended dosage for heart disease prevention is 600 mg /day. For those with known heart issues, like plaque in the arteries, the recommended dosage is 1000 mg /day and studies have shown that it works synergistically with statin drugs in that population, with no side effects.
The other supplement I have taken very consistently over the years is a probiotic. Probiotics help balance your immune system in the gut, so they are valuable for different immune system related conditions, like allergies and autoimmune conditions, and just overall general immune support. New studies are showing that they may even help protect against heart disease, and may help with weight loss. There are many probiotic products on the market. Here are some things to consider: You want products that include “shelf stable” bacteria, meaning that the bacteria don’t die when sitting on the shelf. Look for a probiotic that meets your specific needs, different actions are strain specific. Some of the strains with proven benefits are lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus casei, lactobacillus rhamnosus, bifidobacterium bifidum, bifidum breve, and bifidum infantis. You want dosing that provides in the billions of colony forming units (CFU) per day.
I like the Kyo-Dophilus brand (from the makers of Kyolic), because they are one of the few companies that have taken the time to ensure their probiotics stay alive in the capsule sitting on the shelf through expiration date (not just at manufacture date). These products actually survive your stomach acid and make it to the intestines, where they work for your benefit. Their Kyo-Dophilus 9 product, which I use because it doesn’t need refrigeration and I can travel with it, is dosed at 2 capsules per day, which provides 6 billion CFU of multiple beneficial strains.