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Life Sci. 1998;62(6):PL 71-7.

Garlic prevents hypertension induced by chronic inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis.

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Department of Biology, Faculty of Chemistry, National Autonomous University of Mexico, DF.


It has been reported that garlic activates nitric oxide synthase in vitro and that chronic inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis by N omega-nitro-L-arginine-methyl-ester (L-NAME) induces arterial hypertension in rats. In this work, we studied the effect of oral administration of L-NAME for 4 weeks on control and garlic-fed rats. Basal systolic blood pressure was recorded 4 weeks after garlic supplementation, and on weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4 after L-NAME treatment. At the end of the study, the in vivo NO production was evaluated indirectly by measuring the urinary excretion of the stable end products of NO metabolism, nitrite (NO2-) and nitrate (NO3-). It was found that L-NAME induced arterial hypertension on weeks 1-4 in control rats but not in garlic-fed rats, whose blood pressure remained essentially as the basal values. Also, during this time period, blood pressure remained unchanged in garlic-fed rats without L-NAME treatment. Urinary excretion of NO2-/NO3- decreased in L-NAME-treated rats, increased in garlic-fed rats, and remained unchanged in garlic-fed rats treated with L-NAME. It was concluded that garlic blocks the L-NAME-induced hypertension by antagonizing in vivo the inhibitory effect of L-NAME on NO production.

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