8 Ways How Aged Black Garlic Can Support Our Health as We Age
Table of Content:
As we welcome summer, are you sick of the winter ills and chills that still seem to follow you? In our family, we’ve been relying on our Black Aged Garlic product to help us nip it in the bud as soon as we feel the slightest sign of illness.
In this blog, we explain what aged black garlic is (and compare it with white garlic), we outline the health-promoting benefits of aged black garlic, the sources of aged black garlic, and answer some frequently asked questions, and conclude with Gold Health’s MAX Aged Black Garlic
Black Garlic vs White Garlic
Black garlic is not a species of garlic that we can grow in our gardens. Black garlic is made under carefully controlled conditions using raw white garlic. The raw garlic is aged and fermented for 11 days to over a month under specific temperatures and humidity, normally between 70 and 80 °C. During this process, the garlic is also yeast-fermented.
With this steadily controlled aging and fermenting process, garlic cloves start to change colour and eventually become black. Other aspects of changes that happen with this heating process include overall texture and flavour and the content of the cloves’ compounds.
The aging process causes chemical reactions in the raw garlic, resulting in a much milder odour and taste of the end product. Aged black garlic has a rather dried-fruit-like texture, being chewy, soft and with a slightly sweet molasses-like flavour. This makes black garlic a lot more pleasant to be eaten raw. The aging process also reduces the strong smell of raw garlic to a more subtle aroma of black garlic. Garlic breath will not be a concern with aged black garlic.
The aged and fermented garlic is also gentler on the stomach when eaten. Many health-beneficial active compounds also become more potent during the aging process. 
Aged black garlic and regular garlic comparison
Distinct strong spicy taste.
Distinct unpleasant smell.
Add unique flavours in cooking,
but not nice to be eaten raw.
Can cause stomach upset when eaten raw.
Many nutritional benefits.
Dried-fruit-like slightly sweet taste.
Mild aroma, almost no smell.
Much more pleasant to be eaten alone.
Gentle on the stomach.
More potent nutritional benefits.
Black Garlic Compounds and Their Health-Promoting Benefits
Aged black garlic contains many enhanced health-promoting nutrients, including:
Black garlic’s much milder to no smell or distinct taste is caused by the aging process, which changes allicin (a strong odour compound) into a water-soluble organosulfur compound. The most important one of these is S-allylcysteine (SAC). As a potent antioxidant, SAC has been studied to have potential cholesterol-lowering   and cancer-prevention effects
Other potent health benefits of SAC include:
• Support positive healthy aging 
• Support youthful skin conditions 
• Counteract against unhealthy lifestyle caused potential health risks 
• Facilitate fast recovery from fatigue 
• Help maintain sugar levels in diabetes 
• Help reduce the risk of stroke 
• Protect against the neurodegenerative aging process 
Polyphenol is a micronutrient that exists in many plant-based foods. One hundred foods with high polyphenol content were compared in a comprehensive study, with garlic being the top polyphenol-rich natural food containing 15,000mg per 100g of garlic, with multiple health benefits. Other top polyphenol-rich foods are flax seeds, ginger, peppermint and black olives. 
Polyphenol has potent antioxidant effects. The level of this active compound is at least twice as high in aged black garlic as in raw fresh white garlic. Polyphenol levels in fresh garlic bulbs can actually increase threefold after going the black garlic aging and fermentation process. 
Polyphenols have been extensivelyl studied for their various health benefits as naturally incurring compounds. These include:
• Support diabetes management 
• Assist weight management 
• Help prevent blood clots, thus reducing cardiovascular condition risks 
• Potential effect on cancer protection 
• Aid health digestion 
Similar to polyphenol, the aging process of black garlic increases its arginine content by 3 times compared to fresh white garlic.  Other foods that are rich in arginine include nuts, seeds, dairy products, meat and whole grains.
Consuming arginine-rich foods including aged black garlic can bring many health benefits in a natural way. These include:
• Support wound healing 
• Promote the body’s ability to generate beneficial collagen 
• Helping kidney functions in waste removal from our body 
• Support the immune system in fighting germs 
• Effects in diluting our blood and soothing blood flow 
During the aging process, the blackening of the fresh white garlic is due to the generation of amino acids. The total level of amino acid in aged black garlic increases between 2 and 7 fold after the aging process. 
The health benefits of amino acids are particularly apparent in supporting energy generation and recovery. These include:
• Support physical performance demanding energy 
• Help prevent fatigue 
• Assist the maintenance of muscle tone and strength 
Aged Black Garlic Health Benefits as We Age
Antioxidant Effects and Immune System Support
A well-supported and healthy immune system helps us to fight infections, bacteria and viruses. As we age:
• our immune system’s effectiveness reduces;
• our body’s ability to produce special types of functional immune cells and antibodies reduces dramatically; and
• the ability of our antibodies to attach to germs and foreign cells also reduces.
A compromised immune system is commonly seen in older people, especially in those with unhealthy lifestyles. As a result, infectious diseases, such as the flu are common among older people, and autoimmune disorders may also arise due to the immune system being less capable of distinguishing healthy body cells from foreign intrusions.
The potent antioxidant components in aged black garlic can strongly assist our body’s natural anti-inflammatory response, and helping boost our immune system’s normal function. Antioxidants also fight free radicals and protect against oxidative stress that is inevitable during the aging process, causing reduced cell integrity.
This means that aged black garlic can achieve potent immune support bringing special health benefits to older people considering their gradually compromised immune functions, due to its substantially higher levels of antioxidants compared to fresh white garlic.  As the key compound in fresh garlic that gives its distinct odour is converted into various forms of antioxidants in aged black garlic,   aged black garlic can provide superior immune support, especially in needed situations in senior health.
Garlic’s immune support benefit has been proven by a placebo-controlled study that showed that taking garlic supplements for 12 weeks through winter provided significant protection again colds with lower infection rates and faster recoveries.  Aged black garlic extract has also been specifically studied for its enhancing effects on functional immune system cells’ activities. 
Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
High blood sugar often contributes to various serious health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney dysfunction, organ and cell damage and many more.   On the contrary, low blood sugar can cause seizures and fainting. Irregular blood sugar levels related to food intake is detrimental to our health. As we age, our body’s ability to produce insulin (the key compound in blood sugar regulation) reduces. Coupled with reduced insulin sensitivity, poorly regulated blood sugar is common among seniors, leading to increased risks of diabetes and many other related health concerns, such as stroke, kidney conditions, heart disease and feet and eye problems. 
Aged black garlic has been shown in many studies to assist our body’s natural function of blood sugar regulation,  reduce risks of certain types of diabetes,  and have protective effects against the health-damaging effects of uncontrolled blood sugar levels.  More studies are needed in this area to better understand aged black garlic’s therapeutic potential and help us to better use this natural ingredient in food and in natural remedies and supplements.
The potent antioxidant content in aged black garlic also helps protect our bodies from diabetes-related complications.
Support a Healthy Heart
As we get older, our hearts and blood vessels go through gradual degradation from their structural integrity to their functional strength. The risk of heart disease increases in adults aged 65 and over.  The correlation between a healthy heart and the aging process is well studied and has been given much attention  due to the severity of health implications and the social-economic impact.
Improved heart health condition has been proven through a 6-month study of aged black garlic supplement use.  As aged black garlic supplements have study-proven effects in lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol levels (HDL) , they can provide heart health support, especially in people with a high risk of heart disease. Aged black garlic also helps to open up healthy blood flow, therefore providing protective effects against heart damage. 
Support Brain Health and Cognitive Function
Age-related brain health and cognitive function are major quality of life measures, especially during our senior years. Aging is strongly associated with a decrease in cognitive function, resulting in degenerative diseases such as age-related memory loss, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Increased levels of inflammation and changes in our body’s natural inflammatory response likely to play a role in these conditions. 
With its potent antioxidant effects, aged black garlic and its supplements can support our body’s natural inflammatory response,  therefore providing protection against inflammation-related brain conditions and improving memory and overall cognitive functions.  This provides the basis for the potential health benefit of aged black garlic and related supplementation in supporting improved life quality.
Potential Cancer Prevention Properties
The biological changes that our body goes through during the aging process explain the fact that age is one of the main risk factors for cancer. 
Many cell line studies show aged black garlic’s strong potential for anticancer effects through its potent immune stimulation, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.  Its effects have been studied and shown in lung, breast, stomach, liver, colon and leukemia cancer cells.     Such effects have been thoroughly reviewed . With the assistance of compounds found in aged black garlic, our body can better block free radicals, thus having a better chance to reduce cell damage as our life span extends and limiting cancer cell growth and spread.
More research is needed in this area. In the meantime, aged black garlic can provide potential support in our body’s natural defence against cancer development.
Potential Effects on Liver Protection
The health of our liver is constantly challenged by exposure to toxins, chemicals, medications and germs. Its healthy functioning is at increasing risk as we age, due to age-related changes in liver cells from structure to function. Aging is associated with the severity and poor outcome of various liver diseases. 
Initial studies have shown aged black garlic’s protective effects in recovery and further damage after a liver injury.  With indications of improving liver function and chronic liver health issues , aged black garlic could provide potential support for a healthy liver in older people and the general population.
Possible Gut Health Support
Black garlic can provide food for good gut bacteria, acting as a prebiotic. A healthy gut can contribute to enhanced immunity and a positive mood. It can potentially contribute to a wider diversity of good bacteria in the gut, especially in the increase of numbers of immune-stimulating bacteria.  Our gut bacteria changes in quality and quantity as we age. This in turn accelerates aging and other age-related conditions. Aged black garlic can potentially assist in building and maintaining a healthy gut environment for older people.
Possible Joint and Bone Health Support
The natural compounds in garlic are believed to help slow down joint cartilage and bone degradation. Together with its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supportive effects, aged black garlic can provide potential bond and joint protection. Such effects had been associated with hip osteoarthritis improvements.  Joint conditions and discomfort have been the most disabling issues affection older adults and seniors. Aged black garlic can potentially provide joint health support, lifestyle changes, and other beneficial food and supplement interventions.
Sources of Aged Black Garlic
There are a range of aged black garlic products on the market (as an alternative to eating black garlic raw). These include:
Natural Aged Black Garlic Products, Usage and Benefits:
Black garlic powder: Can be diluted in water or mixed in food
Black garlic olive oil: Already fragrant olive oil combined with black garlic chunks. Great for specialty cooking
Black garlic vinegar: Can be used as dipping sauce or salad dressing
Black garlic Supplements: When made from pure black garlic extract, these supplements have potent health benefits and are easier to consume
Many of the clinical studies and research on aged black garlicreferenced in this articleused aged black garlic supplements (due to its high potency effects and convenience).
One capsule of Gold Health MAX Black Aged Garlic supplement is equivalent to 10 bulbs of aged black garlic.
Aged Black Garlic Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I grow black garlic?
No. Aged black garlic is the end product of regular garlic going through a carefully controlled aging and fermentation process under specific heat and humidity conditions.
How does aged black garlic compare to regular garlic?
Aged black garlic is more nutritious and with potent health benefits, compared with regular garlic. Aged black garlic is regarded as an energizing superfood.
Is aged black garlic smelly?
No. The aging process removes most (if not all) of the distinct garlic odour and taste. No garlic smell worries. No stomach upset concerns.
Is there a best time of the day to consume aged black garlic?
In the mornings (when we need energy to kickstart our day) or in the afternoons (when we need to recover our energy levels) are good times to consume aged black garlic. Raw aged black garlic or supplements can also help boost performance if taken a couple of hours before exercising.
About Gold Health MAX Black Aged Garlic
Gold Health MAX Black Aged Garlic supplement is exclusively formulated to meet older people’s needs.
• Precisely aged[what does that mean?] and fermented pure black garlic extract
• Potent antioxidant and immunity support.
• 1 capsule is equivalent to 10 bulbs of aged black garlic.
• It is formulated with New Zealand Horopito (prized for its spicy taste and reddish leaves, it supports healthy circulation, digestion and natural anti-inflammatory responses).
• Horopito has been used by Maori as traditional medicine to treat those suffering from stomach aches, poor blood circulation and respiratory complications such as colds, asthma and coughs.