Black Garlic: Vitamins, Minerals and More

Black garlic contains a wide range of minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients, micronutrients and more. Take a closer look at why these unique molecules place black garlic in a league of its own. 

Black garlic is an abundant source of micronutrients, small molecules that our body needs to function correctly. These play a multitude of important roles around the body, allowing us to move, breath, digest food, pump blood, think and much, much more. But these aren't the only molecules that help our body to survive and thrive; phytonutrients, amino acids and other molecules can also support and maintain our physical fitness. Black garlic contains a whole host of these amazing molecules – here's a closer look at how they could support heart health.

Minerals

Potassium is an electrolyte mineral; this means it helps our nerves to function and aids muscle contraction. A steady supply of potassium is required to keep the heart beating in a regular rhythm1. White garlic contains approximately 400mg of potassium per 100g2. But black garlic contains significantly more of this muscle-supporting mineral. The ageing and fermentation process used to produce black garlic can double its potassium content2.

Another vital heart-health mineral is sodium. Consuming too much sodium can have an adverse effect on the heart, raising blood pressure and increasing a person's risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. However, sodium is still an important electrolyte mineral – it's essential for maintaining and supporting heart health3. Along with potassium, this mineral is responsible for creating the electrical signals that travel around our brain and nervous system. Sodium allows our muscles to contract – without it, the human body would quickly shut down. Black garlic typically contains higher levels of sodium than normal, unprocessed garlic2.

Black garlic also contains iron and zinc, two crucial minerals used by red blood cells and the immune system2. It's important to keep in mind that every bulb of black garlic is slightly different – there are natural fluctuations in black garlic's nutrient content and the levels stated here are averages only2.

Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients, also known as phytochemicals, are a class of chemical produced by almost all plants. Yet these special molecules aren't just beneficial for the plants – many phytonutrients have impressive effects on human health as well. Black garlic is a rich source of polyphenols and flavonoids, two phytonutrients with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects2.

Scientists have identified more than 6,000 types of flavonoid. They're found in many fruits and vegetables as well as plant products like tea, wine and chocolate. These molecules often have strong, vibrant colours and are the most abundant type of phytonutrient. When consumed, many flavonoids help to combat oxidative stress within our cells – this makes them excellent antioxidants. Black garlic contains significantly higher levels of flavonoids than standard garlic, nearly five times as much2,5.

Polyphenols are another major variety of phytonutrient found in black garlic. They have a range of roles but often help plants to resist infection. Fruits, vegetables and other plants, including garlic, produce them to deter predators and protect them from UV-light damage. But when humans consume polyphenols, they often have very different effects. Many black garlic polyphenols have shown antioxidant properties. This means they can mop-up free radicals, dangerous and unstable atoms that are thought to play a role in heart disease4. The amount of polyphenols contained within garlic skyrockets when it's aged and fermented – black garlic can have polyphenol levels up to four times higher than normal, non-fermented garlic5.

Vitamins

Black garlic is a natural source of B vitamins and is especially notable for its riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin (vitamin B3) content6. These are water-soluble vitamins, which our body can't store for long periods of time. To function normally, we need a steady supply of these vitamins, either through our diet or by taking supplements. The ageing and fermentation process used to produce black garlic can significantly increase the levels of riboflavin and niacin within the garlic bulbs. On average, black garlic can contain almost twice as many water-soluble vitamins as regular white garlic. However, black garlic often contains less vitamin B1 than its regular, white counterpart6. To combat this, we've included additional vitamin B1 in our Kwai Heartcare+ with Japanese Black Garlic supplement.

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of life; every muscle, organ and nerve within our bodies is composed of these tiny, but extremely important, molecules. Black garlic is thought to contain at least 12 of the 20 amino acids we need to function7. These are all equally important for physical health but some amino acids may be particularly useful in supporting heart-health. For example, supplementing a healthy diet and lifestyle with the amino acid glutamine could help to "protect against cardiometabolic disease", according to a 2019 study. This amino acid has been singled out as a heart-supporting molecule as it can help to mitigate obesity, hypertension and diabetes, all of which are known to put the heart at risk7.

Organosulpher Compounds

Garlic is one of the only natural sources of organosulfur compounds. These contain sulfur, an element that's often associated with strong, unpleasant smells. However, black garlic has a naturally rich and sweet smell that has been likened to caramel, fruit and balsamic vinegar – it doesn't taste or smell like normal garlic. Black garlic is rich in S-alleyl cysteine , an organosulfur compound with significant antioxidant properties. S-alleyl cysteine has also been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in some clinical studies and it might also aid the immune system8.

We couldn't talk about organosulfur compounds without mentioning allicin. This molecule is thought to be responsible for many of garlic's amazing health properties. Allicin has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties; it has even been shown to activate T lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell that fights off infection 9. Kwai Heartcare+ with Japanese Black Garlic contains a standardised dose of 2,700ug Allicin per tablet; this is the highest allicin content of all the supplements in the Kwai Heartcare range.

We coat our supplements 60 times to make them free from odours and taste. This allows our health-supporting tablets to break down slowly in the stomach, rather than in the mouth while also making them easier to swallow. Find out more about Kwai Heartcare+ with Japanese Black Garlic and the rest of our natural supplement range here. Always check with your doctor before making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Kwai is not a source of medical advice or guidance.

1 https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/minerals-and-trace-elements.html?limit=1&start=7

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6152780/

3 https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/nutrients-food-and-ingredients/minerals-and-trace-elements.html?limit=1&start=6

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6160559/

5 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949816301727

6

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10068-013-0039-3

7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769761/

8 https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2012/907162/

9 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14734613/