Recent evidence from studies suggests that aged black garlic also has an effect on health. The major aim of the present study is to compare the effect of raw and aged black garlic on postischemic cardiac recovery. Male Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups. Animals of the first group were fed with raw garlic, animals of the second group received aged black garlic, while the third group served as vehicle-treated controls. Upon conclusion of the treatment, isolated hearts were undertaken to ischemia/reperfusion. Heart function and infarct size were measured and the level of HO-1 and iNOS were studied. Superior postischemic cardiac function and reduced infarct size in both garlic treated groups compared to the drug-free control group, indicated cardioprotective effects. However, no significant differences between the garlic treated groups were observed. Western blot analysis revealed that raw garlic enhanced the level of HO-1 before ischemia, while in ischemic samples, we found elevated HO-1 expression in both garlic treated groups. The level of iNOS was the same before ischemia in all groups, however, a markedly reduced iNOS level in ischemic/reperfused hearts originating from control and raw garlic treated animals was observed. Samples from aged black garlic treated animals demonstrated that the level of iNOS was not significantly reduced after ischemia/reperfusion. Taken together these results indicate that not only raw but also aged black garlic possess a cardioprotective effect.
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