Since we grow garlic, we decided to gather all available and reliable information about the benefits and harms of garlic.
The Internet is a huge spread of “expert” opinions about garlic: starting from the fact that it is almost an elixir of eternal life and ending with the fact that garlic penetrates the brain and affects it.
We tried to choose something that is confirmed by research. References to these studies are given.
If You have your own experience with the use of garlic, then please share them in the comments to this article.
Nutritional value of garlic, vitamins and macronutrients
A complete list of nutritional value, vitamins and trace elements in garlic can be found on the USDA website
Pay attention to those nutrients that are most contain garlic. The calculation of the daily intake we took 2 cloves of garlic with a total weight of 9 grams (100 grams of garlic a day because no one there will not be)
Two cloves of garlic a day gives:
|Item||The main effect on the body||% of the daily value in 2 teeth of garlic|
|Vitamin B-6||Regulates protein metabolism, thins the blood, lowers blood pressure||6%|
|Vitamin C||Health, immunity||5%|
|Selenium||Antioxidant, strengthens the immune system||2%|
|Phosphorus||Material for cells involved in the brain||1%|
Garlic is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It also contains some amounts of other nutrients.
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Garlic contains the compound Allicin with powerful medicinal properties
But the main benefits of garlic for the human body are not vitamins and minerals, and the essential oil Allicin.
Allicin this is garlic a weapon against the attacks of pests (bacteria, fungi, worms). If clove of garlic is not damaged, allicin in it. Allicin is produced by garlic only when mechanical damage. At the time of the destruction of the cells of garlic, two components that are “stored” separately, join together to form allicin – a natural antibiotic.
It is the allicin gives garlic its distinctive smell and taste.
But under the influence of temperature, allicin is destroyed, and heat-treated garlic will not possess useful properties of this substance. In addition, allicin is not a stable substance and quickly falls apart. Therefore, it is only freshly cut garlic, but garlic preparations advertised his presence doubtful.
But garlic contains allicin in onions and horseradish.
The content of allicin in the garlic to about 1.5 grams per 1 kilogram (0,23—0,74 %) link
Garlic for cancer prevention
Extensive information about the benefits of garlic for cancer prevention is available on the website of the National cancer Institute USA
They reviewed two types of studies – study population (epidemiological) and clinical trials.
Example clinical studies:
China – 5,000 people with a high risk of stomach cancer. One group received 200mg of dry extract of garlic + 100 MGM of selenium, and the second group – placebo. The study was conducted 5 years. In the group treated with garlic the risk of all tumors decreased by 33% and the risk of stomach cancer by 52%.
But there are clinical studies which showed no such noticeable effect.
A population (not clinical) research have shown that people who consume relatively high amounts of garlic have a lower chance of developing such cancers as cancer of the bowel, stomach, prostate, breast, pancreas.
How garlic can affect cancer prevention
Protective effects of garlic may arise from its antibacterial properties or from its ability to block the formation of carcinogenic substances or from the ability to provoke cell death.
In what doses to use garlic
On the recommendations of the world Health Organization daily intake of garlic for General health promotion of adults is from 2 to 5 g of fresh garlic (approximately one clove), 0.4 to 1.2 g of dried garlic powder, 2 to 5 mg garlic oil or 300-1000 mg of garlic extract which is approximately equal to 2 to 5 mg of allicin.
There is an opinion that the minimum effective dose for therapeutic effects is one clove of garlic with meals 2-3 times a day.
The national cancer Institute, the United States recognizes garlic as one of several vegetables with potential anticancer properties
The benefits of garlic in the pharmaceutical industry
Still contained in garlic allicin is a very promising tool in the fight against an already existing cancerous tumors.
Because he is able to destroy cells, in the laboratories investigated the following variant of its effects on cancer cells: the affected cells in the body is placed in the first component, the precursor of allicin, the enzyme alliinase, then introduced the second component of alien, uniting, they form fresh allicin directly on cancer cells, which kills her.
Research is conducted in the Israeli Weizmann Institute
Is there any benefit of garlic against the cholesterol?
With the influence of garlic on the “bad” cholesterol is not all clear.
More than two dozen studies conducted in the 1970-ies and 1980-ies, claimed that garlic lowers cholesterol, but these studies were subsequently criticized for poor organization (lack of control group, for example).
In later studies conducted in the 1990-ies Recent studies show that garlic does not reduce cholesterol in humans.
However, in laboratory conditions, in vitro, allicin inhibits cholesterol synthesis. The same results were achieved in experiments with animals. Perhaps this is because the lab has the ability to deliver allicin directly to the cholesterol.
An example of one recent study:
The study was conducted by School of medicine Stanford University source here
Was attended by 192 people with moderately high cholesterol. They were divided into 4 groups. The first group took fresh garlic, the second is garlic extract in Supplement form, and the third garlic powder, a fourth a placebo.
They took 6 days a week for 6 months, the equivalent of 4 g cloves of garlic daily.
The study no significant changes in cholesterol levels was not detected in any of the groups.
Critics of this study pointed to the possible low dose of taking garlic. However, as argued by the authors of the study – was not even a hint of positive change.
If there is a problem with cholesterol, you should not rely on garlic. Treatment of high cholesterol — the program complex, the cornerstone of which is the change in diet.
Garlic has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular system
Cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes are the biggest killers in the world.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most common causes of these diseases.
Studies have shown that garlic supplements have an effect on lowering blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (a review of research from 1966 until 2015)
To achieve these desired effects dose of garlic should be high enough — about four cloves of garlic a day.
As a rule, people who took garlic, there was a decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure by approximately 10-12 mmHg.St. and 6-9 mm Hg.St.
In addition, garlic can thin the blood (reduce the ability of blood clotting) – acts like aspirin, that can also affect pressure drop.
Relatively high doses of garlic help to improve blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic (antibacterial effect)
confirmed that fresh garlic has numerous antibacterial properties.
Garlic inhibits bacteria such as:
- E. coli
- Golden staph.
As well as the fungus Candida
Allicin, contained in garlic, has antiviral activity in the laboratory and in natural conditions.
Research conducted by the University of Niš in Serbia, has established the viruses that are sensitive to the allicin ( the Primary source here):
- herpes simplex 1-St and 2-nd type
- parainfluenza virus 3 type
- human cytomegalovirus
- the flu virus In
- the vaccinia virus
- vesicular stomatitis virus
- rhinoviruses type 2
The volume of clinical trials is not enough to guaranteed to confirm the strong effect of garlic on viral diseases of man.
However, in the UK the study was conducted in which 146 people were divided into two groups, one for 12 weeks give 1 capsule of garlic extract and the second group – placebo.
The number of cases of flu among those taking garlic had 64% less and duration of their symptoms was 70% shorter. Link to the study
Garlic helps prevent and reduce the severity of common diseases such as flu and colds.
Garlic contains antioxidants
Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process.
Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s defense mechanisms against oxidative damage.
In a study of Medical school of Ankara University (Turkey) it was found, that high-dose supplements of garlic, increase the amount of antioxidant enzymes in the human body, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in patients with high blood pressure.
The cumulative effect of garlic on lowering blood pressure and its antioxidant properties may help prevent the development of such diseases as Alzheimer’s.
Garlic contains antioxidants, which protect cells from damage and aging. It can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
Garlic removes heavy metals from the body
Medical University in Mashhad (Iran) a study was conducted on the influence of garlic on the excretion of lead (primary source).
117 workers of a battery factory were divided into two groups, one of which received garlic extract equivalent to 1200 mg of allicin per day for four weeks and the second, respectively, the garlic did not receive.
On expiry of the period of the study, it was found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%.
In addition, people taking the garlic were also reduced signs of toxicity headaches and blood pressure.
The study has confirmed the benefit of garlic is that the garlic significantly reduces the lead content in the body and symptoms associated with it.
According to the Center for alternative medicine (USA)
- Garlic is safe for most adults
- It is believed that guaranteed non-toxic dose of garlic for an adult person per day 25 grams (about 5 Zubkov)
- Side effects include breath and body odor, heartburn, upset stomach, and allergic reactions. These side effects often with raw garlic
- Garlic can, like aspirin, decrease the blood’s ability to curtail. This effect can be a problem during or after surgery. Use garlic with caution if you plan to have surgery or a trip to the dentist
- Onions and garlic are toxic to cats and dogs
- In diseases of the kidneys, gallstones, anemia, ulcers of the stomach or intestines should be extremely cautious in eating garlic
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding is not recommended to take garlic in the medical doses, and in a regular amount of garlic contained in food doesn’t cause problems
Again, pay attention to the fact that the active compound allicin is only valid exactly as freshly pulped garlic (crushed, chewed), not subjected to heat treatment.
Therefore, the best way to take garlic benefits is to eat it raw, for example, to squeeze a couple of cloves in garlic press, then mix with olive oil and add some salt.
And at the end, we offer you to watch a video on how to clean the head of garlic in 10 seconds