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Garlic: the WHAT and WHY

Praised as a safe and effective cure-all since ancient times,
garlic is a cousin to chives, shallots, onions, and leeks.

 

What Is It?
Garlic is a rich source of organosulfur compounds, which have starred in scientific research for their potential to prevent and treat illness. An ever-growing body of evidence indicates that garlic can have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease, cancer, and infectious diseases, and may prove helpful in diabetes and dementia. 
 
Why Use It?
One study of people whose blood pressure medication wasn’t working found that taking aged garlic extract (AGE) for 12 weeks resulted in a reduction of systolic pressure, reducing risk of heart disease by up to 20 percent. Researchers have also concluded that AGE supplementation may help prevent atherosclerosis and other conditions linked to oxidative stress. 
A number of studies indicate that AGE decreases total cholesterol levels and increases levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Allicin, a sulfur-containing compound in garlic, gives it antimicrobial effects, making it a useful infection fighter. Garlic’s powerful compounds also appear to stimulate the immune system, lower blood sugar levels, and protect against free-radical damage. 
 
Good to Know
Two cloves of fresh garlic a day is the recommended minimum intake. For many, that amount may be neither convenient nor desirable. Garlic may irritate the stomach and kidneys in some individuals, and others find that even small amounts cause heartburn. During pregnancy and lactation, garlic may cause digestive distress to mother and baby. When cooked, garlic loses some of its health benefits. Aged garlic extract delivers the benefits of fresh garlic in an odorless and tasteless form. The majority of scientific studies have focused on aged garlic extract (AGE). 
 
 

Garlic Supplements

Read labels carefully: Not all garlic supplements contain the same amount of active ingredients.

For the most benefit, select a standardized product and follow your healthcare provider’s directions.

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