Health Benefits of Garlic
Garlic benefits have been widely valued for years by many health enthusiasts for its many health enhancing effects. However, it is best known for its powerful effects on promoting cardiovascular health.
Garlic Benefits: Where does Garlic get its Healing Powers?
Garlic's key therapeutic ingredient is called alliin. When raw garlic is crushed, chopped, or chewed, it comes into contact with the enzyme allinase, which transforms alliin into a chemical called allicin, which appears to be the precursor for other active compounds.
Garlic has an extremely complex chemistry that researchers have been studying for years trying to pinpoint the specific properties of the herb that are responsible for its metabolic and disease–fighting effects.
Garlic Benefits: What are the Health Benefits of Garlic?
Besides the mythical acclaim for warding off vampires and other evil spirits, garlic benefits the heart, fights infections, and may have anti-cancer properties.
Garlic is one the world's oldest medicines that may be the wander drug among the herbal world of natural medicine.
Researchers have found that garlic can lower several risk factors associated with heart disease such as lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In addition, studies indicate that garlic can help prevent heart disease by reducing the likelihood of blood clots and enhances circulation.
However, it's important to note that garlic has shown to have mild blood pressure lowering effects.
This wander herb also harbors anti-bacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Studies have shown that garlic can kill many types of bacteria as well as some types of troublesome viruses and fungal infections. In fact, it may even kill some types of intestinal parasites.
Garlic also acts as an antioxidant and an immune-system booster.
Intriguing Health Benefits of Garlic
Other intriguing garlic benefits include:
1. Diabetes - Garlic was found to reduce blood sugar levels in studies in both humans and animals. More research is needed in this area.
2. Cancer - Garlic has shown promise against certain types of cancer, particularly stomach and prostate cancer.
3. AIDS - Researchers are examining garlic as a treatment for AIDS, which is extremely exciting. In one study involving seven patients who took a clove of garlic per day for 3 months experienced significant differences in their immune functions that would normally be destroyed by the disease. However, much more studies need to be done in this area.
In short, it wouldn't hurt to munch on garlic cloves or take garlic supplements.
Garlic Benefits – Natural or Garlic Supplements?
Indeed, many of us use garlic to flavor many of our favorite food dishes. However, cooking destroys some of the health benefits of garlic. The best way to reap the full benefits of garlic is to consume it raw, which most of us would prefer not to do due to its pungent odor that causes the social curse of garlic breath and body odor.
Since eating lots of garlic isn't always practical or socially desirable, many people try to get the health benefits of garlic by taking garlic supplements.
Side Effects and Precautions
Garlic benefits are numerous, but it may have a few possible side effects such as upset stomach, heartburn, flatulence, bad breath, and body odor.
In addition, handling too much fresh or dried garlic may cause a stinging sensation on the skin. Handling garlic may also cause the appearance of skin lesions.
Garlic also has a few precautions such as anyone who suffers from blood clotting disorders, diabetes, or take anticoagulant (blood-thinning) or HIV medications, should consult a physician before taking any garlic supplements.
It is also advised that it you are pregnant or nursing, or are on any prescription medications to consult a physician before taking any garlic supplements.
In fact, it's important to discuss all dietary supplements with your doctor prior to supplementation.
Garlic Benefits: Tips on Choosing a Quality Supplement
1. Choose a supplement that uses only standardized garlic extract. Standardized extracts mean you are getting the active ingredient
that provides the therapeutic benefit. The active ingredient is allicin. Also, select a supplement that uses a standardized extract to a dose of 4,000 to 5,000 micograms of allicin. This is equal to the amount of one glove of fresh garlic.
2. It's important to select a supplement from pharmaceutical GMP compliant facilities, which adhere to very stringent manufacturing standards.
Dietary supplements are not strictly regulated, therefore, manufacturers do not have to guarantee the safety, effectiveness, or even the true content of their products.
As such, many supplements are not labeled properly - the potency or purity may be inconsistent or misrepresented. In addition, some products tested also contained very harmful contaminates. In fact, according to Consumerlab.com, the leading provider of independent test results states:
"Testing by ConsumerLab.com shows that one in four supplements in the United States lacks the promised ingredients or has other serious problems."
Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that you choose a manufacturer that follows pharmaceutical GMP compliance, which is the highest standard possible.
Other Topics of Interest
Heart Health Supplements- If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what would it take to keep the heart surgeon away? Find out here.
Foods that Lower Cholesterol Levels Discover foods and supplements that may help lower cholesterol.
Fish Oil Benefits--The health benefits of fish oil are quite impressive that even the FDA has permitted the following health claim on dietary supplements:
"Supportive, but not conclusive evidence shows that consumption of EPA and DHA fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease." Find out more by clicking on the link.
We hope this webpage discussing Garlic Benefits was useful to you!
And remember to reap the full health benefits of garlic, select a supplement that uses a standardized extract to a dose of 4,000 to 5,000 micograms of allicin. This is equal to the amount of one glove of fresh garlic.
Also, garlic benefits through supplements should be discussed with your physician prior to starting supplementation.
To Your Health!
Much more than Garlic Benefits can be found at our Herbal Guide web-page