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What Are the Benefits of a Garlic Supplement?

Eating fresh garlic helps reduces the risks of colon, rectal and stomach cancers.
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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2014
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Garlic supplements are touted as treatments and cures for hundreds of ailments. Only some of these remedies are backed by scientific research, however. A garlic supplement might help with the reduction of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and the prevention of certain cancers. Contrary to some home remedy guides, garlic is likely not effective at treating high cholesterol, reducing the odds of getting breast or lung cancer, or treating diabetes. Certain garlic supplements are less effective or not noticeably effective compared to fresh garlic. The side effects of taking garlic may include bad breath, heartburn, and nausea.

A garlic supplement can be taken three times daily to lower blood pressure by up to 8 percent. If fresh garlic is taken instead, only one clove is needed per day. Garlic supplements also have the ability to lower blood pressure in people who have normal blood pressure. Combined with other herbs and drugs that affect blood pressure, these supplements can be dangerous. For safety reasons, a health professional should be contacted before attempting to lower blood pressure with a garlic supplement.

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Atherosclerosis is a condition where a person’s arteries harden and decrease in flexibility. This typically happens naturally as a person ages, but it can increase in severity because of bad diet choices, certain health conditions, and lack of exercise. Garlic helps keep arteries flexible, aiding the ease of blood flow. Kidney disease, stroke, and high blood pressure can be prevented by having more flexible arteries. In addition to taking a garlic supplement, a person should avoid fatty foods, refrain from heavy alcohol drinking, and exercise at least 30 minutes each day.

Eating fresh garlic reduces the risk of developing colon, rectal, and stomach cancers. Researchers do not think garlic in supplement form has the same effect. Other studies suggest that a garlic supplement strengthens the immune system, potentially preventing these cancers anyway. Essentially, scientists are undecided on this matter when it comes to supplements rather than fresh garlic.

A lot of home remedy guides suggest using garlic in ways that are not backed by scientific research. Garlic supplements cannot treat diabetes, prevent breast cancer, or cure the common cold. Studies are underway to explore and prove more benefits of a garlic supplement. Until researchers come up with solid proof, such health conditions are best treated by seeing a health professional.

Fresh garlic rather than a garlic supplement is often the best way to get the full benefits of the plant. If a garlic supplement must be used, the person should avoid buying aged garlic. Aged garlic is significantly less effective, though some people prefer it because of its lessened odor.

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Discuss this Article

donasmrs
Post 3

Garlic is not only a natural antibiotic, it's also a natural anti-fungal. I've been supplementing with garlic for a candida yeast infection. Within days, my symptoms started reducing. I think that I will be completely free of the infection after another week. I'm so glad that I found out about the benefits of garlic supplements. I was so miserable because of candida and regular treatments were not working. If anyone else here has candida, please look into garlic supplementation.

ddljohn
Post 2

@ZipLine-- I saw a study about this recently and the study recommended raw garlic, not supplements for high blood pressure. Apparently, the beneficial ingredient in raw garlic is only effective for an hour after it is crushed. So you should try raw garlic and eat it immediately after crushing. Even if you get the best garlic supplement on the market, it's not going to work.

Also, whether a natural remedy works also depends on your overall diet and lifestyle. For example, salt is very bad for high blood pressure. If you consume a lot of salt, I don't think that a few cloves of garlic will reduce it enough to counter that. If you are already doing everything that you're supposed to, I'm sure that garlic will help.

ZipLine
Post 1

I have high blood pressure and I've been taking a garlic herbal supplement for the past one week. I haven't noticed any difference in my blood pressure though and I do check it regularly.

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