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.
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.