Because there are different forms of garlic, dosing guidelines will vary, based on the particular product used. A variety of garlic supplements are available, and each product may contain drastically different amounts of the active components. Also, because garlic is not a medication and does not require FDA approval, there are no clearly established dosages that are proven both safe and effective.
It is difficult to recommend a "dosage" for garlic, as it is available in so many different forms, such as raw, cooked, or various types of garlic supplements. These different forms may contain drastically different amounts of the active components of garlic. Also, even if this were not a problem, the best dosages for garlic have not been scientifically established yet.
With both prescription and non-prescription medications, researchers establish the most effective and safest dosages in special studies known as dose-range studies. These studies are done early in the development of medications, long before they are ever approved. However, because herbal supplements do not need approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dose-range studies are rarely performed. Without such studies, only vague "trial and error" information is available.
Because different garlic supplements contain various amounts of the active components, it is reasonable to follow the dosage instructions provided on the label of your particular product.
Considerations for people taking garlic include the following:
- Because the manufacturing of supplements such as garlic is not closely regulated, it is important to choose a trustworthy manufacturer for your supplements. It is a good idea to look for the "USP" symbol, as this means that the supplement has been tested and contains the right ingredients in the right amounts.
- Although some people claim that raw garlic provides more benefits than other forms, raw garlic is most likely to cause bothersome gastrointestinal side effects. At this point, it is not clear if all forms of garlic are equally beneficial.
- If you have any chronic health problems or take any prescription medications, you should check with your healthcare provider before taking garlic.
- If you are unsure about anything related to your dosage or garlic dosing in general, please talk with your healthcare provider.