Many people may wonder, "Does garlic work?" Studies have shown that garlic may help slow down the progression of atherosclerosis and may also slightly decrease blood pressure. Studies have also indicated that garlic may help to decrease the risk of certain cancers and may have some antibiotic and antifungal properties. However, studies have shown that garlic is probably not effective at lowering cholesterol.
Does Garlic Really Work?
You may have heard claims that garlic works wonders for a variety of different medical problems. But are these claims really true? If garlic really does work, does it matter how you take it (raw, cooked, or in supplements)? This article will address some of the questions you may have about the effectiveness of garlic for various uses.
Does Garlic Work for Heart Health?
Some studies have suggested that garlic may work to slow down the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Garlic may also slightly decrease blood pressure. However, it may not be effective at treating high cholesterol. Although initial research showed that garlic could lower cholesterol, more in-depth studies have generally shown no benefit for this particular use, regardless of how the garlic was taken. Even though you may still see information stating that garlic is effective at lowering high cholesterol, in reality, garlic probably won't help much.
Does Garlic Work for Cancer Prevention?
Studies suggest that a high dietary intake of garlic may decrease the risk of stomach or colon cancer. However, studies have shown that garlic supplements probably don't provide this particular benefit. Studies also indicate that garlic does not help to prevent breast cancer. Early studies have shown that garlic may be beneficial for preventing prostate cancer, but more research is necessary to support this claim.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed January 23, 2008.
National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Herbs at a glance: Garlic (March 2007). NCCAM Web site. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/garlic/. Accessed January 23, 2008.
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