A lot of research has been done on this great bulb, and the results have been amazing. Dozens of medical benefits have been linked to garlic. • Studies have shown that garlic lowers cholesterol and thins the blood, which may help prevent high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. • According to laboratory studies, garlic appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Population studies show that people who eat lots of garlic have fewer stomach and colon cancers than those who eat the least. In a study at Boston City Hospital, garlic was successfully used to kill 14 strains of bacteria taken from the noses and throats of children with ear infections. |
In additions, research has shown that garlic can help boost immunity and reduce high blood sugar levels. It may also relief asthma symptoms and keep individual cells healthy and strong, potentially delaying or preventing some of the conditions and cellular breakdown associated with aging. For thousands of years the healing power of garlic has been recognized. It has been used to treat wounds and infections to digestion problems.
During World War II, when Russian soldiers ran out of penicillin for their wounds, they requisitioned garlic gloves. Which is where garlic got the nick name “Russian penicillin” from. And now-a-days, in Germany, Japan, and other modern countries, garlic formulas are sold as over-the-counter treatment for a variety of conditions.
Benefits for the heart So far, researchers have identified two important ways in which garlic is good for the heart and circulation. At first, it contains many sulfur compounds, including diallyl disulfide (DADS), which appears to promote a smooth blood flow by preventing platelets from sticking together and clotting.
Researchers at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, gave 45 men with high cholesterol aged garlic extract – about the equivalent of five to six gloves of fresh garlic. When they examined the men’s blood, they saw that the rate at which platelets clumped and stuck together had dropped anywhere between 10 and 58%. Garlic is also good for the heart as it lowers cholesterol levels and blood fats called triglycerides in the bloodstream. Garlic has also some blood-pressure lowering properties, and it can lower homocysteine (a protein that can cause plaque build-up in the arteries.
Protection against Cancer The evidence is rising that including garlic in your diet may play a role in preventing and treating cancer. Studies indicate that garlic can help block cancer in several ways: By preventing cell changes that lead to cancer From stopping tumors from growing or By killing the harmful cells outright.
“Garlic is an immune system booster”, according to Janet Maccaro, PhD, ND, a holistic nutritionist in Ormond Beach, Florida. “So it may help the body zap cancer cells before they can grow out of control.” A compound in garlic called s-allylcysteine appears to stop the metabolic action that causes a healthy cell to become cancerous.
The substance called DADS, which we discussed earlier, appears to stop the growth of cancer cells by preventing their ability to divide and multiply. DADS chokes cancer cells until their numbers are reduced, and they start dying. Another substance in garlic called diallyl trisulfide (DATS), which is 10 times more powerful than DADS at killing human lung cancer cells. It’s effectiveness is comparable to that of 5-fluorouracil, a widely used chemotherapy agent. And since garlic is vastly less toxic to healthy cells than the chemotherapy drug, there is hope that some day garlic could form the basis for a gentler chemotherapy. Garlic contains compounds that help prevent nitrites – common substances found in foods such as bacon and other cured meats, as well as in a variety of everyday pollutants – from transforming into nitrosamines, harmful compounds that can trigger cancerous changes in the human cells.
Not only are garlic’s benefits seen in laboratories. Researchers have noticed that people in Southern Italy, who eat a lot of garlic, develop less stomach cancer than the people who don’t eat much (or any) garlic in the north.
A study of 41,837 women living in Iowa found that those who ate garlic at least once a week had a 35% less risk of colon cancer than women who never ate garlic. Eating three gloves of garlic a day might reduce your risk of many cancers by 20%.
“Garlicillin” A frightening trend in recent years has been antibiotic resistance – the ability of bacteria to minimize the effects of drugs that were once effective in killing them. Luckily, there is a new superhero when it comes to fighting bacteria. Research suggests that garlic may be effective where traditional drugs have failed or are too toxic.
To get the most out of garlic Eat it fresh, crushed raw garlic contains allicin, a compound that breaks down quickly into a cascade of healthful compounds, like DADS and DATS. Cut it fine. Whether you cook garlic or eat it raw, mincing, crushing, or pressing it greatly expands its surface area, which releases the maximum number of healthful compounds.
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