Garlic has played multiple roles throughout its long history with mankind. It is food, disease preventative, flavouring agent, health preserver, and health restorer. Garlic has long been associated with beneficial therapeutic effects and recommended for treating wounds, foul ulcers, pneumonia, bronchitis, indigestion, and gastrointestinal disorders. It is an effective antibiotic on bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
The benefits of garlic are numerous and therapeutic, most closely associated with allicin, an external and intestinal antibiotic.
Culinary-wise, garlic simultaneously flavours, helps prevent spoilage, and contributes to the health of the consumer.
Numerous sulfur compounds are found in garlic, providing a range of therapeutic benefits such as reduction of blood pressure, anti-cancer, and immune system effects.
Studies indicate that garlic has a cholesterol-lowering effect and has been known to promote cardiovascular health.
Garlic inhibits the formation of free radicals, supports the bodys radical scavenger mechanisms, and protects LDL (bad) cholesterol against oxidation by free radicals. This antioxidant effect is an aspect of garlics overall protective benefit for the cardiovascular system. e.g. The radicals present in cigarette smoke are reduced by garlic.
Fresh Garlic Can Combat Sickness, Including the Flu & The Common Cold.
There is a compound in Raw Garlic called allicin, which has antiseptic, fungicide, bactericide & purifying properties that fight against numerous viruses & bacteria.
Garlic supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system.
One large, 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared to a placebo (6Trusted Source).
The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in the placebo group to just 1.5 days in the garlic group.
Garlic is naturally antibacterial, and when crushed, it releases a curative component called allicin that helps thin the mucus blocking your nasal passages. It also reduces the inflammation that’s contributing to your clogged airways.
Garlic contains high levels of enzymes & antioxidants that protect against cell damage and aging. It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Oxidative damage from free radicals contributes to the aging process.
Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage (19Trusted Source).
High doses of garlic supplements have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure (7Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
The combined effects on reducing cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as the antioxidant properties, may reduce the risk of common brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source).
Garlic is shown to significantly reduce lead toxicity and related symptoms.
At high doses, the sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity.
A four-week study in employees of a car battery plant (excessive exposure to lead) found that garlic reduced lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also reduced many clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure (25Trusted Source).
Three doses of garlic each day even outperformed the drug D-penicillamine in reducing symptoms.
Garlic is a plant in the onion family that’s grown for its distinctive taste and health benefits.
Fresh Garlic is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Manganese.
High doses of garlic appear to improve blood pressure for those with known high blood pressure (hypertension). In some instances, supplements may be as effective as regular medications.
Cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks and strokes are the world’s biggest killers.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is one of the most important drivers of these diseases.
In one study, 600–1,500 mg of aged garlic extract was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24-week period (12Trusted Source).
Supplement doses must be fairly high to have the desired effects. The amount needed is equivalent to about four cloves of garlic per day.
Garlic may improve physical performance in lab animals and people with heart disease. Benefits in healthy people are not yet conclusive.
Garlic was one of the earliest “performance enhancing” substances.
It was traditionally used in ancient cultures to reduce fatigue and enhance the work capacity of laborers.
Most notably, it was given to Olympic athletes in ancient Greece (1Trusted Source).
Rodent studies have shown that garlic helps with exercise performance, but very few human studies have been done.
People with heart disease who took garlic oil for 6 weeks had a 12% reduction in peak heart rate and better exercise capacity (23Trusted Source).
However, a study on nine competitive cyclists found no performance benefits (24Trusted Source).
Other studies suggest that exercise-induced fatigue may be reduced with garlic (2Trusted Source).
Garlic is low in calories and rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It also contains trace amounts of various other nutrients.
One clove (3 grams) of raw garlic contains (5Trusted Source):
- Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 1% of the DV
- Selenium: 1% of the DV
- Fiber: 0.06 grams
- Decent amounts of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B1
This comes with 4.5 calories, 0.2 grams of protein and 1 gram of carbs.
Garlic supplements seem to reduce total and LDL cholesterol, particularly in those who have high cholesterol.
Garlic can lower total and LDL cholesterol.
Garlic appears to have some benefits for bone health by increasing estrogen levels in females, but more human studies are needed.
No human studies have measured the effects of garlic on bone loss.
This suggests that this supplement may have beneficial effects on bone health in women.
Foods like garlic and onions may also have beneficial effects on osteoarthritis (31Trusted Source).
Your immune system plays a crucial role in your overall health. It wards off illness and infections and can even help prevent chronic conditions as well.
The antioxidants found in black garlic enhance immunity by fighting free radicals, reducing inflammation and preventing oxidative damage to your cells.
A 2012 in vitro study evaluated the differences between black and raw garlic and their individual effects on immune function. Not only did it exhibit the strongest anticancer and antioxidant properties, but it also had a more powerful effect on stimulating immunity.
These immune-boosting benefits could have far-reaching effects on several aspects of health and may aid in the treatment of everything from allergies to autoimmune disorders and acute infections.
Garlic stimulates white blood cell activity required by the immune system for fighting infections including colds and fungal infections including candida. In fact, some studies indicate that garlic fights infections that are often resilient to some antibiotics. Garlic has potent antimicrobial properties and in the 1950’s was used to treat cholera and dysentery. During the First World War, garlic was used to treat battle wounds in the absence of antibiotics.
Antioxidants are compounds that can have a powerful effect on health. They work by neutralizing harmful free radicals to prevent oxidative stress and damage to cells.
According to a critical review published in the Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, black garlic demonstrates much higher biological activity than fresh garlic, including its antioxidant properties.
Another study, this one out of South Korea, found that allowing garlic to age over a 35-day period to form black garlic causes a significant increase in the antioxidant content, reaching peak antioxidant levels on the 21st day of aging.
During the aging process, the allicin in garlic is converted into antioxidant compounds, including alkaloids and bioflavonoids. While black garlic is slowly cooking, it’s going through a fermentation process that converts its phytochemical compounds.
The antioxidants that emerge have the ability to regulate cell signaling and reduce inflammation. Plus, they have neuroprotective, antithrombogenic, antidiabetic and anticancer activities.
Much like regular garlic, black garlic can have a powerful effect on brain health. Because it’s rich in antioxidants, it can alleviate inflammation and may aid in the prevention of cognitive conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
A recent animal model published in Nutrients showed that aged garlic extract improved memory in cognitively impaired rats, plus helped decrease inflammation in the brain as well.
Another animal study out of Indonesia also found that black garlic protected against oxidative stress and prevented memory impairment after the administration of monosodium glutamate, or MSG, in rats.
A systematic review published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that intakes of aged garlic are inversely associated with cancer. Twenty-five studies that focused on cancer incidences and aged garlic exposure were evaluated for the review, with results from human, animal and lab studies having mostly consistent reports.
A 2014 in vitro study showed that aged black garlic extract was able to effectively kill off and reduce the growth of colon cancer cells. Similarly, another in vitro study published in the journal Nutrition and Research Practice reported that aged black garlic extract decreased the growth and spread of leukemia cells as well.
Researchers believe that the anticarcinogenic effects of aged garlic is from its antioxidant compounds. The phenolic compounds, in particular, are significantly higher in aged garlic than raw garlic.
The components of aged garlic have been linked to tumor markers reduction and help block the buildup of free radicals to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.
One of the most well-known garlic benefits is its ability to protect and improve the health of your heart. Black garlic may also help enhance heart health, with some studies even showing that it may be just as effective as raw garlic.
A 2018 animal model compared the effects of black garlic and raw garlic on heart health recovery following damage caused by ischemia, or a lack of blood supply to the heart muscles. Interestingly, researchers found that both raw garlic and black garlic exhibited cardioprotective effects and were equally effective in minimizing damage to the heart.
Another animal model conducted at Dankook University in Korea also showed that it was able to lower levels of cholesterol and high triglycerides to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Research indicates that garlic boosts circulation by increasing the production of hydrogen sulphide. Garlic contains numerous sulphur compounds that may be of benefit in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and may also aid normal clotting. It is likened to taking low dose aspirin
Maintaining high levels of blood sugar can come with a slew of negative effects on health. In the short term, it can cause diabetes symptoms like frequent urination and fatigue. In the long term, it can even cause kidney dysfunction, skin infections and a higher risk of heart disease.
Adding black garlic to a healthy and balanced diet is a simple way to help maintain normal blood sugar levels. An animal model out of Dankook University in Korea showed that black garlic extract was not only effective in lowering levels of blood cholesterol and triglycerides in rats fed a high-fat diet, but it was also able to reduce blood sugar levels as well.
Meanwhile, an animal study published in Nutrition Research and Practice reported that the high antioxidant levels in black garlic may also be useful in preventing diabetes complications.
And more studies on rats show that black garlic extract has beneficial metabolic effects in a context of obesity or diabetes. Researchers in Spain found that the administration of aged black garlic extract improved the metabolic and vascular alternations induced by a high-fat and high-sucrose diet.
This occurred through the modification in gene expression of proteins and neuropeptides involves in inflammation, fat metabolism and food intake regulation.
Black garlic contains a concentrated dose of antioxidants.
Two tablespoons of black garlic contains approximately: (13)
- 40 calories
- 4 grams carbohydrates
- 1 gram protein
- 2 grams fat
- 1 gram dietary fiber
- 160 milligrams sodium (7 percent DV)
- 0.64 milligram iron (4 percent DV)
- 2.2 milligrams vitamin C (4 percent DV)
- 20 milligrams calcium (2 percent DV)
Nutritionists have long believed that garlic is healthy for the heart working to reduce homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. Homocysteine is an amino acid which damages arterial walls and encourages the deposition of cholesterol onto the arteries.
Raw GarlicHealth Benefits Comparison
Higher in vitamin C
Higher in allicin
Black GarlicHealth Benefits Comparison
Higher in calories
More Fiber & iron
Higher in antioxidants