Garlic has been used as a medicine for thousands of years to prevent illness and to treat disease. As extracts of garlic are aged, they develop a number of molecules that act as antioxidants as well as immune system enhancers. These antioxidants give aged garlic extract a number of benefits as a dietary supplement. Aged garlic extract is considered to be extremely safe, but you should discuss garlic supplementation with your doctor before beginning any garlic-based therapy.
The most well-researched health benefit of aged garlic extract is its ability to lower cholesterol levels. Numerous studies have shown that supplementation with aged garlic extract can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels while raising “good” HDL cholesterol, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. One reason that cholesterol builds up in your arteries is because it can become oxidized, making it more solid, stickier and more likely to block blood flow. A 2001 study of aged garlic extract in the “Journal of Nutrition” shows that aged garlic has strong antioxidant properties and can actually prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, making cholesterol less of a problem for your cardiovascular system. Some scientific evidence also shows that aged garlic extract can slightly lower blood pressure, but more research is needed to determine if garlic truly has an effect on blood pressure.
Garlic supplementation can prevent the onset of the common cold. Garlic can also reduce cold symptoms once you catch a cold. A study of the effects of garlic on the common cold published in “Advances in Therapy” in 2001 shows that when garlic is taken during the cold season between November and February, your chances of getting a cold are dramatically reduced. This study also suggests that garlic improves the recovery time for getting over a cold.
The antioxidant and pro-immune properties of garlic extract may also help to prevent cancer. The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society explain that supplementation with garlic may reduce your chances of developing several cancers, most notably cancers of the stomach and colon. Aged garlic extract may also reduce the growth of tumors in patients with cancers, such as colon cancer.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Garlic
- "Journal of Nutrition": Antioxidant Health Effects of Aged Garlic Extract, Carmia Borek, 2001
- "Advances in Therapy": Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: A double-blind, placebo-controlled survey, Peter Josling, 2001
- National Cancer Institute: Garlic and Cancer Prevention
- Amercian Cancer Society: Garlic
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.