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Health benefits of Garlic

Garlic has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal activity. However, these actions are less clear in humans. Garlic is also claimed to help prevent heart disease and cancer.Animal studies, and some early investigational studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits of garlic. Another study found that garlic  supplementation reduced accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals.Garlic supplementation can also significantly reduce aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed rabbits.The supplementation with garlic extract inhibited vascular calcification in human patients with high blood cholesterol.The known vasodilative effect of garlic is possibly caused by catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells, a reaction that is dependent on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane. Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell-signaling molecule.
Although these studies showed protective vascular changes in garlic-fed subjects, a randomized clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health  in the United States and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007 found that the consumption of garlic in any form did not reduce blood cholesterol levels in patients with moderately high baseline cholesterol levels.According to the, "despite decades of research suggesting that garlic can improve cholesterol profiles, a new NIH-funded trial found absolutely no effects of raw garlic or garlic supplements on LDL, HDL, or triglycerides... The findings underscore the hazards of meta-analyses made up of small, flawed studies and the value of rigorously studying popular herbal remedies."
BBC reported that Allium sativum may have other beneficial properties, such as preventing and fighting the common cold.This assertion has the backing of long tradition in herbal medicine, which has used garlic for hoarseness and coughs.The Cherokee also used it as an expectorant for coughs and croup.In another report of BBC,the researchers say that they have found systolic blood pressure was around 10mmHg lower in the group given garlic compared with those given a placebo. Allium sativum has been found to reduce platelet aggregation and hyperlipidemia.Australian doctors enrolled 50 patients in a trial to see if garlic supplements could help those whose blood pressure was high, despite medication.Those given four capsules of garlic extract a day had lower blood pressure than those on placebo, they report in a scientific journal.Garlic also helps in regulating blood sugar levels. Regular and prolonged use of therapeutic amounts of aged garlic extracts lower blood homocysteine levels and has shown to prevent some complications of diabetes mellitus. People taking insulin should not consume medicinal amounts of garlic without consulting a physician.Even in modern times, garlic is still being promoted as a health food with medicinal properties.Though garlic is a nutritious food, many of the claims surrounding it are not backed up by research.
Properties of Garlic:
  1. It is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
  2. It lowers the risk of certain types of cancers.
  3. It is a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
  4. The juice of a few cloves of raw garlic with a little water is an effective natural antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-fungal.
  5. The sulfur compound sallylcystein found in garlic prevents the degeneration of the brain’s frontal lobes. 
  6. Garlic oil is used  for the treatment of athlete’s foot.
  7. Tumor growth in different body parts is prevented by frequent intake of garlic. 


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