From cancer to tick bites, the benefits of garlic supplements are many and well documented.
Some of the most impressive benefits of garlic supplements occur in the cardiovascular system. Garlic is known to slow age-related decreases in the elasticity of the aorta at doses of 300mg per day. At 900mg per day, garlic has been shown to slow the development of atherosclertic plaques in arteries. In addition, the benefits of garlic supplements may include a reduction in blood pressure by up to 7% after only 4 weeks of treatment.
Although not adequate as a sole treatment for high cholesterol, the benefits of garlic supplements also includes a modest reduction in total cholesterol levels, as well as low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides (TG) by up to 12%.
The benefits of garlic supplements may also include a decreased risk for various cancers includng colorectal and gastric cancers.
For those people who live in areas inhabited by ticks, the benefits of garlic supplements also include a decreased number of tick bites when 1200mg of garlic are consumed daily as compared to controls.
The reason for the benefits of garlic supplements is because garlic contains a variety of active compounds including allicin, ajoene, and S-allyl-L-cysteine. For instance, S-allyl-L-cysteine may inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver in a manner similar to "statin" drugs. This same constituent as well as S-allyl mercaptocysteine, alliin, allixin, and N-acetyl-S-allyl cysteine appear to act as antioxidants, protect the vascular endothelium, reduce LDL oxidation, relax the smooth muscle in the blood vessels and prevent clotting, all of which may contribute to its blood-pressure-lowering effects.
Garlic is generally recognized as safe but should be used with caution in pregnant or lactating women and in children. Avoid ingesting large amounts. Also, make sure to select garlic products that are standarized for active components to garner the maximum benefits of garlic supplements.
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