Garlic, also known as allium sativum, is considered by many to be a beneficial herb in weight management. This common herb is a member of the onion family and contains two powerful chemicals known as allacin and diallyl sulfide which have been purported to provide beneficial antibacterial, hypotensive, and metabolic effects.
Many people recommend garlic for weight loss. In a recent bestseller book, one strategy cited for weight loss was to take allacin tablets prior to meals. Based on the author's personal experience and observations in friends, he noted that taking garlic for weight loss worked well.
There is limited scientific data to support the use of garlic for weight loss. The main study cited was done in rats fed a high sugar diet for three weeks. Rats given garlic as a supplement didn't gain weight and appeared to metabolize sugars faster as compared to rats given placebo. Whether this finding can be extrapolated to humans remains unknown.
The mechanism of garlic for weight loss remains unclear. It is theorized that garlic may stimulate satiety in the brain and cause people to eat less or that it causes the release of norepinephrine, a stimulant neurotransmitter that increases metabolism.
Studies have been conducted in humans demonstrating that garlic may be beneficial for lowering blood pressure and for lowering cholesterol levels. More trials in humans are needed to determine the value of garlic for weight loss.
Adding garlic to the diet is relatively easy and safe. It may cause upset stomach and bad breath. Garlic should be discontinued before any major surgeries or dental work as it may interfere with proper blood clotting.
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