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Garlic


Garlic Medicinal use and 

health benefits


In in vitro studies, garlic has been found to have antibacterial, 
antiviral, and antifungal activity. However, these actions are 
less clear in vivo. Garlic is also claimed to help prevent heart 
disease (including atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high 
blood pressure) and cancer.[28] Garlic is used to prevent certain 
types of cancer, including stomach and colon cancers. In fact, 
countries where garlic is consumed in higher amounts, because 
of traditional cuisine, have been found to have a lower prevalence 
of cancer.[29] Animal studies, and some early investigational 
studies in humans, have suggested possible cardiovascular benefits 
of garlic. A Czech study found garlic supplementation reduced 
accumulation of cholesterol on the vascular walls of animals.[30] 
Another study had similar results, with garlic supplementation 
significantly reducing aortic plaque deposits of cholesterol-fed 
rabbits.[31] Another study showed supplementation with garlic 
extract inhibited vascular calcification in human patients with high 
blood cholesterol.[32] The known vasodilative effect of garlic is 
possibly caused by catabolism of garlic-derived polysulfides to 
hydrogen sulfide in red blood cells (RBCs), a reaction that is 
dependent on reduced thiols in or on the RBC membrane. Hydrogen 
sulfide is an endogenous cardioprotective vascular cell-signaling 
molecule.[33]

Although these studies showed protective vascular changes in
garlic-fed subjects, a randomized clinical trial funded by the 
National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States and 
published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007 found 
the consumption of garlic in any form did not reduce blood 
cholesterol levels in patients with moderately high baseline 
cholesterol levels.[34][35]
According to the Heart.org, "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". In an editorial regarding the initial report's 
findings, two physicians from Weill Cornell Medical College 
of Cornell University, pointed out that there may "be effects of 
garlic on atherosclerosis specifically that were not picked up 
in the study".


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