Garlic Supplements: Are They Worth It?

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Garlic is a commonly used herb in cooking and is known for its medicinal properties. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and infections. However, many people choose to take garlic supplements as an alternative to consuming garlic in their diet. In this article, we will examine the scientific evidence surrounding garlic supplements and whether they are worth it.

Fact: Garlic supplements can provide similar benefits as consuming garlic in the diet

Garlic supplements can provide similar benefits as consuming garlic in the diet. Garlic is rich in compounds such as allicin, which have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A meta-analysis by Ried et al (2008) found that garlic supplements can lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure, similar to the effects seen with consuming garlic in the diet.

Fact: Garlic supplements can provide a convenient way to consume garlic

Garlic supplements can provide a convenient way to consume garlic, especially for people who do not like the taste of garlic or have difficulty incorporating it into their diet. Garlic supplements are available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and liquids, and can be taken with or without food. They are also a good option for people who are unable to consume raw garlic, such as those with acid reflux or other digestive issues.

Fact: Garlic supplements may not be suitable for everyone

However, garlic supplements may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may be allergic to garlic or have other medical conditions that make it unsafe for them to take garlic supplements. It is also important to note that garlic supplements can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.

Fact: Garlic supplements may not be as effective as fresh garlic

Garlic supplements may not be as effective as fresh garlic. Garlic supplements are usually made from dried or powdered garlic, and the process of drying or powdering can reduce the amount of active compounds in the garlic. Additionally, the effectiveness of garlic supplements may vary depending on the type and quality of the supplement. Some supplements may not contain the same amount of active compounds as stated on the label, while others may not be absorbed as well by the body. It is important to choose a reputable brand and to read the label carefully to ensure that the supplement contains the right amount of active compounds.

In conclusion, garlic supplements can provide similar benefits as consuming garlic in the diet, and can be a convenient way to consume garlic for some people. However, they may not be suitable for everyone and may not be as effective as fresh garlic. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements and to choose a reputable brand. While garlic supplements can be a great way to get the benefits of garlic, they should not be used to replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, along with regular physical activity, is the best way to maintain good health.

References:

1. Ried, K., Frank, O. R., & Stocks, N. P. (2008). Aged garlic extract lowers blood pressure in hypertensives: a dose-response trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 62(3), 517–525. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602774

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