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Healthgrades for Professionals12 Health Benefits of Garlic: Health Effects Explained

Unearthing the Root of its Potent Health Benefits

Garlic, a common culinary ingredient, has been used in medicine for centuries. Modern research is now investigating its benefits and efficacy as a clinical treatment option. This article explores the health benefits of garlic, highlighting its nutritional properties and the compounds it contains.

Key Points

  1. Infection and Immunity: Garlic and its compounds may have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects. A 2016 study observed that consumption of an aged garlic extract reduced the severity of colds and the flu.
  2. Improved Memory: Certain compounds of garlic and garlic extracts may be neuroactive, contributing positively to learning and memory formation.
  3. Improved Blood Pressure: Garlic may help improve blood pressure. A 2019 study observed that aged garlic extract significantly lowered blood pressure, pulse pressure, and arterial stiffness.
  4. Cholesterol: Garlic can help manage cholesterol levels. It contains many nutrients and bioactive compounds, which may make it a beneficial and effective supplement for health.
  5. Heart Disease: Garlic has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. A 2019 study suggested that those who frequently consumed garlic lived longer than those who ate it only rarely.
  6. Physical Activity: Garlic can enhance physical performance. This is due to the presence of nutrients such as fiber, manganese, selenium, vitamin C, several types of vitamin B, and other antioxidants.
  7. Bone Health: Garlic could be beneficial for bone health. It contains essential nutrients like calcium which is fundamental to human health as it allows the body to perform all of its essential functions.
  8. Digestive Health: Garlic can aid in digestion. It contains fiber which is essential for a healthy digestive system.
  9. Inflammation: Garlic has anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers of one 2016 study observed that consumption of an aged garlic extract reduced inflammation.
  10. Cancer: Some studies suggest that garlic could potentially reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. This is due to the presence of compounds such as alliin, which turns into allicin when garlic is crushed or chopped.
  11. Skin Health: Garlic might have beneficial effects on skin health. It contains antioxidants which are known to have beneficial effects on skin health.
  12. Heavy Metals: Garlic can help detoxify heavy metals in the body. This is due to the presence of sulfur compounds in garlic.

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, aged garlic extract can enhance immune cell function and potentially reduce the severity of colds and flu.

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