Article courtesy of and with permission from Examine.com

Taking or eating garlic can benefit cardiovascular health, physical and sexual vitality, cognition, and resistance to infection. It also has anti-aging properties.

Raw or aged garlic reliably reduces total cholesterol and Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL-C), while increasing High-density Lipoprotein (HDL-C). Garlic also provides a variety of anti-cancer properties. Eating garlic daily (10g or more) is associated with a significantly reduced risk of prostate, colon, and stomach cancer. It can also induce fat loss and adrenaline secretion, though in a minor way. Garlic appears to mildly and unreliably reduce triglyceride levels.

Garlic’s main mechanism involves a molecule called alliin. When garlic is physically disturbed through chewing, slicing, or crushing, it releases an alliin metabolite: allicin. Allicin turns into a variety of fat and water soluble sulfur-containing compounds. In fact, these compounds are so volatile, they give off hydrogen sulfide, which is part of garlic’s unmistakable smell and taste. By tapping into the hydrogen sulfide signaling system, garlic relaxes the blood vessels and provides a variety of health benefits. Garlic also uses the hydrogen sulfide signaling system to exert its anti-cancer effects.

Garlic can be taken in several forms: fresh/raw garlic, aged garlic, garlic oil and boiled garlic. Boiled garlic prevents alliin from creating its sulfur-containing metabolites, and garlic oil, while effective as a supplement, has a potentially high level of toxicity. All of the beneficial components of garlic can be found in fresh garlic, which makes aged garlic supplements and fresh garlic the two best ways to supplement garlic. Garlic should be crushed, sliced, or chewed (prior to cooking) in order to ensure maximum allicin production, since allicin is responsible for many of garlic’s beneficial effects.

– The lowest estimated ‘toxic’ dose associated with raw garlic consumption has been noted to be a human equivalent of 400mg/kg (or 25g of raw garlic), which resulted in testicular toxicity

– It is possible to be allergic to garlic supplements, if you are allergic to garlic itself

– 8g (about two large cloves) of garlic can cut blood levels of Saquinavir in half

– While moderate dietary intake of garlic does not reduce platelet aggregation or adversely interact with Warfarin, higher doses (2,400-7,200mg of Aged Garlic Extract) may do so

How to Take
Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details
Most studies on garlic use a dosage range of 600-1,200mg a day, usually divided into multiple doses. The minimum effective dose for raw garlic is a single segment of a garlic bulb (called a clove), eaten with meals two or three times a day.

Aged garlic is a popular form of garlic to use for supplementation, since it does not have a fresh garlic scent. Garlic supplementation can also be done through food alone, though side-effects will include strong garlic-scented breath.

Microwaving garlic will partially destroy the beneficial components of the vegetable, but grilling and roasting will not damage the bioactives, provided the garlic is sliced or crushed beforehand. Garlic can be toxic if consumed in very high doses, so supplementation should never go beyond 5% of the diet. This results in the following maximum dosages:

17.0 grams for a 150lb person
22.7 grams for a 200lb person
28.4 grams for a 250lb person

For all references and further information visit Examine.com