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The Benefits of Taking Garlic Supplements

The Benefits of Taking Garlic Supplements

The garlic plant has been used to treat several medical conditions since ancient times. No less than Hippocrates, “the father of Western medicine,” would treat ailments with garlic. So versatile and powerful was garlic that it even crossed over into superstition for supposedly being one of the few things that vampires feared. Garlic supplements continue to be used today to not just add flavor to dishes.

Garlic supplements on blood pressure and heart health

Since ancient times, garlic (Allium sativum) has been used globally because it is supposedly good for the heart.

Among the benefits of consuming garlic is its ability to supposedly lower blood pressure. The findings from different meta-analyses of clinical studies on the anti-hypertensive effects of garlic are unfortunately inconsistent. Still, some published analysis indicated that garlic supplements are effective for subjects with hypertension and slightly elevated cholesterol levels.

More than 10 studies performed using Kwai garlic powder have suggested that these supplements in doses ranging from 600 to 900 mg/day exert potent effects on blood pressure in hypertensive individuals. This was not the case though, in people with normal blood pressure.

In yet another clinical study, treatment with a garlic homogenate-based supplementary diet for 12 weeks resulted in a significant reduction in both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure only in patients with hypertension.

The most consistent effects were observed by researchers who conducted studies using aged garlic extract (AGE). AGE has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure in patients with uncontrolled hypertension, suggesting that it may work as a potent adjunct therapy for uncontrolled hypertension.

Experts have found that aged garlic extract can lower arterial stiffness, decrease inflammation, and improve gut microbiota for cardiovascular health.

The majority of studies have stated that these supplements are very safe. Only a few studies have reported that the use of garlic may cause adverse events, such as bad breath, body odor, and mild gastrointestinal disturbances. These side-effects are prominently observed in studies using raw garlic and are alleviated in interventions with AGE.

Garlic supplements don’t work against colorectal cancer and HIV

This was unfortunately not the case regarding the effectiveness of garlic supplements for colorectal cancer. In a study conducted in 2014, allum vegetables and garlic supplements were subjected to a dose-response regression. No association was found between higher intake of allum vegetables and colorectal cancer risk.

In fact, the use of this type of supplements increased the risk for colorectal cancer. That finding, the study noted, however, required external validation.

The Mayo Clinic notes that although garlic itself may help strengthen the immune system, it might not be the same for garlic supplements. Regarding HIV, these supplements may interact with some anti-HIV drugs and actually reduce their ability to work.

Long-term use of these supplements can cause problems including producing odor on breath and skin, as well as allergic reactions. Essentially, the long-term use of garlic supplements need to be studied in more detail to determine their overall safety and effectiveness.

Key takeaways

Long used as a popular condiment and flavoring in all kinds of cuisine, garlic has also been used since ancient times because it is supposed to be good for the health of one’s heart.

Garlic supplements such as Kawi garlic power and aged garlic extract have been shown to help blood circulation. As a warning, garlic supplements have also been used regarding studies on colorectal cancer and HIV. The results were not as positive and garlic supplements may even make those situation worse.


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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Potential benefits of garlic and other dietary supplements for the management of hypertension (Review),

https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/etm.2019.8375#, Accessed December 21, 2021

Effect of Raw Garlic vs Commercial Garlic Supplements on Plasma Lipid Concentrations in Adults With Moderate Hypercholesterolemia, https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/411743A Accessed December 21, 2021

Allium Vegetables and Garlic Supplements Do Not Reduce Risk of Colorectal Cancer, Based on Meta-analysis of Prospective Studies,

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1542356514004510, Accessed December 21, 2021

Diagnosis, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hiv-aids/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373531, Accessed December 21, 2021

Allicin and Other Functional Active Components in Garlic: Health Benefits and Bioavailability, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942910601113327, Accessed December 21, 2021

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Written by Jason Inocencio Updated 4 weeks ago
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.