Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family. Garlic contains vitamins C, B6, manganese, selenium and other antioxidants (notably allicin). Possible Benefits of Garlic? Garlic supplementation is known to boost the function of the immune system. One large 12-week study found that a daily garlic supplement reduced the number of colds by 63% compared with placebo. The average length of cold symptoms was also reduced by 70%, from 5 days in placebo to just 1.5 days in the garlic group. Another study found that a high dose of garlic extract (2.56 grams per day) can reduce the number of days sick with cold or flu by 61% Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage. High doses of garlic supplementation have been shown to increase antioxidant enzymes in humans, as well as significantly reduce oxidative stress in those with high blood pressure. Human studies have found garlic supplementation to have a significant impact on reducing blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. In one study, aged garlic extract at doses of 600-1,500 mg was just as effective as the drug Atenolol at reducing blood pressure over a 24 week period. Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of angiotensin II (a protein that is responsible for increase in blood pressure) and helps in reducing blood pressure. The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into a gas called hydrogen sulphide by red blood cells that helps dilate your blood vessels and helps control blood pressure Garlic can lower Total and LDL cholesterol. For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15% according to some studies. Allicin, the organic compound in garlic, has the ability to stop the damaging effects of radicals and kill bacteria, according to a 2009 study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
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