30 March 2006
Garlic – Forget Your Breath, Think Of Your Health
The healing powers of garlic were legendary in ancient times, and the healthful benefits are only now being rediscovered by modern medicine. Dr. Richard Rivlin, of the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, has just reviewed a number of studies into garlic's effects and his findings are presented in the current issue of The Journal of Nutrition.
"Medical texts from China, India, Egypt, Greece and Italy mention medical applications of garlic," explained Rivlin. "Cultures that developed independently came to the same general conclusions, namely, that garlic could be administered to provide strength and to increase work capacity."
And modern medicine seems to be coming to the same conclusion. "The rapid pace of advances in garlic research provides increasing evidence that garlic has significant potential as a complement to established therapies," said Rivlin. To illustrate the benefits that garlic can provide, Rivlin cited a number of studies that showed:
- Selenium - a compound found in garlic - may be instrumental to garlic's anti-cancer properties.
- Garlic may slow the progression of coronary artery calcification in patients being treated with statins (eg. Lipitor).
- As well as its cholesterol-lowering potential, blood-pressure-lowering effects, and antioxidant properties, garlic may help moderate levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is an indicator of coronary artery disease.
- Garlic appears to inhibit platelet aggregation -- a major contributing factor to cardiovascular disease -- by suppressing calcium mobilization.
- Garlic may reduce pre-cancerous gastric lesions and suppress the progression of precancerous lesions of the large bowel.
And if that's not enough evidence to prompt you to get more garlic into your diet, think about the fact that Hippocrates, considered to be the father of modern medicine, used garlic as an essential component in his therapies.
Source: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital