Garlic does more than add flavoring to pasta sauces, soups, and other savory dishes. Research has unveiled a number of health benefits of garlic. One of its main components, allicin, is responsible for many of the beneficial effects of this pungent yet tasty botanical. Allicin contains sulfur, which the body needs to perform many functions necessary to good health. Garlic contains another healthful compound known as alliin, which is converted into allicin when garlic is chopped or crushed.
Is Garlic Good for Health?
Thousands of studies have explored the benefits of eating garlic as well as medicinal properties of garlic and allicin supplements. In this article, we’ll focus on the human evidence linking garlic to good health.
Garlic for Immune System Support
Garlic may promote immune health. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 120 healthy humans, the participants took garlic supplements for 90 days.(1) In the group receiving garlic, immune cells remained healthy. The people taking the garlic were also generally healthier and missed fewer days of work or school. Another study investigated the benefits of eating garlic.(2) After eating a meal containing raw, crushed garlic, the study subjects experienced an activation of genes related to maintaining a healthy immune system.
Garlic and Blood Pressure
Garlic is rich in sulfur, and optimal intake of sulfur maintains healthy blood pressure levels already in the normal range.(3) Scientific studies have supported this beneficial effect of garlic. For example, a study of 210 people found that garlic tablets at divided dosages ranging from 300 mg/day to 1500 mg/day support healthy blood pressure.(4)
Garlic Maintains Metabolic and Heart Health
Studies have found that raw crushed garlic may promote metabolic health. In one study of 40 people, raw crushed garlic (100 mg/kg body weight 2 times a day for 4 weeks), significantly reduced waist circumference and supported levels of triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol already in the normal range.(5) It also maintained blood pressure and fasting blood glucose already in the normal range.(5)
Garlic extract also may keep arteries flexible and arterial lining healthy.(6,7) Studies have shown garlic powder tablets can maintain normal measurements of heart health markers such as carotid intima-media thickness.(8) Consequently, it plays a role in promoting healthy vascular function.(9)
Supports Joint Health
Garlic supplements are also associated with comfortable knee joints and with supporting joint recovery. In a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 80 overweight or obese women, garlic supplements (1,000 mg/day) kept the women’s knees comfortable.(10) In another study, 1,000 mg/day of a garlic supplement supported factors involved in joint health.(11)
Maintains Healthy Gums
Garlic can also play a role in oral health. Specifically, evidence indicates it strengthens the gums and keeps them feeling healthy and comfortable.(12)
Garlic Supplements Benefits without The Garlic Odor
Even though there are many medicinal benefits of garlic, many people avoid garlic supplements because they’re afraid they will smell like garlic. You can avoid this by taking Vital Nutrients’ Garlic 6000. It’s enteric coated to deliver garlic to the small intestine rather than the stomach. This prevents repeating and garlic breath odor. It has a high potency (10,000 mcg/gram) of alliin, which is responsible for many benefits of garlic supplements. Vital Nutrients also offers a non-enteric coated Garlic Extract 300 mg with a higher dose of alliin (16,000 mcg/gram).