The various health benefits of garlic are the result of the numerous compounds it contains. These include: sulfur-based compounds, enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals.
Allicin was originally considered to be the most potent ingredient in garlic and many garlic supplements list it on their label as the main ingredient. Unfortunately though, allicin requires an enzyme, allinase, in order to be activated and almost all of the garlic supplements on the market contain little or none of the activated form of allicin or the essential enzyme it requires for activation because it gets degraded very quickly during the extraction process.
Furthermore, studies also indicate that when allicin is added directly to the blood stream, within a few minutes it can't be detected. This means that it gets degraded very quickly in the body and that other compounds must be responsible for the health benefits of garlic.
One group of compounds that appear to contribute significantly to the enormous garlic health benefits are, Vinyldithiins. These have been shown to have antioxidant properties, help to lower cholesterol and also have anti-obesity effects results from their fat-reducing and anti-inflammatory actions.
Garlic has been shown in a substantial body of research to improve virtually all aspects of blood lipid profiles.
Garlic extracts have been shown to lower cholesterol naturally. It achieves this by deactivating HMB-CoA reductase, which is an important enzyme in cholesterol synthesis. This enzyme is the target of most cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Garlic extracts have also been shown to improve the HDL/ LDL ratio. HDL and LDL are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol and triglycerides around the body.
HDL is often called 'good' cholesterol because it takes cholesterol and triglycerides away from the arteries and tissues of the body and returns them to the liver where they can be broken down and used for a range of functions in the body.
LDL is called 'bad' cholesterol because it takes cholesterol and fats from the liver to the rest of the body. If the levels of cholesterol are excessive, it may be deposited in the arteries, which leads to atherosclerosis (thickening of the artery walls).
Over time, atherosclerosis leads to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the artery walls) and both conditions are common causes of heart disease.
Triglyceride levels in the blood stream are also lowered by garlic. High triglycerides are one of the signs of 'metabolic syndrome', which is a physical condition that comprises the following characteristics: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high waist circumference, low HDL (good) cholesterol and high triglycerides.
High blood pressure is a major problem for many people because it damages the inside of artery walls and therefore accelerates the development of atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of a heart attack.
The good news is that garlic has been shown in numerous scientific studies to lower blood pressure significantly in as little as 3 days! Furthermore, headaches and dizziness, which were symptoms of having high blood pressure, were cured in the vast majority of patients.
Platelets are a component of our blood that helps to stop bleeding. They do this by clumping together to form a blood clot. Whilst this may be beneficial to prevent blood loss when there is injury to the body, if the clumping occurs inside blood vessels, perhaps as a result of atherosclerosis, it may result in the artery being blocked.
If a blockage occurs in a coronary artery it causes a heart attack and if a blockage occurs in a brain artery it causes a stroke. Both are potentially life threatening.
Garlic has been shown to have anti-platelet activity both in patients with cardiovascular disease and healthy individuals. It is believed to result from, adenosine, a bio-active compound found in high concentrations in garlic.
Additionally, garlic demonstrates an ability to decrease blood viscosity, improve blood fluidity, and improve capillary blood flow.
Since the structure of the compounds in garlic are so complicated, the manufacturing and extraction processes used play major roles in determining the level of active ingredients contained in a product.
For example, the enzyme allinase, which is responsible for converting alliin into allicin, is inactivated by heat. Heat is often used in the extraction process by manufacturers. It is also used when cooking garlic.
Some garlic powders require solvents to be used during the extraction process, which have the potential to leave toxic residues in the final product.
If a garlic supplement is going to be considered as an effective therapeutic agent, then it must meet certain criteria. In the past, the quality of garlic supplements was based on their allicin content. However, since allicin is unstable and requires allinase in order to be activated, a garlic product that has very little or no allinase will only contain a fraction of the claimed allicin content!
Even enterically-coated products contain as little as 15% their claimed allicin content due to the degradation of allinase!
The variation in results and inconsistencies seen in many clinical trials investigating garlic, have brought to our attention the need for high quality, stable extracts. These extracts should also be standardised to contain adequate levels of the important active ingredients that have been proven to provide the health benefits of garlic.
Natural Nutra High Allicin Garlic Supplement, Odorless, Enteric Coated, 500 mg, 60 Tablets is a high-quality concentrate of fresh garlic bulb extract.
As more research is conducted on the health benefits of garlic for improving overall body functioning as well as weight loss, garlic is sure to become one of the most popular products on the market!
For more information about how to lower cholesterol naturally, please read, Cruch Cholesterol: Safe, Natural Secrets For High Cholesterol
Here's a video on the benefits of garlic, which covers even more of the benefits it offers:
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