One more beneficial property of eating garlic is added to our knowledge. Now scientists are investigating garlic further.
The role of garlic and onion in cancer prevention was previously studied extensively in China. These studies have shown a great connection between cancer prevention and garlic.
In China, garlic consumption is much higher than in Western countries. For this reason, there were doubts about the effect of garlic in western countries. Based on the results of European research, it seems that garlic has similar anti-cancer effects on the population of the western countries.
On the other hand, experiments have been launched with cell cultures. It was found that some substances present in garlic are able to suppress the growth of cancer. Specifically, sulphur compounds in garlic and antioxidant flavonoids are among the substances that may offer protection against cancer. In this study, scientific evidence says that allicin of garlic is the responsible compound for this anti-cancer properties. Also, garlic needs to be chopped or crushed to release the compound allicin.
Several studies showed that increased consumption of garlic reduces the likelihood of developing cancer. This is mostly efficient for stomach, lungs, pancreas, and bowel cancer. The longer is the consumption, the lower is the risk.
In another large study on female population in America, the results clearly showed that those who consumed sufficient amounts of garlic had a lower risk of colorectal cancer by 50%.
In addition, a study which has concentrated on prostate cancer yielded impressive results. The risk of men who consumed big quantities of garlic decreased by 50%.
Furthermore, those who were eating garlic in high quantities were 25% less likely to get bowel cancer compared to those who avoided garlic.
Lovers of garlic claim that garlic has similar effects in reducing the risk of infection. It is also known that the diet with various vegetables may have synergistic effects.
The protective effect of garlic according to the available data, appears to be exerted by several mechanisms:
- Garlic’s antibacterial properties.
- Inhibiting substances forming a cancer activity.
- Disabling substances with cancer activity.
- Increasing the repair of DNA damage of healthy cells.
- Reducing cancer cell proliferation rate.
- Induction of apoptosis (death) of cancer cells.
Because garlic is available in various forms, it’s not always easy to give universally applicable directives. It is necessary to make detailed studies to answer fundamental questions. Also, it’s good to know that garlic seems to lower the blood sugar by increasing insulin. If someone decides to eat garlic regularly, they need to inform their doctor and ask for possible interactions with other medications.
Garlic, as many other healthy foods, is best when consumed raw. It could be a bit difficult to digest, but when combined with some mild cheese, vegetables, and oils it can be really delicious. Furthermore, the odour after eating garlic can be easily diminished by simply chewing raw mint or grains of coffee.
By Apollonas K.