One of the most pungent foods in your kitchen also happens to have some of the most significant health benefits. It's garlic. Here are some of the properties associated with garlic:
- Insecticidal — insect killing
- Antibacterial — eliminating bacterial growth
- Antifungal — eliminating fungal growth
- Hypoglycemic — lowering blood sugar levels
- Antiatheroselerotic — eliminating clogging or plaque buildup in the arteries and lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels
In fact, research at the UCLA Medical Center has confirmed the power of using garlic extracts to help prevent heart disease.
In a double-blind study, 19 individuals were given either a placebo or aged garlic extract for one year. Researchers wanted to see if the garlic alone, without any dietary changes, could change the rate at which atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) occurred.
At the end of the year, patients supplementing their diet with the garlic extract showed only about one-third as much vascular calcification as those individuals taking a placebo.
Several years ago, scientists from around the world presented research at the American Heart Association meeting in Washington, DC that showed that garlic powder not only reduces calcification of the arteries but also reduces plaque formation by up to 40 percent—and can even dissolve existing plaque by 25 percent.
Although there are many facets and phases to cardiovascular disease, the underlying problem generally stems from the accumulation of plaque in the lining of blood vessels. As the plaque increases, it impedes blood flow and can result in heart attack and stroke. Efforts to prevent these problems—either through diet, nutritional supplements, or such drugs as statins—all attempt to reduce the buildup of arterial plaque. In the constant search for new and better solutions, however, the power of garlic has somehow been lost in the shuffle.
The garlic used in the recent UCLA study was the Kyolic brand of aged garlic extract, and the dosage was 1,200 mg a day. I think Kyolic is one of the best garlic brands on the market.
Garlic is one natural product where dozens of research studies have proven its effectiveness in preventing and/or treating a wide-variety of different problems. So I recommend using it in your cooking, and taking it as a supplement.
Now it's your turn: Do you use garlic?