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New studies show garlic's powerful ability to reduce free radical damage

9 years, 10 months ago

1629  0
Posted on Mar 13, 2009, 9 a.m. By gary clark

Garlic has long been known for its powerful abilities to heal. But several new studies have documented its ability to promote heart health, prevent and treat cancer – among other functions – in the structured setting of the research lab.

Scientists at the University of Kuwait conducted a study to determine if garlic could reduce damage from free radicals, which has been known to lead to vascular disease in people with diabetes and high blood pressure. Measurements of total serum antioxidants were taken from diabetic and hypertensive rates before and after having been treated with garlic. The researchers found that the serum levels of antioxidants had increased significantly in both groups of rats just three weeks after treatment. The diabetic rats also experienced a decrease in serum glucose, while the hypertensive rats had lower systolic blood pressures. The results suggested that garlic is able to increase total antioxidant status.

New studies have also shown that garlic is able to block cancer. A Republic of Korea study identifies diallyl disulfide (DADS) "as the most prevalent oil-soluble sulfur compound in garlic, inhibiting cell proliferation in many cell lines." The ability of garlic to decrease genetic mutations and reduce the number of small and large lung tumors was demonstrated in another recent study published in the March issue of Mutation Research. In a third study, scientists in the Republic of China found that garlic oil was able to enhance the production of cancer-killing cytokines, as well as to increase the proliferation rate of lymphocytes, which are responsible for the body's immune response.

The compound responsible for garlic's healing powers is called Allicin, which has both antibiotic and anti-fungal properties. Allicin is only produced when a whole garlic clove is crushed or chopped, and it begins to degrade quickly. With its high sulfur content, garlic has been used in skin and hair products to improve skin tone and hair shine. Garlic can also be taken as a supplement in the form of garlic extract, which has been found to exhibit many of the same cancer blocking actions and ability to boost antioxidant levels as raw garlic.

News Release: Garlic boosts overall antioxidant levels and blocks cancer  March 11, 2009

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