GARLIC AND HISTORY:
Garlic (Allium sativum ) has been used throughout history for both medical and mystical reasons. The doctors' beak shaped face masks that were worn during times of the plague were stuffed with garlic and other stinking herbs in the hopes of warding off the disease. Garlic was also used mystically in the days gone past, with the most commonly known usage being the thwarting off of vampires.
AMERICA AND CHOLESTEROL:
High cholesterol levels are a serious problem facing our country which prides itself on sedentary lifestyles and fat-laden diets . 3/10 of Americans have cholesterol levels that are so high that they necessitate a change in diet and lifestyles. 7% of Americans have levels so high that a change in diet isn't enough, they have to rely on expensive pills that wind up costing them (collectively) around 3-4 billion dollars annually. Scientists are now looking into garlic as a powerful weapon in the fight against cholesterol. After all, its cheap and easy to produce and makes your food taste good.
Cholesterol is necessary in humans, but your liver produces enough. Therefore the cholesterol we get from eating dairy, meat (including poultry and fish) and eggs is all excessive. When we eat it, it combines with proteins to form lipoproteins that run through our bloodstream. Low density lipoproteins (LDL) are bad news for us humans, that is, they can do something detrimental like cause plaque which contributes to arteriosclerosis. High density lipoproteins however (HDL) are good news, because they take cholesterol from our bloodstream and move it to the liver where it is sent out of the body through excretion.
Gatlic is broken down into two main components, the sulfur compounds, and the non-sulfur compounds. Its most abundant protein, is Allinase which combines with other compounds to form allicin when garlic is crushed. Allicin is the most important sulfur compound in Garlic as far as its health advantages are concerned.
GARLIC'S EFFECTS ON:
1. Cholesterol: There are numerous studies that show garlic's lowering effect on cholesterol levels. The average decrease for cholesterol levels for all the cholesterol studies was 10.6%. The average decrease for the LDL studies was even higher, 16%. Most studies also show that allicin is mostly responsible for garlic's serum-lipid lowering effects.
2.Blood Pressure: Case studies have shown that systolic & diastolic blood pressure levels decreased by 6.7% & 7.9% when individuals with high blood pressure are give allicin-standardized garlic powder tablets.
3.Thrombisms: Allicin also decreases the likely hood of blocked arteries by helping prevent platelets from aggregating. These studies have been well established in vitro. Some in vivo studies have shown that garlic at low-moderate levels can do the same thing to actual animals & humans.
4.Bacteria: The antimicrobial effects of garlic have been shown to prevent bacteria on the skin and on the intestinal tract. Blood born bacteria studies have been fewer, but data points to antibacterial effects there as well.
5.Cancer: Garlic has been shown to have anticancer effects. One study of 41,000 women showed that a weekly intake of Garlic reduced the risk of colon cancer by 35%.
6.Free Radicals: Garlic can also act as an antioxidant, decreasing lipid peroxidation and increasing free radical scavenging and glutathione.
7.Weak Immunity: Garlic in low doses has been shown to increase the number of lymphocytes,phagocytes,natural killer cell activities, and antibody titers-- thus increasing the effectiveness of one's immune system.
8.Blood Glucose levels: Garlic can modestly reduce blood glucose levels as well.
You may be able to get enough allicin from eating raw garlic, but too much may be irritating when taken in an empty stomach. Instead of raw garlic, you could take standardized garlic pills, which are easier to consume and won't give you abdominal irritation... or garlic breath.
Don't cook garlic/ onions right away after chopping it up... the compound needs to be modified by an enzyme in the cell and if you cook it right away you denature the enzyme...
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