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What are the benefits of garlic supplements?

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Quick Answer

Potential heart health benefits of garlic are the lowering of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; relaxing of smooth muscles; and dilating of blood vessels, according to Mayo Clinic. Taking 200 to 400 milligrams of garlic extract three times daily for one month can lower blood pressure.

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Full Answer

Garlic may be effective in slowing the development of hardening of the arteries, states MedlinePlus. Garlic can also reduce the risk of colon, rectal and stomach cancers. High doses of aged garlic extract taken daily for 12 months reduces the risk of developing new tumors. Garlic is also used to prevent tick bites. A gel that contains ajoene, a chemical in garlic, is an effective antifungal medication for treating ringworm, jock itch and athlete’s foot.

A chemical found in garlic called allicin is thought to be the causative agent that offers benefits in certain conditions, explains MedlinePlus. Allicin gives garlic its odor. Garlic supplements that are odorless are usually less effective. It is best to use enteric-coated garlic supplements that dissolve in the intestine and not in the stomach. Because garlic can slow blood clotting, using it with medications and other herbs and supplements that also affect blood clotting might increase the risk of bleeding in some people.

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