What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?


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MedlinePlus explains that garlic is possibly effective for reducing blood pressure and reducing the incidence of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Garlic may also reduce the risk of developing colon, stomach and rectal cancers. High doses of dietary garlic have been shown to reduce the number of tick bites a person receives. In addition, preliminary research reveals that garlic may be effective in reducing the incidence of prostate cancer.

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What Are the Health Benefits of Garlic?
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For patients using garlic to reduce blood pressure, MedlinePlus recommends taking 4 grams, which is about one clove, of fresh garlic every day. This is the equivalent of 600 to 1200 milligrams of garlic extract. For the prevention of colon, rectal and stomach cancers, consuming 3.5 to 29 grams of fresh or cooked garlic every week is advised.

Garlic sometimes interacts with prescribed medications. According to MedlinePlus, patients should not take garlic if they are taking isoniazid, saquinavir or certain medications used to treat HIV or AIDS. It is possible for garlic to decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills and cyclosporine, so patients are advised to use caution when taking these medications with garlic. Garlic may also slow blood clotting and should be used cautiously by patients taking medications such as aspirin, clopidogrel and warfarin.

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