The most convincing research thus far suggests that garlic may reduce some risks of heart disease. “Studies, including one published in 1993 in Annals of Internal Medicine, have shown that garlic lowers serum cholesterol by as much as 9 percent”. Researchers from Penn State University have found that garlic reduces the production of triglycerides and cholesterol in the livers and blood of rats. High levels of triglycerides and cholesterol increase the risk for coronary heart disease. Researchers are currently performing similar studies on humans.
Another potentially beneficial cardiovascular effect attributed to garlic is an ability to “Thin” the blood and make clotting less likely. Researchers have discovered that similar sulfur compounds in onions make platelets slippery, less likely to stick together and form clots that can block blood flow and lead to heart attack and stroke. Garlic also may help prevent and even reverse arteriosclerosis (the buildup of fatty deposits on and in artery walls). One study found less aortic stiffening among older adults taking standardized garlic powder for at least 2 years.
Wiping out Microbes
During World War I, garlic was used to treat typhus and dysentery and to clean wounds. Today researchers are finding that garlic Garlicdoes indeed appear to possess some antimicrobial properties. A study from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel (published in Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy, October 1997) reported that garlic blocks the action of certain enzymes that help infectious microbes survive in host tissue. Such enzymes are produced by many bacteria and fungi, so garlic shows promise as a broad–spectrum antibiotic.