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Garlic – Bridgeford’s Best Bites: Nutrition Tips

Blog photo croppedGarlic (Allium Sativum)

Garlic is a close relative of onion, shallot, leek and chive. It is native to Asia , a long time staple in the Mediterranean and was used by the Ancient Egyptians for culinary and medicinal purpose. It was rare in traditional English cuisine though is now a popular staple.


When garlic is crushed or chopped a substance it contains called alliin comes into contact with the enzyme allinase, producing allicinin, the odorous medicinally active substance. Allicin is unstable and lost when garlic is cooked, chopped or left to stand for a few days. Dried garlic powder is thought to contain both alliin and allinase so still has allicin releasing potential. Allicin enters the blood stream when eaten soon reaching all parts of the body. Elimination is mainly via the lungs and skin, giving the characteristic smell of garlic on the breath and sweat.

Inconsistent Study Results

Various clinical trials and meta-analyses show the positive impact of garlic on several factors of health, though contradictory results are also reported. A possible reason for inconsistent results is the difference in the garlic preparations used, having varying composition, type, sulphur content and bioavailability. There are also inconsistencies in the studies regarding subjects studied, study duration, dietary control, etc. The doses of garlic used in clinical trials were usually far lower than those used in animal studies, which might affect its potential effects. Different people may have a different response to garlic and it may be more beneficial for specific groups. It seems that more consistent controlled studies with larger groups or more specific groups are needed.

Studies have confirmed

Anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-blood clotting, cholesterol lowering and blood pressure lowering effects of garlic. Effective against infections, even beats antibiotic resistant hospital superbug . Some studies have shown that garlic improves the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin and some components of garlic may inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Adding Garlic to your Diet

• Add crushed garlic to stews, pastas and sauces at the end of cooking to keep allicin active

• Whole cloves of garlic added to your roasting dish are delicious

• Swallow a cut/crushed whole clove at bedtime, especially for colds

• Buy organic garlic where possible

We are happy to advise you on your health matters.

Lin Bridgeford DO KFRP MSCC ICAK (UK) MSc
Registered Osteopath Kinesiologist & Yoga Teacher

Aether Bios Clinic

Tel: 01273 309557
Mobile:  07710 227038

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