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Should You Take A Garlic Supplement?

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Raw Garlic Or Garlic Supplements? Which Is Healthier For You?

It’s been shown that there is evidence for garlic to help with a variety of health issues including cancer, for the prevention of liver disease and as a remedy in the prevention of cold and flu viruses. There is also some news that suggests that garlic might even be able to boost testosterone levels, there is widespread increase interest among men in finding ways to add garlic to their diets. And for those who dislike the taste and the after effect of “bad breath,” garlic supplements in the forms of pills and capsules have been marketed to them. Along with that marketing are claims that taking garlic in a pill or capsule form is a good way to get the health benefits of garlic.

But is it? The problem is that often these garlic supplements are aged in order to reduce the odor. Odorless garlic however, contains little, if any of one of its active ingredients, allicin as it is this compound that gives off the peculiar and unique odor of garlic. Without the allicin, are you getting the full benefits of garlic by taking it as a supplement?

Probably not. This might be one of the reasons why some studies done on garlic come back with mixed results as many of them use garlic supplements, which have little or no allicin in them.

Which Garlic Supplement To Take?

Even some of the garlic supplements that do contain allicin are pills which have an enteric coating. This is supposed to increase the ability of the body to absorb the allicin, but according to Stanford University researcher Christopher Gardner, “Some pills, meanwhile, have an enteric coating, and these pills often pass through the body undissolved.” (Source) Enteric coated garlic pills are designed with the idea and theory that the pills will not break down in the stomach (where if they did, there is the issue of bad breath), but instead in the lower intestine. However as Gardner has pointed out, this is not always the case that the enteric coating will break down at all.

If you are going to take a garlic supplement, be sure it is a high quality one where the allicin has not been destroyed. If you want to be sure of getting the health benefits of garlic, eating it raw is the best way. Even cooking garlic will destroy some of the allicin content.

Unfortunately, the best garlic supplements will likely still give you “garlic breath” simply due to the fact that its those compounds that are what is healthy for you.

However, there is one brand of garlic tablets that are proven by Science to be effective and contains all the allicin content of raw garlic.  This brand also says that if you take it as directed, you won’t have a problem with bad breath odors.

In 2011, a study conducted with some patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes involved oral administration of the Kwai brand of garlic supplement, 300 mg three times a day.  The study results were remarkable in that those taking Kwai garlic tablets saw significant reductions in levels of cholesterol and fasting blood sugar levels over a period of several weeks.  So, if you are considering a garlic supplement, give Kwai garlic serious consideration.

There are some other things you can try to help neutralize garlic breath though. One of the foods that people often claim will work well for them is parsley, which contains chlorophyll and is known to help with bad breath problems. In addition, cardamom is often cited as a spice that can help reduce garlic odor after it has been eaten. Some Indian restaurants are known to offer fennel seeds.

What does science say? After eating garlic, try drinking a glass of milk! Whole milk is best, according to a study published by the Journal of Food Science in 2010.

So, if you are taking supplements of garlic because you don’t want the bad breath, you could be wasting your money. But if you are concerned about the bad breath, and still want the health benefits, eat raw garlic or take supplements that have not been aged or been through a process that has destroyed the allicin content, and drink milk!

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