In this Article:
1. Garlic and Dietary Supplement Warnings
2. The Benefits of Garlic in the Best Dietary Supplements
3. What are the Risks of Garlic in a Dietary Supplement?
Garlic and Dietary Supplement Warnings
OK, just to set the record straight from the very beginning: I don’t have anything against, Italians, Italian cooking, or even a hefty plate of pasta. In fact, I love everything about garlic from the aroma to the taste of roasted garlic smeared over a chunk of bread and brie. But if you’re heading into military combat or other high intense situations, or you’re on the waiting list for surgery, you may want to hold off on even the best dietary supplements that contain garlic.
I’ll explain more in just a minute, but first let’s talk about the benefits of garlic (one of the first herbs documented for use in medicinal purposes) and why people take is as a dietary supplement to begin with.
The Benefits of Garlic in the Best Dietary Supplements
Its botanical name is Allium Sativum and Egyptian papyrus has been found which included garlic in at least 22 medicinal potions that were meant to cure various ailments such as body weakness, headaches and throat tumors. In Roman days, Pliny the Elder praised garlic for the treatment of hemorrhoids (don’t ask, unless you REALLY want to know!), epilepsy, hoarseness and tuberculosis. It’s been thought to give immunity from the bubonic plague, as resistance was often believed to be awarded to those that consumed it.
More recently, there have been several studies conducted around its ability to lower serum cholesterol levels.
And, of course, strung together to adorn your neck, you can rest easy if you’re ever passing through Transylvania or The Twilight Saga.
How the garlic is prepared and the source of the garlic in the best dietary supplements determine its strength and effectiveness. The allicin, which is the active ingredient in garlic, released when it’s crushed is unstable. It can change into different chemicals. Crushed garlic releases the most allicin.
Garlic as a dietary supplement is common and mostly safe. Most often it’s used to prevent age-related hardening of the arteries and other conditions associated with the body’s blood and heart systems.
Generally, garlic oil applied to the skin is believed to treat fungal conditions such as ringworm, jock itch and athletes foot.
Some use garlic as a preventative measure against certain types of cancers such as colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer, although not all results have been confirmed by sufficient research.
Other uses include treating sinus congestions, gout, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, snake bits, and fighting stress and fatigue.
What are the Risks of Garlic in a Dietary Supplement?
With so many good things related to garlic in a dietary supplement, as well as its extensive use in flavoring meals, what could possibly be bad with taking a garlic supplement?
On the minor end, it could cause tummy trouble for some, or if applied as a thick paste to the skin, garlic could result in a burn-like reaction.
However, more important in terms of how it relates to military personnel, garlic has an anti-coagulation effect and could prolong bleeding by retarding blood clotting, especially when combined with warfarin. As a result of this bleeding may be extended after surgery.
To be safe, and to get the best from dietary supplements, it’s suggested that use of a garlic supplement be stopped 2 weeks before combat deployment or surgery.
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