Discover the 8 health benefits of garlic pills and their side effects.
Garlic pills are a nutritional supplement that mainly serves to reduce cholesterol, thus maintaining good functioning of the heart, and also strengthening the immune system due to the presence of allicin and sulfur, which are the main bioactive compounds of garlic.
For this reason, the higher the concentration of allicin, the more efficient the supplement will be in fighting cholesterol.
Garlic pills as a dietary supplement can be purchased at pharmacies and health food stores or online.
However, it is important to check the raw material on the label, because raw garlic is more powerful than cooked garlic, and fresh garlic is more powerful than old garlic.
Garlic pills provide various health benefits thanks to their various properties, so they could:
Garlic pills contain allicin and other sulfur compounds that help lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL), increase “good” cholesterol (HDL), and lower triglycerides, thus helping to improve cardiovascular health, preventing diseases such as stroke, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.
The bioactive compounds in garlic promote the relaxation of blood vessels, strengthen the vascular wall and improve blood flow, thus lowering blood pressure.
In addition, they could inhibit platelet aggregation, reducing the risk of thrombus formation or blood clots.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds that exert antioxidant action in the body, thus reducing oxidative stress and preventing the damage caused by free radicals to cells, preventing the onset of chronic diseases, and improving the appearance of the skin.
Garlic pills create an immunomodulatory effect in the body that causes an increase in defense cells, which help fight against various bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
The main responsible for this effect is allicin, which inhibits the growth and multiplication of these microorganisms.
For this reason, these capsules could be useful to treat vaginal bacterial infections, influenza, parasitosis, among others.
Garlic pills could protect brain cells from toxic compounds and favor the formation of neurons, thanks to its antioxidant power, improving memory and learning, and preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory potential, garlic capsules could help alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis, and apparently, it could also prevent the development of this disease.
Due to its antioxidant, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and immunostimulant effect, garlic could have an antitumor and anticancer effect, since some studies in both humans and animals seem to indicate an increase in natural killer cells, which are responsible for destroying infected cells and cancer cells.
Some animal and in vitro studies suggest that garlic oil could promote weight loss since it could prevent the accumulation of fat in the body, reduce the proliferation of fat cells; increase adiponectin, an enzyme that participates in the metabolism of fats and sugars; and increase thermogenesis, favoring fat burning.
There is some controversy in scientific studies about the efficiency and the most recommended dose of the garlic supplement.
The studies carried out on garlic oil capsules have been mainly in animals, and more scientific studies are necessary to confirm its benefits and determine the appropriate doses for which it is to be used.
In general, the intake varies between 600 to 900 mg/day, divided as follows: 300 mg, 2 times a day for 12 weeks or 300 mg, 3 times a day for 8 weeks, preferably before meals.
However, it is important to read the label and follow the instructions of the doctor, naturopath, or nutritionist, who will adapt the dose to each case.
Garlic capsules can cause some side effects such as garlicky body odor, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, and upset stomach.
Some animal studies recommend not ingesting more than 25 g of raw garlic or more than 400 mg/kg of garlic oil in capsules because it could result in toxicity at the level of the testicles.
Garlic capsules should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as they can alter the taste of breast milk.
It should also not be ingested by children under 3 years of age and days before surgery, since it has been related to bleeding disorders during the procedure. They should also be avoided by people with a garlic allergy.
In addition to this, these capsules should not be taken in conjunction with the medications mentioned below, without medical guidance: oral anticoagulants (Warfarin), antiretrovirals (Saquinavir, Ratinovir), antihypertensives (Lisinopril) and analgesics (paracetamol).
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