There are no miracle cure-alls, silver bullets, or magic pills that will get you trim, fit and healthy, but after an exhaustive search and rigorous testing, The Sherpa has pinpointed a few natural health therapies that DO help and ferreted out the scams to avoid...you may be shocked by what we've discovered.

Garlic: How a Stinking Rose Can Prevent a Heart Attack or Stroke

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Posted Monday, Feb. 14th, 2011

Each day, thousands of people gleefully walk out of their cardiologist’s office with a prescription in hand.  But, they are later shocked to discover that these are actually prescriptions for disaster.

You see, these prescriptions are most often for a statin drug to lower cholesterol or some type of blood thinner to help prevent stroke or other related blood-clotting health concern.

But how often do they tell you the myriad of horrendous side effects associated with these drugs, or how they rob your body of vital nutrients?

Or, worse yet, do they tell you that the condition they are treating you for (especially high cholesterol) isn’t even the REAL issue?

For years, the medical community has known that inflammation is the real culprit in heart disease.  However, they keep shelling out prescription after prescription to lower bad, evil cholesterol, all the while letting inflammation run rampant.

As if it couldn’t get any worse, they never tell you that there is a natural option to both treating cholesterol and preventing blood clots and stroke.  And they definitely won’t tell you that you can cook with this powerful substance or simply take it in supplement form.

What they may know (or maybe not!) and aren’t telling you is that this heart-saver is probably sitting in your kitchen cupboard right now.

It’s garlic…yep, garlic.

The Stinking Rose…

The humble garlic has been renowned for centuries for its medicinal properties.

In Egypt, garlic was used to enhance physical strength.  In ancient Greece, it was given as a laxative.  It was even nicknamed “Russian penicillin” due to its effectiveness as a topical antibiotic for battle wounds.

Even Hippocrates, Father of Medicine, wrote that garlic was excellent for curing tumors and was a good diuretic.

And you thought it was only good for fending off vampires!

The reality is this: Garlic has been credited with everything from cardiovascular benefits and cold prevention to protection from infectious disease and cancer.

But where does the truth — the scientific truth — lie?

Garlic’s Cardiovascular Benefits…

Research has shown that garlic has a myriad of cardiovascular benefits.   Specifically, it reduces cholesterol levels and helps reduce blood clots.

In one laboratory study from the Journal of Nutrition,1 researchers tested the effects of several garlic compounds to suppress the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.  The researchers explained that LDL oxidation is the real key to cardiovascular issues, as opposed to “native” or natural LDL cholesterol.

They found that garlic does, in fact, suppress LDL oxidation.  They went on to conclude: “Suppressed LDL oxidation may be one of the mechanisms that accounts for the beneficial effects of garlic in cardiovascular health.”

So, while garlic doesn’t wipe out LDL cholesterol (which is a good substance), it does keep it from turning bad…which is a good thing.

This is key, because despite what you’ve heard, cholesterol itself is not deadly.  It’s natural and without it you’d die; it’s the oxidation of cholesterol that causes the problem.

To better understand this, picture yourself making a fruit salad.  Chefs all over the world know that you need to sprinkle a little lemon or lime juice over the fruit to keep it from turning brown.

That “browning” is oxidation.  Before the fruit turns brown, it’s perfectly fine and delicious.  But once it browns, due to oxidation, it’s less desirable.

It’s the same with cholesterol.  Cholesterol itself is fine and quite necessary for many bodily functions, especially the creation of hormones.  However, once oxidation occurs, that cholesterol “goes bad.”  In this way, garlic is like the lemon juice.

By “sprinkling” it, you keep your cholesterol from “browning.”

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Research…

Looking at additional research, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study2, researchers divided men with high cholesterol into two groups.  For 10 months, one group took 7.2 grams of aged garlic extract while the other took a placebo.

By the end of the research study, researchers found that those taking the aged garlic extract had a 30 percent reduction in platelet adhesion to fibrinogen, as compared to the placebo group.  The garlic group also had less oxidation of their lipoproteins as compared to the placebo group.

All of this is medical jargon for saying that the garlic helped reduce the formation of blood clots and decreased the oxidation of cholesterol.

Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study had similar results3.  Researchers divided 34 healthy men and women into three groups.  One group received 2.4 grams of aged garlic extract, one received 7.2 grams, and the third received a placebo.

Researchers found that those taking 7.2 grams of garlic had significantly reduced platelet aggregation than those taking the lower dosage or placebo.  Again, reduced platelet aggregation means a lower risk for blood clots.

Finally, in a 2001 study from the Archives of Internal Medicine4, researchers decided to look at all of the research to date on garlic’s benefits to the cardiovascular system and to draw some broad conclusions as to it efficacy.

They combed 11 electronic databases, references, etc. dated from January 1966 through February 2000 and limited their research to randomized, placebo-controlled studies that were at least four weeks in duration.

They found that, as compared with a placebo, garlic helps to reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels when taken for one month or three months, but not at six months.  They also found that garlic helped to significantly reduce platelet aggregation.

Once again, garlic is shown to help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk for blood clots by reducing platelet aggregation.

Okay, we get it.  Garlic works.

The Power Within the Clove…

Now that we know that garlic helps reduce cholesterol levels, as well as your risk for blood clots, only one question remains: how does it do that?

Garlic contains 33 sulfur compounds, 17 amino acids, antioxidants such as germanium and selenium, and multiple vitamins and minerals.  However, out of all these beneficial chemical compounds, most researchers believe a substance called allicin is the key ingredient.

Allicin is also what gives garlic its “delightful” aroma.  In fact, allicin is the garlic’s own protection against insects and other pests.

It is this defense mechanism that has led some to call garlic “Mother Nature’s insecticide.”  However, the garlic needs to be damaged in some way (like cutting into it) for allicin to be produced.

Researchers have tried to create allicin isolates in order to help treat a wide variety of health conditions.  However, allicin itself is very unstable and has poor absorbability.

On the stability front, cooking, aging, crushing, and other forms of garlic processing cause allicin to break down into other compounds.  In fact, two studies5, 6 found that allicin decreased to non-detectable amounts within six days.

Additionally, stomach acid destroys allicin7, so the argument for taking allicin in isolation in supplement form is unfounded…unless you can somehow get it to bypass the stomach.  Enteric coating appears to help, but it has been found to reduce allicin production by nearly 40 percent8.

So, while allicin may play a role in the health benefits of garlic, it is far from the sole ingredient responsible for garlic’s medicinal powers.

The Best Form of Garlic…

According to research, both raw, cold-aged garlic, and cooked garlic are effective.

It’s easy to incorporate garlic into your daily meals,. Garlic is present in virtually every cuisine, including American, Latin, Chinese, and Indian food.

You can add it to your main course, along with onions and peppers, or sauté it with your favorite vegetables.  You can even roast it with olive oil and use in place of butter as a spread.

But if you opt to use garlic supplements, aim for at least 7.2 grams of aged garlic extract.

Be sure to choose a product that is free of preservatives, fillers, binders, excipients, flow agents, shellacs, coloring agents, gluten, yeast, lactose, and other allergens.  Ideally you’ll also be able to find independent analysis done by a third party to verify the active ingredients and identify any contaminants.

In addition to the famous odor (thanks allicin!), garlic does have a few other side effects.  Some people are allergic to garlic, while others may experience some stomach or intestinal upset, flatulence, or possible bleeding.

Also, because garlic helps to thin the blood, you should check with your doctor before using garlic if you are taking a prescription blood thinner.

Still, if you (and those around you) can handle the occasional bad breath or body odor caused by garlic, it seems to be an all-around heart protector.  So, go ahead and embrace that stinking rose.  Your body will thank you.

And remember, there is no magic bullet solution to improving your health.  The most effective action you can take is to make permanent changes to your lifestyle to include a diet of nutrient-dense, low glycemic-load whole foods.

References:

1Lau, BH.  “Suppression of LDL oxidation by garlic compounds is a possible mechanism of cardiovascular health benefits.” J Nutr.  206 Mar. 136 (3 Suppl):765S-768S.

2Steiner, M and Lin, RS.  “Changes in platelet function and susceptibility of lipoproteins to oxidation associated with administration of aged garlic extract.” J Cardiovasc Pharmacol.  1998 Jun. 31(6):904-8.

3Steiner, M and Li, W.  “Aged garlic extract, a modulator of cardiovascular risk factors: a dose-finding study on the effects of AGE on platelet functions.” J Nutr.  2001 Mar. 131(3s):980S-4S.

4Ackermann, RT et al.  “Garlic shows promise for improving some cardiovascular risk factors.” Arch Intern Med.  2001 Mar 26.161(6):813-24.

5Brodnitz, MH et al.  “Flavor components of garlic extract.” J Agr Food Chem.  1971. 19(2):273-5.

6Yu, TH and Wu, CM.  “Stability of allicin in garlic juice.” J Food Sci.  1989. 54(4):977-81.

7Lawson, LD and Hughes, BG.  “Characterization of the formation of allicin and other thiosulfinates from garlic.” Planta Med.  1992. 58:345-50.

8Freeman, F and Kodera, Y.  “Garlic chemistry: stability of s-(2-propenyl)-2-propene-1-sulfinothioate (allicin) in blood, solvents, and simulated physiological fluids.” J Agric Food Chem.  1995. 43:2332-8.

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  • Hongkongtrader

    I think this article really helps and give me another kind of insight about taking care of my health in a very generous and effective ways!

    • guest

      i’ve tried taking statins (3 different ones) to lower cholesterol and ldl but I get horrible pain in my legs and it makes me very tired. i do need to change my diet and i’d rather add garlic to my food than take a medicine that can cause strokes, muscle & joint pain, etc.

      • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

        It’s great that you want to give garlic a try. Be sure to work with a doctor who specializes in natural medicine before you just stop any medications. If you need to find such as healer, check out the American College for Advancement in Medicine (www.acamnet.org) to find an alternative-minded physician in your area.

        Naturally yours,

        The Sherpa

  • Zuzie

    It’s way past time to expose the lies that the medical community has been handing us for years. Our government (USDA and FDA) are posioning us with their addatives to public water, cattle feed, pestisides and genetcialy modified corn, soy beans, tomatoes, etc..
    NOTHING we purchase at any store is free of th crap they are dumping into our food supply AND they (govt) wonder why everyone is sick.
    So they take away decent health care and the fat cats keep getting richer and the rest of us are spending the last 20 to 30 years of our lives too ill and miserable to do much of anythng about it.
    BUT they (govt) are really good about hiding or bad mouthing any thing natural, cheap, and readly avilable to the public that might possibly help a person get well.
    I’m 66 and have been taking garlic caps since I was 22 and could not get a yeast infection cleared up with RX’s from 3 different drs. A friend told me about garlic caps and within 4 days the yeast overgrowth was under control and I haven’t stopped taking them since. I took 8 caps a day for 2 weeks and 4 caps a day after the yeast was under control. I take Kyolic brand caps as they have NO ODOR . I also have not had a cold , sinus infection or flu since I started the garlic caps.

    Sorry for the rant — I’m just fed up with our own govt posinening us

    • Ladyfngr

      Wow, I found your statement so true. Very impressed with your results. Are you still taking 4 caps a day?

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Zuzie, we LOVE government rants! Congratulations on discovering garlic for yourself and being a trendsetter for more than 40 years. You are quite a Sherpa yourself!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

    • Jrwiley11

      Zuzie is right. The FDA tries to shortstop everything that we can do without the big pharma companies controlling in order to help our health. As Zuzie said the additives in our food, water, etc., are making us obese and sick. And the whole flu vaccine scare is something you should research before taking — I personally know two people who were paralyzed after the flu shot — on in 2009 and one in 2010. I won’t get one. Another item: Splenda is affecting some people’s vision, which was addressed before it was approved by an opthamologist from Atlanta, but it got accepted. If they can’t control it, it is banned. There are cures out there for malarie, cancer, but they cover them up or threaten to prosecute. Read “Breakthrough” by Jim Humble — http://www.miraclemineral.org.
      As a note, my father always gave is Springer Spaniels garlic in their dinner. I will go back now to taking it regularly.
      Sorry this got off-tract from garlic. Keep up informing us.

    • Jrwiley11

      Correction: that was aspertame, not Splenda.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you so much for this all important information. I used to detest the “awful” smell of garlic. I now know that besides God, garlic is a life saver I will try to take it more. Remain a blessing

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Elizabeth, thanks for the blessing (we can use it!). If the “awful” smell of garlic is just too much for you, they make “odorless” garlic capsules that give you the same benefit without the, ah, aroma.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Victoria

    I have always looked for and taken odorless garlic also. . . I’m wondering if if has the same benefits as taking raw or regular garlic?

  • Fernando G Oldini

    Interesting article.
    It would be ingeresting if the authors provided the posibility of reading de reference studies.

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Fernando, study references follow each article. The abstracts of the studies are available for free at pubmed.com.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EDGHHZDX2KBKQSHL66NXNB5WIA Phương

    xff

  • Elisasolomn

    I have yet to find any supplements (aside from Vitamin D3) that is free of preservatives, fillers, binders, excipients, flow agents, shellacs, coloring agents, gluten, yeast, lactose, and/OR other allergens. Brand-name advice anyone?

    • Nancy

      Dear Elisa…My husband and all my family have been on totally organic supplements for three years now…no fillers..no binders..pharmaceutical grade and triple filtered… You are wise to be careful and discriminating. What we take was created by THE most renowned formulator of all. Feel free to contact me at nancy@attn2health.com. Our lives have been totally transformed, and I am happy to share with you what we learned. Take really good care of yourself…and many blessings.

      • Rosita Dcosta

        Tell me wh at you learned Nancy.  Safe, good quality supplements.  Thanks

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Elisasolomn,

      We suggest you check out consumerlab.com to find a supplement or brand that suits your needs. They are do independent analysis of just about every supplement company under the sun. And the moon in fact.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

    • Debiben

      Nikken whole food nutritionals! Organic, whole food, kosher, vegan, pharmecuetical grade. Every batch tested. A nutritional is not just about quality it is also about ‘functionality’. Does it function once ingested? Most supplements are dead and don’t activate once ingested. I wouldn’t recommend anything over the counter! As an exercise physiologist it has been my scope of practice to know and educate individuals interested in not just boosting their nutrition intake but minimizing harm from poor supplements.

  • Arthur

    Other than liquid extracts all pills require wax or other binders.

  • Chuckles

    It’s all about the money. Our elected government officials don’t represent us and haven’t for years. They “represent” whoever ‘bestows’ them with the most cash – typically the lobbyists and corporations. If Obama really wanted to help the American poor get acceptable health care, why did he spend ALL of his time meeting with the Lobbyists and CEOs of the HMOs, insurance companies and big pharma and then came up with a plan to FINE the Americans who don’t buy those companies’ products?

    Far too many doctors are just as bad. Many of them get bonuses, gifts, grants, and other remuneration for prescribing specific medications – many of them life-sentences. Got high blood pressure? Lets get you on this drug. Not doing it? Here’s another! Others are sadly under-informed and too arrogant to see it. “I’ve got the degree right here!”

    Sadly, many in the natural health arena aren’t any better, pitching everything from shark cartilage to purple-lipped mussel. Sure sharks don’t get cancer. That doesn’t mean it’s their cartilage that does it. Lots of things don’t normally get tumors. And some of them don’t even have cartilage. Now whatcha gonna eat?

    Or what about the good ‘natural’ doctor that routinely puts links to studies in the articles – only the links are broken or take you to information that doesn’t clearly support the claims? Fortunately, the links that do work will sell you some of the most expensive supplements on the planet.

    Here’s my favorite: a natural health vendor tried to tell me that “Whales don’t get cardiovascular disease. And they eat krill. So if you take krill supplements you won’t get cardiovascular disease.” Really? Which whale works massive overtime, struggles to pay outrageous and ever climbing bills and eats cheeseburgers and milkshakes sweetened with high fructose corn syrup? Sure krill oil might actually have health benefits (studies, please) but there are lots of contributing factors in cardiovascular disease, none of which are routinely experienced by whales.

    That is why I am interested in the Sherpa. While I’m not sure how/where the Sherpa gets funded, the articles appear to address the topics responsibly, sighting real studies while typically pointing out where the data is weak and possibly flawed. There are precious few reliable sources out there. I’m hoping this one is.

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Chuckles,

      It is precisely for all the reasons you listed above that we created Natural Health Sherpa. So people like you could have an unbiased source that looks at the science, not the hype.

      We hope you enjoy the site!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Fun4hunt

    Looks like garlic works at 1 and 3 mos but not 6 and after garlic has been cooked, crushed or slice the allicin is diminished after 6 days!  Hmm, guess I will have to toss the jar of minced garlic I purchased and go fresh!

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      You never go wrong with fresh!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SSLJCOW2UVRBHKSQQZCNJXH3AY Robert

    I use three to four cloves of garlic every day either in my scramble egg for breakfast or any other cooking I do.like stews or soup.I stopped taking Lipitor for my Cholestrol about a year ago as well as baby aspirin recommended by Family Doctor and I must confes I have never felt better.I would appreciate some advice on how to store peeled garlic cloves in bulk which can be purchased at our local grocery store.Would water or olive oil be the best method to use.At the moment I just peel my garlic for immediate use.
    Martin Smith,St.John’s.Newfoundland.CANADA.
    martin_smithza@yahoo.ca

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      We’ve seen them packed in both water and olive oil. If you choose olive oil, please use organic extra virgin.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Gavrishart

    If the smelly allicim is the ”worker” how odorless garlic can help?

  • Skibonnie

    I don’t understand, why does the garlic work for 1 & 3 months but not 6 months?Does that mean after 3 months your cholestrol stays the same? I’m on 20 mg of Lipitor how do you stop and how long before results are seen?

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      That is a great question. We’ll look for additional studies that extend for a longer period of time to see if it still has the same effect.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Joni

    Thanks for this Info. on Garlic – I eat it daily, but use Garlic Powder and I’m wondering if that is as effective as the Garlic Extract. 

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      The real thing is always best.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Joni

    for those of you who may not know it – You can mix  Oatmeal with raisins, Cinnamon,and Honey and  it will bring your Cholesterol down within a matter of weeks. 

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Thanks Joni! We’d suggest dropping the honey and raisins though and adding fresh berries instead. Keep the fiber and lose the sugar.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Mcgriffith777

    Love all your information. You take the trouble to inform people regarding their health. I wish more people would follow your advise.

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Aw shucks. You’re welcome!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Vba09593

    Thank you for this article on garlic , I grow my own fresh ,and incude it in many dishes  I do believe it is very good, but it is nice to know  that i’m right???

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      We’re coming to YOUR house! Keep in garlicing!

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Vba09593

    my daughter in law uses the crushed garlic that  comes in a jar,,,, is this doing them any good? 

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      As long as it fresh garlic it should be fine. Just read the ingredients.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JOU7EP7WR73I36X3F5OOLLU7RQ Richard P

    Garlic
    For Life – throw out your high blood pressure statin pills and get back
    to healthy natural fresh foods that will save your life.
    Richard Anthony Piet
     

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Richard,

      We would say to work with your doctor toward getting off meds rather than stopping on your own. Then the fresh foods for sure.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

  • Debbielarose

    What I would like to know is how to grow it and how long it take to mature?

    • http://naturalhealthsherpa.com Natural Health Sherpa

      Debbie,

      You’ll have to check gardening books or Web sites for that information. That’s not really our area of expertise.

      Naturally yours,

      The Sherpa

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    Thanks for sharing this informative post with us.
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    What a information, I have found from this source. As the post unveils about how a striking rose can prevent heart attack of heart stroke. It’s completely looking one of the most exceptional information for those who are suffering from heart disease. Thanks for sharing.
     

  • Alley

    My answer for eating garlic and onions is to cover up my bad breath !
     Now the real reason for my comments: Finding out at age 69 that I was ADD/ADHD enlighted me about the problems I had in the 40’s, and 50’s during my school years. What suggestions do your have for my “Senior” years? In other words, the addition of OLD ? 
    YOU HAVE the PERFECT web site for me with the video/spoken word type education. I’m hooked.
     

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