Health Benefits of Garlic Supplements

Garlic is a common household herb used in cooking that may also have beneficial health benefits. As a supplement to your diet, garlic may be consumed raw or taken in supplement form. Garlic tablets that are enteric-coated limit the undesirable odor because they do not break down until the tablet has reached your intestines. Garlic supplements are made from aged garlic, dried garlic or garlic oil.

Heart Disease

Garlic may work to combat different forms of cardiovascular disease like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, garlic promotes heart health by decreasing homocysteine, C-reactive protein, platelet aggregation, blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL or good cholesterol.

Cancer

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, high intake of garlic is linked to protection from colorectal and gastric cancer. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that garlic may also help ease some of the side effects of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Garlic is said to improve fatigue and appetite in those patients as well as protect against intestinal and heart damage that is commonly seen with chemotherapy use.

Immune System

Garlic may be able to boost your immune system and help you ward off diseases and infections. According to the University of Michigan Health System, garlic has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. Garlic may help you to prevent catching a cold and help you recover from a cold faster.

Dosage

To receive the health benefits of garlic, you can consume two to four cloves of fresh garlic daily. For garlic supplements, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends the following dosages for adults: 600 to 1200 milligrams of aged garlic extract daily in divided doses, 20 milliliters of garlic tincture daily, four milliliters of fluid extract daily, 0.03 to 0.12 milliliters of garlic oil three times daily or 400 milligrams of garlic in tablet form three times daily.

Precautions

Garlic supplements have blood thinning qualities so you should tell your doctor when you are taking them. He may advise you to discontinue garlic before surgery in order to decrease the risk of bleeding. You should also use caution when combining supplemental garlic with other medications or supplements that thin the blood such as aspirin.