What’s Great About Garlic?
Not only is garlic an effective antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and immune-boosting agent, it is one of the most important therapeutic steps you can take in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Garlic has the ability to impact the process of atherosclerosis at many stages, but foremost is its ability to improve cholesterol levels.
Eating freshly crushed garlic on a daily basis or taking a good supplement has been shown to lower total serum cholesterol levels, decrease LDL cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol), decrease triglyceride levels, and increase HDL cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol). The combination of lowering LDL and raising HDL can greatly improve the LDL:HDL ratio – a significant goal in trying to prevent heart disease and strokes.
Garlic has also been shown to inhibit platelet aggregation or ‘stickiness’, meaning that it acts as a blood-thinning agent or anticoagulant. Platelet stickiness is a substantial factor in the development of atherosclerosis and so the blood-thinning capacity of garlic is an important consideration in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Furthermore, garlic is rich in antioxidants, which help destroy the free radicals responsible for the first step in the development of atherosclerosis. So, don’t forget to eat your garlic!
Written by Dr Karen Hack, ND, RP