Are Garlic Pills a Substitute for the Real Thing?

Lucia on Dec 12th

I’m just not one of these people who take vitamins and nutritional supplements, but my mom and dad are charter members of that club. You should see the handful of stuff they swallow every day. And I’m not just talking a multiple vitamin and maybe some B-complex and C. We’re talking hardcore health addicts here.

They take stuff with names like CoQ10, grape seed extract, flax seed oil, and alpha lipoic acid. That’s just the ones I can pronounce! I’m surprised they have room in their stomachs for food.

My idea of being a health addict is using extra virgin olive oil for the long term heart benefits and eating garlic for the same reason. I look at it as insurance now for a healthier body on down the road.

Consequently, I was at a loss for an answer when Mom and Dad came over for dinner Saturday. They wanted to know if I thought taking garlic supplements was just as beneficial as eating garlic.

I honestly didn’t know. I mean, I’d rather eat the “stinking rose” than take a pill, but that’s just me. So I started trying to find the answer because I know lots of people buy garlic tablets. Here’s what I discovered.

The reason people take the supplements is because they want the medicinal benefits of garlic but without what many consider the socially unacceptable side effects i.e. garlic breath.

The big question is, do you get the same anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral effect from garlic tablets as you get from eating raw garlic? Most of the garlic pill manufacturers have done research that says you do.

However, independent studies, not sponsored by pill manufacturers, conducted through rigorously controlled clinical trials found that garlic pills do not offer any health benefits. So the short answer is: eat garlic, not pills.

My mom and dad are lucky. They don’t have blood pressure problems. I found that anyone with blood pressure problems should not take garlic pills. In fact, if you are on any blood pressure medicine, consult with your doctor if you plan to increase your garlic consumption.

So, that’s one less bottle of supplements Mom and Dad will have to buy. In fact, for what supplements cost, they can buy fresh garlic and still have money left over. Maybe even enough for a good bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

Filed in Health Benefits | We welcome your comment or question

Related Posts