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Garlic and Cancer: Can Garlic Prevent Cancer?


Updated May 25, 2006

Garlic is famed for it's supposed health benefits. In fact, it has been used medicinally for over 5000 years for various ailments. From lowering blood pressure to it's anti-bacterial properties, garlic appears to be effective. The question still remains, however, whether garlic can prevent cancer.

Does Garlic Prevent Cancer?

Studies concerning garlic's anti-cancer abilities look promising. Of 37 studies done to examine garlic's effectiveness as a cancer inhibitor, 28 were successful. Preliminary studies show an increased cancer inhibiting effect on prostate cancer and stomach cancer.

Researchers believe that there are many factors in garlic's ability to fight cancer. One factor is the many compounds found in garlic, including allyl sulfur. Allyl sulfur can slow down damage the progress of cancerous cell growth.

How Can I Prevent Cancer with Garlic?

Garlic is a finicky vegetable and the conditions have to be just right to reap the health benefits. Researchers recommend using garlic that has been pressed into a oil or powder. They have also found that garlic that is peeled and immediately cooked, eliminates a chemical reaction that is thought to be a factor in garlic's anti-cancer properties. Wait at least 15 minutes before cooking garlic after peeling.

A Word About Garlic Consumption...

The studies about garlic cancer have all been observational, meaning they involved cultures that consume an above average amount or included animals. There have been no clinical trials or direct studies involving humans.

It can be harmful to eat garlic in large quantities. It has been reported that people who eat excessive amounts can suffer from allergic reactions, foul garlic odor on breath and body, stomach disorders, and dermatitis.

Consult your doctor or nutritionist for more information about whether consuming garlic is a good choice for your diet.
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