Mackie: Many potential benefits from garlic

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Posted on June 14, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Mackie Shilstone / Fitness Expert

When it comes to garlic, it seems that everyone’s tastes widely vary. Some people think the more the better to flavor their favorite dish while others run from it. No matter what side of the fence you are on, you should know that garlic packs a pretty healthy punch and possibly a surprising ability to kill potent bacteria.

Recently published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and reported online at Life Extension, researchers investigated garlic’s effect on the bacteria called campylobacter. According to one of the study’s co-authors, campylobacter (often from undercooked poultry) is “the most common cause of food-borne illness in the United States and probably the world.” The researchers compared a component found in garlic, called diallyl sulfide, against two antibiotics to test their abilities to kill cells containing campylobacter. What they found was that the garlic component “worked 110-fold less” than the amount that was needed of the antibiotics. Researchers hope this may lead the ability to proactively treat and kill campylobacter in food preparing facilities far before the food is contaminated or consumed.

Although this is a pretty sophisticated use of garlic, it does point to the strength and potency of garlic itself. We all can reap a number of potential health benefits from garlic taken in raw or supplement form. I always caution you to ask your primary care physician before starting any supplement. My top five health benefits of garlic are:

· Potential to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

· May work to protect against inflammation in blood vessels that can lead to heart attacks.

· May lower blood pressure while acting as an anti-clotting agent in the blood.

· A great source of Vitamin C for antioxidants.

· May help to protect the body from most forms of cancer.

For more helpful, health information and for more information on my book and DVD, visit www.mackieshilstone.com.

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