Garlic: Bad For Vampires, Good For Real People

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It would be a horrifying understatement to say that Allium sativum, more commonly referred to as garlic, has been studied in great length. Upwards of 3,000 publications can be found on the vegetable.

The vegetable belongs to the Allium class of bulb-shaped plants, sharing brotherhood amongst the likes of onions, and scallions. Garlic exists in a number of forms, inclusive of aged garlic extract, dehydrated powder, essential oil, and oil macerate. Let's not forget its most important form, as garlic chains on Halloween weekend.

While most of us are aware of how palatable this vegetable, it also has long list of possible health benefits are sometimes forgotten. Lucky for you i'm here to issue a reminder.

  1. Anti-cancer properties

In 2001, the Journal of Nutrition published an analysis of several population studies investigating the association between garlic and cancer. The author's analysis revealed a preventative link between garlic consumption (raw and cooked) stomach and colorectal cancers.

In a population based case-control study published in 2005 the association between fruits and vegetables and pancreatic cancer was investigated. Researchers found that those that ate greater portions of garlic were associated with a 50 percent decreased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Published in 1998 in the European Journal of Epidemiology, a French case-control study investigating the protective factors of garlic, onion and cereal fibre on breast cancer found that increased garlic consumption was associated with a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer risk.

2. High blood pressure

Published in 2013, a study looked at the effects of garlic (in the form of aged garlic extract) on blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension when compared with a placebo and atenolol (a commonly prescribed anti-hypertensive). Each garlic treated group showed significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared with those groups receiving atenolol and placebo.

4. Cardiovascular disease

In a review published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2006, author's looked at various epidemiologic studies which showed that as garlic consumption increased, the progression of cardiovascular disease slowed. The authors' stated that the studies pointed to the fact that garlic reduces cholesterol, inhibits platelet aggregation, reduces blood pressure, and increases antioxidant status. They further stated that 44% of clinical trials since 1993 indicated a decrease in total cholesterol, and the most striking effect was observed in garlic's ability to reduce platelet clotting.

While reduced clotting is great news for those of you with high cholesterol, it doesn't fare well for your survival under a vampire attack.