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More on How to Use Garlic Medicinally

How Much Should You Take?

Large scientific boards make several recommendations about garlic dosage. The Mayo Clinic cites the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy's recommendation for prevention of atherosclerosis as 3 milligrams to 5 milligrams allicin (3,000 micrograms to 5,000 micrograms allicin) or one clove or 0.5 gram to 1 gram of dried powder.

The World Health Organization recommends 2 grams to 5 grams of fresh garlic, 0.4 gram to 1.2 grams of dried garlic powder, 2 milligrams to 5 milligrams of garlic oil, 300 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams of garlic extract, or some other formulation that yields the equivalent of 2 milligrams to 5 milligrams (2,000 to 5,000 micrograms) of allicin daily.

Go to the Clove

Rather than fussing over garlic supplements that may or may not contain what they claim, just enjoy the heady aroma and flavor of fresh garlic in the foods you eat. You'll always know you're getting the best -- and the most potent -- allicin you can when you add garlic to foods. Consider this:
  • A typical garlic clove weighs about 3 grams.

  • The amount of alliin in an average clove ranges from 24 milligrams to 56 milligrams.

  • A standard clove will produce about 2.5 milligrams to 4.5 milligrams of allicin per gram of fresh weight when crushed. This means you'll get 7.5 milligrams to 13.5 milligrams of allicin from one typical clove that weighs 3 grams.

Control Your Waistline
With Garlic
Studies performed on rats indicate that when fed allicin while on a sugar-rich diet, the rodents' blood pressure, insulin levels, and triglyceride levels all decrease. A study that appeared in the December 2003 issue of the American Journal of Hypertension showed other surprising results. The weight of the rats that were fed allicin either remained stable or decreased slightly. The weight of the rats in the control group increased. Certainly, additional research needs to be done, but this study again demonstrates how wide-ranging garlic's benefits could be.

The Bottom Line
  • Aim for about 5 milligrams of allicin per day.

  • Use supplements that state the amount of "allicin release" rather than "allicin yield" or "allicin potential."

  • When reading supplement labels, note that the amount of allicin is often listed in micrograms (mcg) rather than milligrams (mg). There are 1,000 micrograms in 1 milligram, so a supplement that contains 5,000 micrograms of allicin has 5 milligrams of allicin, which meets the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy's recommendation of 3 milligrams to 5 milligrams of allicin.

  • A supplement may contain 500 milligrams of dried garlic bulb, which is equal to 0.5 gram. This falls into the low end of the World Health Organization's recommendation for dried garlic powder. Remember that dried powder contains just a small amount of allicin. Other compounds make up the rest of the tablet.

But why exactly should you stink up your breath with garlic? One of the specific benefits is that it may help lower cholesterol. On the next page you'll learn what role garlic plays in the bloodstream.

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This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.