Garlic supplements are herbal dietary supplements that contain high concentrations of garlic from aged garlic, dried garlic, or garlic oil. These are commercially prepared and may be bought in various forms like garlic pills, garlic tablets, and garlic oil capsules. The main active medicinal compound found in supplements derived from garlic is allicin.
Why Take Garlic Supplements
Garlic is known for its aromatic smell and many enjoy eating garlic for its culinary flavor and garlic health benefits. Despite the many health benefits that garlic offers, some people avoid eating garlic for fear of having garlic breath. Some cannot tolerate eating raw garlic and, for most, the smell is disgusting especially if it comes from someone’s mouth.
Indeed, garlic is good for our health, but garlic is no friend to take on a date. The thing is one can have garlic breath even without knowing it as their nose becomes accustomed to the scent. Rest assured, everyone will notice if someone has garlicky breath and some, if not all, will find it bothersome.
The sulfur compounds found in garlic proven heart friendly and has anti-cancer properties. But the same sulfur compounds is the cause of garlic breath. Taking garlic dietary supplement solves this problem. Many prefer to take garlic supplements instead of ingesting raw garlic to get all the health benefits from garlic minus the garlicky breath.
Many people also opt to use garlic dietary supplements for convenience. People are always on the go, and sometimes there’s not enough time to make garlic preparations. With garlic dietary supplements, all the health benefits of garlic are just a tablet away.
How to Choose a Garlic Supplement
When choosing the best garlic supplement, the best thing to do is go with quality. Selecting the best quality garlic supplement does not literally mean selecting the highest priced product. At the same time, But be careful in choosing the cheap ones because some of them offer no benefits at all. Make sure to check the allicin level. Choose those that are standardized for allicin content to ensure that the garlic supplement contains a consistent amount of allicin.
Those that come with enteric coating or are “gastro resistant” are the best garlic supplements. The enteric coating is designed to withstand the low PH of stomach acid and release the contents in the intestine. Garlic can irritate the linings of the stomach and produce smell when digested. Garlic supplements with enteric coating prevent this from happening. If it was to be dissolved in the stomach, little or no allicin will be formed. The intestinal fluid is less acidic and intestine is the best place to extract and absorb the allicin. Enteric coated garlic supplements are also a good choice for those who are prone to stomach upsets.
Avoid garlic supplements with unnecessary additives, such as sugar and food coloring. Some garlic supplements today now contain parsley, which is not bad. Parsley is a popular additive for its deodorizing properties.
Possible Side Effects
Remember that garlic supplements are best taken with meals. It is advisable that you seek medical advice before starting to take garlic supplements, especially for those who are pregnant or nursing. Garlic is a potent blood thinner, so those who are taking warfarin (Coumadin) or any anticoagulants need to be careful. If you are about to undergo surgery, your doctor may ask you to avoid ingesting garlic or taking garlic supplements because of its potential to increase your risk for bleeding.