There are well over 1500 papers investigating various aspects of garlic’s influence on one area of mammalian physiology or another. A great deal of these research papers illustrate protection against one or more diseases, often in very significant measures. As is the case with many plants, the greatest qualities arise from its efforts to defend itself-against one form of environmental pressure or another. With plants that have significant periods of time below ground, protection against mold or fungus, rodents, and insects becomes paramount. Garlic’s high sulfur content and the variety of sulfur-based chemicals it generates are reflective of this great effort to survive below ground.
Phytonutrients such as allicin, alliin, and ajoene, as well as high levels of naturally occurring N-acetyl cysteine and selenium, provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidative protection to our body’s cells. Additionally, the sulfur molecules collectively known as polysulfides, are used by blood vessels to generate dilation. Allicin also blocks angiotensin II which prevents vasoconstriction. The effects of fresh garlic on blood lipids is also well documented, lowering triglycerides significantly when eaten regularly in doses as low as 1/2 clove per day and preventing lipid oxidation which ultimately serves as a primary defense against lipid-intima infiltration.
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