Garlic Reduces Risk of Stomach Cancer

Garlic is a staple in many kitchens, used for almost every dish imaginable! While many of its health benefits are common knowledge, many are still being researched.

These include:

– Regulation of lipid concentrations in the blood

– Promoting cardiovascular and  blood vessel health

– Reducing platelet aggregation (blood clotting)

– Regulation of blood sugar levels

– Maintenance of beneficial gut flora.[1]

GarlicGarlic and cancer

Garlic has been shown to promote cell death in cancerous cells and researchers believe that regular consumption may decrease cancer risk. In particular, garlic is showing great promise for the treatment of stomach and intestinal cancers. One study found that the risk of stomach cancer was reduced by 52%, and that the risk of all cancers was reduced by 32% in those who were given a garlic extract daily for 5 years .[2] Another study found that application of a garlic extract to skin tumours resulted in an average reduction in lesion size of 47%.[3] The mode of action by which garlic exerts these benefits is thought to be via  4 main routes:

–  activation of metabolizing enzymes that detoxify cancer causing compounds

–  the suppression of faulty DNA formation

–  the inhibition of the production of reactive oxygen species (antioxidant activity)

–  inhibiting the cell cycle, causing death of cancerous cells [4]

Preparation of garlic

Garlic can be added to almost any dish, but conserving its nutritional value can be difficult. Raw garlic is best, but is often avoided because of its strong flavour and after-effects on the breath. When adding raw garlic to a meal, do not cook it along with the rest of the ingredients. Crush it, don’t chop it, and wait 10 minutes before mixing it in. This will enable the allicin (one of the active compounds in garlic), to reach its full potency. Allicin is only released when the garlic cells are broken, thus being at their most potent when garlic is crushed rather than chopped.


Key words: cancer, garlic, allicin, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic

[1] Bone. K & Mills. S. 2013. Principles and practice of phytotherapy 2nd ed. Elsevier. China [2] [3] [4] Tsubura. A et al. Anticancer effects of garlic and garlic-derived compounds for breast cancer control. Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2011 Mar;11(3):249-53