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7 Ways to Preserve Liver Health – And Ease Holiday Stress

Garlic Is Good for the Liver

7

Nicole Cutler

Dec 3rd, 2013
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Find out why cooking with garlic is a logical step towards supporting your liver’s health.

We are always looking for foods to include into our diet to support liver health. An herb affectionately known as “the stinking rose,” garlic is filled with many therapeutic benefits – and the liver is one of its benefactors. Best known as a pungent food flavoring, there are a number of reasons to include garlic into a liver wellness diet.

A member of the lily or Allium family, garlic is rich in a variety of powerful sulfur-containing compounds, including:

  • thiosulfinates – of which the best known compound is allicin
  • sulfoxides – among which the best known compound is alliin
  • dithiins – in which the most researched compound is ajoene

These compounds are responsible for garlic’s characteristically pungent odor and they are also the source of many of its health-promoting effects.

In addition, garlic contains many more healthful components:

  • Selenium – a mineral that increases the action of antioxidants – which assists the liver in detoxification.
  • Arginine – an amino acid important for relaxing the blood vessels, which eases blood pressure in the liver.
  • Vitamin B6 – helps lower homocysteine levels in the body, thus acting as an anti-inflammatory substance which inhibits inflammation in the liver.
  • Vitamin C – the body’s primary antioxidant defender protecting against cellular oxidation – a major contributor to liver cell damage.

When specifically concerned about supporting liver health, garlic may:

  • Protect Against Liver Cancer – As published in an October 2013 edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Taiwanese researchers aimed to understand the modes of cell death mechanism induced by allicin, the major phytochemical of crushed garlic in human hepatoma cells. They found that allicin induced cell death in human liver cancer cells through either autophagy or apoptosis. The researchers believe that garlic might contain a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of liver cancer.
  • Reduce Fat Accumulation in the Liver – As published in a May 2013 edition of Nutrition Reviews, Australian researchers performed a comprehensive meta-analysis looking at the effect of garlic on total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. Their findings suggest garlic to be effective in reducing total serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in individuals with elevated total cholesterol levels. Because high total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol are associated with fatty liver disease, regular garlic consumption could prevent or even reduce a fatty liver.
  • Protect the Liver from Toxins – A healthy liver breaks down toxins, but an ailing liver is often unable to keep up with its toxin load. According to a 2009 study in the Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness, fresh garlic extract administered to mice that overdosed on acetaminophen reversed the oxidative stress causing liver toxicity. Fresh garlic contains high levels of antioxidants which are known to protect the liver from natural and environmental toxins.

According to the George Mateljan Foundation, the health benefits of garlic are increased by letting it sit after being chopped or crushed. Sitting before changing its temperature (through cooking) or its pH (through the addition of acidic food like lemon juice), will give the alliinase enzymes in garlic an opportunity to work. In addition:

  • In the absence of chopping or crushing, research has shown that just 60 seconds of immediate microwaving will cause garlic to lose some of its cancer-protective properties.
  • Immediate boiling of whole, intact garlic will also lower its healthful properties.
  • Immediate addition of a very low-acid ingredient like lemon juice will also reduce garlic’s health benefits.

Hepatology experts agree that anyone concerned with their liver’s health are served well by cooking with lots of garlic. Besides keeping vampires away, consuming several cloves of garlic a day may reduce your risk of liver cancer, fatty liver disease and liver damage from oxidation. If everyone knew that this tasty herb was so beneficial to our liver’s health, everyone would be adding extra garlic to their culinary creations.

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If you’ve ever wanted to know the 7 most critical foods to eat to pump up your liver’s detox engine, to trim fat from your liver, to reduce your liver inflammation, to SUPER CHARGE your liver and gallbladder health... and will leave your taste buds BEGGING for more... please keep reading.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/09/foods-for-liver_n_3895085.html#slide=2889252, Foods for Liver: 12 Ways to Get a Clean and Healthy Organ, Terri Coles, Retrieved October 20, 2013, The HuffingtonPost.com, Inc., 2013.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/346836-benefits-of-garlic-on-liver/, Are There Benefits of Garlic On Liver?, Dia Dahl, Retrieved October 20, 2013, Demand Media, Inc., 2013.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23590705, Effect of Garlic on serum lipids: an updated meta-analysis, Ried K, et al, Retrieved October 20, 2013, Nutrition Reviews, May 2013.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24059278, Allicin Induced Anti-Human Liver Cancer Cells through the p53 Gene Modulating Apoptosis and Autophagy, Chy YL, et al, Retrieved October 20, 2013, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, October 2013.

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-300-GARLIC.aspx?activeIngredientId=300&activeIngredientName=GARLIC, Garlic, Retrieved October 20, 2013, WebMD, LLC, 2013.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60, Garlic, Retrieved October 20, 2013, The George Mateljan Foundation, 2013.

7 Comment(s)
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  • OldTooly

    Since I am unable to use good raw garlic, I have been using an odorless garlic supplement both at breakfast and dinner, along with omega 3 and vitamin C. Am I wasting my time with the odorless supplement (70mg. whole garlic clove extract in parsley oil each meal) or do I just need to take a larger amount to get a good healthy effect?

    • Debra L. Bradshaw

      why can’t you use raw garlic, just curious?

    • SeeThroughYou

      The good stuff is also the stuff that gives garlic it’s smell. Eating a raw clove by chewing it up gives the maximum benefit. I put a whole clove in my mouth, drink a sip of water and chew the garlic with water still in my mouth and swallow it when the garlic flavor becomes too strong.

  • earunner

    What if I just eat a couple raw cloves in the morning before breakfast? Is that still beneficial?

  • EL BURNA

    What if i slice one glove of garlic into three then i take it like a medicine using lemon juice?

    • Amit Pandey

      Dont take garlic with lemon, if you are having garlic for medication purpose. Lemon might reduce medical properties of garlic. You can have garlic and honey {at your wish or on advice by doctor, not at my prescription 🙂 }
      I started having from past three days

  • Drandrev Verdna

    I have been taking 3 cloves of chopped raw garlic with an empty stomach every morning for a month now. And I am surprised and happy with the results. I don’t chew the garlic. i just swallow it with one cloves at time, taking it with 2 glasses of water. Brush my teeth twice and gargle with mouth wash after.I am seriously want to draw away myself from High Blood maintenance for I know It may lower my BP but side effect is leaving some residue of toxins in my body particularly my liver. So I am shooting 3 birds in one stone. First is to regulate my BP, second is to lower my cholesterol and lastly is to clean my liver. So far, every time I check my BP, (which is 5 times a day at least on different times) it’s always normal. Looking forward to have my cholesterol checked and my fatty liver as well. Just saying…

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