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Eating This One Herb Just Twice a Week Can Beat Cancer
It’s not talked about as often as other cancers, such as breast or colon cancer, but lung cancer is perhaps one of the most deadly cancers out there. It kills more than 1 million people worldwide every single year. You might think lung cancer only hits those who smoke, but research shows that more than 1/5th of lung cancer patients are people who have never smoked, nor were they exposed to high amounts of second hand smoke.
One of the problems with lung cancer is that is usually has few or no warning signs until it has spread to other parts of the body. What can you do about it?
Unfortunately, no one can predict lung cancer, or any other cancer for that matter. There is no crystal ball that will tell you if and when you will get hit with the big C. However, that being said, there are plenty of things you can do in your life to minimize your risk. Obviously, you can stop smoking, or don’t start if don’t already have this habit. You can also eat a healthy, organic diet, as well as get plenty of rest, exercise, fresh air, and sunshine.
You can also eat more garlic.
Much has been written about garlic and the benefits it has to offer for our heart health, but did you know that garlic is also a well-known cancer fighter?
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Used as medicine for thousands of years, this very popular herb has been well-studied, perhaps more than any other herb on the planet, and is known to have the power to treat a wide variety of medical conditions and illnesses, but researchers have recently looked into the possibility of whether or not garlic could protect us from cancer.
The first study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. Researchers looked into the lives of numerous lung cancer patients as well as healthy individuals. Each subject was queried as to their dietary habits, lifestyle, smoking habits, and the frequency of their garlic consumption. This study reached the conclusion that those who consumed fresh garlic cloves at least twice per week has as much as a 44 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer.
Even if the subjects were smokers, if they consumed fresh garlic, it lowered their risk of lung cancer by a full 30 percent.
Now this study only looked at the consumption of fresh garlic, not dried garlic, powdered garlic, or garlic salt, so it is unknown whether consuming garlic in other manners other than fresh would have the same effect or not.
Garlic is an edible bulb from the lily family, which includes other foodstuffs such as chives, scallions, shallots, and onions. This group of plants is members of the Allium genus, so they are often referred to as Allium vegetables or Allium herbs.
There has been a wide variety of studies that offer quite compelling evidence that garlic and its sulfur compounds are super effective at arresting the cancer process. Perhaps one of the most surprising things is that these studies show that garlic does not limit its benefits to just one specific tissue, organ, or carcinogen. In more than 37 observational studies, done with humans and the use of garlic or its related sulfur components, more than 28 of these studies showed that garlic had some cancer preventative effects.
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In fact, there is very strong evidence that shows there is a very protective effect between garlic and stomach cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. Although these findings have not yet been verified by clinical trials involving human beings, the information from numerous observational studies comparing those who consume garlic and those who do not (called epidemiologic studies) or in studies done involving animals, show that garlic is a very powerful inhibitor of cancer.
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Since garlic has been reported to have many health benefits, there have been reports of people who seem to feel that if a little garlic is good then a lot of garlic must be better. This is not the case. Reported symptoms of garlic “overdose” include strong garlic odor emanating from the skin, stomach problems, diarrhea, a decrease in serum protein, as well as low calcium levels, bronchial asthma, dermatitis, and even problems with the production of sperm in males.
Garlic preparations can vary in concentration and in the number of active substances that they contain. Always be certain that you take supplements according to instructions and that you buy products from well-known and trusted companies. Supplements from dollar stores or very inexpensive supplements, especially those from China or Taiwan, should be avoided, as those countries have little or no quality control.
The allyl sulfur in garlic has been shown to slow or even prevent the growth of cancerous tumor cells. These sulfur compounds occur naturally in both garlic and onions. Because cancer cells tend to divide rather quickly, they generate more stressors than regular cells do. Since cancer cells are damaged by allyl sulfur, this can stop or slow the division of cancer cells.
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The chemistry of garlic is rather complicated and, as a result, the quality of garlic or garlic supplements depends greatly on the manufacturing process. When garlic is peeled and processed into powder, salt, or oil, it can increase the number or the variety of active substances.
When garlic is peeled, it releases an enzyme called allinase. This starts a series of chemical reactions that can produce something called diallyl disulfide or DADS. These compounds are also formed when raw garlic is crushed or cut. DADS are believed to be a strong component of the cancer fighting process. When garlic is peeled, crushed, or cut and then immediately heated or cooked, the allinase is inactivated and the cancer arresting DADS is lost. This is why you will see many articles or scientific studies suggesting that people wait 10 to 15 minutes after peeling or crushing garlic before it is consumed or cooked to allow the allinase reaction to occur.
When garlic is processed into an oil or powder, it does release cancer fighting compounds, but the inconsistent results demonstrated in some garlic research can be attributed, at least in part, to the non-standardization of the active compounds of garlic preparations.
Some of the known cancer fighting compounds found in garlic are:
- Allin: which is what gives garlic its strong smell
- Allyl sulfur
- Alline: an odorless compound
- SAC or S-allylcysteine
- DADS or Diallyl disulfide
- Ajoene: a naturally occurring disulfide
- DAS or diallyl sulfide
- DAT or diallyl trisulfide
- Organosulfur compounds
There have been multiple studies showing that the alllicin that is released when garlic is chopped or crushed also forms antioxidants that prevent the formation of free radicals as well as having an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. It is well-known that chronic inflammation in the body can lead to the formation of many types of disease and that free radicals cause damage to our DNA and other cells, which can lead to the mutation of cells and, eventually, cancer.
With so much going for it, it only makes sense to include a couple of cloves of fresh, organic garlic in your diet each day. You don’t need to overdo it and eat an entire head every day; just one or two cloves each day is enough to give you all the cancer protection you need.