What are Garlic Pills

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Taking garlic pills as a supplement delivers many of the same benefits as eating garlic without the pungent taste and smell.

What Are Garlic Pills?

Garlic pills contain concentrated amounts of dried garlic, garlic oil, or aged garlic extract. They may not be the first thing in your medicine cabinet and are a relatively recent invention, developed because garlic has long been known to have many impressive health benefits. The culinary and medicinal uses of garlic stretch back thousands of years. These pills are widely available and are also commonly known as garlic supplements, garlic tablets, or garlic capsules as per a study published by Singh Papu, Ph.D. Scholar, Department of Agricultural Engineering and Food Technology. Some varieties are specifically labeled as reduced-odor, which were specifically designed to help minimize the phenomenon of garlic breath. [1] 

Garlic pods and pills on a wooden surface

Pills and supplements provide easy access to garlic’s goodness. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Benefits of Garlic Pills

While experts generally agree that raw garlic is the most beneficial form, garlic capsules can generate some critical benefits of garlic.

Strengthening the Immune System

Garlic contains powerful antioxidants, and regular garlic consumption has been shown to reduce both the duration and frequency of colds, while also helping the body fight off other diseases as well as per a study published by Current Science Association. [2]

Preventing Heart Disease

Garlic pills can have many positive impacts on the heart and circulatory system. According to research published by J Kleijnen from the Department of Epidemiology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, Netherlands, garlic helps to lower overall cholesterol levels, stabilize blood pressure, and reduce arterial plaque buildup, a condition known as atherosclerosis, which can lower your risk for heart attack or stroke. [3]

Fighting Bacteria

This powerful herb acts as a natural antibiotic but doesn’t possess any of the drawbacks of pharmaceutical antibiotics. Garlic supplements can fight both bacterial and fungal infections.

Clearing Up the Skin

The antibacterial properties of garlic have been shown to be effective at fighting acne, and can also help brighten overall skin tone.

Increasing Physical Performance

In ancient Greece, athletes consumed garlic before competitions to give their performances an extra boost. Garlic pills confer similar benefits, increasing blood flow and energy, which is ideal for those who need their bodies to deliver at peak performance according to a study by Susan Gunther, MS, RD at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.  [4]

Treating Thrush

This is a type of yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, and is a very common type of vaginal yeast infection. Several compounds in garlic have been shown to help fight this kind of infection.

Reducing Osteoporosis Risk

Garlic may help combat estrogen deficiency, a common cause of bone loss in older women. By helping to retain the key minerals in your bones, garlic pills could help you remain mobile and strong as you age. 

Eliminating Garlic Breath

Especially given the reduced-odor varieties that have been developed, garlic pills keep you from smelling like garlic, while still giving the health benefits of this ancient remedy. 

Garlic Supplements for Women

Since some benefits of garlic apply specifically to women, some companies market garlic tablets specifically for them. However, there is generally no difference in these pills as compared to regular garlic supplements.

Allicin and Garlic Pills

Allicin is a sulfuric compound found in garlic and is responsible for many of its positive benefits. However, it is only released when garlic is chopped or crushed. Even then, allicin is unstable and breaks down quickly. Therefore, it is hard to maintain allicin in garlic pills unless a stabilized version is present. Unless a garlic supplement contains stabilized allicin, it may not confer all the health benefits of raw garlic. As always, it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional before taking any supplement, particularly one that can have such powerful effects.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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