It has been claimed that the benefits of raw garlic can be obtained from taking garlic capsules as long as the capsules have the necessary amount of allicin.
Allicin is the home to the nutritious benefits of garlic.
One benefit to taking capsules over the raw form is that the capsules can provide a greater concentration of garlic without needing to eat several cloves.
Around 4 cloves of garlic equal to 2-4 pills of garlic capsules.
It can be harder to consume the correct daily dosage with raw garlic due to the variation in size.
Not all garlic capsules are created equally and some provide greater benefit than others.
If the capsules are not coated properly then they can cause the same side effects as eating raw garlic such as the bad breath.
It is considered best to consume capsules that are enteric-coated.
This is because these bypass the stomach and go to the small intestine directly before dissolving.
Although raw garlic contains much of the active compound, allicin, cooking garlic reduces some of the benefits of garlic. This is why many people choose to consume garlic raw.
Of course, it can be difficult to consume garlic in this way, some other ways of preparing raw garlic to make it easier to take include making garlic tea, swallowing small pieces, or taking it with some water.
When raw garlic is consumed, it is suggested that it should be sliced, crushed, or chewed in order to retain maximum allicin production.
Chewing, slicing, and crushing the garlic helps to release the beneficial compound, allicin.
Of course, this can often lead to negative side effects such as bad breath which is why many choose to consume garlic capsules instead.
Are Garlic Capsules Any Good?
Garlic is rich in Vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese as well as other vitamins and minerals.
It also has antiviral properties and can help treat illnesses like a cold or flu.
Consuming garlic can help prevent the onset of the common cold or reduce symptoms.
Garlic also contains antioxidants, which help to protect our cells from oxidative damages caused by free radicals.
When cells experience oxidative damage this can lead to diseases such as heart disease, premature aging, and arthritis.
Garlic is often consumed as a supplement due to its ability to increase heart health.
Garlic can help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Consuming garlic can also reduce blood pressure in those who have high blood pressure.
Garlic can also help reduce levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
There are also studies that show that garlic can help provide cognitive benefits for the elderly and reduce the risk of brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Although no human studies have been carried out, studies on rodents have shown that consuming garlic can help decrease bone loss by increasing estrogen levels in females.
This suggests that taking garlic capsules can improve bone health for women.
Garlic capsules should be avoided two weeks before surgery and they should not be consumed by those on certain medications such as blood-thinning medication.
High amounts of garlic can lead to an increased risk of bleeding.
Best Time To Take Garlic Supplements
You can certainly take garlic supplements at any time of the day but the best time is said to be in the morning on an empty stomach.
When your stomach is empty, it makes it easier to absorb the nutrients from the supplement.
Give your body around 20 minutes before you eat your breakfast to give the supplement time to digest.
There is no harm if you take it at any other point in the day or with a meal, especially if you forget to take it in the morning.
You might find that taking it before bed or with a meal can cause acid reflux or some digestive upset, if this is the case stick to only taking it in the morning on an empty stomach.
If you can’t stomach the thought of a garlic supplement first thing in the morning, then feel free to take it at a better time for you.
Although most garlic supplements are designed to be tasteless as they are much easier to consume this way.
Unlike when taking raw garlic, you are not advised to chew garlic supplements.
Garlic supplements have a certain coating to protect your stomach when swallowed.
When you chew the supplement, this coating will break and can lead to digestive distress among other symptoms.
You should be cautious of taking garlic supplements if you are on certain medications like a blood-thinning medication.
You should also stop taking garlic supplements prior to dental work or surgery.
This is because consuming high amounts of garlic can cause an increased risk of bleeding.
How Often Can You Take Garlic Supplements?
One of the main reasons people consume garlic supplements is to aid in controlling blood pressure.
Studies have shown that taking garlic helps to reduce blood pressure.
In one study, the dose taken is around 600-900 mg.
In one study, studying the effects of garlic on a cold showed that taking it reduced the chance of getting a cold, reduced the duration of the illness, and boosted the recovery rate.
The dose of garlic taken was 180mg per day.
Garlic supplements can also be taken to help boost the immune system and taking 180mg a day has significant effects on immunomodulation.
One of the issues with garlic supplements is the type of supplement taken as this greatly affects its efficiency.
Allicin is fairly unstable but it is the compound that has been studied the most and delivers the health benefits garlic has to offer
( In this article I cover the health benefits of pickled onions, and are pickled onions good for you?).
Lots of supplements rely on the conversion of alliin to allicin in the body without actually containing much if any allicin in the supplement itself.
This is why it can be unreliable to take garlic supplements for the benefits as you may not actually be receiving any.
It is best to check your individual supplements and do your research to ensure the garlic supplements you plan to buy or currently take contain allicin.
If you need it then garlic supplements can certainly be taken daily, just ensure you are taking the right dosage for your health.
Taking too much can cause negative side effects so keep an eye on this.
If you feel like you are experiencing some side effects, consider cutting back or stop taking them altogether.