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How do I Choose the Best Garlic Capsules?

By Micki Elizabeth
Updated Feb 13, 2024
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Garlic capsules are said to have many health benefits. These supplements contain properties that may lower cholesterol and blood pressure, aid digestion, and stimulate circulation and even sex drive. Different supplements can have varying effects on each person, but there are specific qualities you can look for. Understanding the different ingredients that go into garlic pills and their purposes should help in choosing the best ones for you.

Natural garlic contains several compounds that can provide health benefits, but the most potent is called allicin. Allicin is complex; it is released only when garlic is crushed, and it breaks down easily. The compound is therefore difficult to harness in raw garlic, but garlic capsules can contain other compounds that should help stabilize it.

When considering the variety of capsules available to you, look for the amount of allicin in each supplement; many do not contain any. This may be because allicin is a sulfurous compound that gives garlic its notorious smell — some consumers worry that garlic supplements will make their breath smell unattractive. Some capsules instead list the amount of another compound called alliin, a different compound that is not as potent or beneficial.

Garlic also contains healthy sulfides that are not usually as effective as allicin, but which are more stable and can help the body increase circulation and lower cholesterol levels. Some types of sulfides have been known to aid the immune system. Therefore, when choosing garlic capsules, look for a combination of allicin and sulfides if you want a supplement with the highest level of medicinal compounds.

Many capsules contain extra ingredients for health reasons and to combat any potentially unwanted garlic taste or smell after consuming the pills. Parsley is a common additive used to combat the smell. Chlorophyll is a green food often associated with garlic in supplements, and it is believed to have not only therapeutic effects on internal odors that cause bad breath, but it may also inhibit the growth of disease bacteria. Check the label of the products you are considering to make sure they do not contain any unnecessary additives like sugars or food coloring.

When introducing a new supplement into your diet, it is always a good idea to consult a nutritionist or other medical professional. Ask him any questions you might still have about garlic pills, and check on any potential allergies or side effects. A professional familiar with your specific needs should have a clear understanding of how garlic can best work for your body.

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Discussion Comments
By anon281948 — On Jul 26, 2012

"Many of garlic's benefits can be harnessed just as well, if not better, from cooked garlic as from raw" - absolute rubbish. Cooking garlic destroys some of the beneficial compounds and alters others. On what evidence are you basing the above statement?

By watson42 — On Jan 12, 2011

Some of the supplements that claim to be "odorless garlic" are, like this article suggests, mostly unhelpful. While it's true that cooked garlic smells less than raw, capsules are even less high in odor, even if they do contain allicin. If you take only the recommended dose, make sure to get plenty of fruits and vegetables and fluids, all of which help your breath, and also brush your teeth regularly, it is unlikely that garlic pills will give you bad breath.

By Denha — On Jan 10, 2011

Many of garlic's benefits can be harnessed just as well, if not better, from cooked garlic as from raw; if you are unsure about garlic capsules, but want the benefits of garlic without the smell, then consider cooking more garlic in your food; it take a much high concentration of cooked garlic to actually leave the smell on you than of raw garlic.

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