Blood sugar help: Research reveals MULTIPLE benefits of garlic for diabetics
(NaturalHealth365) According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, in the U.S. alone, over 34 million people live with diabetes, and another 88 million with prediabetes. Add the two numbers together, and you end up with a “public health crisis.”
It’s not a coincidence that the medical community often refers to diabetes as the “silent killer.” Interestingly, the disease takes years to develop with the majority missing the early warning signs. Tragically, when diagnosed, most people are shocked to learn they have the disease. Late diagnosis can lead to a host of unwanted complications like, heart disease, stroke, kidney and nerve disorders, vision loss, and other health issues.
While medications are the primary way to reduce diabetes-related complications, research suggests that adding garlic to your prescription protocol offers additional benefits against diabetes-related adverse health effects. Of course, whenever possible, the best case scenario would be to work with a qualified (integrative) healthcare provider that can help you to eliminate the need for toxic medications.
Garlic lowers blood glucose levels, studies show
In a clinical study, researchers put garlic extract to the test to see how effective it was in improving blood sugar control. They also assessed its cholesterol-lowering ability in type 2 diabetic patients. While the trial was smaller-scale and only included 60 patients, the findings were notable.
The trial included patients with
- Fasting blood glucose (FBG) of at least 126 mg/dL
- A1C over 6.5%
Once enrolled, the study authors divided patients into two groups:
- Group 1 received: metformin only (two or three times a day)
- Group 2 received: metformin (two or three times a day) plus 250 mg garlic extract twice daily
At the end of 12 weeks, the group taking the garlic extract saw a more significant FBG reduction than the group taking metformin alone. A meta-analysis of seven other trials with 513 patients also confirmed garlic’s favorable effect on fasting blood sugar.
Improved fasting blood sugar was not the only benefit of adding garlic to metformin. The metformin plus garlic powder group also experienced a greater reduction in postprandial glucose (PPG) levels.
Garlic REDUCES cholesterol levels and slows down the progression of heart disease in people with diabetes
Having to face the increased risk of severe adverse health effects is one of the most challenging aspects of living with diabetes. To reduce the risk of heart disease, people with diabetes should pay close attention to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Once again, garlic demonstrated its cholesterol-lowering effect in the same 12-week study. Adding garlic to metformin yielded:
- greater reduction of total cholesterol, triglyceride level, and LDL (bad cholesterol)
- more substantial increase in HDL (good cholesterol)
Dozens of studies on garlic confirm similarly impressive results. Evidence also shows that garlic can slow and stall heart disease. One study compared garlic powder tablets to placebo for three months. Interestingly, while the placebo group got worse, heart disease progression slowed in the garlic group.
But wait, that’s not all! Garlic reduces inflammation and lowers blood pressure
Sadly, garlic rarely gets credit for all the goodness it offers. It improves our health in countless ways and guards against various diseases. Most people do not know that garlic has medicinal properties and is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, vitamin B6, and minerals such as selenium, iron, and calcium are all part of this medicinal plant.
Likely the most remarkable compound of the plant is allicin that is produced when you crush or chop garlic. Allicin is the major biologically active component of garlic that reduces inflammation and offers antioxidant benefits. Researchers also believe that garlic’s ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure is also due to its allicin content.
As a side note: wouldn’t it be wonderful if we saw more researchers comparing the results generated from groups of people only taking natural substances compared to their “medication groups?” I guess the pharmaceutical industry wouldn’t be too happy about that kind of work.
Super simple ways to reap garlic’s benefits for diabetes
If you enjoy the intense taste of raw garlic, eat 1 to 2 cloves daily to get its health benefits. You can enjoy garlic in various ways. But, for maximum benefit, it’s best to eat it raw and fresh.
You can mince or press garlic and sprinkle it on top of your salads or veggie dishes. Try flavoring your rice and quinoa dishes with garlic to make it a regular part of your daily diet.
While raw garlic is best, garlic can also offer benefits when cooked. Add it to soups, steamed, and stir-fried recipes. There are several other simple ways to consume garlic. One is by blending it into your favorite salad dressing or mixing it into your hummus and salsa recipes.
However, if garlic’s strong flavor does not appeal to you, consider odor-free garlic capsules as an alternative.
Sources for this article include: