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Garlic and its Potential Role in Preventing Non-Communicable Diseases
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. They are chronic diseases that develop over a long period of time and are often caused by lifestyle factors such as poor diet, physical inactivity, and tobacco use. Garlic, a common herb and spice, has been found to have potential in preventing NCDs. Here's how.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and lipid-lowering effects. These properties may help prevent NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Cardiovascular Disease: Garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. A meta-analysis of 26 randomized controlled trials found that garlic supplementation was associated with significant reductions in blood pressure and total cholesterol levels.
Diabetes: Garlic has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. A study of 60 individuals with type 2 diabetes found that garlic supplementation significantly improved insulin sensitivity compared to placebo.
Cancer: Garlic has been found to have potential in preventing various types of cancer. A meta-analysis of 23 observational studies found that high garlic intake was associated with a reduced risk of stomach cancer. Garlic has also been found to have anticancer effects in laboratory studies, although more research is needed to confirm these findings.
In conclusion, garlic has potential in preventing NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm its benefits and optimal dosage.