(Natural News) A recent study published in the journal Nutrients found that regularly consuming garlic can lower all-cause mortality risk among older people.
Previous research associated garlic consumption with lower mortality risk in younger healthy subjects. But no such evidence had been documented for older adults. The present study, on the other hand, shows the protective effects of garlic among people aged 80 years old and above.
“This is the first study, to our knowledge, to examine the association between daily garlic consumption and mortality among the oldest [of] old in a prospective cohort,” wrote the researchers.
Garlic for longevity?
Garlic is one of the most popular cooking ingredients in the world. It’s often used to add flavor to dishes, but it can also be eaten raw. Garlic is more than just a cooking staple; in fact, it is also a functional food. Studies show that garlic confers cardiovascular and anti-cancer benefits. Moreover, it can be used to treat bacterial infections, boost immunity and lower cholesterol and glucose levels.
In the study, the researchers looked at how garlic consumption affects all-cause mortality among 27,437 Chinese adults with a mean age of 92.9 years.
The participants completed physical examination measurements, and their garlic consumption from the age of 60 until the present was determined using a food frequency questionnaire. The researchers assessed mortality from baseline, three years post-baseline or until the date of death.
The researchers found that, among the more than 27,000 participants, 15.9 percent were frequent garlic consumers, meaning they ate garlic at least five times a week. At the time of the follow-up, the researchers recorded 22,321 deaths, but the participants who consumed garlic more frequently or even occasionally (one to four times a week) survived longer than those who rarely ate garlic (less than once a week).
The researchers also noted that greater garlic consumption corresponded to a lower risk of all-cause mortality even after hazard ratios for mortality were adjusted. Compared with participants who rarely ate garlic, frequent consumers had an 11 percent lower mortality risk.
Despite certain limitations to their study, such as how garlic was consumed (i.e., raw, cooked or processed) and the susceptibility of data collection to recall bias, the researchers concluded that promoting garlic intake as part of a healthy daily diet is beneficial for the elderly. They also called for prospective human studies and community intervention trials to verify the role of garlic in increasing longevity.
Other health benefits of garlic
According to research, garlic contains an abundance of organosulfur compounds that give it antioxidant properties. As such, garlic can help neutralize free radicals that are linked to the development of life-threatening diseases like cancer.
Scientists have long attributed the cardiovascular benefits of garlic to its sulfur-containing compounds. They believe that red blood cells turn the sulfur into hydrogen sulfide gas, which can expand blood vessels and help lower blood pressure.
Meanwhile, the antioxidant and antibacterial properties of garlic are also useful in treating certain skin conditions. Researchers suggest that these properties allow garlic to kill acne-causing bacteria and fungi that cause athlete’s foot. The antibacterial properties of garlic can also help preserve food by destroying bacteria that cause food poisoning. (Related: Treat Candida with Garlic Supplements.)
Garlic is a popular home remedy for the common cold. Allicin, the compound that gives garlic its flavor, has anti-viral and immune-boosting properties. According to one study, garlic can reduce the recovery time of people suffering from a cold. Another study also found that garlic can reduce the risk of catching a cold.
Garlic is not just a flavorful addition to any dish; it is also a potent natural remedy that offers a variety of health benefits. To enjoy everything garlic has to give, start incorporating this versatile spice into your diet by eating it raw or using it in your recipes.
Learn more about garlic and its medicinal uses at FoodIsMedicine.com.