Best Garlic Supplements – Is It All In The Allicin?

People worldwide have believed in the almost mystical powers of the vegetable, garlic, for eons. (And, yes, garlic is considered a vegetable rather than an herb botanically). Bram Stoker added to the allure of garlic when he introduced it in his 1897 novel, Count Dracula.  In the book, Van Helsing uses garlic to ward off the vampire, Dracula. In folklore, garlic was used as a protective agent against vampires, evil spirits, disease, and mosquitos, another bloodsucker.

Today we aren’t quite as concerned with garlic’s ability to repel evil spirits or vampires, and yes, some people still use it repel mosquitos. However, modern science is very much aware of the other health benefits of garlic, and by extension, garlic supplements. Natural garlic and garlic supplements have been the subject of numerous clinical trials, with somewhat conflicting results.

At the heart of the debate is a compound known as allicin. In this “Best of” article, we will detail the science behind allicin, garlic, and garlic supplements. We’ll provide a topline review of several clinical trials testing the importance of allicin in delivering garlic’s health benefits. We will detail the benefits of garlic supplementation, dispel a few myths along the way, and finally, we will provide our choices for the best garlic supplements on the market today. As always, our selections are unbiased as we have no interest or affiliation with any of the products or brands selected.

Garlic supplements

The Science Behind Allicin – For Combating heart Disease

Whole garlic contains the amino acid alliin. When chewed or crushed, alliin combines with alliinase the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of alliin to make allicin. Allicin is the main active ingredient in garlic, which produces a series of other sulfur-containing compounds such as diallyl disulfide.

Quoting the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) …  Studies show that garlic and its bioactive constituents exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, immunomodulatory, cardiovascular protective, anticancer, hepatoprotective, digestive system protective, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, neuroprotective, and renal protective properties.

Those are significant health benefits from this one ingredient/supplement and explain the multitude of clinical trials. One prominent manufacturer in the garlic space, the Wakanuga of America Company, makers of the Kyolic brand, has conducted over 750 clinical trials.

NCBI listed cardiovascular protection as a benefit, and much of this article will focus on these heart health and blood pressure claims. It is believed that allicin also aids in the release of nitric oxide in your blood vessels, relaxing them, and lowering your blood pressure. Lower blood pressure is beneficial for your heart and the entire vascular system.

We’ll revisit allicin and its role in cardiovascular health later in this review and present a dissenting viewpoint.

garlic supplement gel

Check Out Our 9 Top Rated Supplements
Our team has reviewed hundreds of popular supplements - these are our 9 favorites.
Click Here to check out the list.

Garlic

Let us get back to our vegetable, garlic, a species in the onion genus, Allium. Relatives in the Allium family include the white onion, the red onion, yellow onions, shallots, leeks, and chives. Garlic is native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran but has long been a popular seasoning worldwide. In the U.S., Gilroy, CA, is our nation’s “garlic capital.”

Garlic is incredibly nutrient-dense. It is a rich source of Vitamin B6 and contains, B2, B3, folate, Vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and zinc. There are 600 varieties of garlic in the world, with the two main subspecies being hardnecks and softnecks.

Many people still believe the medicinal value and health benefits of garlic are best unlocked when consumed raw.

Allicin in garlic

Garlic Supplements – Explained

Garlic supplements available on the market today typically fall into one of four categories:

  1. Garlic oils – Garlic essential oil and vegetable oil base.
  2. Garlic powders – A form of dehydrated and pulverized garlic. Powders are usually delivered in a tablet or capsule form with parsley, mint, or citrus to decrease odor.
  3. Garlic oil macerates – Garlic cloves, or garlic powder mixed into vegetable oil and then encapsulated.
  4. Aged garlic extract – Made from organically grown garlic, which is crushed and then naturally cold-aged for up to 20 months, removing the odor in the process.

In our opinion, the best garlic supplements feature certified organic, Non-GMO, and odorless garlic.

Important Note: allicin is not present in many of the top garlic products due to its instability and reactivity. Brands often express their “potencies” in theoretical amounts of the raw garlic used to distill its product. Other brands may use a powder that contains alliin and alliinase. You will remember that alliinase is the enzyme that converts alliin to allicin. This combination, when added to water, converts to allicin in a test tube. However, a test tube is a very different environment from our digestive tract.

Science has, for years, deemed allicin as the compound responsible for garlic’s health benefits. Once again, in test tubes, allicin has shown an ability to kill bacteria and fungus. However, research also indicates that the garlic supplements used to demonstrate its health benefits contain insignificant amounts of allicin, if any. The benefits of garlic are most likely the result of a synergy of the various compounds absorbed by the body.

Clinical Trials Of Garlic Supplements

We return to the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) to provide an overview of garlic clinical trials and the role of allicin. Most clinical trials since the 1980s have used garlic powder products, from dehydrated and pulverized whole clove supplements, to study the effects on cholesterol and blood pressure. To be fair, results are mixed, there appears to be a benefit on blood pressure levels for hypertensive subjects, although cholesterol reaction found little to no effect. Due to inconsistencies in the studies, such as variance in dose, product types, and very importantly, the identification of active compounds and bioavailability, results are inconclusive.

The studies confirm the efficacy of allicin in vitro; however, question the allicin bioavailability from the various supplements. Stated differently, allicin is not present in many of the top garlic products due to its instability and reactivity.

best garlic supplements

Garlic Supplement Benefits

Speaking of benefits … a product which is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal, and provides cardiovascular protection, is anticancer, protects the digestive system, is anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, and neuroprotective has awesome potential.

As noted, recent findings indicate garlic has a beneficial effect on high blood pressure. Eleven new studies of garlic supplements and blood pressure showed garlic reduced systolic blood pressure by an average of 4.6 mmHg.

Additional potential benefits of garlic supplementation:

  • Reduced Chance of Cold and Flu – and shorter duration
  • Prevention of Heart Disease
  • Anti-Aging – Allium vegetables are a good source of antioxidants and contain compounds that may have an anti-aging effect by counteracting the glycation process.
  • Anti-bacterial and Anti-parasitic – Garlic has antibiotic properties and is considered one of our best natural options because its chemicals have antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties.
  • Cancer Prevention – several studies have indicated an association between daily consumption of garlic and prevention of stomach and colorectal cancers.

In alternative medicine, garlic/allicin is said to protect against the following health problems:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol

Author Dan Buettner has published the most thorough investigation of centenarians in his bestseller, Blue Zones. It is an intriguing read and offers fascinating insights as to how and why certain peoples around the world, those living in what he refers to as Blue Zones, enjoy such long lives. One of the factors possibly influencing their health, vitality, and longevity, is their diet, emphasizing vegetables such as beans and garlic and onions in the Allium family.

garlic supplement for overall health

Dispelling The Garlic Myths

Garlic Does Not Detoxify Your Blood

Unfortunately, most products, including garlic, that claim to detoxify your body are not true. These claims are not backed by scientific evidence.

Garlic Does Not Combat Acne

Although those suffering from acne will try almost anything to clear their skin, garlic is not the solution. We couldn’t find any medical research to support anti-acne claims.

How Much Garlic Do You Need

World Health Organization recommendations:

  • 2 grams to 5 grams of fresh garlic
  • .4 gram to 1.2 grams of dried garlic powder
  • 2 milligrams to 5 milligrams of garlic oil
  • 300 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams of garlic extract

As an example, our top recommendation, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract’s recommended serving is two capsules, 600 mg, twice per day, or 1,200mg.

garlic cloves

What Forms Of Garlic Supplements Are Available?

As previously stated, there are four primary types of garlic supplements available today: garlic oils, garlic powders, garlic oil macerates, and aged garlic extract.

Is Garlic Supplementation Safe?

With our endorsement, we also must note that garlic supplementation can have side effects, such as diarrhea, heartburn, gas, and nausea. And, for people in certain situations, garlic can have dangerous side effects.

For Those Preparing For Surgery

Garlic can disrupt anti-coagulants, so before any surgery, discuss your garlic supplement with your physician in case you need to stop taking them. Also, garlic supplements may not be advisable for those taking blood-thinning medication.

Garlic Allergies

Some people suffer an allergic reaction after consuming garlic. The most common symptoms include rash, headache, and high temperature. Although rare, garlic has caused anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction.

Topical Application – Again Garlic Is Not For Treating Acne

Garlic contains a potent chemical compound, diallyl disulfide. This compound can irritate the skin and even cause a burn that may take months to fade.

Pets

Being a part of the onion family, garlic is poisonous to pets. Never feed onion related foods, either raw or cooked, to pets.

As we always recommend, consult with your medical professional before adding a garlic supplement to your regimen. Even though it’s a natural product, garlic may still interact with other medications.

Will Garlic Supplements Benefit Me?

Seldom are we as definitive in endorsing a product as we are with garlic. Whether you achieve your daily recommended dosage via whole food, garlic powder supplement, garlic oil, or aged garlic extract, we’re confident you will receive many of the promised health benefits. If you have concerns regarding heart health and blood pressure, we think this is a no-brainer to add to your regimen.

Best Garlic Supplements

When selecting the best garlic supplements, we scoured the market for brands that adhere to the following:

  • Product attributes; odorless, Organic Certified, Non-GMO
  • We ensured the products are manufactured in a certified cGMP facility (Good Manufacturing Practices)
  • We looked for companies and brands that have independent third-party testing and money-back guarantees

Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract – Cardiovascular, from Wakanuga of America Company

Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract - Cardiovascular, from Wakanuga of America Company

Wakanuga offers the most extensive line of garlic supplements on the market today under the Kyolic brand name. They dominate the market in the natural products space, particularly in brick and mortar retailers. Kyolic has sixteen sku’s featuring aged garlic extract as a primary ingredient in liquid, capsules, vegetarian capsules, tablets, and soft gels. They meet or exceed all our criteria in terms of manufacturing and third-party testing. With over 750 scientific studies and counting, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract is the number one choice of consumers looking to promote heart health and address blood pressure and circulation.

Kyolic Cardiovascular contains 600 mg of odorless, aged garlic extract in two capsules or tablets (per serving). They are designed to support and strengthen your cardiovascular system by maintaining circulatory function and promoting overall heart health.

Three-hundred capsules retail for $12.99 online at VitaminShoppe.com, or $11.84 at Amazon.com.

Odorless Garlic, 1500 mg, from NaturaLife Labs

Odorless Garlic, 1500 mg, from NaturaLife Labs

Each NaturaLife soft gel capsule delivers a full 1,500 mg of garlic per serving, earning it the Maximum Strength label. The product is made with fresh California grown, organic garlic, free of chemical processing, and contains no fillers, magnesium stearate, dioxides, preservatives, gluten, sugar, yeast, or starch.

Manufactured in an FDA registered facility in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices and third party tested. Supported by a 100% Money-Back Guarantee.

One-hundred and fifty soft gels sell for $11.99 on Amazon.com.

Odorless Garlic Extract, from Sundown

Odorless Garlic Extract, from Sundown

Sundown is a brand in the Nature’s Bounty Company portfolio.  Other trusted Nature’s Bounty brands in the natural product’s space include Met-RX, Pure Protein, Body Fortress, Solgar, and, of course, Nature’s Bounty. The company manufactures and markets more than 16,000 nutritional supplement items.

All Nature’s Bounty products and ingredients are manufactured in cGMP facilities and subjected to independent third-party testing by United States Pharmacopeia and STR (Specialized Technology Resources).

Made with odorless garlic extract and free of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners. All Sundown products are Non-GMO certified.

At 250 soft gels for $8.30, this is one of the best values in the category.

Garlic Force, by New Chapter

Garlic Force, by New Chapter

In a unique approach, New Chapter manufactures Garlic Force with dual extracts of garlic plus complementary herbs like ginger and organic oregano to add the whole-food benefits of garlic. The product is Non-GMO Project Verified, 100% vegetarian, gluten, dairy, and soy-free, with no synthetic fillers, and no artificial flavors or colors.

This more premium formulation comes at a cost, 30 vegetarian capsules retail for $23.97.

Garlic Supplement Alternatives

For those seeking the heart health benefits of garlic, there are two popular supplement options, CoQ10 and Omega 3. Consuming more garlic in your diet is another option. In fact, using garlic instead of salt to flavor food is also an excellent way for people to manage their high blood pressure.

To Summarize: Garlic Supplements And Your Health

Regardless of who is more accurate in the “allicin versus the synergy of garlic compounds debate,” we are confident a garlic supplement can be beneficial. We’ve discussed garlic supplements, its benefits, and the best garlic supplements. Most garlic supplements are relatively inexpensive, so the cost of adding them to your regimen is minimal.

You May Also Like
Health Benefits Of Fasting – What This Type Of Diet Can Do

Health Benefits Of Fasting – What This Type Of Diet Can Do

There is a wide range of different fitness, health, nutrition, and wellness trends that have completely taken over the industry. Some have more research backing them than others, some are more effective than others, and some are just straight hogwash.  Of all the...

Best Form Of Magnesium – Get The Most Health Benefits

Best Form Of Magnesium – Get The Most Health Benefits

We set out in this “Best Of” article to identify the various forms of magnesium used in dietary supplements, to review their benefits, and to suggest which form and format might be best for you. In the process, we discovered that the types and combinations of...

Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil – Which Is Better For Your Health?

Krill Oil Vs. Fish Oil – Which Is Better For Your Health?

Fish oil and krill oil both contain omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA – two types of omega-3 fatty acids that are widely known for their benefit on our heart and brain health. However, although both oils contain omega 3 fatty acids, some claim that krill oil...

Best Vitamins For Energy – Top 8 Choices To Keep You Moving

Best Vitamins For Energy – Top 8 Choices To Keep You Moving

Whether you are preparing to seize the day, hit the road on an afternoon escapade, or hitting the gym, you always need an ample amount of energy. Sure you can get some energy from the food you eat or drinks you down, but are you really getting enough? That's where...

Intermittent Fasting Vs. Keto – Which Is The Better Diet?

Intermittent Fasting Vs. Keto – Which Is The Better Diet?

Diets come into vogue and then gradually lose popularity. There have been the Atkins Diet, the Scarsdale, the Beverly Hills, and the South Beach. Leading us to the Paleo, the low-carb, no-carb, slow-carb, and the Ketogenic Diet. Then there is the IIFYM (If It Fits...

Dr. Gundry Supplements – Are Gundry MD Supplements Worth Using?

Dr. Gundry Supplements – Are Gundry MD Supplements Worth Using?

One of the hottest topics in scientific research today is the microbiome and Dr. Steven Gundry knows that better than most. Dr. Gundry is the founder of Gundry MD, a well-known health and wellness company with a large focus on the microbiome. Dr. Gundry supplements...

Disclosure: Some of the links in our articles are from our advertisers. Learn more about how we make money.

Contents

Reviews

Latest Fitness Profiles

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramReese WitherspoonActress Born: 1976Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born in Louisiana and grew up in Tennessee. Her first foray into show biz was in a tv commercial at age 7 which motivated her to take acting lessons. A high-achiever,...

Krysten Ritter

Krysten Ritter

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramKrysten RitterActressBorn: 1981Krysten Ritter was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania. At age 15, she was discovered by a modeling agent while shopping at the mall. Ritter moved to New York and became a print, tv and runway model. After...

Ian Somerhalder

Ian Somerhalder

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramIan SomerhalderActorBorn: 1978Ian Somerhalder grew up in Louisiana. He started modeling when he was 10 and by age 17, decided to make acting his career. He found small roles in tv and film at first, and his breakout came in 2004 with...

Emmy Rossum

Emmy Rossum

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramEmmy RossumActress Born: 1986Emmanuelle Rossum is from New York City. She was raised by her mother and has only met her father twice. Diagnosed with ADHD in kindergarten, Rossum eventually dropped out of school to pursue her career. She...

Kai Greene

Kai Greene

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagramKai GreeneBodybuilder Born: 1975Leslie Kai Greene was born in Brooklyn, New York and was placed in foster care at age 6. His disruptive behavior at school prompted a teacher to suggest bodybuilding. Greene was enthusiastic about the...

Latest Reviews

Burn Lab Pro Review – Can This Supplement Burn Your Fats Away?

If burning fat were easy, everyone would be doing it. No one would have to fight for their ‘summer bod’ because they would already have it. Looking in the mirror would give people confidence, rather than eliminate it. Life would be much, much better. ...

Clean BCAA Review – Should You Use This Clean Machine Supplement?

Are you in search of a supplement to help you increase your muscle mass? Or a supplement to maximize your workout results? There are tons of options out there that claim they can provide these benefits. While some may measure up, others fall short. Clean BCAA by Clean...

Related Articles

Best Time To Take Collagen – Get The Most Benefits For Your Body

If you spend a few minutes on social media these days then chances are you will come across collagen. It’s quite the craze from fitness enthusiasts to celebrities, and for good reason!  The truth is collagen is a great supplement for just about anyone. If you are...

Best Natural Nootropics – Top 4 Picks For Better Brain Power

Are you looking for supplements that will boost your brainpower? Are you looking for ways to boost your mental performance during exams or a tense job interview? Mental or cognitive performance such as memory, reaction time, alertness, and mood are all very important...

Brain-Gut Axis – The Complete Guide

Research into gut health, the microbiome, and “biotics” (prebiotics and probiotics) continues at an unprecedented rate as scientists discover benefits far beyond those in the more established areas of digestive and immune health.  In this guide, we will provide a...

Top Rated Supplements
Best Supplements

Our team has reviewed hundreds of popular supplements - these are our 9 favorites.


Check Out the List

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This