Eating garlic can prevent lung cancer, according to Chinese study

GarlicSuperfoodEating garlic twice a week can cut the chances of lung cancer by almost half, according to research published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

In the study, Chinese researchers determined those who ate raw garlic at least twice a week cut the risk of lung cancer by 44 per cent.

Moreover, the reduction occurred even if participants were exposed to high-temperature cooking-oil fumes, which is thought to be another trigger for lung cancer.

The study also found tremendous benefit for smokers: in this high-risk group the herb even reduced the risk by 30 percent.

Scientists at the Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in China carried out face-to-face interviews with 1,424 lung cancer patients, and with 4,500 healthy adults, over a seven-year period.

Each one was questioned on their dietary and lifestyle habits, including how often they consumed garlic and whether they smoked.

The key ingredient offering the cancer protection appears to be a chemical called allicin, released when the clove is crushed or chopped.

Allicin is believed to reduce inflammation in the body and act as an antioxidant, reducing damage from “free radicals” to the body’s cells.

A free radicals is a molecule that bears an unpaired electron and is extremely reactive in the body. It is capable of engaging in rapid chain reactions that destabilize other molecules and generate additional free radicals.

Free radicals are thought to be caused by a myriad of health hazards. The long list includes pollution exposure, smoking, drug use, stress, consumption fried foods and chemical additives, among other things.

It’s not clear whether cooked garlic has the same effect; however, other studies have demonstrated a lower antioxidant count in cooked garlic

In a report on their findings the researchers said: “Garlic may potentially serve as a preventive agent for lung cancer.”

Sources: ScienceDaily.com, Cancer Prevention Research.