CPHRL Research Lab

Eat Raw Garlic to Reduce Risk of Lung Cancer


Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer in both men and women. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 205,974 Americans were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009.  Now, it has been found that by eating raw garlic twice a week one can easily reduce the risk of lung cancer – even for smokers. This interesting fact has been found by a group of researchers working at the Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in China

The research study is published online in Cancer Prevention Research where consumption of raw garlic is linked to lower risk of suffering from lung cancer. Whether cooked garlic has the same benefits has not been investigated yet.

A group of scientists at the Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in China studied 4,500 adults in perfect health and 1,424 adults with lung cancer from 2003 to 2010. In this study, each of the people was questioned on their dietary and lifestyle habits, including how often they consumed garlic and whether they smoked.

After a thorough study of years, it was found that those who ate raw garlic at least twice weekly had a significantly lower chance of contracting lung cancer. In fact, the scientists came to the conclusion that people who ate raw garlic are 44% less likely to suffer from lung cancer, even if they were exposed to high-temperature cooking-oil fumes, which is thought to be another trigger for the disease. Raw garlic can even reduce the risk in smokers by 30 %, the research suggested.  It is a known fact that smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. In fact, long-term smoking accounts for 9 out of every 10 cases of lung cancer.

According to the authors of this research work, benefits of raw garlic may be linked to a chemical called allicin, which is released once the garlic is either smashed or diced. This chemical is rumored to not only reduce inflammation but also decrease the damage from free radicals to the body’s cells.

The study authors said, “Protective association between intake of raw garlic and lung cancer has been observed with a dose-response pattern, suggesting that garlic may potentially serve as a chemo-preventive agent for lung cancer.” However, the researchers did not look at cooked garlic in this study.

Previous research has also shown that consumption of garlic can help a lot to prevent various forms of cancer. A study from the New York Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical Center suggested that a compound found in garlic, selenium, may possess an anti-cancer property. Other research from the Medical University of South Carolina, found that organosulfur compounds found in garlic may play a part in killing brain cancer cells.

If you wish to keep yourself safe from lung cancer, eating one to two raw garlic cloves in a week is a good option. Also raw garlic can prevent and treat other ailments, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. But se sure not to consume too much of raw garlic as it can cause side effects. The safe amount of raw garlic is one to two cloves a day.



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