It may not do much for your breath, but new research appearing in the journal Cancer Prevention Research reveals consuming raw garlic can nearly halve a person’s risk of contracting lung cancer. According to Hayley Dixon of The Telegraph, men and women who regularly eat the popular culinary ingredient were 44 percent less likely to suffer from the disease. Furthermore, even smokers benefitted from a garlic-eating regimen, seeing their risk of contracting lung cancer by approximately 30 percent. The researchers from the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China responsible for the study believe that the benefits might be linked to a chemical known as allicin, explained FoxNews.com. Allicin is an organosulfur compound that is released once raw garlic is diced or smashed, and it is believed to reduce inflammation and act as an antioxidant to limit damage to the body’s cells from free radicals. The study authors analyzed information from over 1,400 lung cancer patients and
4,500 healthy adults that had been collected between the years of 2003 and 2010. Each individual was questioned about their eating habits and their overall lifestyle, including how frequently they consumed garlic and whether or not they were smokers. It is unclear at this point whether or not cooked garlic would have the same effect, Dixon said. “A previous study at the University of South Australia concluded that garlic could decrease the risks of bowel tumors by as much as a third, while other studies have found that garlic can help to repress common colds and assist with inflammation,” FoxNews.com said. “Although numerous studies have highlighted certain health benefits from eating raw garlic, they have yet to determine whether or not cooked garlic might possess the same capabilities.” Approximately 40,000 men and women in England and Wales are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, Dixon said, calling it “the deadliest form of the disease.” Smoking is believed to cause about 80 percent of all
lung cancer cases, and under 10 percent of all people who contract the disease are still five years alive following their diagnosis. Experts from the Nanjing Medical University School of Public Health, the Ganyu County Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Dafeng County Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the David Geffen School of Medicine’s Center for Human Nutrition, and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health were also involved in the research.