GARLIC AS A NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT?

Heidi Byrum - Nutrition in Health Care Spring 2016

Article Summary

The nutritional benefits of garlic are linked to the antioxidant allicin, a sulfur compound that is not only beneficial for its aromatic properties but also nutritious benefits to the body. According to the national library of medicine garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system, heart, high cholesterol and hypertension. Hultin (2016) reports that garlic supplementation is beneficial for decreasing diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Garlic is rated as possibly effective on the natural medicines comprehensive database. It is said to help in vasodilation, and inhibition of angiotensin ii, a hormone that narrows blood vessels and increases blood pressure (Hultin, 2016).

The article surmises that garlic has been used safely in clinical studies presenting no significant adverse effects and high doses did not bring about toxicity except for gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects with a garlic allergy.

Article Critique

I think the article was indistinct and did not give any concrete reasons as to why garlic would be beneficial as a supplement or not. The article did not get in-depth into what actual nutrients are derived from garlic – this I feel would help an individual better in deciding whether to start garlic supplements or include garlic in to their diets.

Furthermore the article doesn’t state whether garlic has more efficacy taken in its original form or whether store bought supplements are just as efficient – I feel like this information would be especially beneficial for people in deciding how best to improve and supplement their diet.

Ms. Ginger Hultin has a master’s degree in Nutrition so i think she is qualified enough to give some nutritional recommendations, the article was also strategically located on the academy for nutrition and dietetics organizations website which I also feel is a good enough source for nutritional information from the internet.

I think that the article is more unclear in it’s assumptions than it was scientifically correct. No evidence of scientific research is done and not enough information is given about the research that is cited – for example dates, the generation of people who took part in the research, the ethnic background of the participants. All these factors often help in dictating how efficient a supplement is as different people present different adverse effects.

Conclusion

I think there is compelling evidence on the benefits of incorporating garlic into one’s diet as a supplement and especially in its original form. More scientific research is needed on the actual nutritional benefits. Recommendations on alternatives could be made for people with allergies to garlic.

Citations

Hultin, G. (2016, February 26). Can Garlic Function as a Nutrition Supplement? Retrieved April 05, 2016, from http://www.foodandnutrition.org/March-April-2016/Can-Garlic-Function-as-a-Nutrition-Supplement/