Garlic and aged garlic extract (AGE) have been shown to help improve immune cell function and reduce the severity of infections like colds and flu (1).
In addition to boosting general immune function, studies suggest that garlic has strong anti-cancer properties. Garlic works to protect against cancer by reducing free radicals, increasing glutathione, repairing DNA, and preventing chromosomal damage, among others (2).
Studies show that aged garlic extract (AGE) can modulate immune cell distribution and increase serum levels of inflammation-fighting TNF-α and IL-6 (3). This may help reduce the development of low-grade inflammatory chronic diseases, especially related to obesity.
Garlic has been shown to improve cardiovascular function and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. One study suggests that garlic can reduce serum cholesterol (10). Others show that garlic supplementation reduces blood pressure in those with hypertension (11).
Studies also show that garlic has hypoglycemic effects and can reduce fasting blood sugar levels (12).
Low-temperature aged garlic (LTAG) and raw garlic have been shown to reduce acute stress and may moderate depression by decreasing stress hormones such as cortisol, corticotropin-releasing factor, and corticosterone (15).
Garlic has been shown to increase exercise endurance and improve fatigue, whether related to physical exertion, fatigue from illness, or general tiredness from an unknown cause (13).
Why garlic helps fatigue is still being studied, but some research points to garlic’s ability to reduce oxidative stress, facilitate glucose metabolism, and enhance oxygenation in muscles as the mechanisms of action (14).
Aged garlic extract (AGE) has shown potential anti-allergic effects. Studies show that AGE can reduce the body’s allergic responses by modifying the function of immune cells, specifically altering the function of mast cells, basophils, and T lymphocytes to reduce the allergic cascade and inflammatory response (4).
The anti-inflammatory effect of garlic has been recommended to help improve sleep in those with conditions like sleep apnea (16).