What are the benefits of garlic?

Mildred

Reading — Intermediate Level
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Activity

Read the text and answer the questions


Garlic has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Records indicate that garlic was in use when the Giza pyramids were built, about 5,000 years ago.

Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (circa. 460-370 BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine,” prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Hippocrates promoted the use of garlic for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion, and fatigue.

The original Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece were given garlic – possibly the earliest example of “performance enhancing” agents used in sports.

Below are examples of some scientific studies published in peer-reviewed academic journals about the therapeutic benefits (or not) of garlic.

Lung cancer risk
People who ate raw garlic at least twice a week during the 7 year study period had a 44 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study conducted at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China.

The researchers, who published their study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, carried out face-to-face interviews with 1,424 lung cancer patients and 4,543 healthy individuals. They were asked about their diet and lifestyle, including questions on smoking and how often they ate garlic.

The study authors wrote: “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.”

Brain cancer
Organo-sulfur compounds found in garlic have been identified as effective in destroying the cells in glioblastomas, a type of deadly brain tumor.

Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina reported in the journal Cancer that three pure organo-sulfur compounds from garlic – DAS, DADS, and DATS – “demonstrated efficacy in eradicating brain cancer cells, but DATS proved to be the most effective.”

Co-author, Ray Swapan, Ph.D., said “This research highlights the great promise of plant-originated compounds as natural medicine for controlling the malignant growth of human brain tumor cells. More studies are needed in animal models of brain tumors before application of this therapeutic strategy to brain tumor patients.”
  1. When was garlic first used?

  2. Who prescribed garlic between 460-370 BC for a wide range of conditions and illnesses?

  3. What percentage of lower risk of developing lung cancer was obtained during the 7 year study period conducted at Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China?

  4. What compounds found in garlic that have been identified as effective in destroying the cells in glioblastomas?

  5. What did the scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina reported in the journal Cancer?

Discussion

Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below


  1. Do you like garlic? Why/why not?

  2. What are the other health benefits of garlic?

    Mildred

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    Vocabulary

      • extreme liredness
      • very serious and dangerous : tending or likely to grow and spread in a rapid and uncontrolled way that can cause death
      • an animal or plant that lives in or on another animal or plant and gets food or protection from it
      • producing good effects on your body or mind
      • a mass of tissue found in or on the body that is made up of abnormal cells

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