A landmark study published in Food Chemistry pitted 34 vegetables in vitro against eight types of human cancer cells: breast cancer, brain tumors, kidney cancer, lung cancer, childhood brain tumors, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer. Taking breast cancer, for example, seven vegetables (eggplant, bok choy, carrot, tomato, endive, and fennel) appeared useless, suppressing breast cancer cell growth no more than the control, six veggies (orange bell pepper, english cucumber, radicchio, jalapeño, potato, and beetroot) nearly halved cancer growth, but five crushed cancer growth completely: cauliflower, brussels sprouts, green onion, leek, and garlic.
Most top cancer-preventing vegetables belong to one of two superfood families: cruciferous vegetables and the allium family, which includes garlic, leeks, and onions. Of dozens of vegetables, garlic came in first against cancers of the breast, brain, lung, pancreas, prostate, and stomach, and second after leeks against kidney cancer.
Comparing the effects of garlic and other vegetables on the growth of cancer cells and normal cells, researchers found that the same garlic dose that blocked nearly 80 percent of cancer cell proliferation appeared to have no effect against normal cells. Similar results were found for the other allium and cruciferous vegetables. In other words, vegetables are selective; they destroy cancer cells but leave normal cells alone.
Garlic and other allium family vegetables appear to have special properties beyond being chemopreventive. For example, garlic has also been found to lower blood pressure, regulate cholesterol, stimulate immunity, and improve artery function. What’s more, the best available balance of evidence suggests that garlic may even prevent occurrences of the common cold.
The information on this page has been compiled from the research presented in the videos listed. Sources for each video can be found by going to the video’s page and clicking on the Sources Cited tab.
Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Garlic
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How Not To Age – Live Presentation
In this live lecture, Dr. Greger offers a sneak peek into his latest book, How Not to Age.
Does Eating Garlic Reduce Mosquito Bites?
Garlic is put to the test as a repellent for mosquitoes and ticks.
Natural Alternatives to DEET Mosquito Repellent
Picaridin, citronella, and lemon eucalyptus are put to the test.
The Best Diet for Cancer Patients
What diet should oncologists recommend?
How to Treat H. Pylori Naturally with Diet
What food can eradicate H. pylori in the majority of patients?
Blocking the Cancer Metastasis Enzyme MMP-9 with Beans and Chickpeas
Which legumes are best at inhibiting the matrix metalloproteinase enzymes that allow cancer to become invasive?
Which Foods Are Anti-Inflammatory?
Foods that reduce inflammation. What does an anti-inflammatory diet look like?
The Efficacy and Side Effects of Moringa Leaf Powder
Why don’t I recommend moringa?
What to Eat for Stroke Prevention
More than 90% of stroke risk is attributable to modifiable risk factors.
Benefits of Quinoa for Lowering Triglycerides
How do the nutrition and health effects of quinoa compare to whole grains?
Benefits of Garlic for Fighting Cancer and the Common Cold
Raw garlic is compared to roasted, stir-fried, simmered, and jarred garlic.
Benefits of Garlic Powder for Heart Disease
See what a penny a day worth of garlic powder can do.
Evidence-Based Weight Loss – Live Presentation
In this live presentation, Dr. Greger offers a sneak peek into his book How Not to Diet.
Recipe: Garlic Caesar Salad Dressing
My go-to salad dressing, from the How Not to Die Cookbook.
How to Reduce Cholesterol Oxidation
Chicken, fish, and egg powder in processed foods present greater risk from cholesterol oxidation byproducts, but there are things you can do to reduce exposure.
Natural Treatment for Acne and Fungal Infections
Green tea may help with athlete’s foot, dental plaque, acne, impetigo, and bladder infections, but if it’s so good at killing bacteria, what may it do to our gut flora?
Best Food for Lead Poisoning – Garlic
Are there any benefits of garlic powder for treating mild-to-moderate lead poisoning?
Best Foods for Lead Poisoning: Chlorella, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Moringa?
All plants produce “phytochelatins” to bind up heavy metals to protect themselves from the harmful effects, so what if we ate the plants?
Benefits of Marjoram for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Even a small amount of fresh herbs can double or even quadruple the antioxidant power of a meal. The abilities of oregano to decrease chromosomal damage from radiation and marjoram to affect hormone levels in women with PCOS are put to the test.
Is Miso Healthy?
Miso is packed with sodium, which is linked to both stomach cancer and high blood pressure, so is it safe to consume?
Shaking the Salt Habit
What three things can we do to lower our sodium intake? Are there any tricks for interpreting nutrition facts labeling on processed foods?
Inhibiting Platelet Activation with Garlic and Onions
Why should we wait ten minutes after chopping or crushing garlic before we cook it unless we’re going in for elective surgery within the next week?
Turmeric Curcumin, MGUS, & Multiple Myeloma
Which plant and animal foods are associated with the development of multiple myeloma, and what effect might the spice turmeric have on the progression of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance?
Garlic & Raisins to Prevent Premature Birth
Consumption of even small amounts of garlic or raisins are associated with significantly lower risk of pregnant women going into premature labor or having their water break too soon.
Which Nut Fights Cancer Better?
Within hours the blood of those fed walnuts is able to suppress the growth of breast cancer cells in a petri dish. Which nut might work best, though—almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, or walnuts?
Reducing Radiation Damage with Ginger & Lemon Balm
A component of cooked ginger root protects human white blood cells in vitro against radiation-induced genetic damage, and lemon balm tea appears to protect radiology staff against radiation-induced oxidative stress.
Cancer, Interrupted: Garlic & Flavonoids
Garlic and flavonoid phytonutrients found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains appear to protect against DNA damage induced by mutagenic chemicals found in cooked meat.
Prostate vs. Plants
All men should consider eating a prostate-healthy diet, which includes legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soy); certain vegetables (like garlic and onions); certain seeds (flax seeds); and the avoidance of refined grains, eggs, and poultry.
New Mineral Absorption Enhancers Found
The whole grain phytonutrient phytic acid (phytate) partially inhibits mineral absorption, but has a wide range of health-promoting properties, such as anticancer activity. By concurrently eating mineral absorption enhancers, such as garlic and onions, one can get the best of both worlds by improving the bioavailability of iron and zinc in plant foods.
Dangerous Advice from Health Food Store Employees
Employees in natural food stores have been caught giving advice that is not only scientifically baseless, but also risky and downright dangerous.
Vegetables Rate by Nitrate
If nitrates can boost athletic performance and protect against heart disease, which vegetables have the most—beans, bulb vegetables (like garlic and onions), fruiting vegetables (like eggplant and squash), greens (such as arugula), mushrooms, root vegetables (such as carrots and beets), or stem vegetables (such as celery and rhubarb)?
Pretty in Pee-nk
Beeturia, the passage of pink urine after beetroot consumption, is a reminder that phytonutrients circulate throughout our bloodstream—explaining the connection between “garlic breath,” and the use of garlic as an adjunct treatment for pneumonia.
Best Cooking Method
Which are the gentlest cooking methods for preserving nutrients, and which vegetables have more antioxidants cooked than raw?