Garlic Drastically Deflates Lung Cancer Risk

Garlic has long been revered for its health promoting qualities, first recognised as a medicinal substance in 2000 BC when it was used in the treatment of poisoning.  

Garlic has proven antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant and cardio-protective effects on the body, so it is no wonder it has become a staple in 'kitchen first aid kits' worldwide. 

New research published in the July edition of Cancer Prevention Research shows that raw garlic when eaten regularly also slashes lung cancer risk.

The population-based case-control study conducted in China reported that certain compounds in garlic have effective cancer-protection qualities. 

Researchers quizzed 1424 lung-cancer patients and 4543 healthy individuals on their dietary and lifestyle habits over a seven year period.

After adjusting results for other compounding lifestyle and environmental factors, results showed that people who ate raw garlic twice or more weekly had a 44% lower risk of developing lung cancer in comparison to individuals who ate garlic less than twice weekly. 

Even cigarette smokers were found to have a staggering 30% approximate reduction in risk of lung cancer with frequent garlic intake. 

The protective effect of raw garlic consumption on lung cancer is supported by multiple in vitro and animal experimental studies.

Researchers believe a number of mechanisms are involved, including inhibition of cellular proliferation, mutations and tumour growth, as well as modulation of immune responses and free radical scavenging to reduce oxidative stress.

Less specific cancer-protective effects of garlic include infection control, reduction of inflammation and protection of body tissues (eg. lungs) from carcinogens. 

The active constituents believed to be responsible for most of the beneficial effects of garlic are collectively known as organosulfur compounds. These include allicin, diallyl sulfide, diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide.

Researchers concluded, “protective association between consumption of raw garlic and lung cancer has been observed in present study with a clear dose–response pattern, suggesting that raw garlic consumption may potentially serve as a chemopreventive agent for lung cancer.”


Easy Ways To Eat More Garlic

Eating garlic raw is the best way to reap health benefits from this medicinal bulb as the volatile oil in raw garlic is rich in active cancer-fighting compounds called organosulfur compounds.

Crush 1-2 cloves of garlic and mix it in with:

  • Some sliced avocado and tomato on spelt/wheat free toast
  • Mixed beans, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil for a tasty snack or blend these ingredients for a quick and easy bean dip
  • Add to homemade salad dressing, tomato salsa and guacamole 
  • Add to sautéed greens (eg. broccoli, beans, spinach) with some lemon juice after cooking to serve
  • Add to soup or pasta just after cooking for a delicious flavour boost

If you are brave enough you can try adding some raw honey to your crushed garlic on a spoon and eat it straight! 

Aim to eat around 2 cloves of raw garlic daily for powerful health promoting effects. 


Did You Know? 

Researchers identified a number of specific risk factors for lung cancer in this study in addition to cigarettes including: eating fried foods, smoke/emissions from high-temperature cooking oil, air pollution, coal-related pollution, indoor emissions from household combustion and occupational exposures to substances such as asbestos. 


Further Reading: 



Jin, Z. et al. 2013, Raw Garlic Consumption as a Protective Factor for Lung Cancer, a Population-Based Case–Control Study in a Chinese Population, Cancer Prevention Research, Vol. 6