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Garlic is intensely flavorful and aromatic and can virtually be used in preparing almost all kinds of food. When taken raw, it is associated with tremendous health benefits due to its constituent compounds.. Raw garlic has few calories and is highly nutritious. A 28-gram or one ounce of raw garlic comprise of manganese, vitamin B 16, selenium, vitamin C, and fiber. It also has decent amounts of copper, phosphorous, vitamin B1, calcium, potassium, and iron. Moreover, according to Rahman & Lowe (2006), regular intake of garlic significantly helps in preventing keeping stroke, cancer, stroke, and infections. Raw garlic is known to remove the buildup of plaque in the arteries hence help in reversing early heart disease (Rahman & Lowe , 2006). It accomplishes this by preventing the development of new plaque and reducing the accumulation of soft plaque in the arteries (WebMD, 2018).
Moreover, raw garlic falls under the category of allium vegetables, whose bioactive sulfur compounds have proven to be effective at the formation of each stage of cancer. Furthermore, the risks of the cancers of the stomach, pancreas, colon, breast, and esophagus are reduced with increased garlic intake (Kris-Etherton, et al., 2002). Besides, garlic has antibacterial properties, which are responsible for its protective characteristics. Hence, it can enhance the repair of DNA, induce the death of cancer cells, block cancer-causing substances formation and activation, and reduce the proliferation of cells (Kris-Etherton, et al., 2002). According to Corzo-Martinez, Corzo, & Villamiel (2007), increased intake of raw garlic significantly reduces the risks of developing breast and pancreatic cancers (Corzo-Martinez, Corzo, & Villamiel, 2007).
The need for medication can indeed be reduced if the positive health contributions that garlic are taken into consideration. As Corzo-Martinez, Corzo, & Villamiel (2007) argues, raw garlic has indeed been effective in the treatment of infections and colds. However, according to Kris-Etherton, et al., (2002), this is primarily attributed to the presence of allicin, a specific compound found in plant. Incidentally, allicin is highly effective for killing various microorganisms responsible for some of the rarest and most common infections such as common colds. Moreover, according Williams, et al., (2010), raw garlic has a special ability to regulate the levels of blood sugar and hence, potentially decreasing or stopping diabetes complications' effects (Williams, et al., 2010). Besides, it has been proven to mitigate the common diabetic related complications such as nephropathy and atherosclerosis. Moreover, raw garlic is used in some places such as Turkey to make garlic gel, which, in turn, used for the treatment of baldness and other hair loss prevention therapies (Rivlin, 2001). It helps in treating alopecia, an autoimmune skin disease responsible for hair loss on the face, scalp, and other body parts (Drugs.com, 2018).
Reasons Why Multi-Vitamin Supplement is Recommended by Medical Professionals and Its Method of Action
Some scholars have always associated multivitamins with fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. However, according to Haskell, et al. (2010), failure to eat enough vegetables and fruits deprives the body of essential nutrients that can lower the risks of getting cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other health conditions (Haskell, et al., 2010). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that we should consume 2 to 3 cups of vegetable and between one and a half to two cups of fruits daily. However, this is rarely the case. A study commissioned by the CDC revealed that 87% of adults do not eat the required amount of vegetables and 76% of adults do not eat sufficient fruits (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). To ensure that the body gets the minerals and vitamins it needs, it is essential that we eat multivitamins. It makes up for the deficits that arise when the body is deprived of enough foods (Botto, et al., 2003).
Medical professionals recommend multivitamins for purposes of healthy aging, benefits to the heart, cancer risk reduction, immunity booster as well as eye, hair and skin health. As a person ages, it gradually becomes harder for his or her body to efficiently absorb nutrients despite the increase in nutritional needs (Botto, et al., 2003). Those under medication have their bodies further depleted of nutrients. Fortunately, these deficiencies can be offset by a multivitamin. Also, studies have demonstrated that high quality multivitamin uptake can reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases. Magnesium, Niacin (B3), Vitamins, B1, B2, B6, CoQ10, and K1 play significant roles in cardiovascular health restoration. Some studies have also suggested that the use of multivitamin reduces the risk of cancer (Botto, et al., 2003).
Multivitamins such as Vitamin C, D, E are reputable for their ability to strengthen the body's immune system and allergy symptoms' reduction. Besides, Niacin (B3), selenium as well as Vitamin A, C, E support the health of the eye. Zeaxanthin and Lutein also protect the eyes from excess light waves that are harmful (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Moreover, multivitamin mixture of zeaxanthin, vitamins, and lutein have been proven to reduce macular degeneration risk. Multivitamins that are water soluble such as Vitamins B and C are not stored in the body, and, therefore, can be taken daily (NCBI, n.d).
Excessive intake of Iron and Vitamins A, E has been associated with some health risks. This means that though a multivitamin is nutrient-rich, it can be an overkill as well. A patient who eats a balanced diet but still takes a multivitamin is at the risk of having too much of particular minerals and vitamins. It is recommended that a person only get the doses of particular vitamins or minerals that the body lacks and cannot be provided for by the diet. For instance, the elderly requires calcium to enhance their bone formations (MedicineNet.com, 2014).
Botto, L. D., Mulinare, J., & Erickson, D. (2003). Do multivitamin or folic acid supplements reduce the risk for congenital heart defects? Evidence and gaps. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 121A (2), 95-101.
Bruton-Seal, J. (2011). Kitchen medicine: household remedies for common ailments and domestic emergencies. [Place of publication not identified]: Oak Knoll.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, Mar. 06). Micronutrient Facts. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/immpact/micronutrients/index.html
Corzo-Martinez, M., Corzo, N., & Villamiel, M. (2007). Biological properties of onions and garlic. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 18 (12), 609-625.
Drugs.com. (2018, Mar. 05). What is garlic? Retrieved from Drugs.com: https://www.drugs.com/mtm/garlic.html
Haskell, C. F., Robertson, B., Jones, E., Forster, J., Jones, R., Wilde, A., . . . Kennedy, D. O. (2010). Effects of a multivitamin/mineral supplement on cognitive function and fatigue during extended multitasking. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical & Experimental, 25(6), 448-461.
Kris-Etherton, P. M., Hecker, D. D., Bonanome, A., Coval, S. M., Binkoski, A. E., & Hilpert, D. F. (2002). Bioactive compounds in foods: their role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The American Journal of Medicine, 113(9), 71-88.
MedicineNet.com. (2014, Feb.). multivitamins (includes prenatal vitamins) - oral. MedicineNet.com. Retrieved from: https://www.medicinenet.com/multivitamins_includes_prenatal_vitamins-oral/article.htm
NCBI. (n.d). Vitamin, Mineral, and Multivitamin Supplements for the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: A Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force [Internet]. NCBI. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK173990/
Rahman, K., & Lowe , G. M. (2006). Garlic and Cardiovascular Disease: A Critical Review. The Journal of Nutrition, 136 (3), 736S-740S.
Rivlin, R. S. (2001). Historical Perspective on the Use of Garlic. The Journal of Nutrition, 131(13), 951S-954S.
WebMD. (2018). Garlic. WebMD. Retrieved from: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-300/garlic
Williams, F. M., Skinner, J., Spector, T. D., Cassidy, A., Clark, I. M., Davidson , R. M., & MacGregor, A. J. (2010). Dietary garlic and hip osteoarthritis: evidence of a protective effect and putative mechanism of action. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11 (280).
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