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Garlic is one of those old folk remedies that is supposed to cure just about anything you can think of. And there is actually some good evidence behind some claims for garlic or allicin being able to prevent and treat various health conditions. So, which garlic supplement is the best one to choose from and which supplements actually contain stabilized allicin?
Do I take garlic supplements?
I believe that garlic is one of the best supplements you can take for your health. So of course, every day I take between two to four capsules of garlic.
I’ve been taking allicin max (a popular garlic supplement) for about eight years, and it has really helped me overcome a chronic health problem in the past. I had tried countless supplements previously, but garlic proved to be the most effective for an infection I had. I’ll talk more about my story a bit further into the article!
How to choose the best garlic supplement
When choosing a garlic supplement, it can be a little confusing to know which one you should choose. Below is a table of the types of garlic supplements that are generally found in health food shops. One of the issues is that many of the garlic supplements you find in stores don’t have the active ingredient known as allicin.
Below are a few garlic supplements which contain stabilized allicin. The supplement that I have the most experience with is Allicin Max, but the other supplements are also great and contain “allisure” – which means that you are guaranteed to be getting allicin into your body without the need for converting alliin inside the body to allicin.
#1. Allicin Max Powder Capsules – 180 mg
The best garlic supplement on the market is Allicin Max. Each capsule contains 180 mg of “allisure”. This is created with a patented process to deliver the most allicin into the body without any need for it to undergo a conversion process in the stomach.
This supplement has also been clinically tested in double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, and each batch tested for their ability to kill common pathogenic bacteria.
Studies have been published on the ability of allisure to kill MRSA, E. coli, and other bacteria. It’s also been used in studies to treat the common cold with great results.
Unlike many other garlic supplements, you know that you will get allicin into your system without the need to have the right stomach conditions.
You can see many other garlic supplement brands that have the wording “allicin potential”. This means that you are not guaranteed to get any allicin, it really depends on the environment of the stomach at the time of taking it. As already stated, this supplement is different because you are actually taking the active ingredient that has been stabilized inside the capsule.
Serving size – You can take one or two capsules a day for maintenance dose, but some people take between 2-10 per day to treat common infections. Each Allicin Max capsule is equivalent to eating around 25 cloves of garlic. Read the instruction leaflet for more information on dosing.
#2. Allimax (100% Allicin) – 180 mg
With each capsule, you’ll receive a guaranteed 180 mg of AC-23 allicin powder.
Since the original Allicin Max supplement was created and manufactured in the UK, Allimax US was created as a subsidiary company to get the garlic supplement to people in the United States more easily and at a reduced cost.
This is great for people who want to try one of the highest rated garlic supplements out there without having to pay the extra for shipping.
However, as expected since the release of this product, the price of Allicin Max in the US has come down considerably.
Serving size – Just one capsule per day is all you need for a good maintenance dose to help keep you healthy. Just like Allicin Max, you can increase this dose when needed.
#3. Allicin Plus C – 300 mg of Allicin
It also contains “allisure” – so you’re getting the stabilized form of allicin, which is able to be delivered fast into the bloodstream. And you’re also getting Vitamin C and 40 mg of Bioflavonoids to boost your immune system.
The supplement is useful for wintertime, when you may need a bigger dose of garlic to ward off infections.
Serving size – One capsule per day.
Benefits of taking garlic supplements
There are literally hundreds of studies looking at the health benefits you can get from consuming garlic in its various forms.
Some studies say that garlic helps and others say that it has little to no effect on various health conditions. Which one should you believe?
One of the reasons for the conflicting results could be the way the garlic supplements are processed. Cooking for example: it destroys some of the health effects you get from garlic. And who eats garlic raw? Not many people.
As mentioned allicin is very unstable and has a short half-life before breaking down into other compounds. Many garlic supplements don’t actually contain allicin at all, they rely on a reaction to take place inside the stomach which converts alliin into allicin by the enzyme alliinase.
Since the introduction of allicin max, allisure has been introduced into different garlic supplements, so it’s now easier to find a larger selection of garlic supplements than just Allicin Max.
Here are some of the benefits you can obtain from taking a garlic supplement. Also, if you want to know more, check out my in-depth review of garlic’s health benefits!
1. Garlic lowers blood pressure
Allicin helps lower blood pressure by increasing nitric oxide in the wall of the arteries. This helps the wall of the artery relax and so your blood pressure is lowered. A meta-analysis showed that taking garlic supplements helped lower blood pressure in those with hypertension.
Allicin also has several other effects by upregulating antioxidant enzymes (Nrf2) and reducing oxidative stress in the artery wall.
2. Garlic reduces cholesterol
Allicin is able to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by acting as an antioxidant and preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol, as well as reducing uptake of cholesterol by white blood cells.
In one study, researchers found that allicin improved the thickness of the artery in patients with coronary artery disease. Allicin also reduced homocysteine, total cholesterol, and triglycerides.
3. Garlic helps prevent the common cold
Allicin has antiviral effects and has been used for centuries by people to help beat infections.
I’ve personally found that if you start taking garlic when you are just beginning to feel sick, you can sometimes prevent it from developing into a full-blown illness.
However, in my experience, crushing actual garlic cloves, leaving it for a few minutes and eating the garlic with some bread was just as effective or maybe even more effective than supplements.
That being said, a study was published in 2009 showing that people who took 80 mg of garlic per day had fewer days sick than those who took a placebo. The number of days sick for the garlic group was 111 versus 366 for the placebo group.
Only 24 people who took garlic caught a cold compared to 65 people taking the placebo.
4. Garlic is a powerful antibacterial supplement
Allicin’s powerful antibacterial properties are where this supplement really shines. There have been multiple studies in animals and in humans where allicin was able to prevent or even cure bacterial infections.
Many types of common pathogenic bacteria are susceptible to allicin, including MRSA. Allicin acts in many different ways to kill bacteria as well, so it’s unlikely to become resistant.
Allicin not only kills bacteria, but it also inhibits communication between bacteria, inhibits biofilm formation, and causes bacterial to be less virulent. Even subinhibitory concentrations of allicin have been found to have these effects.
Studies have also shown that allicin is synergistic with many different antibiotics and in some cases prevents and reverses antibiotic resistance.
5. Garlic boosts your immune system
Allicin modulates the immune system and enhances immune function in response to bacterial and viral infections. Garlic also stimulates white blood cells such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer cells, and other immune system cells.
Garlic also has significant anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines and enhancing anti-inflammatory cytokines and proteins.
6. Does it protect against stomach viruses? Maybe (my experience)
I’m very prone to stomach bugs. If there is a stomach bug going around, I’ll be sure to fall victim to it. At least that was the case before I started taking allicin max.
Since taking allicin for other reasons, I’ve not been incapacitated or actually “sick” from a stomach bug in over 8 years. Any time I feel something coming on, I will immediately take 10 garlic capsules and then a few hours later take another 10.
It’s worked every single time! But I don’t have any evidence from science journals that this remedy works.
Norovirus has been difficult to culture (apparently) and allicin has not been tested as far as I’m aware. However, this may have changed in recent years.
How is Allicin Max better than other garlic supplements?
Allicin Max is made using a special flood reaction system that is able to produce a large amount of stabilized allicin. After this process, the liquid is dried and certain conditions are made to maintain the potency of the garlic extract (allicin).
Allicin Max is better than other garlic supplements because:
- It doesn’t rely on the ability of your body to convert alliin into allicin. The supplement contains pure allicin.
- Garlic powder can produce a small amount of allicin but it’s highly dependent on the conditions inside the stomach.
- Garlic oil supplements are produced by distilling fresh garlic and through this process, most of the allicin is lost.
- Allicin Max capsules have the same amount of allicin as up to 25 cloves of garlic.
- Allicin max has published studies to back up its effectiveness.
These are just a few of the reasons why you should choose allicin max over other garlic supplements.
My story: I believe garlic helped cure my infection
A long time ago not long after I turned 20 years old, I suddenly felt a lot of pain on the way to college. I had no idea what it was at the time, but it was the first day of what would be a five-year-long story.
I was simply unfortunate to have developed a bladder infection, but it wasn’t severe enough and the doctor dismissed it as nothing. Over the months I tried to just get on with my life, but sometimes the pain was really bad. It affected my life in a lot of ways. I’m not going to share the entire 5-year story, but eventually, I found something that actually helped.
My friend introduced me to the supplement allicin max
I had been talking to someone I met on a forum and he told me about various supplements I should try. He also had a similar issue and was currently taking antibiotics for it. He told me he was having good results from allicin max.
By this time I had been on antibiotics for a while! I was on low dose trimethoprim and sometimes used doxycycline. Antibiotics weren’t able to cure the infection, but they helped a lot. It always came back when I’d stop for a while – that was until I started taking allicin max.
I began taking 10 capsules of allicin max every day. Sometimes I just took a whole packet in one go! I felt relief within a short period of time. The pain lessened considerably and I was feeling so much better for the first time in a while.
It seemed to be working.
Recovery was up and down
One of the things I noticed about getting better is that it was never just a straight line to health. I experienced ups and downs along the way. The trajectory was good, but when I thought I was completely over it, I would get similar symptoms again.
I realized that after each flare-up came on, it was less severe than the previous one.
Taking Allicin Max by itself and in combination with antibiotics allowed my body to heal. Using antibiotics just by themselves just didn’t work to cure the infection, it only suppressed it. I was even able to lower my doxycycline dose after starting allicin max. Suggesting that the MIC dose was decreased and they were synergistic.
I’m a believer in using modern medicine, including antibiotics, and combining them with good nutrition and sometimes supplements can have powerful effects.
So while garlic supplements were not the miracle cure, they did help me get over the infection when combined with antibiotics. I highly recommend you give them a try if you’re also in the same situation.
Many people consider garlic supplements as one of the best natural treatments for a wide range of health conditions. Indeed, the research currently available suggests that garlic does possess real and powerful benefits when consumed on a daily basis.
Taking garlic supplements is one of the best ways to deliver a high dose of allicin into the body without having to eat a large quantity of garlic. You will also avoid smelling of garlic!
I highly recommend that you choose a garlic supplement that contains “allisure” and not one that says either “allicin yield” or “allicin potential”. If you try one of those supplements that I have listed above, you will be sure to get a high dose of allicin.
Article reviewed and updated: February 2019.