Study: Eating raw garlic twice a week cuts risk of lung cancer by half
Even smokers who eat raw garlic had their lung cancer risk reduced by a third, or 33 percent
A new study has found that people who ate raw garlic were significantly less likely to get lung cancer, even if they were smokers. The study, conducted in China found adults regularly consuming raw garlic as part of their diet were 44 percent less likely to suffer the disease.
Smoking is thought to cause at least 80 percent of all lung cancer cases. Fewer than one in ten sufferers are still alive five years after their diagnosis.
Previous studies suggested that garlic can protect the lungs against various conditions, as well as ward off other malignancies such as bowel cancer.
A University of South Australia study has suggested that the popular herb could slash the risk of bowel tumors by nearly a third.
Scientists at Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention compared 1,424 lung cancer patients with 4,500 healthy adults.
Each test subject was surveyed on their dietary and lifestyle habits, including how often they consumed garlic and whether they smoked.
Published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, showed those who ate raw garlic at least twice a week were significantly less likely to get lung cancer. This proved true even if they smoked or were exposed to high-temperature cooking oil fumes, believed to be another trigger for the disease.
However, it's still not clear whether cooked garlic would have the same effect.
Previous research suggests the key ingredient seems to be a chemical called allicin, released when the clove is crushed or chopped. Allicin is believed to dampen down inflammation in the body and act as an antioxidant, reducing damage from so-called free radicals to the body's cells.
Other studies have found it may help ward off the common cold, hospital superbugs and even malaria.
In a report on their findings the researchers said: "Garlic may potentially serve as a preventive agent for lung cancer."
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
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