An analysis of existing 22 worldwide studies finds that people who eat raw or cooked garlic on a regular basis may be cutting their risk of stomach cancer by half and their risk of colon cancer by one-third compared with those who eat little or no garlic.
The researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health found wide variations in garlic consumption, ranging up to nearly 29 grams per week, the equivalent of about one clove of garlic per day. Among those in the highest category of consumption, the average intake was 16 grams per week (about one-half of a clove). The researchers did not find sufficient data to draw any conclusions about garlic's possible effects on other cancers or about whether garlic supplements may have similar beneficial effects.
Garlic is believed to help prevent stomach cancer by acting against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium found in the stomach that is known to cause stomach cancer, and that a sulfur compound in garlic is probably the key element in that action.
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