Over the past 25 years, more than 1,000 studies have evaluated the possible therapeutic effects of garlic. Suggestive, but not conclusive, results have been obtained in studies of the effectiveness of garlic in treating high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and cancer. On the basis of limited scientific studies, garlic sometimes is recommended as a treatment for the common cold.
With regard to MS, some research has shown that garlic may stimulate two types of immune cells, macrophages and lymphocytes. No clinical studies have directly evaluated the effect of garlic on MS or other autoimmune diseases. However, on a theoretical basis, garlic could adversely affect the course of MS through its immune-stimulating activity.
Controversy exists regarding the best form and dose of garlic. Some commercial preparations actually contain none of the presumed active chemical, allicin. Garlic may inhibit blood clotting and thus should be avoided in people with blood-clotting disorders, people undergoing surgery, and people taking blood-thinning medications or aspirin.
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