Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for January 12, 2007

I’ve been eating so much garlic lately that although it is working really well, there is one side effect: The smell. So I’ll try to track down the best garlic supplement.

I wanted to go to a bigger health food store rather than my usual ones so I make the trip after work to see what I can find. I did a little bit of research during the day and here’s what I found:


Garlic has been used for thousands of years for its immune enhancing properties. Modern use of garlic also focuses on its ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Fresh garlic contains 0.1 to 0.36% of a volatile oil composed of the sulfur-containing compounds: alliin, allicin and others. Allicin is the primary compound responsible for the pungent odor of garlic, as well as its pharmacology. Allicin is inactivated by heat, which explains why cooked garlic produces neither as strong an odor as the raw, nor nearly as powerful physiological effects.

Numerous double-blind placebo-controlled studies have been done with standardized commercial preparations that provided a daily dose of at least 10 mg alliin, or a total allicin potential of 4,000 mcg. This is equivalent to 4,000 mg of fresh garlic – roughly one to four cloves. This is the dosage recommended by the German Commission E which establishes dosage requirements to allow for therapeutic claims in Germany. Results show a reduction of 11 mg Hg for systolic and 5.0 mm Hg for diastolic can usually be achieved within a one- to three- month period. Results are significantly better when fresh garlic is used compared to aged garlic.

Daily Nutritional Supplement Consideration:
Standardized commercial preparations that provide a daily dose of at least 10 mg alliin, or a total allicin potential of 4,000 mcg, or 1-4 cloves of fresh garlic a day. In the USA, a standard 500 mg garlic pill of 8,000 ppm allicin potential yields 4,000 mcg of allicin, while a 500 mg garlic pill of 12,000 ppm allicin potential yields 6,000 mcg of allicin.


Garlic is available fresh or juiced, as well as in tablets, capsules, and tinctures. Odor-controlled powders, concentrates, and capsules are popular forms, as are enteric-coated tablets (which have a coating that prevents the destruction of active compounds by stomach acids). Supplement manufacturers are increasingly standardizing their products for desirable garlic compounds (principally one called allicin, but also total sulfur, allin, and S-allyl cysteine), but debate rages on as to which of these compounds are most important and which ormulations are most effective. The potency of garlic products may be described in terms of fresh or whole garlic equivalent; an average dose is 1,500 to 1,800mg of fresh garlic equivalent, approximately equal to eating one-half clove of fresh garlic. To fight infection, 3 or 4 chopped, crushed or chewed cloves should be consumed per day or, in supplement form (1.3% allicin), 600-900 mg divided into 2-3 doses/day.

January 13, 2007 - Posted by | Health | ,

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