It’s no secret that the powers of garlic are immense. The little bulbs have been used in cuisines all over the world to add flavor and punch to many different dishes.
Despite the popular belief that the bulbous plant causes excessive gas, a Brazilian company has recently began marketing a garlic pill in order to help fight against flatulence. Yet studies have shown that the effects of garlic can be detrimental to the digestive system. The American Cancer Society warns that eating garlic in large amounts can “lead to irritation of the digestive tract, causing stomach pain, gas, and vomiting.”
"This garlic oil is rich in antioxidants and deodorants and combats intestinal dysbiosis, a colon malfunction that increases flatulence," said chemist Joseth Gimenes to the AFP.
The capsule is designed to release its contents in the intestine and not in the mouth. "Hence there is no risk of bad breath," said Gimenes.
Other benefits of garlic include:
1. Antibacterial and antiviral properties. Fresh garlic helps to prevent food poison because it kills off many food borne bacteria like, E.coli and salmonella.
2. High blood pressure. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), garlic powder reduces blood pressure in people with high blood pressure by as much as 7 or 8 percent. Garlic can also help to maintain blood pressure in people with normal ranges.
3. Heart health. The Mayo Clinic also finds that garlic helps to smooth and dilate blood vessels, thus increasing blood flow, which helps to maintain a healthy heart.
Why the controversy over garlic and flatulence? Garlic contains starches that are difficult to digest with human digestive enzymes, but are typically digested by the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, according to Livestrong.com. The result of the bacterial digestion of garlic is gas. However, people on the other side of the debate posit that the antibacterial properties of garlic could also reduce gas, by reducing some of the bacteria behind it or exerting an effect on other gas-inducing foods.
The company said that their goal was to target the problem of intestinal dysbiosis which affects 15 percent of the 200 million Brazilians. Whether the pill will help reduce gas in those who take it, the jury is still out.
The price converted of these garlic pills are the equivalent of $20 USD for 120 capsules. Gimenes hopes that one day, they can begin exporting their product. Like with any herbs or supplements, a consultation with your healthcare provider should occur before starting any capsule regime.