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Garlic: tastes great and... just tastes great
In vitro studies of garlic have identified certain sulfur-containing agents in garlic that appear to affect the inflammation markers of cardiovascular disease as well as blood cholesterol.

Garlic still not a magic pill
I reported recently (News Bite 12/12/06) on a study in Europe that showed that garlic supplementation had no effect on cholesterol levels. A group of researchers in Stanford, California have just released an even more compelling study that appears to confirm the earlier findings (Arch Intern Med 2007;167(4):346-353).

Ask Dr. Gourmet: Will eating garlic counteract large amounts of Vitamin K?
...I've made a huge batch of pesto, since my mother's garden exploded with basil and parsley. I've been eating it fairly regularly since I made it (it's impossible to resist!). I've only been eating a few tablespoons at a time, but since I know it's high in vitamin K I have been trying to counteract the effect a bit with three or four cloves of garlic, boiled and eaten whole, which is also delicious.


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Attract more women with garlic

two heads of fresh garlic flanked by two garlic cloves

"You'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar." - Proverb

I just couldn't resist the headline (sorry folks), but a study in an upcoming issue of the journal Appetite suggests that eating garlic may make men more attractive to women - at least, if the measure is whether they smell better (2016;97:8-15).

While garlic may not appreciably affect cholesterol levels, we do know garlic is high in Vitamin C, an antioxidant, and as swuch may help prevent certain cancers. But as you probably know, eating garlic gives you garlic breath, and for some people that's just not a turn-on.

The authors noted that when breastfeeding mothers eat garlic, their babies seem to feed more vigorously and for longer than when they had not eaten garlic, and that the odor of garlic has also been known to appear in amniotic fluid. Would the odor-causing elements in garlic also appear in sweat - specifically, in axillary (armpit) odor?

In a series of three small studies (ranging from 10-16 men and 14-40 women), the authors asked women to rate the scent of male body odor samples in terms of pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity. The samples were all gathered in the same way for all three studies: the male participants consumed a specific amount and form of garlic, wore small cotton pads in their armpits for 12 hours thereafter, and then returned the pads. On another occasion they consumed a placebo but again wore the cotton pads for 12 hours and returned them. The women then smelled the cotton pads and rated the odors of each male participant, comparing the pads worn after consuming garlic with those worn after not consuming garlic.

Contrary to the authors' expectations, the women rated the garlic-consumption pads as smelling "significantly" more pleasant, masculine, and attractive while being less intense than the non-garlic-consumption pads.

What this means for you

The researchers note that although breath odor is certainly important to interpersonal relations, body odor "plays an important role in intimate relationships" and thus the positive effects of garlic on body odor may signal a better diet, thereby improving the individual's chance for mating. Your take-home here? I will resist the urge to suggest that eating Italian food might be considered a seduction technique and say only that garlic tastes great, is good for you, and is a fantastic flavor addition to lots of foods, so by all means, eat more garlic!

First posted: December 16, 2015