Garlic’s distinctive flavor makes it a popular ingredient in many recipes, but this edible bulb may have health benefits, too. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, garlic’s benefits come from its high antioxidant content, which gives it the power to fight off free radicals that cause infections and cellular mutations. Garlic supplements are safe for most people, but the University of Maryland Medical Center warns that taking garlic supplements can cause stomach problems, bad breath and body odor.
There’s good scientific evidence that garlic supplements can lower low-density lipoproteins, or LDL, the type of cholesterol that can build up in your arterial passages to cause serious cardiovascular problems over time. Medline Plus, the online health information resource maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, says that garlic can lower LDL and total blood cholesterol levels over a period of less than 12 weeks, but more research is needed to determine whether the benefits are long-lasting ones.