Garlic contains incredibly potent compounds that fight inflammation, reduce your risk for chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer, and help control your blood sugar.
A garlic supplement is a fantastic way to amplify the health benefits of garlic, because a garlic supplement contains these active ingredients in a concentrated form.
If you want to harness the oxidation-fighting power of garlic, you want a supplement that’s pure and effective.
We’ve dug into the science and come up with the ten best garlic supplements on the market.
1. Zhou Nutrition Garlic
While other garlic supplements focus on delivering an equivalent dose of raw garlic material, Zhou Nutrition sets its priorities higher: it aims to deliver at least 5000 micrograms of allicin, the compound in garlic that many nutritionists believe is responsible for its health benefits.
This makes this garlic supplement especially attractive if you are trying to design your supplementation routine to mirror the scientific research into the uses of allicin specifically, or if you want to be sure you’re getting a high enough dose of the active contents.
It isn’t as simplistic in its ingredient design as some other competitors, but the focus on active ingredients more than makes up for it.
2. Pure Encapsulations GarliActive
Pure Encapsulations GarliActive is an extremely high potency garlic supplement that focuses on providing at least 9000 micrograms of allicin–one of the active compounds in garlic extract–per capsule, which is fantastic compared to many other garlic supplements on the market.
However, it also includes a lot of extra stabilizers and binders, making it a less attractive option for people who prioritize clean supplement design.
3. Puritan’s Pride Odorless Garlic
Puritan’s Pride keeps things simple with their garlic supplement. Each capsule is potent, delivering 1000 mg of garlic extract dissolved in soybean oil and encapsulated in a gelatin casing.
Aside from that, there are zero additional ingredients, making this an excellent choice if you want high potency and high purity from your garlic supplement. With 250 capsules per bottle, this supplement will last you a long time, too.
4. BRI Nutrition Garlic Extra Strength
BRI Nutrition makes a garlic supplement that is both potent and popular. Each capsule has 500 mg of garlic, equivalent to half a gram of raw garlic bulb.
In addition, BRI adds in 100 mg of parsley extract and a small amount of chlorophyll. Both of these add additional antioxidant power; chlorophyll is a strong antioxidant, and parsley contains many of the same active ingredients as garlic.
5. Oregon’s Wild Harvest Garlic
The main claim to fame for Oregon’s Wild Harvest is its certified organic garlic that serves as the source of the extract.
The dosage is pretty middle of the road, at just over 500 mg of garlic extract per capsule, but with no ingredients aside from garlic and the vegetable cellulose casing, it’s sure to be a favorite if organic ingredients and purity are a priority for you.
6. Sundown Naturals Odorless Garlic
Sundown Naturals provides a solid, simple garlic supplement. With 1000 mg of garlic extract per capsule, it’s got a respectable potency.
Its gelatin capsule means it’s not vegan-friendly, but aside from that, it’s hard to find much fault in this garlic supplement.
7. Aged Black Garlic
Aged Black Garlic uses a special aging process to alter the active ingredients in the garlic powder to make them more potent and bioavailable.
The company claims that the aging process converts some of the garlic compounds into s-allyl-cysteine, which is said to be a superior antioxidant.
If you are on board with this claim, Aged Black Garlic is a great product, though most of the scientific research uses garlic extract prepared through more standard methods. If you aren’t getting the results you want through usual garlic supplements, Aged Black Garlic might be worth a try.
8. Nature’s Bounty Odorless Garlic
Nature’s Bounty uses a pretty standard formula with this garlic supplement: 1000 mg per softgel capsule, delivered using soybean oil and a gelatin capsule.
It isn’t particularly innovative, and doesn’t quite measure up to the purity and potency found in other garlic supplements, meaning it finds itself further down in the rankings.
9. Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract
Kyolic uses a special aging process that it claims improves the bioavailability and potency of the garlic powder used in the supplement. Even so, the garlic content is quite low.
Each capsule only contains 300 mg of garlic powder, meaning you’ll need a much higher dose to achieve the same results as with a different supplement. The capsules also use milk-derived whey as a binder, meaning this product is a no-go if you have a dairy sensitivity.
10. NOW Odorless Garlic
NOW Odorless Garlic is easy to find, but hard to endorse. With a miniscule 25 mg of garlic extract per capsule, and a lot of extra fillers like beeswax, soy lecithin, and silica, it’s very hard to recommend taking NOW Odorless Garlic, despite its popularity. Opt for a higher dose supplement with higher quality ingredients.
Garlic benefits and side effects
The medicinal properties of garlic have been valued for thousands of years.
Known for its versatility in treating a range of maladies and health problems, garlic was prescribed by Hippocrates in ancient Greece and used by Chinese, Egyptian and Roman doctors, as well as many other respected cultures through the years. (1)
Besides the flavorful addition it makes in a variety of food dishes, garlic can boost the immune system, reduce high blood pressure, protect against neurological disorders, and maybe even help you live longer.
Garlic is like a jack of all trades when it comes to your health, working its magic on one level while yielding benefits you might not expect in a whole different arena.
A member of the allium family along with onions, leeks and shallots, garlic is both nutritious and delicious; cashing in on the goods is as simple as shucking off the papery outer layer and crushing a clove to release the powerful sulfur compounds.
Garlic’s nutritional profile is impressive because it contains at least a little of many substances we need for good health, including vitamin C and B6, selenium, manganese, potassium, calcium and copper. It’s low in calories at 42 per ounce, and provides a little shot of protein, a few carbs, and some fiber. (2)
The allicin in garlic is responsible for the distinctive smell, and it also imparts the most potent biological effects of the active compounds, traveling from the digestive system to all parts of the body.
If you toss a whole clove of garlic into a stew or sauce, the allicin stays locked up; release it by cutting or crushing the clove. It’s best to let it sit for a few minutes before adding it to a recipe.
Some people chew garlic cloves for medicinal purposes, but because it’s so strong, most prefer using it to enhance flavor in savory dishes.
Check out these benefits you can enjoy from adding a little spice to your life in the form of garlic.
Improve Heart Health
With cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death worldwide, incorporating a natural substance proven to enhance circulatory health is a smart move.
In a 24-week study, the effects of garlic on lowering blood pressure was compared to the prescription drug Atenolol. Doses of aged garlic extract between 600 and 1500 mg daily proved as effective as Atenolol in bringing participants’ blood pressure into normal ranges. (5)
It would take about four cloves of garlic a day to provide the same amount in the extract used for the study.
Immune System Booster
If you like the idea of suffering less often from catching or cold or coming down with the flu, eating your garlic is a good bet.
One study with a large number of participants found that the incidence of colds was reduced by 63% in the group taking a garlic supplement as compared to the group taking a placebo. Of those in the garlic group who caught a cold, the length of time they had symptoms was 70% less than the others, at a day and a half rather than 5 days. (10)
A work-related study showed that employees who took garlic extract dropped their total sick days by more than 60%. The amount used in the study was about 2.5 grams daily. (11)
Protects Brain Function
Antioxidants work in our bodies to eliminate free radicals, minimizing oxidative damage that contributes to aging and disease. Garlic is loaded with antioxidants (12) and also stimulates the body’s production of antioxidant enzymes. (13)
When the positive effects of garlic on blood pressure and cholesterol levels are taken into consideration with these increased antioxidants, the potential for preventing neurological degradation grows, making it less likely garlic-eaters will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. (14)
Supports Bone Health
Garlic may be useful in correcting hormonal imbalances contributing to osteoporosis, a common problem for women as they age.
In a clinical trial with postmenopausal women, daily doses comparable to 2 grams of fresh garlic bolstered estrogen levels, correcting a deficiency associated with bone loss. (15) Animal studies confirmed this effect. (16)
Along with onions, garlic has also been shown to have positive effects on patients suffering from osteoarthritis. (17)
Acts as a Detoxifier
Organ damage is one of the devastating results of exposure to heavy metals, and garlic helps the body flush toxic substances in its natural cleansing process.
Workers in a battery manufacturing facility exposed to high levels of lead dropped blood levels of the metal by 19% in a single month by taking massive doses of garlic. Frequency and intensity of headaches also decreased, and garlic did a better job of clearing clinical symptoms than D-penicillimine, the prescription drug given to the control group. (18)
Run Faster and Further
Known as an enhancer of athletic performance, garlic was given to competitors in the original Greek Olympic games; it was also administered to manual laborers to combat fatigue. (19)
Rats run faster for longer periods when they eat garlic, and human studies show garlic can help lower fatigue levels resulting from strenuous exercise. (20)
Heart disease patients taking garlic oil during a 6-week study dropped peak heart rates by 12% and improved their capacity for tolerating exercise. (21)
The benefits of adding garlic to your diet stretch across the board.
Be cautious with medicinal doses (one raw clove with each of three meals daily) if you’re taking blood thinners.
Don’t forget to crush, chop or chew garlic to release the active compounds, and keep in mind you’ll get the most allicin from fresh, raw cloves. It’s available by the bulb as well as in pastes, oils, powders or supplements.
If you’re using it medicinally or eating a lot of fresh garlic, you may want to find a good mouthwash.
While no hard evidence exists that garlic can extend lifespan, its ability to improve circulation, fight sickness, and flush toxins increase the likelihood you’ll live longer, stay stronger, and still remember who you are and where you live.