garlic lowers lung-cancer risk

Garlic fights cancer, part… what number are we up to now?

This summer, I got a note from one of my writer friends. A new study on garlic and lung cancer was out, would I be willing to comment for her article? 

She was reporting on a Chinese study that found regular consumption of raw garlic cut lung-cancer risk by 33 percent in smokers and by 50 percent in nonsmokers. And it doesn’t take much: Effects are seen even in culinary doses, the amount you’d add to warm a salad or smarten up some guacamole. That’s a remarkable finding!

Like much of the modern research linking foods to reduced cancer risk, the Chinese study wasn’t based on the most robust science. It asked people to remember what they’d eaten, and then took those surveys and compared it to how many of those people had lung cancer. People commonly misremember what and how much they eat. And just because two things happen together (correlation) doesn’t mean one causes the other (causation.)

But still.

In modern times, garlic has a deepening association with cancer prevention, especially in the stomach, colon, esophagus and pancreas. Never mind its other health effects on everything from basic infections to heart disease.

As I told my friend for her article, “It’s great news to have more modern, scientific validation for a 4,000-year-plus clinical tradition of using garlic — in culinary doses — to promote health and prevent disease.”

And it’s also great to have modern, scientific validation for traditional recipes that keep life both flavorful and healthy. Thanks, Sally, for the opportunity to opine!


Photo by Michele Blackwell on Unsplash