An analysis of existing scientific documentation on the benefits of garlic consumption in cancer prevention, in which several academic institutions participated, shows that there is no established relationship and that rigorous studies are lacking on the subject.
The evaluation was carried out by Nutrimedia, a project of the Scientific Communication Observatory of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), and was attended by the Cochrane Ibero-American Center and the Spanish Science and Technology Foundation (FECYT), as reported by UPF today in a declaration.
Nutrimedia analyzed the available scientific evidence on the subject and came to the conclusion that with existing tests it can not be said or denied that garlic may have any protective effect against cancer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only in this year of 2018 were responsible for about 8.1 million new cases of cancer.
"Given the magnitude of this health problem, it is not uncommon for people to look for ways to prevent disease," the note adds, adding that the abundance of messages linking consumption of certain foods and substances to reducing cancer risk "is a source of confusion for the public "and therefore the analysis of all available scientific evidence on the subject.
After the analysis, Nutrimedia believes that it can not be said that garlic has any protective effect, since the studies carried out so far are "observational, which does not allow to establish a direct relationship between the benefits of garlic consumption and reduction of risk ". of cancer. "
According to the UPF, "rigorous studies are lacking that offer us greater confidence in the findings on the subject".
Garlic is a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, grown over 7,000 years ago, and its use in the kitchen as always, with abundant literary and pictorial references.
In ancient times, it was consumed by its supposed therapeutic properties, and Herodotus (5th century BC) tells in his work "Historiae" that the food of the slaves who built the pyramids had a garlic supplement because it was believed that they had invigorating effect
For this very reason, classical Olympian athletes, legionnaires and Roman gladiators did not hesitate to bring garlic to chew them when they deemed it necessary.
In the first century after Christ, Dioscorides (physician, pharmacologist and botanist of ancient Greece) refers to garlic in his work on natural remedies as a food that helps eliminate flatulence.
Garlic belongs to the genus Allium (onions, garlic, leeks and sweet onions, among others), which are characterized by a high content of organosulfur compounds and antioxidants, as well as vitamins, amino acids, fructooligosaccharides and other micronutrients.
Depending on how the garlic is processed, the organosulfur compounds are converted into different derivatives to which different health properties are attributed.
Thus, if raw garlic is cut or chopped, it gives rise to allicin; with cooking, however, allicin is destroyed and adenosine and ajoene are released, which act as anticoagulants.
The UPF analysis considers that the alleged anticancer properties of garlic "are not justified".
The risk of cancer is due to multiple factors, both genetic, environmental, and lifestyle, as well as healthy eating habits.