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Garlic for Osteoporosis

Garlic has a long history as a flavoring and medicine so it shouldn’t surprise us that it might play a role in the health of our bones. Garlic has a very complex chemical composition and the numerous ways garlic seems to protect against diseases isn’t well understood. Research indicates garlic may help with high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, protect against cancer, lower fasting blood sugar, and bolster the immune system.

A study on rats without ovaries found garlic oil to be effective in preventing bone loss. However, a study of 44 women with osteoporosis looking at garlic tablet use failed to find any differences of significance. At this point we simply need more research but there is reason to believe garlic might play a role in improving bone health.

So while we have no conclusive evidence that garlic helps our bones, we do know enough about garlic to encourage using it generously in cooking. At this point I don’t recommend garlic supplements, as we don’t know enough about safety, efficacy and dosing. My favorite way to use garlic is to roast a head of garlic and spread it on bread or a pizza crust. So don’t forget garlic when cooking as it adds great flavor and is evidently good for us.

Photo used with permission from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Photo taken by Jennifer Lam RD

posted on 2/1/2021