A little garlic every day makes you live three years longer
If you eat a little garlic almost every day, you will live three years and two months longer than if you almost never consume garlic. Chinese and American epidemiologists come to this conclusion in a study published in Nutrients.
The researchers analyzed the data of 27,437 Chinese who participated in the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Study. The study participants decided to participate in the study in 1998-2011. Their average age was then 92 years.
When the participants entered the study, they answered questions about their way of life. There were also questions about the use of garlic.
The researchers followed the participants until 2014.
The study participants who ate garlic 5 times a week or more often had 11 percent less chance of dying than the study participants who ate garlic less than once a week. That means that frequent garlic consumption extends the lifespan by 3.2 years.
The researchers divided their data, looking at different groups: people in their 80s, 90s, and over, smokers, former smokers and non-smokers; to drinkers and non-drinkers; to tea drinkers and people who did not drink tea; to mentally healthy individuals and people with cognitive deficits; to people with disabilities and people who could function normally physically.
The researchers found the protective effect of garlic in all groups.
"In summary, garlic consumption was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality", write the researchers. "The present finding provides a limited evidence on the association of garlic with all-cause mortality among the oldest old; it advocates future research into the dose-response relationship between the quantity of garlic consumption and cause-specific mortality, especially for cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality."
"It would seem beneficial to promote garlic intake as part of a healthy daily diet among octogenarians, nonagenarians, men, people with normal cognition, and people who rarely drink tea. If these associations are largely causal, the potential health gain from increased garlic consumption in China would be substantial on the basis of a nationally representative sample."
"Garlic constituents can be further studied to identify effective agents for inflammation and cancer treatment and cardiovascular disease prevention. However, to verify the role of garlic or garlic supplements in longevity, our results need to be confirmed by future prospective human studies and community intervention trials."
Nutrients 2019, 11, 1504; doi:10.3390/nu11071504.
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