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How do I choose a garlic product?


There are several key factors to consider when choosing a garlic supplement. First decide if you want a product with or without odor. Garlic's strong odor is caused by allicin, the substance also believed to be the plant's active ingredient. A variety of products contain natural allicin.

  • Unscented vs. scented supplements: As you would probably expect, concentrated garlic is potent and some people find the odor too strong to tolerate. In response, a variety of manufacturers produce products that are odor free. But, these products may not be as effective as other garlic supplements since they contain less allicin, the active substance in garlic. An odor-free garlic product is Kyolic® Aged Garlic.
  • Garlic supplements vs. multi-supplements: You should also decide if you want a product that contains multiple herbal ingredients or just the garlic. A variety of manufacturers produce products that are mixed with herbs or vitamins to help reduce the odor and achieve additional benefits. But, the additional ingredients do very little to reduce the odor or bad breath frequently caused by concentrated garlic products.
  • Coated vs. non-coated: Specialized tablet coatings may provide a product that balances the best of both worlds, retaining the potentially beneficial allicin and avoiding the pungent odor. The coating is intended to prevent stomach acid from inactivating the garlic. A coated garlic product is Nature's Bounty® Odor-Free Garlic Enteric Coated Tablets.

It is recommended that the garlic supplements contain 3.6 to 5.4 mg (3600 to 5400 mcg) 2 mg to 12 mg of allicin per day although there is a wide range.

Dosage forms

An overwhelming number of garlic products are currently available and new products add to the confusion at an increasing rate. Garlic is now available in a variety of forms, including tablets, capsules, soft gels, powdered drink mix, liquid, and extracts. While the selection is large, a few simple tips should help with product selection.

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