Are Garlic Capsules Really as Healthy as Eating Raw Garlic?

There are a variety of different garlic products on the market that make various claims concerning potency and standardization.  To understand the issues, you need to understand what happens at the biochemical level when fresh garlic is eaten.

As one chews and digests fresh garlic, enzymatic reactions take place within garlic that causes the formation of a variety of sulfur-containing garlic compounds.  Some of these compounds, like allicin, are unstable and rapidly turn into other more stable compounds.  The key point is that it is the process of eating garlic that causes these reactions to take place and they occur within the body after consumption.

Aged Garlic Supplements

Aged-garlic products are those where the full cascade of biochemical reactions has already taken place.  This is not the best approach because it is not consistent with how garlic is consumed in its natural state and it doesn’t allow the body to benefit from the many sulfur-containing compounds that are formed during the digestive process.

Standardized garlic products make claims regarding a certain allicin content which is one of the many sulfur-containing compounds formed after garlic is ingested.  The problem with standardizing to a compound like allicin is that it is not necessarily the key or only active compound in garlic.  In fact, the value of garlic may be the variety of sulfur-containing compounds that are formed after consumption, instead of any one compound.

Shaklee Garlic Complex

Shaklee Garlic ComplexShaklee Garlic Complex is designed to be as close to the natural form as possible. It is gently dried to prevent loss of the sulfur-containing compounds.  Shaklee doesn’t age their garlic nor tries to convince consumers that it has a specific amount of one or more of the many sulfur-containing compounds that naturally result from garlic ingestion.  Instead, each two-tablet serving provides the amount of garlic that you would get from a clove of garlic.  Once you ingest the tablets the biochemical process starts and the full range of sulfur-containing compounds are then formed.  In this way, it is the closest a garlic supplement can be to consuming fresh garlic.

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