Is Garlic A Promising Food For Prostate Cancer?

Some modern drugs have natural origins, originating from substances found in nature. However, the drug development process often involves extensive chemical synthesis and modification

Chemical engineering isolates, creates variants, and tests these drugs. While some drugs have natural origins, the development process often involves modifying or synthesizing substances for therapeutic use.

In certain cases, natural medicine and remedies may demonstrate effectiveness comparable to pharmaceutical drugs. However, the efficacy can vary, and reliance on evidence-based medicine is crucial.

However, some natural remedies and supplements can pose risks similar to pharmaceutical drugs, especially when used irresponsibly or without proper guidance. It is advisable to base our choices of natural supplements and nutrition on scientific evidence to ensure informed decision-making.

In this article, we’re exploring the potential health benefits of one of the most ancient medicines in relation to different types of cancer. Garlic (Allium sativum) is a part of the Allium genus, which shares similar features and substances with other members.

Leeks, onions, scallions, and chives are also found in this group of plants. They produce many sulfate-based substances that provide their characteristic odor and flavor.

But besides giving them a distinctive taste, these substances have different health applications.

One of them is as an adjuvant for the cancer treatment in some types, including breast cancer, liver cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, rectal cancer, and others. Is prostate cancer on the list?

Can garlic lower prostate cancer risk?

Garlic has been used for medical purposes for thousands of years. In modern applications, it is commonly used as a spice and sometimes as a food additive.

Historically, Hippocrates recommended garlic for various medicinal purposes, and some contemporary studies explore its potential health benefits.

Modern scientific studies have identified over 100 substances in garlic, including polyphenols, carotenoids, and organosulphur compounds, each exerting distinct effects.

Allicin is probably one of the most important, but we also have alliinase, alliin, and ajoene. They are behind garlic’s odor, taste, and health properties, and Several studies have explored potential mechanisms through which garlic may influence factors related to cancer development:

It induces apoptosis in cancer cells

Ajoene and other organosulphur compounds in garlic can trigger apoptosis in cancer cells. These substances have shown potential in restricting cancer proliferation in various cell lines, with a predominant focus on studies in leukemia. Studies suggest that it may induce the inhibition of key enzymes in the cell cycle, including BCL-2 and caspase 3. In certain cases, it has shown promise as an adjuvant when used alongside standard pharmaceutical treatments for cancer.

Another substance in garlic is allicin. These sulfur compounds are known to inhibit the cell cycle while inducing apoptosis. Allicin has been noted for its potential significance in gastrointestinal cancers. Studies suggest that allicin may increase the activity of immune cells, especially macrophages and NK cells. The toxicity of lymphocytes is also increased, which improves body defenses against cancer.

Recent studies in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia have indicated significant improvements in symptoms. IIn both prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), it may play a role in inducing cell death and modulating the cell cycle

It protects genes from toxic agents

Garlic shows genotoxic protection effects, according to studies. Garlic is suggested to have a protective effect on DNA by inhibiting the production of certain toxic substances. For example, it reduces the synthesis and biological activity of nitrosamines.

These substances increase cancer risk by causing changes to genes associated with the cell cycle. It also changes certain liver enzymes’ activity and restricts the activation of dangerous substances such as dimethylnitrosamine. Furthermore, it is believed to collaborate with the liver, enhancing its detoxifying functions. Garlic is proposed to accelerate the clearance of aflatoxin B1 and mitigate its genotoxic effects, countering the damage caused by free radicals in DNA.

According to studies, garlic is associated with another type of protection related to radiation. Garlic has been linked to reducing side effects after radiotherapy and chemotherapy, procedures that can often induce toxicity and potentially trigger cancer. It is also suggested to be useful in countering the effects of gamma rays and preventing mutations.

It counters inflammation in cancer

Prostate cancer cells are known to utilize inflammation to their advantage, a characteristic shared by many other types of cancer. They trigger inflammation to enhance blood flow, promoting the formation of new blood vessels. This mechanism supports increased nutrient intake, facilitating their rapid growth and survival. This is how they increase their intake of nutrients and survive their own rapid growth. In some instances, cancer may originate in highly inflamed areas or be triggered by inflammation.

Garlic is thought to reduce cancer risk by suppressing the inflammatory response and inhibiting tumor progression. It exhibits potent activity against lipoxygenase, an inflammatory enzyme. Garlic also inhibits nuclear transcription factors that contribute to the production of proinflammatory cytokines. In garlic, flavonoids are considered to be among the most anti-inflammatory substances and are associated with these properties.

It has antioxidant activity

Garlic is suggested to have a protective effect on the prostate and other tissues against free radicals. It contributes to iron chelation and enhances the antioxidant potential of several enzymes. Garlic is rich in selenium, which is believed to contribute to its antioxidant activity. Additional substances with antioxidant potential include quercetin, cyanidin, and other flavonoids, particularly when administered in conjunction with vitamin C and E. These properties are believed to contribute to reducing the risk of cancer in the prostate and other tissues.

What does the research say?

This effect is related to the homeostasis of blood pressure in the kidneys and the endothelium. In theory, garlic should contribute to prostate cancer prevention. But what does the research say? After considering some early evidence, garlic poses as a promising agent against prostate cancer, as you will see.

Study 1

We can start by considering benign prostatic hyperplasia to know how garlic interacts with the prostate in healthy patients. To evaluate this, a large study was performed in multiple health centers and including nearly 3000 individuals. They took surveys to assess their garlic intake and their BPH status. The study showed that people who consumed more garlic had a lower chance of BPH (2).

Study 2

Acknowledging the promising outcomes observed in animal studies regarding urologic cancers, a scientific paper advanced to consolidate the results of various clinical trials. The review suggests that garlic may stimulate immune responses and have a positive impact on urologic cancers, including prostate cancer, bladder cancer, and others (3).

Study 3

Entering more in-depth into the subject, a study evaluated the effects of diallyl sulfide in the cell cycle. This was an in vitro study using human prostate cancer cells. The study showed that diallyl sulfide has the effect of arresting the cell cycle by downregulating the expression of CDK1. In other words, it reduces the synthesis of specific proteins and stops cells from continuing to divide (4).

Study 4

If that happens in vitro (in lab samples), what would occur in vivo (in living organisms)? Another team of researchers evaluated the effect of diallyl trisulfide in human prostate cancer cells and TRAMP mice cancer cells to answer that question. This team of researchers evaluated a protein known as XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis). Their results showed that after diallyl trisulfide treatment, these protein levels were decreased. In other words, a protein that inhibits apoptosis in cancer cells was not as active as before. Thus, cancer cells were more likely to die in the presence of garlic substances (5).

Study 5

In another study involving TRAMP mice, the evaluation extended beyond prostate cancer to its metastasis in the lungs. Published in the scientific journal Cancer Research, this study investigated the anti-cancer potential of diallyl trisulfide. According to its findings, this substance inhibits the progression of prostate cancer into a late-stage disease. It decelerates and reduces the aggressiveness of cancer, also correlating with a lower rate of metastasis to lung tissue (6).


Studying prostate cancer is not easy. It takes considerable time to create progressive models that reach the clinical application. However, the link between garlic and prostate cancer is clear and has a solid rationale. Thus, it is no surprise that many professionals recommend including garlic as a spice for foods. Some may even suggest to swallow a garlic clove a day or use garlic-based supplements to prevent prostate cancer. All of this is due to the assumption that garlic reduces inflammation, protects the cell from toxic agents, provides antioxidant activity, and induces apoptosis in cancer cells.

Further health benefits of garlic

Doctors recommending fresh and raw garlic for its health benefits usually prescribe a dose of 2-5 grams every day. Dried garlic powder doses could range between 0.4 and 1.2 grams a day. And garlic extract doses are usually 300-1000 mg.

They may recommend aged garlic to lower blood pressure levels, kill bacteria, lower blood sugar, or prevent blood clotting. So, let us consider some health benefits this healing plant has to offer besides its anti-tumor effects (7):

Garlic to lower cholesterol levels

Using garlic to lower cholesterol levels: Studies indicate that garlic consumption can reduce cholesterol levels. According to researchers, bioactive substances in garlic inhibit enzymes responsible for synthesizing cholesterol. Specifically, it is likely that one of the garlic compounds, allyl-disulfide, contributes to this effect.

Garlic for hypertension treatment

Garlic can also reduce blood pressure levels, even in uncontrolled hypertension patients. According to one study, consuming a garlic supplement daily for 12 weeks can lower systolic blood pressure by around 10 mmHg. The mechanism has to do with the homeostasis of blood pressure in the kidneys and the endothelium. Hydrogen sulfide, produced after consuming garlic, plays roles similar to nitric oxide and may even offer protection to the heart from ischemic disease.

Garlic to prevent blood clotting

Another cardiovascular effect of garlic is related to platelet aggregation and thrombus formation. Garlic induces the inhibition of platelet aggregation and induces changes in the mobilization of calcium and cyclic AMP in platelets. Further, garlic causes inhibition of platelet aggregation and changes in the mobilization of calcium and cyclic AMP in platelets.

Garlic in neurodegenerative disease

Garlic components may be useful in preventing or treating some neurodegenerative diseases. Garlic has been tested in patients with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and other neurological problems. Studies have found that it reduces edema severity in the ischemic brain and diminishes oxidative damage in nervous tissue. A substance known as thiacremonone modulates the activation of glial cells and inhibits inflammation. A substance known as thiacremonone modulates the activation of the glial cells and inhibits inflammation. Thus, it shows promise as a therapy against neurodegenerative diseases triggered by inflammation.

Garlic effects on arthritis patients

Consuming allium vegetables may offer improvement for patients with arthritis. They seemingly provide significant protection to the hip articulation and other joints. Diallyl disulfide is suggested to inhibit the expression of a protease that degrades cartilage tissue. Additionally, it inhibits inflammation by counteracting proinflammatory enzymes and cytokine production. It also inhibits inflammation by countering proinflammatory enzymes and cytokine production.

Garlic as a natural immunity booster

As mentioned earlier, garlic has been used to boost the immune system. It enhances the ability of white blood cells to respond and combat infections, particularly affecting macrophages and natural killer cells. According to one study, this reduces the occurrence of common cold symptoms and speeds up recovery in patients.

Garlic and its antimicrobial effects

Garlic can counter numerous microbes and pathogens. Its antimicrobial effect has been widely recognized for decades, impacting various bacteria, some viruses, and a range of fungi and parasites. The most critical viruses include herpes simplex virus, influenza types, and the coxsackievirus, which are primarily attacked by ajoene and allicin. The antibacterial effect is more active against Enterobacter, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Proteus, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, and even Helicobacter pylori. The antifungal effect has been compared to ketoconazole and is active against Candida infections, Aspergillus, Malassezia furfur, and other fungi. And its antiparasitic effects are functional against Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba histolytica, and more.

Garlic and diabetes

In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, garlic is known to lower serum glucose levels. The effects of this plant have been compared to those of glibenclamide, a common prescription drug for lowering blood sugar. However, no study recommends changing your prescription drugs without consulting your doctor


Garlic and cancer have an inverse association, according to several studies. Garlic juice, garlic supplementation, and other means of consumption can protect normal cells from turning into cancer. Furthermore, garlic is also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a similarly reduced risk of infections by boosting the immune system.

The anti-cancer property of garlic has been used and recommended since Hippocrates. But suppose we want to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer. In that case, we should combine this measure with a healthy diet for problems. Thhis includes consuming more cruciferous vegetables and fruits and trying to reduce our modifiable risk factors as much as possible.

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Find out about Our Garlic Supplement: Ben’s Organic Garlic Extract Tincture.


  1. Asemani, Y., Zamani, N., Bayat, M., & Amirghofran, Z. (2019). Allium vegetables for possible future of cancer treatment. Phytotherapy Research, 33(12), 3019-3039.
  2. Galeone, C., Pelucchi, C., Talamini, R., Negri, E., Dal Maso, L., Montella, M., … & La Vecchia, C. (2007). Onion and garlic intake and the odds of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urology, 70(4), 672-676.
  3. Lamm, D. L., & Riggs, D. R. (2001). Enhanced immunocompetence by garlic: role in bladder cancer and other malignancies. The Journal of nutrition, 131(3), 1067S-1070S.
  4. Arunkumar, A., Vijayababu, M. R., Srinivasan, N., Aruldhas, M. M., & Arunakaran, J. (2006). Garlic compound, diallyl disulfide induces cell cycle arrest in prostate cancer cell line PC-3. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 288(1-2), 107-113.
  5. Kim, S. H., Bommareddy, A., & Singh, S. V. (2011). Garlic constituent diallyl trisulfide suppresses x-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein in prostate cancer cells in culture and in vivo. Cancer prevention research, 4(6), 897-906.
  6. Singh, S. V., Powolny, A. A., Stan, S. D., Xiao, D., Arlotti, J. A., Warin, R., … & Dhir, R. (2008). Garlic constituent diallyl trisulfide prevents development of poorly differentiated prostate cancer and pulmonary metastasis multiplicity in TRAMP mice. Cancer research, 68(22), 9503-9511.
  7. Mamatha, T., & Kazmi, S. (2017). Garlic: an updated review on multipotential medicinal applications. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 9(10), 1874-1881.

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