The Benefits of Black Garlic

By: Dr. Michael O’Leary PhD

Published on February 6th, 2019

We all know of garlic, it’s something that many of us use often when cooking to flavor our dishes. I often use it daily in most of my dishes because I like the taste of it so much. But did you know that garlic is a powerful natural substance that can assist the body in many ways? And there is an even more naturally powerful garlic that we can also use: Black Garlic.  It is your basic garlic except when being prepared, it is a fermented and aged and by doing so, creates an even more powerful natural supplement for your body.

Black garlic may be best known within Asia, where it is a commonly used supplement/medicine that has been part of their culture for 100’s of years. It is a sweet flavored, jelly-like textured substance when freshly removed as a clove(1).

In this article, I will tell you more about black garlic and the amazing properties it possesses, which can greatly benefit your overall health.

During the fermentation process from regular garlic to black garlic, a number of changes take place.  Allicin, which is the component from fresh garlic that gives the notorious odor, is converted into a number of antioxidants(2). The various antioxidants contained in black garlic are stronger than in fresh garlic. For example, Amadori and Heyns compounds that are formed during these reactions are much more effective and black garlic contains anywhere between 40-100 times more of these compounds then fresh garlic(3).

A third powerful antioxidant found in black garlic is 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF). When compared to regular white garlic, black garlic has more of this beneficial component as it is created and increased under higher heat(4).

Both of these examples are just quick insight into some of the elements that are part of a long list of powerful compounds within black garlic that make it a strong supplement for your body. Let’s look at how these compounds can directly affect your health for the better.


A number of human and animal studies have shown the effect that black garlic has on the inflammation response in the body. When black garlic is ingested, immediate actions start to reduce inflammation through the activation of 5-HMF (above). This, in turn, reduces the number of TNF-a cells in your body, which are guilty of increasing inflammation response, swelling and blood flow(5).

Another study using immune cells showed that the use of black garlic was able to decrease the production of nitric oxide, TNF-a and prostaglandin E2 cells, which are all key promoters of inflammation and cell damage within your body(6).

When we have inflammation in our bodies this can be a good process as it is warning us, protecting, and healing areas of injury.  However, when the body has excess or unneeded inflammation, it can quickly turn into a bad and even chronic situation.

The effectiveness of black garlic, as shown in the above studies and in the ones being currently conducted, continues to demonstrate that it reduces the inflammation response to a normal and appropriate level within our body. When this is done, there is a decrease in chronic pain, swelling and reduced range of motion or “stiffness” within your joints.

Antioxidant Source

As discussed, black garlic is a rich source of antioxidants and this, multiple times more than plain fresh white garlic. Why should we be concentrating on taking antioxidants? In a previous blog post, I wrote about berries and their positive effects on free radicals/oxidants. If you have too many free radicals/oxidants, they can be of great harm to the body, causing numerous acute and long-term ailments. Such things could be cardiovascular diseases, liver issues, some cancers, arthritis, chronic pain and many more.

One study found that black garlic is 10 times more effective than fresh garlic in its antioxidant power. They were able to show that the garlic mimics an enzyme called superoxide dismutase by defending numerous cells within the body from hydrogen peroxide, a molecule that can cause tissue damage on numerous areas of the body(7).

Numerous other studies have shown the direct antioxidant effect on skin damage, reduced damage to blood, liver and kidneys(8).

As you can see, black garlic is a powerhouse supplement with great benefits specific here to anti-inflammation as well as a great source of antioxidants. In terms of safety, there are no known major side effects of taking black garlic, and no strong aftertaste when taken in powder and supplement form.

If you want to try black garlic for yourself, Pure Life Select offers a great option on their store:

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