Garlic is a superstar in the kitchen; it can transform a meal with its complex flavor.
Granted, your loved ones probably don’t love being around you after you’ve devoured a garlicky meal, but at least vampires won’t bother you.
JK… or am I?
Garlic does more than spice up your meals (and chase away the undead). This aromatic bulb has been used for thousands of years to promote immunity, support cardiovascular health, and enhance detoxification.
Garlic (Allium sativum) is a bulbous plant related to onions, chives, leeks, and scallions. It grows underground, and each bulb has roughly 10–20 segments or cloves.
Ancient civilizations had some weird beliefs about garlic that we laugh off today. But one thing remains, garlic is a medicinal superfood.
Garlic was nicknamed the “stinking rose” because of its pungent aroma. It comes from its content of sulfur-rich compounds allicin, diallyl disulfide, and s-allyl cysteine.
Sulfur is the third-most abundant mineral in the body – it’s a cofactor in hundreds of metabolic reactions.
Dozens of studies have found garlic supplements have a positive influence on health.
Garlic supplements work wonders for heart health. For example, consuming aged garlic extract (AGE) appears to lower blood pressure in hypertensive adults.
Researchers believe sulfur from garlic supports the production of hydrogen sulfide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels.
In addition, it may improve blood lipids. This meta-analysis (a study of studies) found garlic extract lowered total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol – the dense particles that trigger hardening of the arteries.
It appears the organosulfur compounds block cholesterol synthesis in the liver, which is also how statins work.
Case closed: Garlic supplements should be on your list if you have markers for (or a family history of) heart disease.
Garlic has a reputation for being a potent antimicrobial and natural antibiotic.
Researchers have found aged garlic extract can reduce the severity of a cold. However, the study used quite a high dose over three months.
As much as I want garlic to end the dreaded head cold, it probably won’t help if you’re already sick.
Unlike the “detox teas” advertised on Instagram, garlic actually supports detoxification pathways in the liver. It donates sulfur molecules needed to form the master antioxidant, glutathione (read more about glutathione here). This is crucial for detoxification.
This study found garlic helped people with lead toxicity. Incredibly, blood lead levels went down by 19%.
Unless you’re eating mountains of garlic (which will irritate your gut and chase away your friends), supplements are probably better than the fresh stuff when it comes to health benefits.
As sulfur compounds in garlic are unstable, a few minutes of air or light exposure destroys their potency. Carefully encapsulating garlic extract gives you access to the bioactive compounds in a stable form.
We’ve scoured the internet for the best garlic products on the market. They are all made according to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and tested for purity.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
Wakunaga of America has been making Kyolic, their odorless, aged garlic extract (AGE), since 1972. In Japanese, Kyolic means “powerful garlic.”
They grow organic, non-GMO garlic in California before placing it in stainless steel containers for 20 months.
The aging process turns raw garlic into a blend of organosulfur compounds (as shown in this study). While aging reduces the allicin content, it increases the levels of S-Allylcysteine (SAC) – an allicin derivative. Plus, aged garlic is odorless and gentle on the stomach.
Each 2-capsule serving contains 600 mg of AGE powder. And they come in bottles of 100, 200, or 300 capsules.
Kyolic products are the creme de la creme. They have over 250 quality control checks throughout the manufacturing process.
Micro Ingredients Odorless Garlic provides maximum-strength garlic extract at an affordable price.
Each soft gel contains 2000 mg of garlic extract in a 400:1 concentration ratio (it takes 400 grams of pure garlic to make 1 gram of extract). This strength is unmatched.
This product is USDA organic, non-GMO, and free from gluten, additives, and fillers.
If you struggle with pills, soft gels are easier to swallow. Plus, they get absorbed faster.
California-based Micro Ingredients are suppliers of over 200 premier nutrition supplements made in FDA-registered facilities. All their products are third-party tested, and the results are available on request.
PureBulk offers highly concentrated garlic extract (in a 10:1 ratio) in powder and capsule form. Each serving gives you 650 mg of garlic extract.
PureBulk has one of the only bulk options for garlic supplements out there. They’ve got you covered whether you want gel capsules, vegetable capsules, or powder to make your own supplements.
And it starts at as little as $6.75 for 100 grams of powder.
Dr. Joseph Mercola has been covering the science of wellness for years. All his products are manufactured according to GMP standards and thoroughly tested for purity.
2-capsules of Dr. Mercola’s black garlic offer:
It includes at least 1.2 mg of active s-allyl cysteine (SAD), shown to lower blood pressure.
You can grab this supplement on iHerb, a trusted marketplace for natural supplements. They offer discounts almost daily!
Doctor’s Best takes a science-based approach to supplements. All their products are third-party tested and made in cGMP facilities.
One serving of their garlic supplement provides 500 mg of fermented black garlic extract standardized to contain 0.1% or 500 mcg of S-Allyl Cysteine (SAC).
It’s certified vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO.
Life Extension Optimized Garlic is an affordable, quality option.
It contains 1200 mg of pure garlic extract per serving, standardized for 10,000 parts per million “allicin potential” – the amount of allicin you can absorb from the supplement.
Life Extension has been producing scientifically validated formulations for 40 years. All their products are third-party tested, and the Certificates of Analysis (COA) are freely available.
Pure Encapsulations Garlic Complex contains aged black garlic extract, fermented to enhance the bioavailability of the sulfur compounds.
A 2-serving capsule contains 600 mg of aged black garlic extract, standardized for 0.1% S-Allyl Cysteine (SAC). You also get 400 mg of pure garlic extract, standardized for 2‚000 mcg of allicin per gram.
It’s the priciest option on the list, but you’re getting the best of the best with this science-backed garlic supplement.
NOW Garlic 5000 is another capsule-based supplement offering 500 mg of garlic, standardized for 5000 mcg of allicin. It makes for a potent garlic supplement.
The production process maintains the integrity of allicin (and its precursors), so you don’t miss out on any health benefits.
Plus, each capsule is enteric coated, which protects the compounds from your stomach acid. It also reduces the garlic odor to prevent bad breath.
Solgar brings you garlic oil concentrate in easy-to-swallow soft gels.
Garlic oil is steam distilled from crushed garlic cloves, capturing volatile compounds in an oil medium. Each 1 mg serving of garlic oil is the equivalent of 500 mg of fresh garlic.
This product is free from gluten, additives, yeast, and sugar. However, it’s not odorless.
We’ve made it our mission to select what we believe are the best garlic products, but you must make the best decision for your needs.
Here’s how we ranked the products.
Natural supplements, like garlic, aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many companies take chances by making false claims and using fillers instead of active ingredients.
We selected third-party tested supplements and companies with cGMP certifications.
We chose garlic supplements that maintain the integrity of the sulfur compounds. This includes those who use aged and fermented garlic extract (the most studied forms).
We also boosted supplements using organically grown, non-GMO garlic.
You’ll find a range of garlic supplements, including capsules, soft gels, and powder.
We prioritized odorless garlic products because we don’t want you to lose friends.
More expensive doesn’t mean more effective. All else equal, we chose high-quality products that won’t hit your pocket too hard.
Pure Encapsulations is a fantastic product, but it is the priciest compared to the others on our list.
Most products recommend taking 500-2000 mg of garlic extract. However, several studies have used high doses of AGE without ill effects – up to 2.5 g daily.
Garlic oil concentrate is potent; 1-2 mg is a suitable dose.
In addition, most studies only noted benefits with long-term use. So, don’t expect a quick fix.
Garlic supplements are pretty safe. Some people experience digestive discomfort, but you can usually resolve this by taking the supplement with a meal.
However, garlic may thin the blood, so speak to your doctor if you are taking blood thinning medication or are scheduled for surgery. As a rule, talk to your doctor before taking any new supplement.