HomeHealthcareThe role of garlic against gastric and colorectal cancers

The role of garlic against gastric and colorectal cancers

Garlic may have a protective role against gastric and colorectal cancers, in addition to many other health benefits. The scientific evidence and the mechanism of action are reported by a group of Chinese researchers in a meta-analysis published in Oncology Letters. (1)

Gastric and colorectal cancers, Asian most at risk

Tumors gastric and colorectal are the most common types of gastrointestinal cancer. Asian populations are more exposed, perhaps also due to the greater spread of the virus H. Pylori and excess salt and other sources of sodium in the diet. (2)

'A diet rich in salt can lead to a number of gastrointestinal diseases (...) and the increased consumption of fiber that is abundant in fresh fruits and vegetables is correlated with a reduced risk of gastrointestinal cancer ', the researchers recall. (3)

The medicinal properties of garlic

L'aglio (Allium sativum L.) is a perennial herbaceous plant of the family of Liliaceae. Its consumption was associated with medicinal properties already in ancient times.

'It was the "triaca of the peasants" of Galen. The Egyptians raised it to the rank of divinity. The workers who built the Pyramids received a clove of garlic every day for its tonic and antiseptic virtues. Garlic was considered a panacea by Jews, Greeks and Romans', wrote the French doctor Jean Valnet, (1920 - 1995), father of modern phytotherapy and aromatherapy. (4)

Garlic against gastric and colorectal cancers, the study

Among the numerous properties garlic (antiseptic, bactericidal, tonic, hypotensor, diuretic, etc.) also plays an active role in the prevention and treatment of cancer. In scientific literature it is indicated as effective in reducing the risk of carcinogenesis in the breast, pancreas and esophagus. And references to gastric and colorectal cancers also abound.

The authors of the study in question evaluated 648 scientific articles on the role of garlic in gastric and colorectal cancers alone and selected 20 - conducted in Europe, Asia, USA and Australia - of which:

  • 11 on the role of garlic in the prevention of gastric cancer,
  • 9 on the function of garlic with respect to colorectal cancer.

'Our results indicated that garlic intake significantly reduces the risk of gastric cancer (OR = 0,65, 95% CI = 0,49-0,87, P <0,001) and colorectal cancer (OR = 0,75, CI 95 % = 0,65-0,87, P <0,001). [This is] consistent with the epidemiological evidence supporting the correlation between garlic intake and a reduced risk of gastric and colorectal cancer', the researchers conclude.

Cancer prevention and therapy for apoptosis

The mechanism of action of garlic is due to the four main organic sulphides. Diallyl disulfide (DADS), diallyl trisulfide (DATS), S-allylmercaptocysteine ​​(SAMC) and allicin.they participate in the tumor-related biological process through various mechanisms, ultimately leading to apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and inhibition of migration in cancer cells. 

A medical compound containing active ingredients of garlic can exert potential preventive or therapeutic effects of the tumor through the aforementioned mechanisms in the human body, representing a new alternative of anticancer treatment ', conclude the researchers. In confirmation of what Dr. Jean Valnet reported in the 70s, according to which garlic 'prevents cancer due to its intestinal anti-putrid action'.

How to consume garlic

It is recommended to consume garlic frequently and regularly. Preferably raw and strictly organic, to avoid ingesting the residues of the chemistry widely used also on these crops (such as onions. See note 5).

Jean Valnet suggested some curative and preventive recipes, including:

  • 'garlic in salads and in food, usually (preferably raw),
  • one or two cloves of garlic every morning (gout, health in general) and usually, every day with meals,
  • recommended method: chop two cloves of garlic in the evening with a few parsley leaves and add a few drops of olive oil. Make it, the next morning, a canapé for breakfast.

To neutralize the smell garlic, chew 2 or 3 grains of coffee, a few grains of anise or cumin, cardamom (...), or even an apple or a sprig of parsley '. (4) No need for candy and chewing gum, often filled with problematic additives. (6)

Cover design from the book by dr. Franck Senninger. L'ail et ses bienfaits (Jouvence, Paris, 2009. ISBN-10. 288353683X)


(1) Wang Y, Huang P, Wu Y, Liu D, Ji M, Li H, Wang Y. Association and mechanism of garlic consumption with gastrointestinal cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Oncol Lett. 2022 Apr; 23 (4): 125. doi: 10.3892 / ol.2022.13245. Epub 2022 Feb 17. PMID: 35222725; PMCID: PMC8867184, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35222725/ 

(2) Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. Excess salt, chronic disease and premature mortality. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade), 30.5.20

(3) Dario Dongo, Carlotta Suardi. Whole grain and fiber, long healthy life. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade) 25.1.19

(4) Jean Valnet. He cures diseases with the essences of plants. Martello Joints (1976)

(5) Marta Strinati, Dario Dongo. Onions with pesticides, we just have to cry. #SaveLeApi. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade) 28.3.21

(6) Marta Strinati. Additives at risk in Daygum Ferragni rubbers. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade) 17.7.22

Marta Strinati
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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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