Can garlic help you live longer? A Chinese study of octagenarians and nonagenarians suggests that those who eat the most garlic are least likely to die prematurely (Nutrients, June 30, 2019). In this instance, of course, “premature” is a relative term. Anyone who reaches 80-plus is already enjoying a long life.
Long Life for Garlic Lovers:
Researchers recruited 27,000 Chinese elders at least 80 years old between 1998 and 2011. Since these people had already reached an advanced age before joining the study, approximately 22,000 of the volunteers died while enrolled. When the researchers followed up through 2014, they logged 92,505 person-years of data.
People who reported that they ate garlic five or more times a week survived longer than those who reported eating it less than once a week. They were about 11 percent less likely to die during the study period. Those who reported consuming the pungent vegetable one to four times weekly also benefited.
Why Would Garlic Be Helpful?
Perhaps one reason garlic might contribute to long life could be its effect on blood pressure. In China, older people with moderately low blood pressure live longer than those with either very high or very low blood pressure (BMJ, June 5, 2018). Crushed raw garlic lowers blood pressure, triglycerides and fasting blood sugar (Journal of Dietary Supplements, July 4, 2018).