An extract of raw garlic beats cancer in the laboratory. A senior researcher at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, has shown that injections of raw garlic extract (RGE) totally wiped out sarcoma as well as another form of cancer in laboratory mice.
The effect was amazing. Daily injections of garlic “completely cured all the mice of cancer,” according to senior Wake Forest’s researcher, Zheng Cui, PhD. But big questions remain.
Garlic is good for you. So what else is new?
We know that garlic, including aged garlic extract (AGE), has beneficial effects in many conditions. This has been shown through numerous clinical studies:
- High blood pressure
- Arterial stiffness
- Gut microbiome profile (higher microbial diversity)
- Lowering triglycerides
- As well as many other conditions.
But does garlic also fight cancer? In particular, would edible garlic or aged garlic extract reproduce the effects of Dr. Cui’s injections? And, most importantly, why isn’t the National Cancer Institute and the super-rich drug industry starting clinical trials of injecting purified garlic extract into willing cancer patients?
The man behind the garlic breakthrough
Zheng Cui, PhD is a senior researcher at Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC. About ten years ago, his work made headlines when he discovered a strain of mice that were completely resistant to cancer! He then transferred their white blood cells into mice that already had cancer. The result? “Eradication of established malignancy at distant sites,” the quote the title of a paper from Wake Forest scientists.
That work had enormous potential, and was embraced by one of the greatest immunologist of the day, the late Lloyd J. Old, MD, of Sloan-Kettering Institute, New York. But for various reasons, which had nothing to do with its intrinsic merit, that treatment fell by the wayside.
Now Zheng is back, testing raw garlic extract (RGE) injections in laboratory mice with cancer. These rodents had a type of malignancy called sarcoma-180 as well as EL-4 ascites (cancerous fluid). Unfortunately, the RGE, when given orally, had little effect on these advanced cancers. But a daily injection of the same amount of injected RGE was completely effective.
Garlic beats Cancer– Media Blackout
Complete cures in two difficult mouse models are uncommon. When they do occur they usually give rise to press releases, headlines and clinical trials. If we were talking about a patented drug, animal results like these would be the prelude to a series of clinical trials.
But nothing of the sort has happened. Cui published his study in Cell Death Discovery in November 2018. There was nothing obscure about it. In fact, this journal is an offshoot of the famous Nature magazine. But four months later, there have been no press releases, articles or headlines. There was just one previous blog post on the topic. And the woman who wrote it only knew the garlic beats cancer story because Cui was a colleague of her husband.
According to Dr. Cui,
“The most-effective way of treating cancer by RGE may be the direct injection instead of eating the cooked garlic.”
But, unfortunately, that’s not available right now. If you Google the phrase “injectable garlic,” you mainly get recipes for how to marinade a turkey…but almost no articles on injecting garlic for medicinal purposes. I did find a few references to “injectable garlic” being used in Japan and Korea, but they looked awfully sketchy. Buyer beware!
A more prudent thing to do would be to make sure that one gets some raw or cooked garlic every day, or possibly some aged garlic supplements. This was not effective in Dr. Cui’s mice. But there is abundant evidence that oral garlic is healthful and may do a lot of good.
Garlic and CAM – (Complementary and Alternative Medicine)
Garlic is certainly no stranger to the world of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). At present, if you put the words ‘garlic’ and ‘cancer’ into the PubMed index you get over 1,000 references to scientific publications on the topic. So the idea that garlic defeats cancer in the laboratory is not new.
Herbs Against Cancer: History and Controversy
by Ralph W. Moss
The Most Ancient Medicine
In fact, people have used garlic for over 5,000 years as a food, flavoring, and medicine. Some people swear it is an aphrodisiac, but of course the opposite effect can occur as a result of ‘garlic breath’. Garlic is also a well known way to keep the vampires at bay.
But for many people it is an important cancer remedy as well, as part of a holistic regimen and healthy diet.
Garlic Beats Cancer
Frankly, some studies suggest that oral garlic beats cancer, while some others do not. That’s typical for most remedies. One problem is that the digestive system absorbs and alters the healing compounds in garlic. But taking aged garlic extract brings the compound into closer contact with any cancer cells. And injecting it makes an even more direct contact.
What We Know About Garlic and Cancer
In the Cui experiments, the anticancer effect of RGE was due to small molecules in the garlic, not just the more familiar allicin. Heat inactivated about half the activity of the compound within 10 minutes. This suggested that there are several ingredients that made injections of garlic beat cancer.
We often hear how wonderful fruits and vegetables are at combatting cancer. But, in fact, raw garlic extract was more effective at beating cancer cells than extracts of 21 other fruits and vegetables. The Wake Forest scientists noted that RGE also killed a wide variety of different cancer cells. So sarcoma and ascites may not be unique in their response to garlic.
Also, the Wake Forest scientists suggested a mechanism by which garlic beats cancer. It has to do with the Warburg effect, cancer’s abnormal requirement for sugar.
““The metabolism of these otherwise normal nutrients could be stalled in the cancer cells and become cytotoxic [i.e., poisonous].
Where Are the Clinical Trials?
Clinicaltrials.gov is a government website that contains details on almost 300,000 research studies in all 50 states and in 208 countries. If you search there, you will find a total of three clinical trials on cancer and garlic in the United States. That’s right: just 3 out of 300,000!
- There was a 2004 clinical trial of “Docetaxel Plus Garlic in Treating Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Breast Cancer.” Docetaxel is a form of chemotherapy. But no study results were posted to clinicaltrials.gov
- There was a 2011 clinical trial of “Garlic Intake And Biomarkers Of Cancer Risk.” This wasn’t a treatment trial and, again, no results were posted.
- Finally, there was a 2015 clinical trial of the standard drug gemcitabine with a host of other substances for pancreatic cancer. In this trial, a little garlic was combined with numerous other nutrients and drugs. So it could not have yielded significant information on garlic per se. And, also, no results were ever posted.
Prof. Cui’s research in mice is hardly the first lab study to suggest that garlic kills cancer cells. But the lack of follow through on this by the National Cancer Institute is shocking…and infuriating! Nowadays, new cancer treatments sell for as much as $475,000 per injection.
The new director of the NCI, Ned Sharpless, MD, recently said that he “lives to conquer cancer.” And the NCI gets literally billions of dollars in tax-payer money to develop new cancer treatment. But so far they can’t spare any of that money to test injectable garlic, or a host of other low-profit natural treatments of cancer.
If you decide to try garlic, first familiarize yourself with the potential side effects and interactions of this herbal compound. Here is a good place to start.