Confusion – Over the last 15 years or so, animal and cell culture studies (a complex process where cells are grown under controlled conditions) have shown garlic to either help reduce the growth rate in tumors, or at least help destroy some of their cells. However, over the same period of time, a sizable amount of conflicting information has also been released, making it difficult to understand whether garlic actually helps fight cancer or not.
Fact – With strong antibiotic and anti-fungal agents that are effective against fungal infections, bacterial infections, and the formation of carcinogen (any substance that is directly involved in causing cancer [usually inhaled through pollution, household cleaners, or consumed when eating char-broiled or processed meats, etc.]) in the body – Garlic certainly does have the ability to help.
Research – A French case-control study taken about 15 years ago, and published in the European Journal of Epidemiology concluded that with an increased consumption of garlic, a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer was found; however, in contrast to that study, a more recent study taken and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2006), voiced conflicting information.
Doubt – After analyzing dietary data from several European case-control studies, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that although high garlic intake could in-fact be associated with a significantly lower risk in certain cancers (stomach cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer) there was NO actual evidence to support any reduction to the risks of developing breast cancer.
Reasoning – It was concluded that due to breast cancer being associated with hormonal and reproductive factors and not to free radical damage (particles that damage cells) as with most other cancer types, the effects of garlic where in-fact unproductive towards any substantial or even noticeable change in the reduction of breast cancer when applied to treatments.
Studies Continue – However, shortly after-wards, another study taken in Osaka, Japan, found that diallyl disulfide an oil-soluble organosulfur compound produced during the decomposition of allicin (an active compound of garlic) did actually provide protection against hormone-dependent and hormone-independent breast cancer. However, in order for allicin to be formed, garlic cloves would need to be crushed, sliced, or chopped first.
Conclusion – Although results of studies (past and present) have been inconclusive over the years as to the degree of help (if any) garlic may offer in cancer treatments, and in particular breast cancer treatments, they do seem to indicate that garlic does offer a certain amount of protection for those who consume it. Even when taking into consideration this conflicting evidence, including garlic in any breast cancer diet would certainly be of a positive benefit to the person involved.