Lead poisoning is life threatening and comes with all sorts of health risks. The common solution in the conventional medical world, of course, is a prescription drug that goes by the name d-penicillamine, but this medication is accompanied by too many serious health risks. One recent study, however, has indicated that garlic is a far safer and just as effective option, and it’s something many of us already eat.
According to research published last year in Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, garlic is as effective at chelating lead from the body as d-penicillamine, and it does so without the serious side effects.
GreenMedInfo.com reports that lead poisoning accounts for 0.2% of all deaths and 0.6% of disability-adjusted life years globally. The heavy metal, once commonly used in paints, is still around today and has been known to wreak havoc on the skeletal, cardiovascular, and digestive systems. It’s also known to have profoundly negative effects on the kidneys, nervous system, and reproductive organs. A 2008 study found that children exposed to lead grow up to have decreased brain volume when compared with other healthy adults.
But the Big Pharma treatment for lead poisoning doesn’t do much better. D-penicillamine comes with side effects like anemia, diarrhea, bone marrow suppression, collagen disorders, distorted taste, as well as kidney, liver, and muscle damage. The occurrence of these side effects is estimated at 30 to 60%, not a good risk to gamble on.
The garlic study, however, showed that not only does garlic reduce lead toxicity like D-penicillamine, but it does so with no side effects (except for maybe garlic breath). Several symptoms of lead poisoning actually decreased with garlic treatment but not with D-penicillamine treatment. This paired with the lack of side effects makes it a worthwhile choice. Looks like garlic is one of many detoxifying healing foods.
The researchers concluded:
“The frequency of side effects was significantly (p=0.023) higher in d-penicillamine than in the garlic group. Thus, garlic seems safer clinically and as effective as d-penicillamine. Therefore, garlic can be recommended for the treatment of mild-to-moderate lead poisoning.”
This study simply adds to the long list of research affirming the many health benefits of garlic. The delicious bulb has immune boosting and anti-infection properties, it is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, and it tastes great in just about any savory dish.