"The bottom line is, there is certainly not enough evidence for garlic for a health claim for any cancer prevention," said Colleen Doyle, director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.
"There is weak evidence it may have an impact on some cancer sites," she said.
Her advice? "If you like garlic, great. Roast it, chop it up, sauté it. It's not going to be harmful to you," she said. "If, down the line, stronger evidence emerges that garlic has an impact on cancer, great. If you like it, eat it."
Meanwhile, said Doyle, a garlic lover herself, focus on actions known to reduce cancer risk, such as eating a well-balanced diet.
"We do know that people who eat a diet with a mixture of fruits and vegetables, who eat mostly a plant-based diet, do tend to have lower rates of cancer."
To learn more about diet and cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: Colleen Doyle, M.S., R.D., director, nutrition and physical activity, American Cancer Society, Atlanta.; Oran Kwon, Ph.D., department of nutritional science and food management, Ewha Women's University, Seoul, South Korea; January 2009, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
All rights reserved