Garlic has been used by traditional healers for thousands of years, and recent scientific research backs its potent health properties. Most research has examined allicin, a sulfur compound in garlic shown to have anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, cholesterol-lowing and blood-thinning properties. Garlic supplementation has also been shown to reduce atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries due to plaque build-up. Studies have also demonstrated garlic’s ability to reduce blood pressure and to prevent and treat the common cold. Garlic supplements have a positive effect on the health of the cardiovascular system, and its natural antibiotic effects aid in the treatment of infection, particularly respiratory infections. Clinical research suggests garlic may also have applications in regulating blood sugar levels, lowering blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to coronary disease in high concentrations, and preventing some complications of diabetes.