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garlicEating raw garlic twice a week can nearly halve the risk of lung cancer, even reducing the danger for smokers, a study has found.

Adults regularly consuming raw garlic as part of their diet were 44 per cent less likely to suffer the disease.

Even when they allowed for whether people smoked – the biggest single cause of lung cancer – the scientist found garlic still seemed to reduce the dangers by around 30 per cent.

Around 40,000 people in England and Wales are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, and it is the deadliest form of the disease.

Smoking is thought to cause at least 80 per cent of cases and fewer than one in ten sufferers are still alive five years after their diagnosis.

Garlic has been used to treat a range of ailments, from stomach bugs to impotence, for thousands of years, and is credited with lowering the risk of heart disease and strokes.

The popular herb has been credited with impacting upon stomach cancer and colon cancer, and a study at the University of South Australia suggested that it could reduce the risk of bowel tumours by nearly a third.

Previous studies have also suggested garlic can protect the lungs against various conditions, leading to speculation that it is nature’s best medicine.

In the latest investigation, scientists at Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention compared 1,424 lung cancer patients with 4,500 healthy adults.

Each one was questioned on their dietary and lifestyle habits, including how often they consumed garlic and whether they smoked.

The results, published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, showed those who ate raw garlic at least twice a week were significantly less likely to get lung cancer, even if they smoked or were exposed to high-temperature cooking oil fumes, which is thought to be another trigger for the disease.

It’s not clear whether cooked garlic would have the same effect.

Previous research suggests the key ingredient seems to be a chemical called allicin, released when the clove is crushed or chopped.

It is thought to dampen down inflammation in the body and act as an anti-oxidant, reducing damage from so-called free radicals to the body’s cells.

Other studies have found it may help ward off the common cold, hospital superbugs and even malaria.

In a report on their findings the researchers said: “Garlic may potentially serve as a preventive agent for lung cancer.”

Cystic Fibrosis A Race We Must Win2013 Miles in 2013

This year I am trying to complete 2013 miles self-powered miles. It is has been 10 years since my cousin’s son Adam lost his fight with Cystic Fibrosis. Adam was just 18 years old when when he lost his lifelong battle with CF, the UK’s most common life-threatening inherited disease. Despite spending large parts of his short life in hospital Adam never once complained, not even of a headache and was determined to make the most of everyday.

My 2013 miles in 2013 challenge is in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.

The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, in February I completed a further 200.9 miles, in March I completed 185.7 miles, in April I completed 192.1 miles, in May I completed 168 miles, in June I completed 145 miles and in June I completed 210.1 miles. If you can please spare £13.07 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.

The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.

2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules

The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:

  1. All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
  2. I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment

To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.