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Black Garlic and Late Night Snacking

November 18, 2010 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

It’s been an interesting week on Twitter. As always, I discovered a broad array of health information that expanded my knowledge base. Today’s blog highlights three of the numerous interesting tweets. The first item is inspired by Dr. William Yates. He takes on the important topic of stroke-related depression. Next, a visit with Dr. Jonny Bowden and one his colleagues, Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc, to review some timely advice about how to minimize nighttime snacking. Finally, Dr. Andrew Weil explains the differences and similarities between black and fresh garlic.

Post-stroke depression is a predictor of long term survival after an acute stroke. A recent review determined that stroke patients with depression and executive dysfunction had a median survival time of about 6.6 years vs. 10.3 years in those without this set of symptoms. Thankfully, a new study from the School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Western Australia reports that B-vitamin supplementation may reduce the risk of stroke-related depression. The use of 2 mg of folic acid, 25 mg of Vitamin B6 and 500 mcg of Vitamin B12 daily lowered the hazard ratio of major and minor depression in a group of 273 stroke patients. The study in question used a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized design and had an average follow up time of 7.1 years. (1,2,3)

I work with many clients who are trying to lose weight. One of the most challenging aspects is limiting late night eating. Here’s a practical list of strategies that may help to accomplish this end:

  • Eat meals that are rich in dietary fiber, healthy fats and protein during the day. A hearty breakfast is especially important
  • If you “have to” snack on something, choose a crunchy yet nutritious snack, such as celery with almond butter or organic nuts.
  • Drink plenty of non-caloric beverages throughout the day and before meals and snacks. Warm drinks may calm cravings and stress.
  • Stay busy. Occupy yourself with engaging activities. The busier you are, the less likely you are to focus on non-essential hunger.
  • Practice conscience eating. “Don’t take the food container to the couch. Instead, place a portion on a small plate and bring it with you.” (4,5,6)
Black Garlic May Possess More Potent Antioxidant Activity Than Fresh Garlic
Source: Nutr Res Pract. 2009 Summer;3(2):156-161. (link)

Have you ever gone to a fancy or hip restaurant and spotted items on the menu that you’ve never heard of before? Black garlic may fall into this category for many people. In a current column, Dr. Andrew Weil describes this trendy condiment in the following manner: “Black garlic was introduced in Japan in 2005 and has also been used in Korea and Thailand. In the past few years, it has made a big hit with high-end chefs, who have been using it to flavor fish, chicken, and risotto”. I’ve never tried black garlic myself. But I was curious to see what’s been documented about it in the medical literature. Presently, there isn’t much hard evidence to differentiate this aged garlic from its fresh counterpart in terms of health benefits. A recent study in mice and in vitro suggests that black garlic may possess stronger antioxidant properties. Other preliminary research indicates potential for cardiovascular and diabetic health risks. But at the moment, it’s clear to me (and Dr. Weil) that more data is needed before widespread substitution of fresh garlic takes place. Time may even reveal that differences in the chemical composition of black garlic (a lack of alliin and allicin) may result in certain disadvantages. Just because they’re derived from the same bulb doesn’t mean they’re necessarily the same. (7,8,9,10,11)

You may have noticed that I’ve incorporated my Twitter feed into the upper right hand border of this site. I did so in order to share some of the additional content that many non-tweeters were missing out on. The messages I post on Twitter are completely different than what I publish here. They’re obviously much shorter, but I often tweet to support previous content that I’ve covered in more depth on this site. The bottom line is that my Twitter work is intended to complement what I do and will continue to do here. If you’re at all interested in participating with me on Twitter, please do so. I’ll gladly “follow you” and we can interact via that medium as well. But, if that’s not for you, you can now access much of the content directly from our home page.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

Be well!


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Heart Health

10 Comments & Updates to “Black Garlic and Late Night Snacking”

  1. Mark Says:

    JP, clear up some confusion. Is black garlic just a dried version of fresh or is it..lets say…a spoiled version?

  2. anne h Says:

    Great research, as usual!

  3. liverock Says:


    The stroke depression is more than likely due to high homocysteine and the B6/folate/B12 will lower homocysteine levels.

    If the stroke patients had been taking the B vitamin therapy before the stroke, they might have avoided this tragedy as people with high homocysteine have 550% more chance of having a stroke. It pays to keep taking the daily B Complex supplement,especially as you get older.


  4. JP Says:


    Here’s how the aging process is described by one manufacturer:

    Otherwise known as fermented garlic, black garlic is produced by enzymatic fermentation.

    “It’s not true fermentation as there is no yeast or fungus involved – some people refer to it as an ‘aging process’,” said Adeline Prevost, Frutarom’s Health product manager. “Our ingredient is produced more via an ‘auto-fermentation’ process, as it’s based on the enzymes that are naturally present in the fresh garlic.”

    The garlic bulbs take one months to age, she explained, then they are dried and processed for the extract to be obtained.

    Around 6g of fermented garlic is needed to obtain 1g of black garlic extract, meaning that the recommended daily intake of 660mg is equivalent to 4g of the fermented bulbs.


    Be well!


  5. JP Says:

    Thank you, Anne! 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Be well!


  6. JP Says:


    Agreed. That’s certainly what they were going for in the study – the lowering of homocysteine. Unfortunately, I only had access to the abstract of the trial which only highlighted the primary endpoints (major and minor depression scores). However, I’m sure homocysteine levels dropped as well.

    Be well!


  7. Rakesh Says:

    Garlic has excellent natural antibiotic and blood cleansing properties. Aged garlic has increased “fire” quality than fresh & perhaps helps with digestion of hard to digest foods. Not sure if antibiotic property is compromised in the aged garlic. I would still keep fresh in my diet. Be Well, Rakesh Sethi

  8. Naturalremedy Says:

    I took fermented black garlic aka aged black garlic from 11/10/12 through 2/20/13 and updated my blood test to see how the fermented black garlic worked.

    Compared to my blood test from 9/11/12, total cholesterol changed from 214 to 151, TC 57 to 54, HDL 67 to 59, LDL 135 to 81, Glucose 105 to 76. I was very pleased with the change and I want to share how to make this wonderful fermented black garlic at home.

    1. Buy 15-20 bulbs of organic garlic. RECOMMEND USING ORGANIC GARLIC ONLY.

    2. In an electrical rice cooker for 10 cups that has cook and warm settings, place a steamer basket at the bottom of the rice cooker. Place the whole garlic bulbs with skin, about 15-20 bulbs in an upright position in the rice cooker.

    3. Spray the garlic lightly with Asahi draft Japanese beer.

    4. Closed the lid and plug in the rice cooker, put it to warm setting. I recommend keeping the rice cooker outside. It smells really strong. I kept mine on the deck under the patio table to keep the snow and rain out.

    5. Leave it alone for 14 days. DO NOT OPEN FOR 14 DAYS.

    6. Take the garlic out and place them on a tray or wire rack and let it dry for 14 days in a cool, dark, and well ventilated place. I dried mine in the garage.

    7. Put the garlic in a ziplock bag and store in the refrigerator.

    8. Peel one bulb at a time and eat 2 cloves with food three times a day.

    9. Drink plenty of water.

  9. JP Says:

    Thank you for sharing your instructions and success story with us! I wish you continued success!

    Be well!


  10. JP Says:

    Updated 08/24/16:


    Molecules. 2014 Oct 20;19(10):16811-23.

    Physicochemical and antioxidant properties of black garlic.

    Black garlic (BG) is a processed garlic product prepared by heat treatment of whole garlic bulbs (Allium sativum L.) at high temperature under high humidity for several days, resulting in black cloves with a sweet taste. BG has recently been introduced to the Korean market as a product beneficial to health. To clarify how BG changes during the 35 day aging period, the physicochemical characteristics, antioxidant contents, and antioxidant activities were evaluated under controlled conditions of 70 °C and 90% relative humidity. Reducing sugar and total acidity of BG increased during the aging period, whereas pH decreased from pH 6.33 to 3.74. Lightness and yellowness values of BG radically decreased during the aging period, whereas redness values increased significantly. Antioxidant components, including the total polyphenol and total flavonoids contents of BG, increased significantly until the 21st day of aging (p < 0.05) and correspondingly, the antioxidant activities of BG, measured by DPPH, ABTS, FRAP, and reducing power assays, were highest on the 21st day of aging. These results indicate that BG can be considered to not only possess antioxidant properties during the aging period, but also to reach its optimal antioxidant properties at the 21st day of aging. Be well! JP

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