Garlic breath? Drink some milk
August 31st, 2010
04:31 PM ET

Garlic breath? Drink some milk

Garlic breath. Whether you're on a date or about to give an important presentation, that strong odor can be hard to get rid of.

But now scientists say that there is an easy remedy: Milk.

Researchers at Ohio State University have a study in the Journal of Food Science that found both fat-free and whole milk reduced the concentration of the chemicals of garlic that make it smell so strong. Water was the major component of milk responsible for deodorizing the smelly remnants of garlic. Because of the fat content, whole milk worked better than fat-free milk.

Adding milk to garlic before ingesting it was more effective in deodorizing a person's mouth than drinking milk after eating garlic, the researchers found.

"Ingesting beverages or foods with high water and/or fat content such as milk may help reduce the malodorous odor in breath after garlic ingestion and mask the garlic flavor during eating. To enhance the deodorizing effect, deodorant foods should be mixed with garlic before ingestion," the authors Areerat Hansanugrum and Sheryl Barringer wrote.

There are plenty of health reasons why you shouldn't let bad breath keep you from eating garlic. The vegetable has been suggested to have protective powers against cancer, urinary tract infections, and colds.

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