Garlic 2010 - Garlic Background Garlic, Allium sativum, has...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Garlic Background Garlic , Allium sativum , has been cultivated and used for thousands of years both as a spice to flavor foods and as a medicine for its reported health benefits in treating infectious and cardiovascular diseases. From Egyptian pharaohs to Chinese emperors; Benedictine monks in the Middle Ages to soldiers in WWII, garlic has been used to protect against vampires, treat cases of the plague, and fight off infections. [1] Over the last quarter century, garlic has become one of the most popular dietary supplements in the western world due to clinical studies focusing on its potential benefits in preventing cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing serum lipid levels, and inhibiting blood clotting. Together with its cardiovascular benefits, Garlic has also been under study for its ability to reduce cancer risk. Garlic and garlic supplements are sometimes promoted to prevent or treat cancer. Chemistry The bulb is the part of the plant with the highest concentration of the most active compound alliin. Upon crushing, bruising, or chewing the bulb, the enzyme alliinase comes into contact with alliin, resulting in its conversion to allicin. Allicin has been shown to be essential to most of the antimicrobial and hypocholestrolemic effects of garlic and probably to most of the antithrombotic and antioxidant effect. Many preparations, purported not to result in the typical garlic breath, have been marketed. The most active component is allylalliin (allyl- L-(+)-cysteine sulfoxide) and some conjugates. These are changed with exposure to air, drying, and remoistening. The resulting compounds are allicin, cycloalliin and other sulfides. Fermentation of the minced garlic in a water and alcohol mixture will reduce the most volatile odors [2], but due to human metabolism some of the active ingredients will result in the hydrogen sulfide compounds (the rotten egg smell). Scientific Support Although touted by the herbal industry to possess various properties (including but not limited to antispasmodic, antiseptic, bacteriostatic, antiviral [4], as well as a promoter of leukocytosis) the most recent studies of garlic has targeted its hypotensive [5] and hypocholesterolemic activities. [6] 1) High blood pressure Work with animals has shown that garlic's hypotensive effects can occur within 30 minutes [7], but this is fairly transient as the effect can no longer be seen after 2 hours. In a review of human experiments, Kleijnen et al [8] observed that studies were not well designed and suffered from small enrollments with no treatment groups including more than 25 patients.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 06/09/2010 for the course MFC 141 taught by Professor Horvath during the Summer '10 term at SUNY Buffalo.

Page1 / 5

Garlic 2010 - Garlic Background Garlic, Allium sativum, has...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online