Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009 Jun;49(6):538-51.
Garlic: nature's protection against physiological threats.
National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan. firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently reliance on natural products is gaining popularity to combat various physiological threats including oxidative stress, cardiovascular complexities, cancer insurgence, and immune dysfunction. The use of traditional remedies may encounter more frequently due to an array of scientific evidence in their favor. Garlic (Allium sativum) holds a unique position in history and was recognized for its therapeutic potential.
Recent advancements in the field of immunonutrition, physiology, and pharmacology further explored its importance as a functional food against various pathologies.
Extensive research work has been carried out on the health promoting properties of garlic, often referred to its sulfur containing metabolites i.e. allicin and its derivatives. Garlic in its preparations are effective against health risks and even used as dietary supplements such as age garlic extract (AGE) and garlic oil etc.
Its components/formulations can scavenge free radicals and protect membranes from damage and maintains cell integrity.
It also provides cardiovascular protection mediated by lowering of cholesterol, blood pressure, anti-platelet activities, and thromboxane formation thus providing protection against atherosclerosis and associated disorders.
Besides this, it possesses antimutagenic and antiproliferative properties that are interesting in chemopreventive interventions.
Several mechanisms have been reviewed in this context like activation of detoxification phase-I and II enzymes, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and reducing DNA damage etc.
Garlic could be useful in preventing the suppression of immune response associated with increased risk of malignancy as it stimulates the proliferation of lymphocytes, macrophage phagocytosis, stimulates the release of interleukin-2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma, and enhances natural killer cells.
In this paper much emphasis has been placed on garlic's ability to ameliorate oxidative stress, core role in cardiovascular cure,
chemopreventive strategies, and indeed its prospective as immune booster.
PMID: 19484634 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Med Hypotheses. 2008 Dec;71(6):897-9. Epub 2008 Sep 3.
A new therapeutic candidate for oral aphthous ulcer: Allicin.
State Key Laboratory of Oral Disease, West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, China.
Recurrent aphthous ulcer (RAU) is the most common ulcer of oral non-keratinized mucosa, but the treatment is always limited at present. Considering the multifactorial etiology of RAU, a novel therapeutic agent with multi-bioactivties should be presented. Garlic has been recognized as a favorable natural medicine against a large number of pathologic conditions. The major component of garlic is allicin, which could effectively decrease inflammatory factors secretion, reduce the migration of neutrophils, inhibit bacterium and virus, antagonize oxidation and regulate immunity. By these bioactivities of anti-inflammation, anti-microbial activity, anti-oxidation and immunomodulation, the allicin may be an effective therapeutic candidate to control the pain, promote ulcer healing and prevent the recurrence of RAU.
PMID: 18771860 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]