This is a very interesting paper in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 2009 on the merit of garlic in the diet.
Natural plant products have a real place in combating various physiological threats including oxidative stress, cardiovascular problems, cancer, and immune dysfunction.
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 have emphasised 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.
Diallyl sulfide, Diallyl disulfide Diallyl trisulfide AllylMethyl sulfide AllylMethyl disulfide Allylmethyl trisulfide 2-vinyl-4H-I,3-dithiin
E- Ajoene , Z-Ajoene
Garlic has many modes of preparation which are believed to be 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 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 chemoprevenrive 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.
Masood Sadiq Butt et al 2009 Garlic : Nature’s protection against physiological threats, Critcal Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition vol 49, pp 538-5551
- Martin Eastwood