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Review

Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects


Leyla Bayan1, Peir Hossain Koulivand1, Ali Gorji1, 2*
1
Shefa Neuroscience Research Centre, Tehran, I. R. Iran
2
Institut für Physiologie I, Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurochirurgie, Department of Neurology, Epilepsy Research
Center, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany

Article history: Abstract


Received: Aug 11, 2013
Throughout history, many different cultures have recognized the
Received in revised form:
Aug 30, 2013 potential use of garlic for prevention and treatment of different
Accepted: Sep 5, 2013 diseases. Recent studies support the effects of garlic and its extracts in
Vol. 4, No. 1, Jan-Feb 2014, 1- a wide range of applications. These studies raised the possibility of
14 revival of garlic therapeutic values in different diseases. Different
compounds in garlic are thought to reduce the risk for cardiovascular
* Corresponding Author: diseases, have anti-tumor and anti-microbial effects, and show benefit
Tel: +492518355564 on high blood glucose concentration. However, the exact mechanism
Fax: +492518355551 of all ingredients and their long-term effects are not fully understood.
gorjial@uni-muenster.de Further studies are needed to elucidate the pathophysiological
mechanisms of action of garlic as well as its efficacy and safety in
Keywords:
treatment of various diseases.
Cancer
Cardiovascular diseases
Herbal medicine
Traditional medicine

Please cite this paper as:


Bayan L, Koulivand PH, Gorji A. Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects. Avicenna J Phytomed, 2014; 4
(1): 1-14.

Introduction Garlic (Allium sativum L.) has acquired a


Dietary factors play a key role in the reputation in different traditions as a
development of various human diseases. prophylactic as well as therapeutic medicinal
Across cultures, there are many different plant. Garlic has played important dietary
dietary patterns which are believed to and medicinal roles throughout the
promote human health. Despite cultural history.Some of the earliest references to this
differences, there are some shared medicinal plant were found in Avesta, a
characteristics of healthy dietary patterns. collection of Zoroastrian holy writings that
Perceiving plant foods as beneficial diet is was probably compiled during the sixth
advised by the folklore of many cultures over century BC (Dannesteter, 2003). Garlic has
centuries. also played as an important medicine to

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Bayan et al.

Sumerian and the ancient Egyptians. There is different types or subspecies of garlic, most
some evidence that during the earliest notably hardneck garlic and softneck garlic.
Olympics in Greece, garlic was fed to the Allicin (allyl 2-propenethiosulfinate or
athletes for increasing stamina (Lawson and diallyl thiosulfinate) is the principal bioactive
Bauer, 1998). compound present in the aqueous extract of
Ancient Chinese and Indian medicine garlic or raw garlic homogenate. When garlic
recommended garlic to aid respiration and is chopped or crushed, allinase enzyme is
digestion and to treat leprosy and parasitic activated and produce allicin from alliin
infestation (Rivlrn, 1998).In the medieval (present in intact garlic). Other important
period, garlic was also played an important compounds present in garlic homogenate are
role in the treatment of different diseases. 1 -propenyl allyl thiosulfonate, allyl methyl
Avicenna (1988), in his well-known book, Al thiosulfonate, (E,Z)-4,5,9-trithiadodeca-
Qanoon Fil Tib (The Canon of Medicine), l,6,11-triene 9- oxide (ajoene), and y-L-
recommended garlic as a useful compound in glutamyl-S-alkyl- L-cysteine. The adenosine
treatment of arthritis, toothache, chronic concentration increases several-fold as the
cough, constipation, parasitic infestation, homogenate is incubated at room temperature
snake and insect bites, gynecologic diseases, for several hours.
as well as in infectious diseases (as Another widely studied garlic preparation
antibiotic). With the onset of Renaissance, is aged garlic extract. Sliced draw garlic
special attention was paid in Europe to the stored in 15-20% ethanol for more than 1.5
health benefits of garlic. Garlic has attracted year is refereed to aged garlic extract. This
particular attention of modern medicine whole process is supposed to cause
because of widespread belief about its effects considerable loss of allicin and increased
in maintaining good health. In some Western activity of certain newer compounds, such as
countries, the sale of garlic preparations S-allylcysteine, sallylmercaptocysteine,
ranks with those of leading prescription allixin, N-0 -(Ideoxy- D-fructos- 1 -yl)-L-
drugs. There is appreciable epidemiologic arginine, and selenium which are stable and
evidence that demonstrates therapeutic and significantly antioxidant. Medicinally used,
preventive roles for garlic. Several garlic oil is mostly prepared by steam-
experimental and clinical investigations distillation process. Steam-distilled garlic oil
suggest many favorable effects of garlic and consists of the diallyl, allylmethyl, and
its preparations. These effects have been dimethyl mono to hexa sulfides (Lawson and
largely attributed to i) reduction of risk Bauer, 1998). Botanically, Allium sativum is
factors for cardiovascular diseases, ii) a member of the Lillaceae family, along with
reduction of cancer risk, iii) antioxidant onions, chives, and shallots (Iciek et al.,
effect, iv) antimicrobial effect, and v) 2009; Lanzotti, 2006).
enhancement of detoxification foreign
compound and hepatoprotection (Colín-
González, 2012; Aviello, 2009). In this
review, a survey on current experimental as
well as clinical state of knowledge about the
preventive and therapeutic effects of garlic in
different diseases is given.
Garlic is a bulbous plant; grows up to 1.2
m in height. Garlic is easy to grow and can
be grown in mild climates (Figure). There are Figure 1. Garlic bulbs

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Effects of garlic on cardiovascular diseases of cardiovascular morbidity in patients


Garlic and its preparations have been diagnosed with hypertension (Stabler et al.,
widely recognized as agents for prevention 2012).
and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The It has been suggested that the mechanism
wealth of scientific literature supports the of antihypertensive activity of garlic is due to
proposal that garlic consumption have its prostaglandin-like effects, which decrease
significant effects on lowering blood peripheral vascular resistance (Rashid and
pressure, prevention of atherosclerosis, Khan, 1985). Aged garlic extract was
reduction of serum cholesterol and superior to placebo in lowering systolic
triglyceride, inhibition of platelet blood pressure in patients suffering from
aggregation, and increasing fibrinolytic uncontrolled hypertension. A dosage of 240-
activity (Chan et al., 2013). Both 960 mg of aged garlic extract containing 0.6-
experimental and clinical studies on different 2.4 of S-allylcysteine significantly lowered
garlic preparations demonstrate these blood pressure by about 12 mmHg over 12
favorable cardiovascular effects. weeks (Ried et al., 2013a).
In in vivo animal experiments, intravenous Garlic administration in rats suffering
administration of garlic extracts produced from hypercholesterolemia, induced by a
slight reductions in both systolic and high-cholesterol diet, significantly reduced
diastolic pressures (Sial and Ahmed, 1982) serum cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL, but
and oral ingestion of garlic extract in there was no effect on serum HDL (Kamanna
hypertensive animals brought the blood and Chandrasekhara, 1982). In in vitro
pressure back to the normal level (Chandekar experiments, garlic administration
and Jain, 1973). Several clinical studies suppressed LDL oxidation and increased
showed that garlic reduced blood pressure in HDL, which may be one of the protective
more than 80% of patients suffering from mechanisms of the beneficial effects of garlic
high blood pressure (Auer et al., 1989; Konig in cardiovascular health (Rahman and Lowe,
and Scineider, 1986; Petkov, 1979; Omar, 2006). Long term application of garlic and its
2013; Stabler et al., 2012). In one trial, preparations on experimental atherosclerosis
investigation on 47 hypertensive patients induced by a high cholesterol diet, showed
showed that garlic significantly decreased the 50% reduction in atheromatous lesions,
mean systolic blood pressure by 12 mmHg particularly in the aorta (Jain, 1977). Most of
and the mean supine diastolic blood pressure human studies on lipid lowering effects of
by 9 mmHg versus placebo. The authors garlic and garlic preparations described
stated that garlic was free from side effects significant decrease in serum cholesterol and
and no serious complication was reported triglyceride (Gardner et al., 2001; Ziaei et al.,
(Auer 1990). 2001). A meta-analysis including 39 primary
In another study, 200 mg of garlic powder trials of the effect of 2 months administration
was given three times daily, in addition to of garlic preparations on total cholesterol,
hydrochlorothiazide-triamterene baseline low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-
therapy, produced a mean reduction of density lipoprotein cholesterol, and
systolic blood pressure by 10-11 mmHg and triglycerides was performed (Ried et al.,
of diastolic blood pressure by 6-8 mmHg 2013b). The results suggest garlic is effective
versus placebo (Kandziora 1988). However, in reduction of total serum cholesterol by
these data are insufficient to determine if 17±6 mg/dL and low-density lipoprotein
garlic provides a therapeutic advantage cholesterol by 9 ± 6 mg/dL in subjects with
versus placebo in terms of reducing the risk elevated total cholesterol levels (>200

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Bayan et al.

mg/dL). An 8% reduction in total serum collagen or arachidonate application in


cholesterol is of clinical relevance and is rabbits.
associated with a 38% reduction in risk of These observations indicate that garlic
coronary events at 50 years of age. High- may be beneficial in the prevention of
density lipoprotein cholesterol levels thrombosis. Garlic has also been shown to
improved only slightly, and triglycerides inhibit platelet adhesion or aggregation in
were not influenced significantly. Garlic was human investigations. It has been shown that
highly tolerable in all trials and was the aged garlic extract inhibited the binding
associated with minimal side effects. of ADP-activated platelets to immobilized
This meta-analysis study concluded that fibrinogen. This suggested that aged garlic
garlic should be considered as an alternative extract inhibited platelet aggregation via
option with a higher safety profile than inhibition of the GPIIb/IIIa receptor and an
conventional cholesterol-lowering increase in cAMP (Allison et al., 2012).
medications in patients with slightly elevated Furthermore, it was reported that garlic
cholesterol (Ried et al., 2013b). However, a decreases the risk of peripheral arterial
few studies using garlic powder, having low occlusive diseases, plasma viscosity, and
allicin yields, failed to show any lipid unstable angina and increases elastic property
lowering effects (Lutomski, 1984; Luley et of blood vessels and capillary perfusion
al., 1986). It has been suggested that different (Sumiyoshi and wargovich, 1990).
people might have different responses to Seventy-eight patients with peripheral
garlic, thus garlic may be more beneficial for arterial occlusive disease were randomized to
some specific groups (Zeng et al., 2013). receive garlic or a placebo medication. The
Preventive effect of garlic on dose of garlic was 400 mg oral standardized
atherosclerosis has been attributed to its garlic powder twice daily. Both men and
capacity to reduce lipid content in arterial women aged 40 to 75 years were enrolled in
membrane. Allicin, S-allyl cysteine, the study. After twelve weeks of treatment,
presented in aged garlic extract and diallyldi- pain-free walking distance increased
sulfide, presented in garlic oil are the active similarly whether receiving garlic or placebo.
compounds responsible for anti- Similarly there was no difference in the
atherosclerotic effect (Gebhardt and Beck, changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and
1996; Yu-Yah and Liu, 2001). The plasma pressure differences between the ankle and
fibrinolytic activity in animals, which was brachial pressures. No severe side effects
decreased on cholesterol feeding, was were observed although more people taking
considerably increased when this diet was garlic (28%) than placebo (12%) complained
supplemented with garlic (Mirhadi et al., of a noticeable garlic smell. This indicates
1993). that any improvements in symptoms of
Several human studies on plasma peripheral arterial occlusive disease with
fibrinolytic activity have found that garlic garlic may require longer-term treatment and
increased fibrinolytic activity in healthy follow up than in this study (Jepson et al.,
individuals as well as in acute myocardial 2000).
infarction patients (Bordia et al., 1998). It
was shown that pre-treatment with garlic Anti-tumor effect of garlic
significantly inhibited intracellular Ca2+ Many in vitro and in vivo studies have
mobilization, thromboxane-A2 (a potent suggested possible cancer-preventive effects
platelet aggregator) synthesis and protected of garlic preparations and their respective
against thrombocytopenia induced by constituents. Garlic has been found to contain

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a large number of potent bioactive carcinogens (Tadi et al., 1991b).


compounds with anticancer properties, Furthermore, DATS reduced tumor mass and
largely allylsulfide derivatives. Different number of mitotic cells within tumors. DATS
garlic derivatives have been reported to reduced mitosis in tumors, decreased histone
modulate an increasing number of molecular deacetylase activity, increased acetylation of
mechanisms in carcinogenesis, such as DNA H3 and H4, inhibited cell cycle progression,
adduct formation, mutagenesis, scavenging and decreased pro-tumor markers (survivin,
of free radicals, cell proliferation and Bcl-2, c-Myc, mTOR, EGFR, VEGF)
differentiation as well as angiogenesis. The (Wallace et al., 2013). Garlic components
growth rate of cancer cells is reduced by have been found to block covalent binding of
garlic, with cell cycle blockade that occurs in carcinogens to DNA, enhance degradation of
the G2/M phase (Capasso, 2013). In 1990, carcinogens, have anti-oxidative and free
the U.S. National Cancer Institute initiated radical scavenging properties, and regulate
the Designer Food Program to determine cell proliferation, apoptosis, and immune
which foods played an important role in responses. Ajoene, a garlic stable oil soluble
cancer prevention (Dahanukar and Thatte, sulfur rich compound and garlic-derived
1997). They concluded that garlic may be the natural compound, have been shown to
most potent food having cancer preventive induce apoptosis in leukemic cells in addition
properties. Garlic has a variety of anti-tumor to the other blood cells of leukemic patients.
effects, including tumor cell growth Ajoene induced apoptosis in human leukemic
inhibition and chemopreventive effects. In cells via stimulation of peroxide production,
rodents, garlic and its constituents have been activation of caspase-3-like and caspase-8
reported to inhibit the development of activity. Garlic synergizes the effect of
chemically induced tumors in the liver eicosapentaenoic acid, a breast cancer
(Kweon et al., 2003), colon (Knowles and suppressor, and antagonizes the effect of
Milner, 2003), prostate (Hsing et al., 2002), linoleic acid, a breast cancer enhancer
bladder (Lau et al., 1986), mammary gland (Tsubura et al., 2011).
(Amagase and Milner, 1993), esophagus Anti-proliferative activity of ajoene was
(Wargovich et al., 1988), lung (Sparnins et demonstrated against a panel of human tumor
al., 1986), skin (Nishino et al., 1989), and cell lines (Li et al., 2002). Furthermore,
stomach (Wattenberg et al., 1989) in both allicin inhibits proliferation of human
rodent and human studies. Diallyl trisulfide mammary endometrial and colon cancer
(DATS), an organosulfur compound isolated cells. Growth inhibition is accompanied by
from garlic, has been shown anticancer an accumulation of the cells in WIG1 and
activity both in in vitro and in vivo G2lM phase of the cell cycle. Thus allicin is
investigations. The cytotoxicity of DATS also responsible for the anti-proliferative
toward prostate epithelial cells reduced as effect of garlic derivatives. Diallyl sulfide
opposed to PC-3 cancer cells (Borkowska, and diallyl disulfide, inhibit arylamine N-
2013). acetyltransferase activity and 2-
Possible anticarcinogenic mechanisms of aminofluorene-DNA in human
garlic and its constituents may include the promyelocytic leukemia cells (Lin et al.,
inhibition of carcinogen activation (Amagase 2002). Reduction of the risk of some
and Milne, 1993), the enhancement of malignancies by consumption of selenium-
detoxification (Sumiyoshi and Wargovich, enriched plants, such as garlic was suggested
1990), excretion (Tadi et al., 1991a), and the (Finley, 2003). DATS inhibited cell growth
protection of DNA from activated of human melanoma A375 cells and basal

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cell carcinoma cells by enhancement of the as alliin, allicin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl
levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species trisulfide, diallyl sulfide, S-allyl cysteine,
and DNA damage and by inducing ajoene, and allyl mercaptan. Garlic extracts
endoplasmic reticulum stress and have been reported to be effective in
mitochondria-mediated apoptosis (Wang et reducing insulin resistance (Padiya and
al., 2012). Banerjee, 2013).

Diabetes mellitus Effect of garlic on chemically-induced


Although experimental studies hepatotoxicity
demonstrated a clear hypoglycemic effect of Several studies showed that garlic can
garlic, the effect of garlic on human blood protect the liver cells from some toxic agents.
glucose is still controversial. Many studies Acetaminophen is a leading analgesic and
showed that garlic can reduce blood glucose antipyretic drug used in many countries.
level in diabetic animals. Garlic was effective Overdose is known to cause hepatotoxicity
in reduction of blood glucose in and nephrotoxicity in humans and rodents.
streptozotocin- as well as alloxan-induced Although more than 90% of acetaminophen
diabetes mellitus in rats and mice (Sheela et is converted into sulfate and glucouronide
al., 1995; Ohaeri, 2001). Short term benefits conjugates and excreted in the urine, a small
of garlic on dyslipidemia in diabetic patients portion is metabolized by different liver
were shown (Ashraf et al., 2005). Garlic enzymes (Patten et al., 1993). This can
significantly reduced serum total cholesterol arylate critical cell proteins and cause
and LDL cholesterol and moderately raised toxicity. It is demonstrated that garlic
HDL cholesterol as compared with placebo protects against acetaminophen-induced
in diabetic patients (Ashraf et al., 2005). S- hepatotoxicity. Gentamycin also induces
allyl cysteine, a bioactive component derived hepatic damage as revealed by elevation of
from garlic, restored erectile function in liver damage marker enzymes (aspartate
diabetic rats by preventing reactive oxygen transaminase and alanine aminotransferase)
species formation through modulation of and reduction in plasma albumin
NADPH oxidase subunit expression (Yang et level. Dietary inclusion of garlic powder
al., 2013). protects rats against gentamycin-induced
Metformin and Garlic treatment in hepatotoxicity, improves antioxidant status,
diabetic patients for 12 weeks reduced and modulates oxidative stress (Ademiluyi et
fasting blood glucose (FBG), but the al., 2013). In addition, garlic attenuated
percentage of change in FBG was more hepatotoxicity effect of nitrate in rats. Garlic
substantial with metformin supplemented extract may reduce lipid peroxidation and
with garlic than with metformin alone enhance antioxidant defense system (El-Kott,
(Kumar et al., 2013). Chronic feeding of 2012).
garlic extracts showed significant decrease in
blood glucose level. However, some other Anti-microbial effect of garlic
studies showed no change of blood glucose Garlic has been used for centuries in
level after that in human. Therefore, the role various societies to combat infectious
of garlic in diabetic patients needs to be disease. Historically, it is believed that Louis
further investigated (Banejee and Maulik, Pasteur described the antibacterial effect of
2002). The beneficial effect of garlic on garlic in 1858 for the first time, although no
diabetes mellitus is mainly attributed to the reference is available. More recently, garlic
presence of volatile sulfur compounds, such has been proven to be effective against a

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plethora of gram-positive, gram-negative, the mixture (Karuppiah and Rajaram, 2013).


and acid-fast bacteria. These include Garlic also suggested as a treatment for
Salmonella, Escherichia coli (Adler and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (Dini et al.,
Beuchat, 2002), Pseudomonas, Proteus, 2011).
Staphylococcus aureus (Cavallito, 1944),
Escherichia coli, Salmonella (Johnson and Anti-protozoal properties
Vaughn, 1969), Klebsiella (Jezowa and Several studies have shown that the
Rafinski, 1966), Micrococcus, Bacillus extract was effective against a host of
subtulis (Sharma et al., 1977), Clostridium protozoa including Candida albicans (Lemar
(De Witt et al., 1979), Mycobacterium et al., 2002), Scedosporium prolificans
(Delaha and Garagusi, 1985), and (Davis et al., 2003), tinea pedis (Ledezma et
Helicobacter (O’Gara et al., 2000). It has al., 2000), Opalina ranarum, Balantidium
been documented that garlic exerts a entozoon, Entamoeba histolytica,
differential inhibition between beneficial Trypanosomes, Leishmania, Leptomonas,
intestinal microflora and potentially harmful and Crithidia (Reuter et al., 1966).
enterobacteria (Ress et al., 1993). Due to the occurrence of unpleasant side
The antibacterial activity of garlic is effects and increasing resistance to the
widely attributed to allicin. It is known that synthetic pharmaceuticals, garlic was
allicin has sulfhydryl modifying activity recommended for the treatment of giardiasis.
(Wills, 1956) and is capable of inhibiting Inhibitory activity of garlic on giardia was
sulfhydryl enzymes. Cysteine and glutathione noted with crude extract at 25 pg/mlL and the
counteract the thiolation activity of allicin. lethal dosage was established as
Garlic extract and allicin have been shown to approximately 50 pg/mL. Encouraged by
exert bacteriostatic effects on some these results, a clinical trial was carried out
vancomycin-resistant enterococci. An on patients that had giardiasis (Soffar and
inhibitory synergism was observed when Mokhtar, 1991). Garlic was established as an
used in combination with vancomycin antigiardial, removing the symptoms from all
(Jonkers et al, 1999). It is thought that allicin patients within 24 h and completely
modifies the sulfhydryl groups on the removing any indication of giardiasis from
enzymes of the TN1546 transposon, which the stool within 72 h at a dosage of 1 mg/mL
encodes vancomycin resistance, enhancing twice daily aqueous extract or 0.6 mg/mL
susceptibility to vancomycin. commercially prepared garlic capsules. No in
The antibacterial effect of different vitro calculations were possible, as the
concentrations of garlic extract against workers could not culture the protozoa in
human dental plaque microbiota has been vitro. It was suggested that allicin, ajoene,
shown in in vitro study (Houshmand et al., and organosulfides from garlic are effective
2013). The synergism between ciprofloxacin antinrotozoals compounds.
with garlic extract has been shown, but not
between ampicillin and the garlic extracts Antifungal properties
(Zain al-abdeen et al., 2013). The cloves of Antifingal activity was first established in
garlic and rhizomes of ginger, extracted with 1936 by Schmidt and Marquardt whilst
95% ethanol, suggested to have anti-bacterial working with epidermophyte cultures (Lemar
activity against multi-drug clinical pathogens et al., 2002). Many fungi are sensitive to
and can be used for prevention of drug garlic, including Candida (Yousuf, 2011),
resistant microbial diseases. Pseudomonas Torulopsis, Trichophyton, Cryptococcus
aeruginosa was the most sensitive germ to (Fromtling and Bulmer, 1978), Aspergillus

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(Hitokoto et al., 1980), Trichosporon, and In comparison with the antibacterial action
Rhodotorula (Tansey and Appleton, 1975). of garlic, very little work has been done to
Garlic extracts have been shown to decrease investigate its antiviral properties. The few
the oxygen uptake (Szymona, 1952), reduce studies have reported that garlic extract
the growth of the organism, inhibit the showed in vitro activity against influenza A
synthesis of lipids, proteins, and nucleic and B (Fenwick and Hanley, 1985),
acids (Adetumbi et al., 1986), and damage cytomegalovirus (Meng et al., 1993; Nai-Lan
membranes (Ghannoum, 1988). et al., 1993), rhinovirus, HIV, herpes simplex
A sample of pure allicin was shown to be virus 1 (Tsai et al., 1985), herpes simplex
antifungal. Removal of the allicin from the virus 2 (Weber et al., 1992), viral pneumonia,
reaction by solvent extraction decreased the and rotavirus. Allicin, diallyl trisulfide and
antifungal activity (Hughes and Lawson, ajoene have all been shown to be active
1991). Activity has also been observed with (Hughes et al., 1989; Weber., 1992).
the garlic constituents, diallyl trisulfide, In the case of HIV, it is thought that
against cryptococcal meningitis (Cai, 1991), ajoene acts by inhibiting the integrin
ajoene, and against Aspergillus (Yoshida et dependent processes (Tatarintsev et al.,
al., 1987). Thiol reduced the activity, 1992). Allyl alcohol and diallyl disulfide
suggesting the blocking of thiol oxidation by have also proven effective against HIV-
allicin. Inhibition of respiratory activity is infected cells (Shoji et al., 1993). No activity
thought to be due to inhibition of succinate has been observed with allicin or S-allyl
dehydrogenase. The adhesion of Candida is cysteine. It appears that only allicin and
also greatly reduced in the presence of garlic allicin-derived substances are active. Taken
extract (Ghannoum, 1990). Again, this effect together, the beneficial effects of garlic
is diminished by the addition of thiol extract make it useful in medicine. There are
compounds. The addition of ajoene to some insufficient clinical trials regarding the
fungal growth mixtures, including effects of garlic in preventing or treating the
Aspergillus niger, C. albicans, and common cold. A single trial suggested that
Paracoccidiodes, has resulted in inhibition at garlic may prevent occurrences of the
concentrations lower than that experienced common cold, but more studies are needed to
with allicin. Studies with aged garlic extract validate this finding. This trial randomly
(with no allicin or allicin-derived assigned 146 participants to either a daily
constituents) showed no in vitro antifungal garlic supplement (with 180 mg of allicin
activity. However, when given to infected content) or a placebo for 12 weeks.
mice, the number of organisms that were The investigation revealed 24 occurrences
seen was reduced by up to 80% (Tadi et al., of the common cold in the garlic group
1991a). compared with 65 in the placebo group,
It has been reported that garlic exhibited resulting in fewer days of illness in the garlic
antifungal effects on two species, the air- group compared with the placebo group.
borne pathogen Botrytis cinerea and However, claims of effectiveness of garlic on
Trichoderma harzianum (Lanzotti et al., common cold appear to rely largely on poor
2012). Greater satisfaction with the use of quality evidence (Lissiman et al., 2012).
garlic rather than nystatin was reported by Many countries have used garlic extract for
the patients with denture stomatitis (Bakhshi clinical treatments, but the untoward actions
et al., 2012). of garlic following long-term administration
should be fully noted. Even though many
Antiviral properties studies on garlic and its derivatives have

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been performed, the exact biological Conflict of interest


mechanism of garlic extract still remains to There is not any conflict of interest in this
be elucidated. study.

Conclusion
A recent increase in the popularity of
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