Powerful compounds in garlic help protect your body from disease
01/16/2021 / By Winnie Martin / Comments
Powerful compounds in garlic help protect your body from disease

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been used both as medicine and as a cooking ingredient throughout history. Ancient Egyptians have used it since the time of the pyramids for culinary and medicinal purposes. In fact, both Israelites and ancient Egyptians ate garlic to make them stronger and more productive when working.

Meanwhile, both the ancient Greeks and the Romans hailed garlic’s strengthening and curative properties. The Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of modern medicine, advocated using garlic to address pulmonary ailments. Meanwhile, the Roman physician Dioscorides authored a five-volume treatise centering on garlic’s ability to “clean the arteries.”

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A number of studies in the present time have investigated garlic’s protective properties. Research has found that garlic can protect against ailments of the circulatory system such as heart attack, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. It can also help address the conditions such as high cholesterol and hypertension that lead to these conditions.

Furthermore, studies have uncovered that garlic can protect against certain cancers – thanks to certain phytochemicals it contains.

Let’s look at some of the compounds present in garlic and how they protect the body from ailments.

Diallyl sulfide: Protects the intestines from disease-causing bacteria

The organosulfur compound diallyl sulfide (DAS) found in garlic has been found to be effective against the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni. This pathogen responsible for intestinal infections is commonly found in fresh produce.

A 2012 study looked at the effects of DAS on C. jejuni. The research team found that DAS exhibited “strong antimicrobial activity” against the pathogen. DAS’ antibacterial effect was 100 times more effective than erythromycin and ciprofloxacin, two antibiotic treatments, in addressing C. jejuni. The team posited that DAS may have application as an alternative for other drug-resistant bacteria.

Diallyl disulfide: Protects the liver from injuries caused by alcohol consumption

Diallyl disulfide (DADS), another organosulfur compound in garlic, was found to help safeguard the liver from the effects of excessive alcohol drinking. Long-term and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can put undue stress on the liver.

A team of Chinese scientists researched the possible effects of DADS on oxidative stress caused by alcohol consumption. The team’s 2013 study found that DADS positively affected the HO-1/Nrf2 pathway involved in anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity in the liver. They concluded that the compound can contribute in protecting the liver against the effects of alcohol.

Diallyl trisulfide: Protects the heart from damage

The compound diallyl trisulfide (DATS), a component of garlic oil, was shown to exhibit protective properties on the heart. American researchers looked at DATS in 2011 as an alternative way to administer hydrogen sulfide to patients with heart conditions.

Hydrogen sulfide gas has been found to protect the heart from damage, but its volatility made it difficult to use as therapy. In experiments using laboratory mice, the team found that mice that received DATS suffered 61 percent less heart damage in certain areas compared to those that did not. Their finding suggest that DATS could be used in many situations where hydrogen sulfide is needed.

Together, these three compounds can also protect the brain from tumors

The three organosulfur compounds in garlic – DAS, DADS and DATS – can protect certain organs on their own. However, a 2007 study revealed that these three phytochemicals fight off cancer cells that cause brain tumors.

The team behind the study reported that pure DAS, DADS and DATS “demonstrated efficacy in eradicating brain cancer cells.” In particular, the three compounds attacked cells that caused glioblastoma – a deadly form of brain tumor. The research team noted that out of the three organosulfur compounds, DATS exhibited the most potency in triggering apoptosis (cell death) of tumor-causing cells.

Incorporating garlic and the beneficial compounds it contains in your diet is definitely easy! You can consume garlic raw to enjoy its full health benefits. Its pungent odor and sharp flavor may not appeal to some, however.

Garlic is an ubiquitous ingredient in many savory dishes such as stir-fries and stews. No dish is complete without chopped garlic and onion being sautéed in hot oil. Some even roast or bake garlic to give it a softer texture and make it easier to peel. These methods to make garlic more palatable using short-term heating may reduce its anti-inflammatory effects, a study by Korean researchers warned.

Regardless of how you want to consume garlic, including it in your daily diet helps defend your body from different ailments!

Visit Superfoods.news to learn more about the protective properties of garlic and other foods.

Sources:

MedicalNewsToday.com

Academic.OUP.com 1

Academic.OUP.com 2

ScienceDirect.com 1

Shared.Web.Emory.Edu

ACSJournals.OnlineLibrary.Wiley.com

ScienceDirect.com 2

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