All About Allicin
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Allicin is a compound found in garlic that increases the number and size of white blood cells. Over time, it can have various health benefits, including reducing inflammation and protecting against disease. However, overuse has been linked to stomach problems like ulcers.
Allicin is an anti-inflammatory herb that has been used for centuries. It can be found in garlic and onions, but it’s also a supplement. This article will discuss the benefits, side effects, supplements, dosage, and more of allicin.
Plants may seem helpless in the face of pests, rodents, and other predators, but they have a hidden weapon: strong odors and tastes in the form of phytochemicals, which may be poisonous to tiny animals if consumed. Allicin, a chemical found in raw garlic cloves, is one example of a substance with these properties.
Allicin helps people in a multitude of ways, in addition to protecting garlic plants. Allicin, for example, may help cure infections, maintain cardiovascular function, and more, according to research. It can be obtained by eating garlic or taking allicin supplements.
What Is Allicin?
Allicin is a sulfur-containing organosulfur chemical found in garlic. When garlic cloves (Allium sativum), a member of the Alliaceae plant family, are attacked or wounded, enzyme processes release more allicin.
This molecule is produced after alliin is converted to allicin by the enzyme alliinase.
Because allicin supplements include a variety of active components, they are more correctly referred to as “garlic pills.” Allicin is responsible for garlic’s distinct odor and flavor.
Allicin-derived compounds are thought to be very volatile. They give out hydrogen sulfide, which is why they smell so bad.
Allicin is derived from garlic in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, purified allicin is not commercially available since it is unstable.
Because allicin is only found in fresh, unheated garlic that has been sliced or crushed but not cooked, it is considered an “unstable” component in terms of bioavailability. Its chemical makeup swiftly changes after it’s extracted and digested as it passes through the gastrointestinal system. It has a strong “offensive stench,” thus few individuals would willingly take it.
L-cysteine sulfoxides and -glutamyl-L-cysteine peptides are the two primary types of organosulfur compounds discovered in whole garlic cloves.
When allicin is broken down, it produces a number of organosulfur compounds that have been linked to health benefits. Dialyl trisulfide (DATS), diallyl disulfide (DADS), and diallyl sulfide are some of them (DAS).
Because diallyl trisulfade is more stable than allicin, it’s utilized in supplements and pharmaceuticals to treat illnesses caused by bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
According to the Phytochemicals website, garlic includes a variety of sulfur compounds and phytochemicals, the three most significant of which are alliin, methiin, and S-allylcysteine. These have been found to have antibacterial, antifungal, hypolipidemic, antioxidant, anticancer, and other therapeutic benefits when combined.
Garlic supplements are now accessible in a variety of forms. The amount of organosulfur compounds these supplements give is determined by how they were made.
Allicin has a wide spectrum of biological activity and can be broken down to generate various organosulfur compounds.
- Because of its antibacterial properties, it may help fight infections.
- Protecting heart health, for instance, by decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Potentially assisting in the prevention of cancer development
- Antioxidant protection for the brain
- Keeping insects and microbes at bay
Most Effective Method of Obtaining It
The easiest approach to get allicin is to consume fresh garlic, crushed or sliced. To get the most allicin out of fresh, uncooked garlic, crush, slice, or chew it.
Because the chemical makeup of sulfur compounds changes when garlic is heated, it has been found to diminish its antioxidant, antibacterial, and vascular protective benefits. According to certain research, a considerable quantity is lost after one minute in the microwave or 45 minutes in the oven, including practically all anticancer action.
Garlic should never be microwaved. However, when cooking garlic, it’s ideal to leave the cloves whole and roast, acid mince, pickle, grill, or boil the garlic to preserve its nutrients.
Allowing crushed garlic to sit for 10 minutes before cooking will boost levels and biological activity. However, it’s disputed if this molecule can resist the gastrointestinal tract’s trip once consumed.
Are there any other foods that contain allicin besides garlic? Yes, it can be found in onions nutrition and other Alliaceae plants to a lesser amount. Garlic, on the other hand, is the finest source.
While black garlic has many health benefits, research has revealed that it does not contain more allicin than other forms of garlic. However, since garlic provides flavonoids, steroid saponins, organoselenium compounds, and allixin, consuming all varieties of garlic is still healthful and suggested.
1. It has antioxidant properties
Allicin has been shown in tests to have antioxidant qualities that may greatly decrease oxidative stress. This implies it might help prevent cellular deterioration, cognitive impairment, and a variety of other age-related ailments.
2. Helps to maintain cardiovascular health
What are the advantages of allicin for cardiovascular health? In general, scientific research has shown mixed outcomes.
While some studies have shown that garlic tablets may help decrease cholesterol, others have not.
The way garlic is cooked and how allicin and other chemicals are removed is thought to be the cause. S-allylcysteine, on the other hand, is accessible and, as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, has the capacity to decrease cholesterol.
Allicin and garlic supplements, however, have been shown to have hypolipidemic, antiplatelet, and pro-circulatory properties. They may enhance cardiovascular function by decreasing blood pressure, preventing atherosclerosis (artery hardening), and lowering inflammation, lipoprotein modification, and LDL “bad cholesterol” absorption.
Garlic preparations substantially reduced total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in persons with increased cholesterol, according to a 2013 meta-analysis.
3. Has Antibacterial Properties
Is it true that allicin can destroy bacteria? This phytochemical has been shown to prevent the development of bacteria, viruses, and yeasts like candida.
“Alicin may suppress the development of both bacteria and fungi, or kill cells outright, including antibiotic-resistant strains like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA),” according to a 2014 research published in the journal Molecules.
Allicin’s antibacterial properties are due to its interaction with various enzymes, including thiol groups. According to certain studies, it may be used to enhance ulcer healing and combat infections, including Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella aureus, E. coli, and others.
Although some women have experienced using garlic cloves internally to cure vaginal yeast infections, most OBGYNs and health care experts do not advocate it.
4. Anticancer and chemopreventive activities are shown
Allicin extract has been proven to induce cell death and prevent malignant cell growth in vitro tests. It has been discovered to protect human colon cancer cells from invasion and metastases.
According to some studies, eating garlic regularly is linked to a lower risk of prostate, colon, and stomach cancer, although it’s unclear how much allicin plays a role. More study is required to discover how pure allicin may be utilized to help prevent or cure cancer due to its low stability and limited bioavailability.
Side Effects and Risks
What are allicin’s side effects? Garlic supplements are typically safe and well-accepted, although they may cause certain negative effects.
Increased breath and body odor are the most prevalent side effects of taking garlic pills or oil. Heartburn, stomach discomfort, belching, nausea, vomiting, flatulence, constipation, and diarrhea are common gastrointestinal symptoms.
Garlic supplements should be used with meals to avoid negative effects.
Higher dosages of garlic extract (2,400–7,200 mg) may interfere with pharmaceuticals like Warfarin. However, moderate amounts are safe to mix with most treatments.
Uncontrolled bleeding has happened in a few instances, a dangerous condition that needs emergency medical intervention.
Garlic may also increase some individuals’ allergic reactions, asthma symptoms, and contact dermatitis symptoms. Garlic supplement reactions are particularly common in those who are sensitive to garlic.
Types of Supplements
A single clove of raw garlic, taken with meals two or three times a day, is considered the lowest effective dosage by experts. Raw garlic should not be consumed in excess of 25 grams per day since it may be poisonous. This is around 6 huge garlic cloves. Garlic supplements, not pure allicin supplements or extracts, are commercially available. These have a wider range of chemicals.
Garlic supplements come in a variety of forms, including:
- dehydrated garlic powder
- oil of garlic
- macerate garlic oil
- extract of old garlic
Although it’s still unclear how allicin and allicin-derived chemicals are absorbed and processed, studies demonstrate that garlic supplements may be effective for several ailments, thanks to the interplay of numerous phytonutrients contained in garlic.
The only water-based garlic supplement is aged garlic extract, making it more accessible than most other forms. Because it does not have a distinct garlic fragrance, aged garlic is a popular kind of garlic to use for supplements.
Despite its effectiveness as a supplement, garlic oil may be hazardous in excessive dosages.
“Although powdered garlic supplements do not contain allicin, the manufacturer may put a figure for the ‘allicin potential’ or ‘allicin yield’ of a supplement on the label,” according to Oregon State University.
Because the acidic pH of the stomach inactivates alliinase, garlic pills are frequently enteric-coated to prevent them from dissolving before reaching the small intestine. Surprisingly, enteric-coated tablets did not deliver more bioavailable chemicals than those that were not coated, according to one research.
How much allicin should you consume daily?
While dosage recommendations vary based on an individual’s health, the most widely utilized dosages (for example, to promote cardiovascular health) range from 600 to 1,200 mg of garlic powder per day, split into many doses. This should provide you 3.6 to 5.4 milligrams of possible allicin per day.
It is possible to consume up to 2,400 mg per day. This dosage is usually safe to take for up to 24 weeks.
Other dose suggestions depending on supplement type are shown below:
- 2 to 5 grams of garlic oil each day
- Garlic extract (300 to 1,000 mg each day) (as solid material)
- 2,400 milligrams of aged garlic extract each day (liquid)
- What exactly is allicin? It’s an antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal phytonutrient found in garlic cloves.
- It’s one of the reasons why garlic consumption has been connected to various health advantages, including improved cardiovascular health, improved cognition, infection resistance, and other anti-aging effects.
- Because the quantity of allicin in garlic reduces rapidly once it is roasted and ingested, it is classified as an unstable chemical. On the other hand, Allicin degrades to generate other helpful chemicals that are more stable.
- Garlic/allicin advantages include cancer prevention, cardiovascular health protection, reduction of oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, brain protection, and naturally battling infections.
- While most garlic/allicin side effects are minor, it’s possible to have poor breath and body odor, GI troubles, and in rare cases, excessive bleeding or allergic responses while taking these supplements.
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