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Report Praises the Skin and Health Benefits of Garlic

Posted: March 20, 2009

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After three weeks of treatment with garlic extract, the serum levels of antioxidants were significantly higher than the pretreatment levels in both diabetic and hypertensive rats. The increased serum antioxidant levels were paralleled by a decrease in serum glucose in the garlic-treated diabetic rats, and lowered systolic blood pressure in the garlic-treated hypertensive rats, showing that treatment with garlic can increase total antioxidant status.

Similarly, a report from the Republic of Korea noted that diallyl disulfide (DADS), the most prevalent oil-soluble sulfur compound in garlic, inhibited cell proliferation in many cell lines. Scientists there examined DADS ability to kill cells in a process involving free radical production. They found that the famous tumor suppressor gene, p53, arrested the cell cycle when DADS treatment was present. Cancer cells died following 24 hour DADS treatment that activated the p53 gene. They also found that DADS-induced cell death was prevented by treatment with a compound known to prevent p53-dependent cell death by reducing free radical levels in the mitochrondria.

Their results showed that mitochrondrial free radicals may serve as second messengers in DADS-induced cell death, which requires activation of p53. This study can be found in the January Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology. Diallyl disulfide is not the most potent compound found in garlic, but it has an advantage because it is the less volatile of the compounds. DADS does not degrade as quickly and its health benefits survive cooking. Garlic needs to be chopped or crushed to produce the sulfides. If it is cooked whole, it loses most of its medicinal value and health benefits. DADS is a booster of the immune system, and improves blood quality and circulation. It has been shown in studies to lower LDL cholesterols levels, and through this action may help keep the heart and cardiovascular system healthy.