Thursday, 19 September 2013


Garlic’s medicinal properties have been heralded for hundreds of years. The ancient Egyptians claimed that garlic enhanced physical strength, while the ancient Greeks used it as a laxative. Meanwhile, its effectiveness as a topical antibiotic earned it the nickname “Russian penicillin.”
Thanks to garlic’s shape and distinctive aroma, it has inherited another, less complementary nickname — the stinking rose. But it is this “stink” that gives garlic many of its healing properties.
Of garlic’s 33 sulfur compounds, 17 amino acids, antioxidants, and multiple vitamins and minerals, most researchers believe a substance called allicin is the key ingredient. And it is this allicin that gives garlic its distinct aroma.

To see if this stinking rose could help reduce LDL oxidation, researchers recruited nine volunteers to test the effects of two different types of garlic (raw versus aged garlic extract) against alpha-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E that has been proven to reduce oxidation. The divided them into three groups of three people each.
Each group took all three treatments for a week, with a weeklong break between treatments. This means that group one took raw garlic for a week, then had a week “washout” break. They then took alpha-tocopherol for a week, followed by a washout week. Finally, they took aged garlic extract for a week. The other groups rotated their treatments in a similar fashion.
All three groups took the following dosages of garlic and alpha-tocopherol with their evening meal:
  • 6 grams of raw garlic daily (about 15 mg of allicin), crushed then eaten raw, to ensure maximum amount of allicin consumption
  • 2.4 grams aged garlic extract (provides zero allicin and about 1.2 mg of S-allylcysteine) per day
  • 800 mg alpha-tocopherol a day
At the end of the testing period, researchers found that alpha-tocopherol produced the greatest resistance to LDL oxidation as compared to aged garlic extract and raw garlic. And aged garlic extract provided better oxidation protection than raw garlic.
Because aged garlic extract does not contain allicin, researchers credited the antioxidant S-allylcysteine with its protective quality. This makes sense, as the alpha-tocopherol is a potent antioxidant and was significantly more effective at reducing oxidation than either garlic form.
Based on this, researchers concluded that while it is generally accepted that antioxidants can increase resistance to LDL oxidation, the relationship between LDL oxidation and atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) is less defined.
Therefore, “If antioxidants are found to be anti-atherogenic, the combined antioxidant and serum cholesterol-lowering action of [aged garlic extract] may make it useful in reducing the progression of atherosclerosis in people.”

No comments:

Post a Comment