What are the benifits of Allicin?

What are the benifits of Allicin?

Allicin is a fascinating biologically active compound whose properties are a direct consequence of the molecule’s chemistry. Clinical research and in vitro experiments have found that allicin mainly has the following 5 benefits

  • Immune-Modulatory Activity
  • Cardiovascular health care.
  • Antioxidant properties that can help significantly reduce oxidative stress
  • Antimicrobial Activity (including fungi and bacteria)
  • Potential benefits in preventing or anti-cancer


Immune-Modulatory Activity

Allicin is a strong antimicrobial agent and is thus, a potent antibiotic. Besides this direct impact on pathogens, a further facet of its activity is the influence on the endogenous immune system.In the case that allicin stimulates the activity of immune cells, this should result in a strengthened defence against pathogens, and suppression of immune processes might be of interest in regard to allergy or auto-immune disorders. In the meantime a plethora of evidence exists suggesting that allicin indeed acts on various immune-correlated processes.

 Allicin’s Immune-Modulatory Activity

Allicin stimulates lymphocytes by affecting p21ras: Thioallylation that means the binding of an allyl sulfenic acid to the thiol of cysteine118 leads to an activation of p21ras and subsequently to stimulation of ERK1/2 phosphorylation. These processes are crucial for the activation of lymphocytes.


Cardiovascular health care

Cardiovascular disorders are complex, since they are influenced by different factors.While Allicin counteracts cardiovascular diseases in various ways.

Inhibition of cholesterol synthesis. <by inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, a critical enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. Garlic-derived compounds may also inhibit other enzymes in this pathway, including sterol 4α-methyl oxidase.>

Inhibition of platelet aggregation

Inhibition of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation

Inhibition of vascular cell adhesion molecules

Hydrogen sulfide-mediated vasodilatory activity (Antihypertensive effect)


Antioxidant properties that can help significantly reduce oxidative stress. (3 main ways)

Garlic-derived allicin lowered ROS production and increased the concentration of glutathione (a major intracellular antioxidant)

Nrf2-dependent antioxidant pathway

Nitric oxide (NO) signaling cascade


Antimicrobial Activity (including fungi and bacteria)

Allicin Is almost Exclusively Responsible for the Antimicrobial Activity of Freshly Crushed Garlic. It is a broad-spectrum antibacterial agent, known as a natural antibiotic.


Potential benefits in preventing or anti-cancer

The relations between allicin and reduction of risk of cancers are still uncertain. However, observational clinical trials shows credible evidence for an association between garlic intake and colon, prostate, esophageal, larynx, oral, ovary, and renal cell cancers.

There is a link between the functioning of the immune system and cancer. How allicin affects cancer cells has been examined at the molecular level. It became clear that the induction of apoptosis was crucial for the anti-cancer effect of allicin. Although this paragraph gives only a brief overview about the impact of allicin on cancer cells, some major factors targeted by allicin can be outlined. One problem exacerbating a clinical application of allicin is its chemical instability. As soon allicin is taken up by the body, or at the latest in the circulatory system, it will react with accessible thiols and in particular with the high amount of glutathione and also be decomposed to other compounds. This makes an application as a pharmaceutical at the moment unlikely. However, the potential for using garlic in a nutriceutical context, with health benefits not only for cancer prevention or therapy, but also for the other medical areas mentioned here, remains an attractive possibility. A sophisticated attempt to circumvent the stability problem is a coupling of alliinase to a delivery system and supplying the stable substrate alliin, thus allowing production of allicin in situ at the position of the particular epitope. In this regard, attaching alliinase via antibodies against cancer cells successfully showed a promising proof-of principle.


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