Effect of garlic , We have all heard of garlic vegetables.
Among the older generations, it is present in addition to almost every meal and has been used for years in alternative medicine for the treatment of various diseases. It has a complex of amazing properties that have an extremely beneficial effect on our entire body.
These almost magical properties are due to a substance called allicin, and it is to this that we will pay more attention in this material.
What is allicin? effect of garlic
Allicin is a substance containing organic sulfur, originally isolated by two American chemists – Chester J. Cavallito and John Hays Bailey in 1944. Allicin is obtained by crushing and breaking the integrity of garlic cloves. A very interesting fact is that initially it did not exist. Different parts of healthy garlic cloves contain two completely different substances – alliin and the enzyme aliinase. Only when the cloves are crushed and their integrity is compromised does the enzyme alinase catalyze the formation of allicin from the available alliin.
While alliin has no aroma or color, allicin is the substance that gives garlic its strong smell and spiciness. It is a light yellow, oily liquid, similar to oil. Allicin, with its strong odor and spiciness, is believed to be a way to protect garlic from various pests that would prevent it from growing as a vegetable.
Proven and potential benefits in humans Effect of garlic
There are dozens of scientific studies and meta-analyzes on the effectiveness of garlic and allicin. Unfortunately, the information is very contradictory and at this stage garlic can be taken as a food with exceptional potential, but with a big question mark. However, the various properties found in a number of scientific studies are worth mentioning.
Improving the lipid
profile One of the known positive effects of garlic is the improvement of the lipid profile. There is a significant reduction in total and “bad” (LDL-C) cholesterol, at the expense of an increase in “good” (HDL-C). There is also a decrease in triglyceride levels in the blood. Unfortunately, a large meta-analysis from 2001 shows that these effects can be considered short-term, as there are no data from studies lasting more than 6 months.
Reduction of blood pressure
Another beneficial effect of garlic intake is the reduction of blood pressure. In people with hypertension, a reduction of about 10% is observed, while in people with normal blood pressure, almost no change is observed. However, other scientific studies have failed to find such a positive effect.
Reducing the incidence and duration of colds
There are only two studies here, but the results are impressive. If you eat garlic regularly, the chance of getting a common cold can be reduced by up to 60%. If you do catch the virus, it is possible to shorten the duration of the disease by up to 70%. However, more data are needed to support the results and claims.
Antimicrobial and antifungal properties
Several scientific studies have concluded that allicin has good antimicrobial and antifungal properties due to chemical reactions with thiol groups of various enzymes.
Antitumor and anticancer properties
Garlic is one of the most frequently mentioned foods when it comes to treating or preventing cancer. There are some epidemiological and correlation scientific studies showing the serious potential of garlic as a precaution against gastric and colorectal cancer, but for all other cancers, clinical trials have been performed only on animals without satisfactory results. Much work is still needed in this direction
How to get allicin and in what doses? Effect of garlic
One way to get allicin is to eat garlic in the form of food. Between 1 and 4.5 mg of allicin are formed from 1 gram of crushed garlic. Be careful if you like to cook with garlic, as the high temperature can destroy the available enzyme alinase. Thus, the formation of allicin becomes impossible and its positive properties are lost. In some experiments, much of allicin is retained when the garlic is chopped or crushed and left for about 10 minutes before being heat-treated. The optimal daily dose is about 2-3 moderately large cloves of garlic.
In the form of a food supplement effect of garlic
Pure allicin is not produced in the form of a dietary supplement because it is extremely unstable. Within a few hours, unstable allicin breaks down into several other, more stable sulfur-containing substances. Therefore, the supply as a food supplement is again done mainly through garlic, which has gone through various production processes. There are several types of products you may encounter:
- Dried garlic powder – products in this form are made from chopped or crushed garlic cloves, which are dried at low temperature to preserve the enzyme alinase. The powder is then sprayed and made into a tablet or capsule. As the enzyme alinase is easily destroyed by stomach acid, the products must have an enteric coating that allows it to pass safely through the stomach and reach the intestines. On some products, manufacturers indicate the potential amount of allicin that can be taken with the appropriate dose (allicin potential);
- Garlic oils – you will find them mainly in the form of dragees or oil;
Extracted garlic extract – this type of product again you will most often find in the form of dragees. It is important to note, however, that its production process is quite different – much better and more efficient. Garlic is collected, chopped and stored in stainless steel tanks, in an aqueous solution of ethanol and for up to 20 months, the final product is usually without the unpleasant smell of garlic.
The dose as a dietary supplement may vary depending on the form and concentration of the product. These in the form of oils, tablets and capsules will most often be found in doses of 500 mg. In them, an optimal intake would be about 1000 to 1500 mg per day, taken once or several times. In other products, you will see not 500 but 50 mg per dose. They most often use a highly concentrated extract of aged garlic, so 100-150 mg would be sufficient as a daily dose.
Contraindications and side effect of garlic
Garlic, in the form of a food or food supplement, is well tolerated by almost all people, with the most commonly mentioned side effects being bad breath and body odor. Some people with a higher sensitivity may experience stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea and other short-term problems. Garlic has the ability to slow platelet aggregation (blood clotting). For this reason, care should be taken when taken with medicines for the same purpose or with supplements with a similar effect (fish oil, vitamin E).
Although rare, there are reports of allergic reactions to garlic. At higher doses, garlic can cause toxicity. The upper limit of intake varies and depends on the person’s weight – the heavier you are, the more garlic you can afford. It is recommended not to exceed the limit of 15-20 cloves of garlic per day. There are no adequate data from the use of pregnant or lactating women.
Allicin is the secret weapon of garlic. It turns it into a unique food with great potential. Despite the contradictory data, if you do not have a problem with the unpleasant odor and spiciness, we strongly recommend adding a few cloves of garlic to your daily menu. You can only win from it.
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