About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Researchers Extols the Benefits of Garlic

by Medindia Content Team on October 16, 2007 at 1:30 PM
Font : A-A+

Researchers Extols the Benefits of Garlic

Alternative medicine has been touting the health benefits of garlic for centuries, from its anti-bacterial and antifungal properties, to its positive effects on the cardiovascular system.

Now US researchers say they have figured out precisely why the pungent clove makes such a valuable health tonic: it boosts the body's own production of a compound that relaxes blood vessels, increases blood flow, and prevents blood clots and oxidative damage.

Advertisement

"This will help us standardize over the counter garlic supplements, and ensure they have the ingredients that produce the key compound," said David Kraus, a physiologist in the department of environmental health sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Much of the research into the pharmacological benefits of garlic has focused on the organic polysulphides that the clove is rich in -- the best known of which is Allicin.
Advertisement

But the new research suggests that Allicin and similar biologically active compounds are only a piece of the puzzle, and that it's the chemical messenger that is produced when these compounds are metabolized that is important.

In laboratory tests, the researchers at the University of Alabama found that it was this chemical messenger -- hydrogen sulphide (H2S) -- which is essential at low levels for cellular signaling, that appears to relax blood vessels, enhancing blood flow.

The team conducted a series of experiments, first extracting juice from supermarket garlic and adding minute amounts to red blood cells. The cells immediately began emitting hydrogen sulphide.

Further experiments showed that the key chemical reaction took place mainly at the membrane of the red blood cells, although a fraction of H2S was also produced inside the cells.

Further, when the team added a section of rat aorta, a heart blood vessel, to a solution containing organic polysulphides, it began to relax as it produced H2S.

The finding may explain why some studies showed there were no cardiovascular benefits to be gained from taking garlic supplements while many others showed that such supplements could halt the progress of cardiovascular disease, the authors said.

"In addition, our results suggest that the capacity to produce H2S can be used to standardize garlic dietary supplements," the authors wrote.

The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: AFP
LIN/C
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Recommended Reading
Super Foods - Garlic
Encyclopedia section of medindia explains in brief about the beneficial aspects of consuming ......
Garlic and High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a risk for heart, stroke and kidney disease. Garlic plays an important role; ...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use