August 10, 2022

Allicin in garlic

Botanically, garlic (Allium sativum L.) is a member of the Lillaceae family, along with onions, chives, and shallots. Each segment of a garlic bulb is called a clove. There are about 10–20 cloves in a single bulb, give or take. Garlic is a particularly rich source of organosulfur compounds, which are thought to be responsible for its flavor and aroma, as well as its potential health benefits.

Allicin (allyl 2-propenethiosulfinate or diallyl thiosulfinate) is the principal bioactive compound present in fresh garlic. An enzyme called alliinase is activated when the clove is chopped or crushed. This enzyme converts alliin (S-allyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide) into allicin. A single garlic clove has about 5 mg to 18 mg of allicin.

Alliin accounts for approximately 80% of cysteine sulfoxides in garlic. Alliinase catalyzes the formation of sulfenic acids from L-cysteine sulfoxides (Alliin). Sulfenic acids spontaneously react with each other to form unstable compounds called thiosulfinates. In the case of alliin, the resulting sulfenic acids react with each other to form a thiosulfinate known as allicin.

Allicin breaks down to form a variety of organosulfur compounds, which are associated with protective effects. These include diallyl trisulfide (DATS), diallyl disulfide (DADS) and diallyl sulfide (DAS).

Allicin has antioxidant properties that can help significantly reduce oxidative stress. This means it may help protect against cellular damage, brain damage and many other age-related conditions. In 1990, the National Cancer Institute praised garlic for its ability to guard against cancer. Since then, multiple studies have shown that allicin and other active garlic compounds may shield against some cancers and keep cancer cells from spreading.

Siberian garlic has one of the highest concentrations of allicin when compared to other garlic varieties. Porcelain garlic, such as Romanian Red, Parvin and Georgian Crystal, also have high allicin content.
Allicin in garlic

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