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Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Feb;50(2):222-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2011.11.003. Epub 2011 Nov 11.

Comparative study on the efficacy of Allium sativum (garlic) in reducing some heavy metal accumulation in liver of wistar rats.

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  • 1Department of Basic Medical Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.



Heavy metals are known to cause damage through indirect oxidative effects. This study was undertaken to compare the therapeutic efficacy and protective ability of garlic extracts on reducing toxicity induced by mercury, lead and cadmium in the liver.


Rats were fed with rat chow mixed with raw garlic (7% w/w) while mercury (10ppm), cadmium (200ppm) and lead (100ppm) were given in drinking water. Garlic was administered either at the same time with the metals (group 2), a week after exposure to heavy metals (group 3) or a week before heavy metal exposure (group 4) for 6weeks. The heavy metal accumulations in the liver were determined using AAS. The percentage protection showed a time-dependent effect and was significantly (P<0.01) higher for cadmium compared to mercury and lead-treated groups. Analysis between the groups showed that garlic treatment after exposure had a significantly (P<0.05) higher percentage protection when compared with other modes.


These results suggest that garlic offered more hepatoprotective effect to cadmium followed by mercury and least protection to lead at the selected dose of each metal in this study through the processes of uptake, assimilation and elimination of these metals.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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