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J Nutr. 2003 Jul;133(7):2171-5.

Garlic (Allium sativum L.) modulates cytokine expression in lipopolysaccharide-activated human blood thereby inhibiting NF-kappaB activity.

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Department of Pharmacy, Center of Drug Research, University of Munich, D-81377 Munich, Germany.


Garlic is proposed to have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. This paper shows that garlic powder extracts (GPE) and single garlic metabolites modulate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced cytokine levels in human whole blood. GPE-altered cytokine levels in human blood sample supernatants reduced nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activity in human cells exposed to these samples. Pretreatment with GPE (100 mg/L) reduced LPS-induced production of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1beta from 15.7 +/- 5.1 to 6.2 +/- 1.2 micro g/L and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha from 8.8 +/- 2.4 to 3.9 +/- 0.8 micro g/L, respectively, whereas the expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was unchanged. The garlic metabolite diallydisulfide (1-100 micro mol/L) also significantly reduced IL-1beta and TNF-alpha. Interestingly, exposure of human embryonic kidney cell line (HEK293) cells to GPE-treated blood sample supernatants (10 or 100 mg/L) reduced NF-kappaB activity compared with cells exposed to untreated blood supernatants as measured by a NF-kappaB-driven luciferase reporter gene assay. Blood samples treated with extract obtained from unfertilized garlic (100 mg/L) reduced NF-kappaB activity by 25%, whereas blood samples treated with sulfur-fertilized garlic extracts (100 mg/L) lowered NF-kappaB activity by 41%. In summary, garlic may indeed promote an anti-inflammatory environment by cytokine modulation in human blood that leads to an overall inhibition of NF-kappaB activity in the surrounding tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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