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Biofactors. 2006;26(2):93-103.

Antithrombotic and anticancer effects of garlic-derived sulfur compounds: a review.

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Department of Agricultural and Biological Chemistry, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-8510, Japan.


Garlic (Allium sativum L.) has a long history as being a food having a unique taste and odor along with some medicinal qualities. Modern scientific research has revealed that the wide variety of dietary and medicinal functions of garlic can be attributed to the sulfur compounds present in or generated from garlic. Although garlic produces more than 20 kinds of sulfide compounds from a few sulfur-containing amino acids, their functions are different from one another; e.g., allicin, methyl allyl trisulfide, and diallyl trisulfide have antibacterial, antithrombotic, and anticancer activities, respectively. The present paper reviews the physiological functions of garlic in the limited study fields of its antithrombotic and anticancer effects. Before describing these effects, however, we will discuss briefly some characteristics of garlic as a plant and some modes of absorption of orally-administered sulfur compounds from garlic.

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