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Pharm Biol. 2011 Apr;49(4):416-21. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2010.521163. Epub 2011 Mar 11.

Alliin obtained from leaf extract of garlic grown under in situ conditions possess higher therapeutic potency as analyzed in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

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Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Botany, Hamdard University, New Delhi, India.



Garlic, Allium sativum L. (Liliaceae), possesses high therapeutic and pharmacological properties. Hypoglycemic activity is attributed to alliin (S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide), the main active principle localized in garlic cloves.


To compare the production and therapeutic efficiency of alliin extracted from garlic leaves of plants grown under ex situ and in situ conditions.


Alliin content of leaves was quantified and aqueous leaf extracts (from ex situ and in situ grown plants) were given to normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats for five weeks.


Alliin production noted ~50% enhancement in leaves from plants grown under in situ conditions. Serum glucose, triglycerides, total lipids, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-, and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-cholesterol in diabetic rats treated with alliin produced from in situ grown plants noted significant reduction of ~54%, 15%, 14%, 20%, 24%, and 15%, while 35%, 14%, 10%, 12%, 17% and 11% reduction was noted in diabetic rats treated with alliin produced from ex situ grown plants in comparison with those administered with distilled water. High-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol did not show any significant change. Leaf extract of plants lowered serum enzyme levels (alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase) toward the norm better than glibenclamide. The histopathological alteration in pancreas caused by alloxan was also reduced by leaf extract.


These findings demonstrate leaf extract obtained from plants grown under in situ condition possess higher therapeutic efficiency in comparison with leaf extract obtained from plants grown under ex situ condition. Studies suggest that environmental factors influence production of alliin and its therapeutic potential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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