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Food Funct. 2014 May;5(5):833-44. doi: 10.1039/c3fo60479a.

Chemopreventive functions and molecular mechanisms of garlic organosulfur compounds.

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Course of Biological Science and Technology, United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Kagoshima University, Korimoto 1-21-24, Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan.


Garlic (Allium sativum L.) has long been used both for culinary and medicinal purposes by many cultures. Population and preclinical investigations have suggested that dietary garlic intake has health benefits, such as lowering the risk of esophageal, stomach and prostate cancers. Extensive studies from laboratory and animal models have revealed that garlic has a wide range of biological activities, and garlic organosulfur compounds (OSCs) are responsible for the biological activities. However, the presence and potency of garlic OSCs vary with respect to the mode of garlic preparation and extraction. Cooked or processed garlic products showed different kinds of garlic OSCs, some of which are highly unstable and instantly decomposed. These facts, possibly gave paradoxical results on the garlic effects. In this review, we first summarized the biotransformation processes of garlic alliin into different garlic OSCs as well as the garlic OSCs compositions from different garlic preparations. Next, we reviewed the chemopreventive functions and molecular mechanisms focusing on the anti-inflammation, antioxidation, anti-diabetes and anticancer activity behind different garlic OSCs.

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