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Information @ a Glance

General

  • Garlic (Allium sativum), like other plants, has an exquisite defense system composed of as many different components as the human  immune system. In order to protect itself from insects and fungi, garlic enzymatically produces allicin when it is injured. Thus, allicin  is mother nature's insecticide.
  • Allicin is not present in garlic in its natural state. When garlic is chopped or otherwise damaged, the enzyme alliinase acts on the  chemical alliin converting it into allicin.[3] Alliin is an amino acid that does not build proteins.

Properties

  • The biological activity of Allicin extracted from fresh garlic is thought to be related to a combination of factors: itís antioxidant activity, modification of enzymes and proteins by attacking the SH-groups, rapid penetration into cells through the cell membrane.
  • Allicin has a number of beneficial properties, which could act together to enhance the bodies response to disease. Published laboratory studies have found that allicin: Enhances the activity of phagocytic cells, Enhances the activity of natural killer cells, Inhibits the growth of pathogenic micro-organisms, Inhibits the growth of certain cancer cells.

Extraction Process

  • Allicin (diallylthiosulfinate) is responsible for the usual odor of fresh-cut garlic. It is produced in crushed garlic cloves or in wetted  garlic powder through the rapid lysis of alliin by alliinase. Allicin has a water solubility of about 2%, is moderately soluble in hexane,  and is very soluble in organic solvent more polar than hexane. Allicin yield is commonly used as a measure of garlic quality. Preparation of a pure standard is necessary since its instability precludes its commercial availability.
  • Allicin is produced due to the interaction of the garlic enzyme, alliinase, with the substrate alliin. Alliinase was isolated, chemically stabilized and coupled to a solid matrix, thus enabling the efficient conversion of synthetic, nature-identical alliin to allicin. Aqueous solutions of allicin can be stored in the cold at 4oC for months.

Uses

  • Garlic extracts also have a strong antifungal effect and inhibit the formation of mycotoxins like the aflatoxin of Aspergillus parasiticus. Allicin was assumed to be the main component responsible for the inhibition of fungal growth.
  • Allicin also very efficiently inhibited the growth of other protozoan parasites such as Giardia lamblia, Leishmania major Leptomonas  colosoma, and Crithidia fasciculata

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