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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Stinking Rose!

  • Author(s): Riazati, Nasim
  • et al.

Garlic has been touted for its medicinal properties in almost all ancient cultures. It belongs to the Allium family all members of which contain sulfur. Garlic contains an abundance of sulfur amino acids and their derivatives. The processing of these compounds through various preparations is what causes the odor of garlic. These garlic constituents have been shown to influence both initiation and promotion phases of cancer in several animal and cell culture methods. It has been found that these components exert antiproliferative activity on normal and malignant cells. Furthermore garlic compounds have been shown to block the synthesis of N-nitroso compounds that function as potential carcinogens. In this review, several carcinomas have been examined with respect to garlic’s ability to produce prevention. These include colon, esophagus, lung, prostate, and breast. On a side note, selenium enriched food products have been shown to be effective in cancer prevention. Interestingly enough, garlic has a great capacity to concentrate selenium when grown in a selenium-fertilized condition, which makes it a great candidate for food fortification. There are many other benefits to regular garlic consumption, some of which are mentioned at the end of this review.

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