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Garlic: a review of its relationship to malignant disease.

Dausch JG; Nixon DW

Prev Med, 1990 May, 19:3, 346-61

Garlic (Allium sativum) has had an important dietary and medicinal role for centuries. It is
now known that garlic contains chemical constituents with antibiotic, lipid-lowering,
detoxification, and other medicinal effects in the body. This article reviews some of the
physiological characteristics of garlic and examines the relationship between garlic and
cancer prevention and treatment. Hypotheses regarding the possible role of garlic in
modulating mechanisms that may alter the carcinogenic process are discussed.

In vitro virucidal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract and compounds.

Weber ND; Andersen DO; North JA; Murray BK; Lawson LD; Hughes BG

Planta Med, 1992 Oct, 58:5, 417-23

Garlic (Allium sativum) has been shown to have antiviral activity, but the compounds
responsible have not been identified. Using direct pre-infection incubation assays, we
determined the in vitro virucidal effects of fresh garlic extract, its polar fraction, and the
following garlic associated compounds: diallyl thiosulfinate (allicin), allyl methyl
thiosulfinate, methyl allyl thiosulfinate, ajoene, alliin, deoxyalliin, diallyl disulfide, and
diallyl trisulfide. Activity was determined against selected viruses including, herpes simplex
virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2, parainfluenza virus type 3, vaccinia virus,
vesicular stomatitis virus, and human rhinovirus type 2. The order for virucidal activity
generally was: ajoene > allicin > allyl methyl thiosulfinate > methyl allyl thiosulfinate.
Ajoene was found in oil-macerates of garlic but not in fresh garlic extracts. No activity was
found for the garlic polar fraction, alliin, deoxyalliin, diallyl disulfide, or diallyl trisulfide.
Fresh garlic extract, in which thiosulfinates appeared to be the active components, was
virucidal to each virus tested. The predominant thiosulfinate in fresh garlic extract was
allicin. Lack of reduction in yields of infectious virus indicated undetectable levels of
intracellular antiviral activity for either allicin or fresh garlic extract. Furthermore,
concentrations that were virucidal were also toxic to HeLa and Vero cells. Virucidal assay
results were not influenced by cytotoxicity since the compounds were diluted below toxic
levels prior to assaying for infectious virus. These results indicate that virucidal activity and
cytotoxicity may have depended upon the viral envelope and cell membrane, respectively.
However, activity against non-enveloped virus may have been due to inhibition of viral
adsorption or penetration.(Abstract TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Garlic oil extract ameliorates the severity of copper deficiency.

Fields M; Lewis CG; Lure MD

J Am Coll Nutr, 1992 Jun, 11:3, 334-9

This study was undertaken to determine whether a reduction in hepatic lipogenesis would be
beneficial in the amelioration of copper (Cu) deficiency when fructose is fed. Garlic was
chosen as the agent for reducing hepatic lipogenesis. Forty-eight weanling rats were fed
Cu-deficient or adequate diets containing fructose or starch with or without garlic for 5
weeks. Garlic ameliorated the signs associated with Cu deficiency, although hepatic
lipogenesis was not affected. Administration of garlic reduced the activity of the lipogenic
enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase only in Cu-adequate rats. Consumption of
garlic resulted in increased epididymal fat pad and pancrease sizes, and higher hematocrits,
insulin and thyroxine concentrations. Mechanisms other than lipogenesis that could be
responsible for this phenomenon are discussed.

Garlic compounds modulate macrophage and T-lymphocyte functions.

Lau BH; Yamasaki T; Gridley DS

Mol Biother, 1991 Jun, 3:2, 103-7

Organosulfur compounds of garlic have been shown to inhibit growth of animal tumors and
to modulate the activity of diverse chemical carcinogens. There is also evidence that garlic
may modulate antitumor immunity. In this study, we determined the effects of an aqueous
garlic extract and a protein fraction isolated from the extract on the chemiluminescent
oxidative burst of the murine J774 macrophage cell line and thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal
macrophages obtained from BALB/c mice. T-lymphocyte activity was determined using
mouse splenocytes incubated with phytohemagglutinin, labeled with [3H]-thymidine and
assayed for lymphoproliferation. Significant dose-related augmentation of oxidative burst
was observed with garlic extract and the protein fraction. The protein fraction also enhanced
the T-lymphocyte blastogenesis. The data suggest that garlic compounds may serve as
biological response modifiers by augmenting macrophage and T-lymphocyte functions.

Therapy with garlic: results of a placebo-controlled, double-blind study.

Vorberg G; Schneider B

Br J Clin Pract Suppl, 1990 Aug, 69:, 7-11

A double-blind study of 40 hypercholesterolaemic out-patients was carried out over a period
of four months to examine the effects of a garlic powder preparation*. The drug group
received 900 mg garlic powder per day, equivalent to 2,700 mg of fresh garlic. During the
therapy, the drug group showed significantly lower total cholesterol, triglycerides and blood
pressure than those of the placebo group. In addition, results of a self-evaluation
questionnaire indicated that patients in the drug group had a greater feeling of 'well-being'.

Chemoprotection of garlic extract toward cyclophosphamide toxicity in mice.

Unnikrishnan MC; Soudamini KK; Kuttan R

Nutr Cancer, 1990, 13:3, 201-7

The effect of the administration of an extract of garlic (Allium sativum) was studied in mice
that were treated with a chronic lethal dose of cyclophosphamide (50 mg/kg body wt, 14
days). The intraperitoneal administration of garlic (50 mg/animal, 14 days) along with
cyclophosphamide reduced the toxicity of the latter considerably with an increase in life span
of more than 70%. The administration of garlic extract did not improve the lymphopenia
produced by cyclophosphamide or liver alkaline phosphatase, but there was a significant
reduction in liver glutamic-pyruvic transaminase. Moreover, garlic extract reduced the level
of lipid peroxidation induced in the liver by cyclophosphamide administration.
Administration of garlic extract did not interfere with the tumor-reducing activity of

Antiproliferative effect of the garlic compound S-allyl cysteine on human neuroblastoma
cells in vitro.

Welch C; Wuarin L; Sidell N

Cancer Lett, 1992 Apr, 63:3, 211-9

A variety of compounds derived from garlic bulbs have been shown in animal systems to
possess anticancer properties. However, little information is available regarding the
effectiveness of garlic in the prevention or treatment of human cancers. In the current study,
we have assessed the ability of S-allyl cysteine (SAC), a derivative of aged garlic extract, to
affect the proliferation and differentiation of LA-N-5 human neuroblastoma cells in vitro.
Time-and dose-dependent inhibition of cell grow was observed in cultures treated with SAC
for at least 2 days, with a half-maximal response at approximately 600 micrograms/ml.
SAC treatment was unable to induce differentiation in neuroblastoma cells as assessed by
morphological, biochemical and molecular markers. In addition, SAC was unable to
potentiate the effects of retinoic acid and 8-bromo-cyclic AMP, agents known to promote
differentiation of LA-N-5 cells. Our results indicate that SAC can inhibit human
neuroblastoma cell growth in vitro. However, the apparent inability of this compound to
induce differentiation may limit its therapeutic potential.

Mammary cancer prevention by regular garlic and selenium-enriched garlic.

Ip C; Lisk DJ; Stoewsand GS

Nutr Cancer, 1992, 17:3, 279-86

The anticarcinogenic activities of regular (soil-grown) garlic and selenium-enriched garlic
(cultivated in the greenhouse) were evaluated using the
7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-(DMBA) induced mammary tumor model in rats. In
Experiment 1, milled regular garlic powder was added to the basal AIN-76A diet at 20 g/kg.
The results from different schedules of supplementation suggested that a continuous
treatment, which started before DMBA and persisted for the entire duration of the study,
was most effective in tumor suppression. In Experiment 2, selected allyl group-containing
sulfides that are normal constituents of garlic extract were given by gavage in three single
doses immediately before DMBA. Several structurally related compounds were found to be
protective during the initiation phase in the mammary cancer model. Although the present
study was not designed specifically to elucidate the structure-activity relationship with
respect to sulfur chain length or alkyl versus alkenyl substitution, our data showed that
diallyl disulfide was more active than diallyl sulfide or allyl methyl sulfide. In Experiment 3,
the anticarcinogenic activity of selenium-enriched garlic (containing 150 ppm Se dry weight
from growth in a selenium-fertilized medium) was compared with that of regular garlic as
well as selenite. Animals given the selenium-enriched garlic (final concentration 3 ppm Se
in the diet) developed the fewest mammary tumors. Tissue selenium levels, however, were
lower in these animals than in those fed the same amount of selenium from selenite. Our
study demonstrated the feasibility of achieving cancer prevention with the use of a
selenium-rich food system.(Abstract TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Papilloma and carcinoma production in DMBA-initiated, onion oil-promoted mouse skin.

Belman S; Sellakumar A; Bosland MC; Savarese K; Estensen RD

Nutr Cancer, 1990, 14:2, 141-8

Groups of 20 females Ha/ICR mice were initiated with 25 micrograms
7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) and promoted one week later with topical
treatments three times per week of 5 micrograms phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and/or
onion oil or garlic oil. Promotion was continued for 49 weeks in most experiments.
Promotion was continued for 60 weeks in the experiment that evaluated the effect of time
intervals between PMA and garlic oil. All experiments were conducted with 0.2 ml acetone
solutions of agents. Onion oil, but not garlic oil, was a weak promoter in mouse skin. A
1-mg dose produced five papillomas in three mice and one carcinoma in 330 days (18
survivors). The 10-mg dose was more effective; it produced cumulative yields of 56
papillomas in 14 mice and 7 carcinomas in 4 mice in 345 days (14 survivors). Onion oil is
neither an initiator nor a whole carcinogen. The effects of intervals between PMA and a
1-mg dose of onion or garlic oil were determined. These intervals were -2 hrs, -1 hr, -0.5 hr,
+0.5 hr, +1 hr, and +2 hrs with respect to time of PMA application. Maximal inhibition of
papillomas by onion oil was observed at the +0.5-hr interval and was similar to that
previously reported. Garlic oil is not a promoter. It inhibited papillomas at the +0.5-hr,
+1.0-hr, and +2.0-hr intervals but did not appear to affect carcinoma production.

Ancient remedies revisited: does Allium sativum (garlic) palliate the hepatopulmonary

Caldwell SH; Jeffers LJ; Narula OS; Lang EA; Reddy KR; Schiff ER

J Clin Gastroenterol, 1992 Oct, 15:3, 248-50

Hypoxia in the setting of liver disease is often multifactorial. Obstructive or restrictive lung
disease, pleural effusions, and tense ascites are common underlying disorders. Less often
observed and frequently unrecognized is hypoxia related to diffuse intrapulmonary
shunting--the hepatopulmonary syndrome. Its etiology is unknown but may result from
disordered gut peptide metabolism. Symptoms may be ameliorated by somatostatin and
reversed by successful liver transplantation. Here we report a patient with severe
hepatopulmonary syndrome who failed somatostatin therapy and declined liver
transplantation. On her own the patient took large daily doses of powdered garlic (Allium
sativum). She has experienced partial palliation of her symptoms and some objective signs
of improvement over 18 months of continuous self-medication. The possible effects of
garlic's main physiologically active compound, allicin, on gut peptide metabolism and
pulmonary vasculature are unknown. This innocuous compound may deserve further
investigation given the limited therapeutic options for this disorder.


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