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Medicinal plants have been used from ancient times for human healthcare as in the form of traditional medicines, spices, and other food components. Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is an aromatic herbaceous plant that is consumed worldwide as food and traditional remedy for various diseases. It has been reported to possess several biological properties including anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antidiabetic, renoprotective, anti-atherosclerotic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antihypertensive activities in traditional medicines. A. sativum is rich in several sulfur-containing phytoconstituents such as alliin, allicin, ajoenes, vinyldithiins, and flavonoids such as quercetin. Extracts and isolated compounds of A. sativum have been evaluated for various biological activities including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities among others. This review examines the phytochemical composition, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacological activities of A. sativum extracts as well as its main active constituent, allicin.
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Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological
Activities of Garlic (Allium sativum L.): A Review
Gaber El-Saber Batiha 1, 2, *,, Amany Magdy Beshbishy 1, , Lamiaa G. Wasef 2,
Yaser H. A. Elewa 3,4, Ahmed A. Al-Sagan 5, Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack 6, Ayman E. Taha 7,
Yasmina M. Abd-Elhakim 8and Hari Prasad Devkota 9
1National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary
Medicine, Nishi 2-13, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido 080-8555, Japan;
2Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Damanhour University,
Damanhour 22511, AlBeheira, Egypt;
3Laboratory of Anatomy, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine,
Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0818, Japan;
4Department of Histology and Cytology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University,
Zagazig 44511, Egypt
5King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, P.O. Box 6086, Riyadh 11442, Saudi Arabia;
6Department of Poultry, Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Egypt;
7Department of Animal Husbandry and Animal Wealth Development, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,
Alexandria University, Edfina 22578, Egypt;
8Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University,
Zagazig 44511, Egypt;
9Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kumamoto University, 5-1 Oe-Honmachi, Chuo-ku,
Kumamoto City, Kumamoto, 862-0973, Japan;
*Correspondence:; Tel.: +20-45-271-6024; Fax: +20-45-271-6024
These two authors share the first authorship.
Received: 27 February 2020; Accepted: 12 March 2020; Published: 24 March 2020
Medicinal plants have been used from ancient times for human healthcare as in the form of
traditional medicines, spices, and other food components. Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is an aromatic
herbaceous plant that is consumed worldwide as food and traditional remedy for various diseases.
It has been reported to possess several biological properties including anticarcinogenic, antioxidant,
antidiabetic, renoprotective, anti-atherosclerotic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antihypertensive
activities in traditional medicines. A. sativum is rich in several sulfur-containing phytoconstituents
such as alliin, allicin, ajoenes, vinyldithiins, and flavonoids such as quercetin. Extracts and isolated
compounds of A. sativum have been evaluated for various biological activities including antibacterial,
antiviral, antifungal, antiprotozoal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities among
others. This review examines the phytochemical composition, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacological
activities of A. sativum extracts as well as its main active constituent, allicin.
Garlic; Allium sativum; pharmacological activities; phytoconstituents; allicin;
1. Introduction
Medicinal plants have been a good source of new pharmacologically active molecules.
For example
natural products could be a potential alternative for controlling the pathogen associated with diseases [
]. Recently, antibiotics and most drugs on the market have shown unwanted symptoms and the
Nutrients 2020,12, 872; doi:10.3390/nu12030872
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 2 of 21
emergence of resistant pathogenic microorganisms, toxic eects related to these drugs, and withdrawal
issues restricting their use in many countries [
], therefore, much attention has been paid to the
herbal extracts and pharmacologically active molecules extracted from dierent plant species that are
used previously in the traditional medicine [
]. Many plant species have been reported to exert
pharmacological properties due to their phytoconstituents such as glycosides, alkaloids, saponins,
steroids, flavonoids, tannins, and terpenoids (e.g., monoterpenes, diterpenes, and sesquiterpenes).
Nowadays, eighty percent of the world’s populations depend on traditional medicines as an essential
source of their primary health care [
]. Medicinal plant extracts and their constituents also possess
various biological activities including virucidal, bactericidal, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic,
sedative, spasmolytic, and local anesthetic activities among others [14,15].
Garlic (Allium sativum L.; Family: Amaryllidaceae) is an aromatic herbaceous annual spice and
one of the oldest authenticated and most important herbs that have been used from ancient times
as traditional medicine [
]. It is considered the second broadly used Allium species with onion
(Allium cepa L.), which is used as a remedy against several common diseases such are cold, influenza,
snake bites, and hypertension [
]. Allium species and their active components are reported to reduce
the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, protect against infections by activating the immune
system and have antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-aging as well as anti-cancer properties which confirmed
by epidemiological data from human clinical studies [
]. Garlic has been used for cooking purposes
as a spice that can flavor foods during the cooking process. As well, it possesses therapeutic purposes
including the treatment of lung disorders, whooping cough, stomach disorders, cold, earache, and
assists in preventing cardiovascular disease [
]. While aged garlic extract (AGE), prepared from aged
garlic is a folk herbal remedy that has been shown to enhance the immune system and thus inhibit
cancer and heart disorders. Raw garlic and its transformed products have been reported to contain
various sulfur compounds that have been included in several types of preparations [
]. Moreover,
quercetin, the major flavonoid isolated from garlic, was found to interact with some medications such
as vitamin E and C [
] and modify the
in vitro
as well as the
in vivo
transferases and cytochrome
P450 isozymes activity, however, the
in vivo
studies revealed that garlic oil and its three allyl sulfide
components increase the CYP3A1, 2B1, and 1A1 expression in the hepatic detoxification system [22].
Allicin [S-(2-propenyl)-2-propene-1-sulfinothioate], the most biologically active sulfur-containing
compound of garlic, is responsible for its smell and taste [
]. Alliin (S-allyl-L-cysteine sulfoxide) is
the main precursor of allicin, which represents about 70% of total thiosulfinates existing in the crushed
cloves [
]. Allyl mercaptan is the odorant molecule responsible for the garlic breath and results
from the interaction of allicin or diallyl disulfide with cysteine in the presence of S-ally-mercapto
cysteine [
]. Allicin is a lipid-soluble sulfur compound, which can be easily damaged by cooking
and has the ability to provoke intolerance, allergic reactions, and gastrointestinal disorders [
Various pharmacological activities have also been reported for the extracts and isolated compounds
from garlic. The main aim of this article is to critically review the available scientific information about
the traditional uses, chemical constituents, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacological activities of garlic.
2. Chemical Constituents of Garlic
Bulbs of A. sativum are reported to contain hundreds of phytochemicals including sulfur-containing
compounds (Table 1) such as ajoenes (E-ajoene, Z-ajoene), thiosulfinates (allicin), vinyldithiins
(2-vinyl-(4H) -1,3-dithiin, 3-vinyl-(4H)-1,2-dithiin), sulfides (diallyl disulfide (DADS), diallyl trisulfide
(DATS)) and others that accounted 82% of the overall garlic sulfur content [
]. Alliin, the main cysteine
sulfoxide is transformed to allicin by allinase enzyme after cutting othe garlic and breaking down the
parenchyma [
]. S-propyl-cysteine-sulfoxide (PCSO), allicin and S-methyl cysteine-sulfoxide (MCSO)
are the main odoriferous molecules of freshly milled garlic homogenates [
]. PCSO can produce
more than fifty metabolites depend on water content and temperature as well as allinase enzyme that
can act on the mixture of MCSO, PCSO, and alliin to produce other molecules, such as allyl methane
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 3 of 21
thiosulfinates, methyl methanethiosulfonate, and further corresponding thiosulfinates (R-S-S-R
), by
which R and R0are allyl, propyl, and methyls groups [31].
Table 1.
List and structures of some of the sulfur-containing compounds isolated from Allium sativum.
Compounds Molecular formula Structure
Alliin C6H11NO3S
Allicin C6H10OS2
E-Ajoene C9H14OS3
Z-Ajoene C9H14OS3
2-Vinyl-4H-1,3-dithiin C6H8S2
Diallyl sulfide (DAS) C6H10S
Diallyl disulfide (DADS) C6H10S2
Diallyl trisulfide (DATS) C6H10S3
Allyl methyl sulfide (AMS) C4H8S
S-alk(en)yl-l-cysteine sulfoxides are the secondary metabolites obtained from cysteine which
accumulate in the plants of Allium genus [
]. Garlic formulations consist of several organosulfur
compounds, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), S-allyl-cysteine (SAC) [
], and S-ally-mercapto cysteine (SAMC),
which are derived from alliin [
]. Notably, SAC has antioxidant, anti-inflammation, regulated redox,
pro energetic, antiapoptotic, and signaling capacities [
], while SAMC shows an anticancer activity
through preventing the cancer cells multiplication [36].
Allicin (allyl thiosulfinate), is a sulfenic acid thioester and its pharmacological eect is attributed
to its antioxidant activity as well as its interaction with thiol-containing proteins [
]. In the
allicin biosynthesis, cysteine is transformed to alliin that is hydrolyzed by the allinase enzyme [
This enzyme composed of pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) which splits alliin and produces ammonium,
pyruvate, and allyl sulfenic acid that are highly reactive and unstable at room temperature, where two
molecules were combined to form allicin [37,39].
3. Pharmacokinetics and Stability of Garlic Components
De Rooij et al. [
] reported the existence of N-acetyl-S-allyl cysteine (NASAC) in human urine
after garlic ingestion that is created by converting SAC into the N-acetylated metabolite by N-acetyl
transferase enzyme. Previous reports revealed the existence of diallyl disulfide (DADS), allyl methyl
sulfide (AMS), diallyl sulfide (DAS), allyl methyl disulfide (AMDS), dimethyl sulfide, acetone and
diallyl trisulfide (DATS) in tested participants breath after administration of 38 g of raw garlic. It
was reported that DADS, DAS, DATS, and AMDS achieved the maximum concentrations within 2
to 3 h. Freeman and Kodera [
] examined allicin stability in simulated gastric fluid (SGF), blood,
stimulated intestinal fluid (SIF) and various solvents such as; methanol, water, ethyl acetate at pH 1.2
and 7.5 and they observed that allicin aected the SGF and SIF at pH 1.2 and 7.5, respectively. These
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 4 of 21
results suggest that allicin degraded at room temperature and was more stable in methanol than in
ethyl acetate. Furthermore, about 90% of the allicin stayed in the SIF (pH 7.5) and SGF (pH 1.2) after
incubation at 37
C for 5 h, while only a small amount could be detected after 5 min in the blood.
About 62% and 80% of allicin remained one day after Allium administration without increasing the
concentration of allicin decomposition products such as DADS [
]. The pharmacokinetic examination
in rats using 35 S-labeled alliin, vinyl dithiins, and allicin, revealed that the alliin peak time (T
) was
lower than 10 min and was eliminated after 6 h from the blood, whereas the allicin peak time (T
was 30–60 min and the mean total fecal and urinary excretion was 85.5% after 72 h.
Allicin, a bright yellow oily liquid that possesses a distinctive garlic odor and it is very unstable,
therefore it can be easily decomposed even at room temperature [
]. Previous studies reported
that allicin can easily degrade under the influence of temperature to form ajoenes ((E)- and (Z)-4, 5,
9-trithiadodeca-1, 6, 11-triene-9-oxides) and vinyldithiins which are more stable than allicin [
]. These
degradation products are commonly isolated from oil, aqueous and chloroform garlic extracts and are
present as (E) and (Z) isomers, where (E)-ajoene is usually found in double amounts [44].
4. Pharmacological Activities of Garlic and Its Related Compounds
4.1. Traditional Uses of Garlic
Garlic is one of the most important bulb vegetables that has a pungent flavor and widely used all
over the world as a spice and flavoring agent. The organosulfur compounds like allicin and DADS
are the main compounds responsible for its pungency eects and spicy aroma. Garlic is well-known
to be used in food preparation, especially dried foods for storage and some types of soup and it can
be utilized in both fresh and dehydrated states [
]. Traditionally, garlic and its related compounds
have been stated to have several biological activities including anticarcinogenic, antioxidant [
antidiabetic, renoprotective, anti-atherosclerotic, antibacterial, antifungal [
], and antihypertensive
activities [
]. Moreover, garlic has been used in traditional medicine to treat indigestion, respiratory
and urinary tract infections and cardiac disorders and it showed carminative, antipyretic, sedative,
aphrodisiac, and diuretic eects [32].
4.2. Activities Related to Infectious Diseases
4.2.1. Antibacterial Activity
The antimicrobial activity of garlic is attributed to allicin activity that was reported toward a wide
variety of microorganisms including antibiotic-resistant, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria
such as Shigella, Escherichia coli [
], Staphylococcus aureus,Pseudomonas aeruginosa [
], Streptococcus
mutans,S. faecalis,S. pyogenes,Salmonella enterica, Klebsiella aerogenes [
], Vibrio,Mycobacteria,Proteus
vulgaris, and Enterococcus faecalis [
]. Various garlic extracts (aqueous, chloroform, methanolic, and
ethanolic extracts) were reported to inhibit the growth of several pathogenic bacteria with varying
degrees of susceptibility. For instance, a study revealed that ethanolic garlic extract showed higher
inhibitory eect against E. coli and Sal. typhi than the aqueous extract that showed little or no
inhibition eect [
]. Meriga et al. [
] reported that aqueous garlic extract showed antibacterial activity
toward Gram-negative (Kl. pneumoniae and E. coli) as well as Gram-positive (e.g., Bacillus subtilis and
S. aureus) strains, whereas methanolic garlic extract showed antimicrobial activity against all tested
strains except S. aureus. However, hexane, ethyl acetate, and chloroform extracts did not show any
antibacterial eect. Moreover, garlic extracts prevented the growth of enterotoxigenic E. coli strains
and other pathogenic intestinal bacteria, which are the main cause of diarrhea in humans and animals.
Besides the antibacterial activity of garlic, it was reported to prevent the toxins produced by bacterial
infection [
]. Allicin also showed eectiveness toward methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) [
Allicin’s antimicrobial activity is due to its chemical interaction with enzymes containing thiol e.g.,
thioredoxin reductase, RNA polymerase, and alcohol dehydrogenase [
] by oxidizing protein cysteine
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 5 of 21
or glutathione residues under physiological conditions. Allicin is a dose-related biocide that can
influence essential metabolism of cysteine proteinase, and thus, kill all eukaryotic cells due to the
presence of thiol groups in all living cells.
4.2.2. Antifungal Activity
Garlic extracts showed a broad spectrum fungicidal eect against a wide range of fungi
including Candida, Torulopsis, Trichophyton, Cryptococcus, Aspergillus,Trichosporon, and Rhodotorula
species. Recently, garlic extract was found to inhibit the Meyerozyma guilliermondii and Rhodotorula
mucilaginosa germination and growth [
]. Another study reported the antifungal activity of various
A. sativum extracts namely aqueous, ethanolic, methanolic, and petroleum ether against human
pathogenic fungi such are Trichophyton verrucosum,T. mentagrophytes,T. rubrum,Botrytis cinerea,Candida
species, Epidermophyton floccosum,Aspergillus niger,A. flavus,Rhizopus stolonifera, Microsporum gypseum,
M. audouinii,Alternaria alternate, Neofabraea alba, and Penicillium expansum [
]. The garlic extract acted
by aecting the fungal cell wall and causing irreversible ultrastructural changes in the fungal cells,
which lead to loss of structural integrity and aected the germination ability. These changes in the
cytoplasmic content lead to nucleus and cell organelles damage that ultimately leads to cell death.
Moreover, allicin and garlic oil showed potent antifungal eects against Candida albicans, Ascosphaera
apisin, and A. niger [
] and they acted by penetrating the cellular membrane as well as organelles
membranes like the mitochondria and leading to organelles destruction and cell death [
and DATS separated from garlic essential oil showed antifungal activity against a number of fungi
(C. albicans,C. tropicalis, and Blastoschizomyces capitatus). In addition to that, saponins extracted from
A. sativum exhibited antifungal activity against Botrytis cinerea and Trichoderma harzianum [58].
4.2.3. Anti-Protozoal Activity
Various studies reported the anti-protozoal activity of garlic extracts and its phytochemicals
against several protozoan parasites. For instance, an
in vitro
study revealed that the aqueous,
ethanolic, and dichloromethane A. sativum extracts exhibited anthelmintic activity against Haemonchus
contortus and the ethanolic extract was the most eective one, while aqueous garlic extract showed
potent activity against Trichuris muris and Angiostrongylus cantonensis [
]. Garlic was also examined
in vivo
in vitro
against Taenia taeniaeformis,Hymenolepis microstoma,H. diminuta,Echinostoma
caproni, and Fasciola hepatica [
]. Abdel-Hafeez et al. [
] showed that garlic extract inhibited the
growth of Blastocystis spp.
in vivo
and this activity attributed to that garlic extracts contains several
phytochemicals e.g., thiosulfinates are one of the bioactive compounds that possess antibacterial
activity that is related to thiol enzymes inhibition which presents in several microorganisms. Allicin
also acts by preventing the parasite’s RNA as well as DNA and protein synthesis. Moreover, allicin
and DATS, phytochemicals isolated from garlic extract, showed antiparasitic activity against Entamoeba
histolytica, Plasmodium falciparum, Babesia, Theleria, Trypanosoma brucei, and Giardia lamblia [
]. Ajoene
also exhibited antiparasitic activity by inhibiting the human glutathione reductase and T. cruzi
trypanothione reductase [
]. Hazaa et al. [
] reported the activity of garlic oil toward broad-spectrum
microorganisms such are Cochlospermum planchonii, Plasmodium, Giardia,Leishmania, and Trypanosoma.
4.2.4. Antiviral Activity
The antiviral activity of garlic extracts has been evaluated against influenza B, human rhinovirus
type 2, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), Parainfluenza virus type 3, herpes simplex type 1 and 2,
vaccinia virus, and vesicular stomatitis virus [
]. Interestingly,
in vivo
experiment exhibited the
antiviral activity of garlic extract and they reported that garlic showed protective activity against
influenza viruses by improving the production of neutralizing antibodies when given to mice and
this activity was based on the presence of several phytochemicals namely, ajoene, allicin, allyl methyl
thiosulfinate, and methyl allyl thiosulfinate [
]. Allicin acts by preventing several thiol enzymes, while
ajoene’s antiviral activity was due to the prevention of adhesive interaction and fusion of leukocytes.
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 6 of 21
Moreover, DATS was eective against the HCMV replication and viral immediate-early gene expression
and it acts by enhancing natural killer-cell (NK-cell) activity that destroys virus-infected cells [58].
4.3. Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Activities
4.3.1. Antioxidant Activity
Asdaq and Inamdar [
] reported that the frequent garlic intake promotes internal antioxidant
activities and reduces oxidative adverse eects either by increasing the endogenous antioxidant
synthesis or reducing the production of oxidizers such as oxygen-free radical species (ORS). Gentamycin
is an antibiotic that has been used to treat several types of bacterial infections and was reported to
promote hepatic damage through raising aspartate transaminase and alanine aminotransferase enzymes
in addition to lowering the plasma albumin level. It is demonstrated that garlic protects against
gentamycin- as well as acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity by improving antioxidant status, and
regulating oxidative stress [
]. As ROS seems to be at the core of many ailments, it is justified to assume
that the antioxidant eect of garlic might be through modulation of ROS, increasing glutathione and
cellular antioxidant enzymes [
]. Moreover, garlic extract was found to increase the activities of some
antioxidant enzymes (e.g., superoxide dismutase (SOD)) and decrease glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px)
in hepatic tissues of rats. Notably, several reports indicated that AGE rich in flavonoid, phenol, and
dierent sulfur compounds e.g., SAC shows high radical scavenging activity [
]. Additionally, AGE
acted by stimulating the expression of dierent antioxidant enzymes, namely glutamate-cysteine ligase
modifier (GCLM) and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) subunit by the nuclear factor erythrobia-2 related
factor 2 (Nrf2)-antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway that is responsible for human endothelial
cells protection against oxidative stress [
]. Alliin, the major compound isolated from AGE, showing
wide-spectrum antioxidant activities by controlling ROS generation and preventing mitogen-activated
protein kinase (MAPK). Moreover, it was reported to prevent ROS production by inhibiting NADPH
oxidase 1, and thus, inhibiting the osteoclast fusion caused by receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa
B ligand (RANKL) [
]. Allicin, DADS, and DATS are the main antioxidative compounds that showed
an antioxidant eect in lower doses at the physiological level [
]. Saponins extracted from garlic
were reported to scavenge intracellular ROS and protect mouse-derived C2C12 myoblasts towards
growth inhibition and H
-induced DNA damage [
]. Interestingly,
Abdel-Daim et al. [69]
that DAS exhibited potent antioxidant and cytoprotective activities and these activities may be due to
suppressing the enzymatic activity of cytochrome P450-2E1 and thereby reducing the generation of
reactive oxygen and nitrogen species or by inducing the mRNA expression of Nrf2 and heme-oxygenase
1 enzyme.
4.3.2. Anti-Inflammatory Activity
Garlic extracts and its related phytochemicals have been reported to possess anti-inflammatory
activity. A study reported that the garlic extracts remarkably impaired the liver inflammation and
damage caused by Eimeria papillate infections [
]. Hobauer et al. [
], as well as Gu et al. [
], observed
that the anti-inflammatory activity of garlic is caused by inhibiting the emigration of neutrophilic
granulocytes into epithelia. Aged black garlic (ABG) exhibited potent antioxidant activities and these
activities may be responsible for its anti-inflammatory activity. The ABG chloroform extract acts by
reducing NF-
B activation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells caused by tumor necrosis factor-
). Moreover, ABG methanolic extract was reported to prevent the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)
and prostaglandin E
) production by NF-
B inactivation [
]. You et al. [
] investigated the
anti-inflammatory eect of ABG and they reported that this activity may be attributed to the direct
suppression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling cascade activation in macrophages, reducing
nuclear NF-
B level and improving the NF-
B and I
B cytosolic levels in LPS-activated RAW264.7
cells. Additionally, they revealed that ABG extract may act by another mechanism of action by
inhibiting the iNOS and COX-2 expression, and thus, prevented the NO, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 7 of 21
formation of in LPS-activated RAW264.7 cells and TPA-mediated dermatitis in mice. Allicin
demonstrated a defensive mechanism against pathogens by its ability to enhance the activity of
immune cells and influence signaling pathways associated with these immune cells. Moreover,
allicin works on T-cell lymphocytes by inhibiting the SDF1
chemokine which is associated with
the weakness of the dynamic structure of the actin cytoskeleton [
], in addition to this, it leads to
inhibit the Transendothelial migration of neutrophils. Notably, Abdel-Daim et al. [
] reported that
the anti-inflammatory activity of DAS induced by diminishing the expression of the inflammatory
cytokines (e.g., NF-
B, IL-1
, and TNF-
), and the ROS generation by suppressing CYP-2E1 hepatic
enzyme. Another report indicated that thiacremonone (a sulfur compound isolated from garlic)
prevents neuroinflammation and amyloidogenesis by blocking the NF-
B activity, and therefore can be
used to treat neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease) related to inflammation [77].
4.4. Anticancer Activity
Raw garlic extract was found to be the most eective and highly specific anticancer drug
when compared with 33 raw vegetable extracts against dierent cancer cells without aecting the
non-cancerous cells [
]. Shang et al. [
] reported that the anticancer mechanisms of garlic extracts
were attributed to the inhibition of cell growth and proliferation, regulation of carcinogen metabolism,
stimulation of apoptosis, prevention of angiogenesis, invasion, and migration and thus reducing the
anticancer agent’s negative eects. Interestingly, in 1960, tumor cells were reported to be killed when
incubated in an allicin solution [
]. Allicin isolated from garlic was reported to suppress colorectal
cancer metastasis through enhancing the immune function and preventing the formation of tumor
vessels as well as survivin gene expression to enhance the cancer cell’s apoptosis. It also can enhance the
treatment of pancreatic cancer thereby invert gene silencing and restrain cancer cell proliferation [
Furthermore, Zhang et al. [
] revealed that allicin can prevent gastrointestinal cancer cells MGC 803
proliferation and induce apoptosis, which can be accomplished through enhancing p38 expression and
cleaved caspase 3. Allicin-derived polysulfanes have been reported to target microtubules, which lead
to interruption of the cell-cycle and finally to apoptosis. Several studies reported the activity of allicin in
preventing cell proliferation [
] by targeting tubulin that shapes the mitotic spindle and thus inhibits
cell division [
]. Iciek et al. [
] have reported the anti-tumor properties of organo-sulfur compounds
(OSC) including allicin, DADS, alliin, DAS, allyl mercaptan (AM), and S-allyl cysteine (SAC), isolated
from garlic. In addition, garlic powders inhibited the DNA damage caused by N-nitrosodimethylamine
in the liver when administered to rats by 35% and this eect was due to the high concentration of alliin
up to 60% in the samples [
]. Notably, Fleischauer and Arab [
] reported that continuous garlic
intake could decrease dierent kinds of cancer propagation such as lung, colon, stomach, breast, and
prostate. Piscitelli et al. [
] reported that garlic reduced the plasma concentrations of saquinavir by
about 50% in healthy participants, after 3-week of a garlic supplement uptake, in addition to this,
many researchers evaluated the antitumor and cytotoxic actions of garlic and its related constituents
in vitro
in vivo
. Moreover, Z-ajoene has shown anti-proliferative activities against dierent types
of cancers and it inhibits the growth of human breast cancer cells and glioblastoma multiforme cancer
stem cells (GBM CSC) [
]. It was found to stimulate apoptosis in human leukemic cells by promoting
the peroxide production, caspase-3-like and caspase-8 activities [87].
4.5. Anti-Alzheimer’s Disease Activity
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the main cause of dementia in the elderly with neurodegenerative
and cerebrovascular disorders [
]. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is the main enzyme that converts the
acetylcholine (ACh) in the nervous system to acetate and choline [
]. ACh depletion in the central
nervous system has been involved in the pathophysiology noticed in AD [
], therefore, donepezil
(AChE inhibitor) was eective in the management/prevention of AD. Surprisingly, oil from garlic bulbs
suppressed AChE activity of cerebral cortex synaptosome and exhibits antioxidant properties, thus,
inhibiting AChE activity
in vitro
] as well as their ability to scavenge diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 8 of 21
(DPPH) free radical that are used to evaluate the compound’s ability to act as hydrogen donors or free
radical scavengers and to assess the antioxidant activity of food [
] and reduce Fe
to Fe
could be
suggested as the possible mechanism of action for their neuroprotective potential [86].
Noteworthy, the inclusion of garlic in cholesterol-fed rats’ diet remarkably reduced the total
glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) concentration in heart and aorta. This may be due to the enhanced
GAGs degrading enzyme activity such as hyaluronidase,
-N-acetylhexosaminidase arylsulfatase and
-glucuronidase [
]. Sulfated GAGs are involved in lipid aggregation in the lesion development due
to their ability to bind to plasma lipoproteins, mainly LDL. Moreover, sulfated GAGs stimulated the
neurotoxic activities of various amyloidogenic peptides such as A in AD [
]. Borek [
] evaluated
the neuroprotective eect of AGE using an animal model and they showed that AGE protected the
brain from neurodegenerative diseases by preventing brain injury following ischemia, saving neurons
toward apoptosis, and inhibiting oxidative death caused by
-amyloid [
]. Moreover, Mbyirukira
and Gwebu [
] reported that AGE or SAC inhibits the brain’s frontal lobe degeneration, promotes
memory and learning retention, and prolongs the lifespan.
Based on the amyloid hypothesis, aggregated
-amyloid (A
) accumulation in the brain is believed
to be the pathological factors that drive the onset of AD. It has been suggested that the formation
of the neurofibrillary tangles contain
-protein and synaptic degradation caused by the imbalance
consequences between A
clearance and A
production. Haider et al. [
] reported that the prolonged
garlic uptake is related to promoting the memory function by aecting the levels of the neurotransmitter,
serotonin. The
in vivo
consumption of A. sativum extracts have shown that it improves memory by
eliminating free radicals that cause oxidative damage and inhibit AChE enzyme [
]. It was noted
that allicin inhibits AChE and butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) enzymes (enzymes that break down
neurotransmitter choline) which successively increased ACh concentration in the brain. Thus, delayed
cognitive decline and dementia [98].
Garlic is also investigated to have immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant eects
and this focused on the question of whether the known eect of processed garlic and its related
compounds mainly allicin in inhibiting AChE and BuChE enzymes [
]. Combination therapy of
allicin with cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEIs) including; rivastigmine, galantamine, and donepezil
are now the most commonly used for the treatment of AD [
] as they have the ability to correct the
cholinergic deficiency seen with AD. Antioxidants such as tocopherol, selegiline, and ascorbic acid
(vitamin C) were examined as a possible preventive therapy for AD, and they show delayed functional
deterioration in AD patients [
]. Anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs have been used as a
potential treatment in AD because of their capacity to bind to and stimulate the nuclear receptor
peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-
as well as their direct eects on the amyloid
formation [101].
It should be noted that AChE inhibitors could be part of any combination therapy against AD [
For instance, Millard et al. [
] reported that AChE incubated with allicin produced rapid inactivation
that was concentration and time-dependent. Many results showed concentration-dependent inhibition
of bovine AChE by allicin complementing the previous finding. However, dierent cholinesterase
inhibitors such as donepezil, rivastigmine, and tacrine are used to treat AD, and their side eects are
becoming increasingly remarkable [
]. Therefore, the search for new derivatives extracted from
the natural product with a dual function and lower side eects could be useful for patients with AD.
Allicin is a small lipophilic molecule that can suppress BuChE and AChE, and therefore, enhances
ACh concentration, which is decreased remarkably in AD patient’s brains [
]. Recently, allicin
has been shown to have a protective eect on ischemic or traumatic neuronal damage controlled by
apoptosis and oxidative stress pathways [105].
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 9 of 21
4.6. Activities Related to Metabolic Diseases
4.6.1. Eect on Dyslipidemia
Dyslipidemia is known to be the main cause of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular diseases
and it is defined by high levels of triglyceride (TG), LDL, total cholesterol (TC), and low HDL level [
Interestingly, various evidence encourages the significant and crucial role of garlic preparations and its
phytochemicals in treating hypercholesterolemia by preventing the cholesterol biosynthesis in the liver
as well as inhibiting low-density lipoproteins (LDL and HDL) oxidation. Moreover, garlic reduces
the cholesterol level either by stimulating the acidic and neutral steroids excretion or by reducing
the cholesterogenic and lipogenic eects of fatty acid synthase, 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA
reductase, malic, and glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase in hepatocytes [
]. Garlic was found to
have an important eect on dyslipidemia by significantly decreased serum TC, TG, and LDL levels and
moderately elevated HDL cholesterol [
]. Various experimental and clinical trials were performed in
animals and humans using various garlic preparations and they exhibited disputable results. They
claimed that these variable results were attributed to the dierences in garlic preparation composition,
amount of active sulfur compounds exist in each preparation and the mechanism by which they act.
For instance, Iweala et al. [
] reported that ethanolic garlic extract uptake to albino rabbits resulting in
decreased their cholesterol level and body weight. Campbell et al. [
] reported that AGE significantly
prevented the development of thickened, lipid-filled lesions in the preformed neointima generated
from balloon-catheter harm of the right carotid artery in rabbits fed with cholesterol. In clinical trials
in patients, Sobenin et al. [
] revealed that garlic administration at a dose of 300 and 60 mg/day
for 12 months and 12 weeks, respectively decreased TC, TG, and LDL while increased HDL. Moreover,
Ashraf et al. [
] garlic tablets administration at a dose of 600 mg/day for 12 weeks in diabetic patients
with dyslipidemia results in high HDL and low LDL and TC levels.
4.6.2. Eect on Diabetes Mellitus
Ethanolic garlic extracts exhibited an antidiabetic eect against streptozotocin- and alloxan-induced
diabetic mice and rabbits by activating the insulin secretion from parietal cells of the pancreas [
Another clinical study examined the antidiabetic eect of garlic pills administration at 900 mg/day
in patients with type II diabetes and hyperlipidemia and they reported that garlic pills decrease the
cholesterol, serum lipids, and fasting blood sugar [
]. Moreover, allyl propyl disulfide, allicin,
cysteine sulfoxide, and S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide decreased the blood glucose level by preventing the
insulin activation caused by liver, enhancing the secretion of insulin from pancreatic beta cells, isolation
of insulin from the bonded forms, and increasing the cell sensitivity to insulin [
]. Zhai et al. [
reported that the activity of alliin in reducing diabetes mellitus in rats was similar to that demonstrated
by glibenclamide and insulin. Garlic oil also was reported to decrease the serum amylase, serum
aspartate and alanine transferases, and serum alkaline and acidic phosphatase in diabetic rats.
4.6.3. Eect on Obesity
Obesity is the most common health problems that may lead to many ailments like hypertension,
dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disorders, and metabolic syndrome. Garlic extracts have been reported
for their activity in reducing body weight, adipose tissue mass and improved plasma lipid profiles in
mice with high-fat diet-induced obesity and these eects mediated by the downregulation of multiple
genes expression that is included in adipogenesis along with upregulation of the mitochondrial inner
membrane proteins expression [
]. Moreover, Lee et al. [
] revealed that the antiobesity eect of
garlic extracts attributed to stimulation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) as well as increased
thermogenesis and decreased multiple genes expression that is included in adipogenesis. Ajoene
isolated from garlic extracts was found to stimulate apoptosis, decrease the fat accumulation in 3T3-L1
adipocytes and dramatically decrease the body weight gain in mice without aecting the amount
of food intake [
]. 1,2-vinyldithiin also has been reported to prevent the human preadipocytes
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 10 of 21
dierentiation and decrease lipid accumulation by decreasing the C/EBP
2, and LPL expression
and the PPARγeect in human adipocytes [118].
4.6.4. Antihypertensive Activity
Varshney and Budo[
] reported the essential function of garlic in the control of cardiovascular
risk factors as it is known to significantly decrease systolic as well as diastolic blood pressure.
Garlic formulations have been broadly used to inhibit and relieve cardiovascular disorders such
as hypertension, arrhythmia, thrombosis, hyperlipidemia, and atherosclerosis [
]. Several
experimental and human studies reported the antihypertensive eect of garlic extracts and its derived
bioactive molecules. For example, Sobenin et al. [
] showed the plasma fibrinolytic activity of garlic
extracts and they found that it increased fibrinolytic activity in both healthy and acute myocardial
infarction participants. Moreover,
in vivo
experiment exhibited the antihypertensive eect of aqueous
garlic extract in ‘2 kidney 1-clip’ model of hypertension in rat by reducing thromboxane B2 and
prostaglandin E2 level and thereby reduced hypertension in tested rats [
]. Garlic administration
at a dose of 100 mg/kg for 5 days resulted in complete prevention of acute hypoxic pulmonary
vasoconstriction caused by endothelin-1 in isolated rat pulmonary arteries and they found that garlic
acts by reducing endothelin 1 and angiotensin II production [
]. The mechanism of antihypertensive
eect of garlic extracts is that garlic contains many active sulfur molecules that have been shown to
stimulate endothelium-constricting and -relaxing factors leading to lower blood pressure. Garlic has
also been shown to stimulate the production of both nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulphide (H
that finally leads to vasodilation. Therefore, garlic is used as a medicinal plant for controlling blood
pressure worldwide [
]. Furthermore, garlic exhibited a significant role in inhibiting thrombosis
as well as platelet adhesion or aggregation in humans. The AGE was reported to prevent both
ADP-activated platelets binding to immobilized fibrinogen and platelet aggregation by inhibiting
GPIIb/IIIa receptor and increasing cAMP [
]. Furthermore, garlic has been reported to reduce the
risk of plasma viscosity, unstable angina, and peripheral arterial occlusive disorders and increase the
elasticity of the blood vessels and perfusion of capillaries [
]. The gamma-glutamylcysteine isolated
from garlic was reported to decrease the blood pressure by inhibiting the angiotensin-converting
enzyme (ACE). Dubey et al. [
] revealed that allicin shows remarkable activity in reversing systolic
blood pressure caused by dexamethasone and enhances body weight and food intake in hypertension
caused by dexamethasone in rats.
Few pharmacological eects of garlic and its related bioactive compounds are shown in Table 2.
Some of the mechanisms of action related to these activities are shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1.
Schematic representation of dierent pharmacological activities of garlic (Allium sativum) and
their mechanisms.
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 11 of 21
Table 2. The pharmacological activity of garlic (Allium sativum) and its related compounds.
Activities Bioactive Compound Mechanism of Action References
Antibacterial Allicin Chemical interaction with enzymes containing thiol [54]
Antifungal DADS
Irreversible ultrastructural changes in the fungal cells, loss of structural integrity and aected
the germination ability [44]
Antiviral Allicin Chemical interaction with enzymes containing thiol [58]
DATS Enhancing Natural killer-cell (NK-cell) activity that destroys virus-infected cells
Allicin Preventing the parasite’s RNA, DNA and protein synthesis. [58]
Ajoene Inhibiting the human glutathione reductase and T. cruzi trypanothione reductase [61]
Allicin, DADS, and DATS Modulation of ROS, increasing glutathione and cellular antioxidant enzymes [54]
Alliin Controlling ROS generation and preventing mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) [67]
DAS Suppressing the enzymatic activity of cytochrome P450-2E1, reducing the generation of
reactive oxygen and nitrogen species [69]
Enhancing the immune cell activity f, inhibiting the SDF1
chemokine and Transendothelial
migration of neutrophils [60]
DAS Diminishing the expression of the inflammatory cytokines (e.g., NF- κB, IL-1β, and TNF-α),
and ROS generation by suppressing CYP-2E1 hepatic enzyme [76]
Thiacremonone Blocking the NF-κB activity [77]
Allicin, alliin, DADS, DAS Enhancing p38 expression and cleaved caspase 3. [80]
Z-Ajoene Stimulating apoptosis in human leukemic cells, promoting the peroxide production,
caspase-3-like, and caspase-8 activities [87]
Immunomodulatory Allicin Suppressing BuChE and AChE [105]
Ajoene Decreasing the fat accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and dramatically decreases the body
weight gain [117]
1,2-Vinyldithiin Decreasing the C/EBPα, PPARγ2, and LPL expression and the PPARγeect in human
adipocytes [118]
Antidiabetic Allyl propyl disulfide, allicin, cysteine sulfoxide,
and S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide, alliin
Decreasing the insulin secretion from pancreatic cells, increasing liver metabolism, and thus
enhancing the short-acting insulin production [114,115]
hypocholesterolaemic Dierent garlic preparations Decreasing serum TC, TG, and LDL levels and moderately elevating HDL cholesterol [107]
antithrombotic Dierent garlic preparations Preventing ADP-activated platelets binding to immobilized fibrinogen and platelet
aggregation, inhibiting GPIIb/IIIa receptor and increasing cAMP [120]
Antihypertensive Gamma-glutamylcysteine Inhibiting the angiotensin-converting enzyme [87]
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 12 of 21
4.7. Recommended Dose and Toxic Side Eects of Garlic
4.7.1. Recommended Dose
The generally recommended doses of the daily garlic uptake for the elderly are 4 g of raw garlic
or 7.2 g of AGE or one dried garlic powder tablet twice to thrice per day [
]. Rana et al. [
] revealed
that oral or intraperitoneal administration 50 mg/kg of garlic to rats did not show any eect on liver
and lung tissue, while intake garlic at 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg per day led to acute deformities
in the rat’s liver and lung tissue, suggesting the dose-related toxicity. While garlic intake at a dose
of 500 and 1000 mg/kg/day remarkably decreased the auto-antioxidants without changing the lipid
peroxidation level, whereas the daily intake of 1000 mg/kg resulted in morphological deformities in the
liver under light microscopy and ultrastructural levels. Moreover, histological examination revealed
nonspecific focal injury to the hepatocytes. In addition to this, Mikaili et al. [
] reported that garlic
bulb extracts ingestion to male and female rats at 300 and 600 mg for 21 days, led to delayed growth and
aects the biological and histological parameters. In particular, Asdaq and Inamdar. [
] indicated
that the combination therapy of 250 mg/kg of garlic with hydrochlorothiazide shows synergistic
antihypertensive and cardioprotective activities against toxicity caused by fructose and isoproterenol.
While the combination therapy of 250 mg/kg of garlic with propranolol revealed a remarkable elevation
in the antioxidant enzymes activities throughout ischemic injury [33].
4.7.2. Adverse Eects and Toxicity
Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers garlic safe for humans, it can
induce gastric agitation especially if ingested in high doses by sensitive people. To assess the safety
of garlic, randomized controlled trials were performed, side eects such as insomnia, vomiting,
heartburn, dizziness, diarrhea, tachycardia, nausea, bloating, flushing, headache, mild orthostatic
hypotension, sweating, oensive body odor, and flatulence were observed [
]. Ingestion of raw
garlic in high doses on an empty stomach can induce changes in the intestinal flora, flatulence and
gastrointestinal upset [
]. Moreover, blisters dermatitis and burns were observed from raw garlic
local applications [
]. Garlic does not seem to aect the drug metabolism, although recent reports on
healthy participants show inconsistent results regarding the garlic eect in the pharmacokinetics of
protease inhibitors, as well as anticoagulants due to its antithrombotic properties [
]. Many surgeons
recommended stopping garlic administration in high doses up to 7 to 10 days prior to operation due to
its eect to prolong the bleeding time that was observed in one patient with epidural spontaneous
hematoma [46].
in vivo
experiments revealed that prolonged feeding of raw garlic in high doses led to
weight loss and anemia due to red blood cells (RBCs) lysis, while administration of 5 mL/kg of raw garlic
juice resulted in stomach injury that led finally to death [
]. Additionally, the chronic administration
of 50 mg garlic powder per day led to anti-androgenic eects by inhibiting spermatogenesis in rats,
leading to decrease sialic acid concentration in the seminal vesicles, testes, and epididymis with reduced
Leydig cell function [
]. Oxidative hemolysis is the main toxicological mechanism of Allium-derived
sulfur compounds and it is distinguished by methemoglobinemia development and Heinz body
formation in the RBCs [
]. Initially, several clinical symptoms were observed including depression,
vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, as well as anemia associated with pale mucous
membrane, jaundice, rapid heart and respiratory rates, weakness, and hemoglobinuria [
]. Allium
poisoning symptoms may appear after one day or several days of its ingestion based on the amounts
taken [129].
Previous reports have reported the cardiovascular eects of garlic including potentially irreversible
antiplatelet activity, anticoagulant, fibrinolytic activity, a remarkable decrease in platelet accumulation
and mixed activity on fibrinolytic eectiveness [
]. Chen et al. [
] revealed that dehydrated
raw garlic powder when administered orally resulted in acute injury to the gastric mucosa, whilst
Yuncu et al. [
] reported that AGE, the sulfur-free compound, protects the intestinal mucosa of
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 13 of 21
experimental animals. Clinical studies reported that low doses of garlic are safe, whereas therapeutic
doses might cause mild gastrointestinal disorders, while high doses have been reported to cause liver
damage [82,123,133].
Allicin is a membrane-permeable compound that can enter cells easily and interact with cellular
thiols such as glutathione or cysteine residues in proteins [
] as well as enzymes containing
reactive cysteine and this may be the potential interpretation of allicin’s toxicity [
]. Interestingly,
Rana et al. [
] revealed that garlic powder or allicin at a concentration of 200 mg/mL can cause
significant cell damages in the isolated rat liver.
5. Combination Therapy with Other Drugs
Recently, Mohammadi et al. [
] revealed the potent activity of garlic and ezetimibe combined
treatment in reducing plasma LDL-C and TC, and thus, inhibiting the absorption of intestinal cholesterol
and reducing the cardiovascular disorders risk factors. Asdaq and Inamdar [
] reported the combined
eect of garlic homogenate and propanol in attenuating the isopropanol-mediated cardiac
excessive stimulation, myocardial hypoperfusion, electrolyte imbalance, glycogen depletion, free radical
injury, thermogenesis, lipid peroxidation, lipid accumulation, and electrocardiographic disturbances.
They indicated that garlic homogenate is a good combination therapy as it reduces the dose and toxic
side eects of propanol, which may assist in decreasing repeated higher doses of propanol. Mikaili et
al. [
] reported the combined eect of allicin with polymyxin B against various yeasts and filamentous
fungi and this combination therapy was found to increase the permeability of plasma membrane in
Saccharo cerevisiae. Moreover, the combination treatments of garlic with captopril showed a higher
synergistic eect regarding ACE inhibition [
]. Notably, the combination treatment of AGE with
methotrexate showed improved activity against the significant increase in liver function enzymes,
proinflammatory cytokines and antioxidants [
]. Recent researches reported that the fresh garlic
extracts and antibiotics combination therapy resulted in high antibacterial activity. For instance, Ismail
et al. [
] revealed that aqueous garlic extract-ampicillin combined treatment exhibited a potent
synergetic eect towards Kl. pneumoniae,Sal. typhi,E. coli, and P. aeruginosa. Moreover, Vathsala and
Murthy [
] revealed the potent immunomodulatory and anti-plasmodial eect of garlic–artemether
combination treatment. They reported that this combined therapy may have a potential role in reducing
organ injury and protecting against Plasmodium species by aecting NO production, suggesting novel
treatment options against malaria [138,139].
6. Conclusions
This review focused on the chemical constituents and pharmacological activities of A. sativum.
Sulfur-containing compounds such as alliin, allicin, ajoenes, vinyldithiins, and sulfides, are the main
constituents isolated from A. sativum extracts. Extracts and isolated compounds from A. sativum
reported to possess several biological properties including anticarcinogenic, antioxidant, antidiabetic,
renoprotective, anti-atherosclerotic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiprotozoal, and antihypertensive
activities. Garlic is also well-known to have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory activities.
Allicin, the active substance of the garlic, can induce gastric agitation especially if administered in high
doses. In addition to that, A. sativum has been reported to aect the pharmacokinetics of antiretroviral
drugs, as well as anticoagulants. Thus, proper consideration should be taken when using garlic as a
medicine for the treatment of dierent diseases.
Author Contributions: A.M.B., G.E.-S.B., L.G.W., Y.H.A.E., A.A.A.-S., M.E.A.E.-H., A.E.T., Y.M.A.-E., and H.P.D.
wrote the paper. A.M.B. and G.E.-S.B. revised the paper. All authors have read and agreed to the published
version of the manuscript.
Funding: This research received no external funding.
Authors extend their thanks to the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Saudi
Arabia for supporting this work.
Nutrients 2020,12, 872 14 of 21
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
AGE aged garlic extract
PCSO S-propyl cysteine-sulfoxide
MCSO S-methyl cysteine-sulfoxide
NAC N-Acetylcysteine
SAC S-Allyl-cysteine
SAMC S-ally-mercapto cysteine
PLP pyridoxal phosphate
DAS Diallyl sulfide
DADS Diallyl disulfide
DATS Diallyl trisulfide
AMS Allyl methyl sulfide
AMDS allyl methyl disulfide
SGF simulated gastric fluid
SIF stimulated intestinal fluid
HCMV Human Cytomegalovirus
NK-cell Natural killer-cell
ORS oxygen-free radical species
SOD superoxide dismutase
GSH-Px glutathione peroxidase
GCLM glutamate-cysteine ligase modifier
HO-1 heme oxygenase-1 subunit
Nrf2 nuclear factor erythrobia-2 related factor 2
ARE antioxidant response element
MAPK mitogen-activated protein kinase
RANKL receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand
ABG Aged black garlic
TNF-αtumor necrosis factor-α
COX-2 cyclooxygenase-2
PGE2prostaglandin E2
TLR4 toll-like receptor 4
IL-6 interleukin-6
GBM CSC Glioblastoma multiforme cancer stem cells
AChE Acetylcholinesterase
Ach acetylcholine
AD Alzheimer’s disease
BuChE butyrylcholinesterase
TG triglyceride
TC total cholesterol
UCP mitochondrial inner membrane proteins
AMPK AMP-activated protein kinase
NO nitric oxide; H2S: hydrogen sulphide
FDA Food and Drug Administration
RBCs red blood cells
ACE Angiotensin-converting enzyme
IUPAC International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry
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... Plants have gained significance in the treatments of various ailments globally, which results from their bioactive contents present 11,12 . However, their pharmacological activities are linked to their secondary active metabolites present, such as terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, etc, amongst others 12,13 . Annona muricata L. is a medicinal plant of high significance, which has gained several pharmacological importance in scientific researches because of their secondary metabolite such as saponins, terpenoids, flavonoids, glycosides Etc. ...
This article highlights the antimicrobial properties/activities of aqueous extract of ripe Annona muricata Linn. fruit juice o clinical isolates.
... Another phenolic acid called ferulic acid demonstrates a wide array of pharmacological benefits, including antimicrobial, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular protectant, neuroprotectant, and hepatoprotectant properties [58]. The phytocompound allicin is sulfenic acid thioester with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-diabetic, anti-Alzheimer, hepatoprotectant, and cardioprotectant properties [59,60]. The phenolic compound, 6-gingerol possesses anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities [61]. ...
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The global prevalence of food-borne infections has become a major concern. Food-borne pathogens like Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella enterica, and Clostridium botulinum cause food poisoning and even mortality, necessitating the maintenance of aseptic conditions during food processing. The sterilization of food processing facilities often requires chemical and heat treatment. The formulation of many chemical-based disinfectants includes chemicals generating toxic and carcinogenic by-products. The microalgae like Chlorella spp. reportedly exhibit antimicrobial activity and therefore, can be used for formulating safer and eco-friendly natural sanitizers. This study aims to aseptically prepare functional bread using Ethiopian ingredients, highlighting the application of microalgae-based disinfectant formulation and various disinfection techniques. The functional bread was designed to be potentially effective in reducing hypernatremia condition which is indicative of high levels of sodium in serum that can cause an array of symptoms including deaths in serious cases. The physico-chemical and sensory properties of the designed functional bread were analyzed. The interaction of phytochemicals in the ingredients with the target receptor (Vasopressin V2 receptor) and their drug-likeness were determined using molecular docking and Lipinski’s rule of five analyses. The results suggest that the designed functional bread incorporating Ethiopian ingredients may serve as an effective dietary strategy to prevent hypernatremia. Aseptic processing of the bread ensures longer shelf life and prevention of spoilage by food pathogens.
Gastric cancer (GC) is a global public health concern that poses a serious threat to human health owing to its high morbidity and mortality rates. Due to the lack of specificity of symptoms, patients with GC tend to be diagnosed at an advanced stage with poor prognosis. Therefore, the development of new treatment methods is particularly urgent. Chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG), a precancerous GC lesion, plays a key role in its occurrence and development. Oxidative stress has been identified as an important factor driving the development and progression of the pathological processes of CAG and GC. Therefore, regulating oxidative stress pathways can not only intervene in CAG development but also prevent the occurrence and metastasis of GC and improve the prognosis of GC patients. In this study, PubMed, CNKI, and Web of Science were used to search for a large number of relevant studies. The review results suggested that the active ingredients of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and TCM prescriptions could target and improve inflammation, pathological status, metastasis, and invasion of tumor cells, providing a potential new supplement for the treatment of CAG and GC.
Allium sativum L. protease still remains largely understudied although new varieties of garlic appear quite often, e.g., lanang garlic. This study tested the antibacterial effect of garlic and the effectiveness of various A. sativum proteases as meat tenderizers. The research involved powder extracts of four varieties of A. sativum: kating, lanang, black garlic, and sin-chung. The degradation kinetics was defined based on the Lineweaver-Burk equation. The degradation zones were measured using sodium dodecyl sulphate poly acrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). Scan electron microscopy served to test the changes in meat connective tissue. Lanang demonstrated the largest inhibition zones against Escherichia coli (9.75 ± 0.15 mm) and Staphylococcus aureus (1.04 mm). Sin-chung protease degraded beef protein with the highest Vmax of 0.1818 μg/μL/min at 10–22 KDa (small peptide, troponin C, and troponin I), 25–40 KDa (myosin light chain, troponin T, α and β tropomyosin, actin), and 100–140 KDa (protein C). The same garlic variety degraded mutton meat protein at 10–17 KDa (small peptide) and 25–40 KDa (myosin light chain, troponin T, α and β tropomyosin, actin) with Vmax of 0.1135 μg/μL/min. All four A. sativum proteases proved to be quite effective meat tenderizers.
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Medicinal plants have been documented as an important source for discovering new pharmaceutical molecules that have been used to treat serious diseases. Strikingly, previous reports stated that natural products and their derived compounds exhibit lesser side effects and improved efficacy than other synthetic counterparts. Physostigmine, a parasympathomimetic plant alkaloid isolated from the West African perennial shrub Physostigma venenosum, it shows a narrow therapeutic index and a short life span, despite its ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB). It is a widely known reversible butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor and has been documented to treat various ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. Pharmacologically, physostigmine was first reported as an antidote for atropine scopolamine and belladonna alkaloids toxicity. Recently, it has been documented as a therapy for treating several ailments including glaucoma, myasthenia gravis and the intoxication caused by tricyclic antidepressant overdoses, anti-histamines, antipsychotics, and benzodiazepines. Physostigmine has been reported to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and showed short half-life, as, after the oral administration of 2 mg of physostigmine salicylate, the peak plasma concentration reached to 30 minutes. This review examines the biological activities, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity of physostigmine extracted from P. venenosum. Keywords: Physostigma venenosum, Physostigmine, pharmacological activities, acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase inhibitor.
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Atranorin (ATR), is a compound with multidirectional biological activity under different in vitro and in vivo conditions and it is effective as an antibacterial, antiviral, antiprotozoal and anti-inflammatory agent. In the current study, the in vitro as well as in vivo chemotherapeutic effect of ATR as well as its combined efficacy with the existing antibabesial drugs (diminazene aceturate (DA), atovaquone (AV) and clofazimine (CF)) were investigated on six species of piroplasm parasites. ATR suppressed B. bovis, B. bigemina, B. divergens, B. caballi and T. equi multiplication in vitro with IC50 values of 98.4 ± 4.2, 64.5 ± 3.9, 45.2 ± 5.9, 46.6 ± 2.5, and 71.3 ± 2.7 µM, respectively. The CCK test was used to examine ATR’s cytotoxicity and adverse effects on different animal and human cell lines, the main hosts of piroplasm parasites and it showed that ATR affected human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF), mouse embryonic fibroblast (NIH/3T3) and Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK) cell viability in a dose-related effect with a moderate selective index. The combined efficacy of ATR with DA, CF, and AV exhibited a synergistic and additive efficacy toward all tested species. In the in vivo experiment, ATR prohibited B. microti multiplication in mice by 68.17%. The ATR-DA and ATR-AV combination chemotherapies were more potent than ATR monotherapy. These results indicate the prospects of ATR as a drug candidate for piroplasmosis treatment.
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Background: The antiprotozoal and antioxidant activities of Viola tricolor and Laurus nobilis have been reported recently. Thus, the existing study pursued to assess the growth inhibition effect of methanolic extract of V. tricolor (MEVT) and acetonic extract of L. nobilis (AELN) against five Babesia parasites and Theileria equi in vitro and in vivo. Results: MEVT and AELN suppressed Babesia bovis, B. bigemina, B. divergens, B. caballi, and T. equi growth at half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of 75.7 ± 2.6, 43.3 ± 1.8, 67.6 ± 2.8, 48 ± 3.8, 54 ± 2.1 μg/mL, and 86.6 ± 8.2, 33.3 ± 5.1, 62.2 ± 3.3, 34.5 ± 7.5 and 82.2 ± 9.3 μg/mL, respectively. Qualitative phytochemical estimation revealed that both extracts containing multiple bioactive constituents and significant amounts of flavonoids and phenols. The toxicity assay revealed that MEVT and AELN affected the mouse embryonic fibroblast (NIH/3 T3) and Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cell viability with half-maximum effective concentrations (EC50) of 930 ± 29.9, 1260 ± 18.9 μg/mL, and 573.7 ± 12.4, 831 ± 19.9 μg/mL, respectively, while human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF) cell viability was not influenced even at 1500 μg/mL. The in vivo experiment revealed that the oral administration of MEVT and AELN prohibited B. microti multiplication in mice by 35.1 and 56.1%, respectively. Conclusions: These analyses indicate the prospects of MEVT and AELN as good candidates for isolating new anti-protozoal compounds which could assist in the development of new drug molecules with new drug targets.
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Background The plenteous resistance to and undesirable consequences of the existing antipiroplasmic therapies have emphasized the urgent need for new chemotherapeutics and drug targets for both prophylaxis and chemotherapy. Hydroxyurea (HYD) is an antineoplastic agent with antitrypanosomal activity. Eflornithine (α-difluoro-methyl ornithine, DFMO) is the best choice therapy for the treatment of late-stage Gambian human African trypanosomiasis. Methods In this study, the inhibitory and combination efficacy of HYD and DFMO with existing babesicidal drugs (diminazene aceturate (DA), atovaquone (ATV), and clofazimine (CLF)) deoxyribonucleotide in vitro against the multiplication of Babesia and Theileria. As well as, their chemotherapeutic effects were assessed on B. microti strain that infects rodents. The Cell Counting Kits-8 (CCK-8) test was used to examine their cytotoxicity on human foreskin fibroblast (HFF), mouse embryonic fibroblast (NIH/3T3), and Madin–Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells. Findings HYD and DFMO suppressed the multiplication of all tested species (B. bigemina, B. bovis, B. caballi, B. divergens, and T. equi) in a dose-related manner. HFF, NIH/3T3, or MDBK cell viability was not influenced by DFMO at 1000 µM, while HYD affected the MDBK cell viability at EC50 value of 887.5±14.4 µM. The in vitro combination treatments of DFMO and HYD with CLF, DA, and ATV exhibited synergistic and additive efficacy toward all tested species. The in vivo experiment revealed that HYD and DFMO oral administration at 100 and 50 mg/kg inhibited B. microti multiplication in mice by 60.1% and 78.2%, respectively. HYD-DA and DFMO-DA combined treatments showed higher chemotherapeutic efficacy than their monotherapies. Conclusion These results indicate the prospects of HYD and DFMO as drug candidates for piroplasmosis treatment, when combined mainly with DA, ATV, and CLF. Therefore, further studies are needed to combine HYD or DFMO with either ATV or CLF and examine their impact on B. microti infection in mice.
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Background and Objective: Garlic (Allium sativum) is one of the herbs that used by traditional practitioners for preparation of herbals medicine. In the present study the antibacterial activity of aqueous and methanolic extracts of each local and imported garlic had been assayed separately against drug resistant clinical bacterial isolates include: Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella typhi, in addition compare it's effect with conventional antibiotics. Materials and Methods: The antibacterial activity was determined by disc and a gar well diffusion method. The analysis of local and imported garlic constituents were done by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Results: The results showed that there were differences in the antibacterial effect of garlic types and each extract. The aqueous extracts were more potent especially local garlic than the methanolic extracts, and all combinations were inferior in activity, when compared to the standard Ampicillin and the two types of garlic individually. The Inhibition zone of garlic varied ranging diameters (9.6 23.7 mm). The minimum inhibitory concentration of different bacterial species varied from 0.048 g/ml to 0.768 g/ml. The GC-MS analysis indicated that GC-MS analysis of local aqueous garlic showed the presence of: 3-chlorothiophene [7.35%]; diallyldisulphide [13.93%];-3-vinyl-1,2-dithiacyclohex-4-ene[18.40%]; 3-vinyl1, 2 dithiacyclohex-5ene [4.12%]; ethyl trifluoro methyl trisulphide [1.78%]; amidino thiourea[1.04]. 3,3 ‟thiobis1-propene[3.34%]; 1,4-diathiane [2.75%]; N,N‟-dimethyl-thiourea[0.72%]; 3-hydroxy, methyl-esteroctadecanoic acid [1.34%]; 2-chlorobutoxyethylester acetic acid [2.73%]; and 2-methoxy-n-tetrahydro furfuryl acetamide [1.54%]. Conclusion: Garlic extracts showed a powerful inhibitory effect against pathogens compared with Ampicillin
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Herbal medicinal products have been documented as a significant source for discovering new pharmaceutical molecules that have been used to treat serious diseases. Many plant species have been reported to have pharmacological activities attributable to their phytoconstituents such are glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, steroids, tannins, alkaloids, terpenes, etc. Syzygium aromaticum (clove) is a traditional spice that has been used for food preservation and possesses various pharmacological activities. S. aromaticum is rich in many phytochemicals as follows: sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes, hydrocarbon, and phenolic compounds. Eugenyl acetate, eugenol, and β-caryophyllene are the most significant phytochemicals in clove oil. Pharmacologically, S. aromaticum has been examined toward various pathogenic parasites and microorganisms, including pathogenic bacteria, Plasmodium, Babesia, Theileria parasites, Herpes simplex, and hepatitis C viruses. Several reports documented the analgesic, antioxidant, anticancer, antiseptic, anti-depressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial activity of eugenol against several pathogenic bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis and S. aureus. Moreover, eugenol was found to protect against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity and showed a potential lethal efficacy against the multiplication of various parasites including Giardia lamblia, Fasciola gigantica, Haemonchus contortus, and Schistosoma mansoni. This review examines the phytochemical composition and biological activities of clove extracts along with clove essential oil and the main active compound, eugenol, and implicates new findings from gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) analysis.
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Berberis vulgaris (B. vulgaris) and Rhus coriaria (R. coriaria) have been documented to have various pharmacologic activities. The current study assessed the in vitro as well as in vivo inhibitory efficacy of a methanolic extract of B. vulgaris (MEBV) and an acetone extract of R. coriaria (AERC) on six species of piroplasm parasites. The drug-exposure viability assay was tested on three different cell lines, namely mouse embryonic fibroblast (NIH/3T3), Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) and human foreskin fibroblast (HFF) cells. Qualitative phytochemical estimation revealed that both extracts containing alkaloid, tannin, saponins and terpenoids and significant amounts of flavonoids and polyphenols. The GC-MS analysis of MEBV and AERC revealed the existence of 27 and 20 phytochemical compounds, respectively. MEBV and AERC restricted the multiplication of Babesia (B.) bovis, B. bigemina, B. divergens, B. caballi, and Theileria (T.) equi at the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.84 ± 0.2, 0.81 ± 0.3, 4.1 ± 0.9, 0.35 ± 0.1 and 0.68 ± 0.1 µ g/mL and 85.7 ± 3.1, 60 ± 8.5, 90 ± 3.7, 85.7 ± 2.1 and 78 ± 2.1 µ g/mL, respectively. In the cytotoxicity assay, MEBV and AERC inhibited MDBK, NIH/3T3 and HFF cells with half-maximal effective concentrations (EC50) of 695.7 ± 24.9, 931 ± 44.9, ˃1500 µ g/mL and 737.7 ± 17.4, ˃1500 and ˃1500 µ g/mL, respectively. The experiments in mice showed that MEBV and AERC prohibited B. microti multiplication at 150 mg/kg by 66.7% and 70%, respectively. These results indicate the prospects of these extracts as drug candidates for piroplasmosis treatment following additional studies in some clinical cases. Molecules 2019, 24, x FOR PEER REVIEW 2 of 21 2
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Malathion is a potent organophosphate insecticide that inhibits acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzyme. Our experimental objective was to investigate the beneficial effects of diallyl sulphide (DAS) and thymoquinone (TQ) against malathion-induced oxidative stress in rat cerebral, hepatic, and renal tissues. For 30 days, rats received corn oil alone (negative control) or malathion by intragastric gavage (200 mg/kg daily), either alone (positive control) or combined with oral DAS (200 mg/kg daily) or TQ(10 mg/kg daily) (treatment groups). Later, blood samples were collected via direct cardiac puncture and tissue samples were obtained for biochemical analysis. Malathion administration was associated with significant increases (p < 0.05) in the serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, γ-glutamyl transferase, cholesterol, urea, creatinine, and 8-OHdG (DNA damage biomarker), as well as significant (p < 0.05) decreases in the serum levels of total proteins, albumin, triglycerides, and AChE. Moreover, it significantly increased the tissue concentrations of malondialdehyde and nitric oxide and reduced tissue glutathione concentration and activities of antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase). Treatment of malathion-intoxicated rats with DAS or TQ significantly minimized these biochemical and oxidative effects with more frequent reversal to normal ranges of serum biomarkers, tissue oxidative markers, and antioxidant enzymes in the TQ group. In conclusion, treatment with DAS or TQ ameliorated the biochemical and oxidative effects of malathion, probably through reducing the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen radicals, as well as enhancing the antioxidant defense mechanisms.
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Aged garlic extract (AGE) exhibit anti-inflammatory effect in many diseases, and methotrexate (MTX) as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment drug shows adverse hepatotoxicity effect. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of AGE treatment alone or with MTX in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats to diminish the hepatotoxicity. The study used eight groups of rats as one control non treated group and seven treated groups with CIA, AGE (200 mg/kg/PO), MTX (1.5 mg/kg/2 days/subcutaneous), CIA-AGE, CIA-MTX, AGE-MTX and CIA-MTX-AGE. All treatments started from day 21 after the symptoms of arthritis appeared to day 50. The CIA-AGE and CIA-MTX-AGE groups showed significantly decreased serum liver function markers ASAT, ALAT and ALP enzymes activities. In line with the significantly increased antioxidants, total glutathione and SOD and CAT enzymes activities and decreased MDA levels as compared to CIA and CIA-MTX treated groups' values. In addition, the CIA-AGE and CIA-MTX-AGE groups recorded significant decrease in the measured cytokines (CRP and TNF) and interleukins (IL-17, IL-6, and IL-1) values as compared to the corresponding values in CIA and CIA-MTX groups. Results suggested the safety of AGE for achieving a better control in treatment of RA with the conventional drug MTX to diminish its hepatotoxicity.
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Onychomycosis is a major health problem due to its chronicity and resistance to therapy. Because some cases associate paronychia, any therapy must target the fungus and the inflammation. Medicinal plants represent an alternative for onychomycosis control. In the present work the antifungal and antioxidant activities of Alium sativum extract against Meyerozyma guilliermondii (Wick.) Kurtzman & M. Suzuki and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (A. Jörg.) F.C. Harrison, isolated for the first time from a toenail onychomycosis case, were investigated. The fungal species were confirmed by DNA molecular analysis. A. sativum minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and ultrastructural effects were examined. At the MIC concentration (120 mg/mL) the micrographs indicated severe structural alterations with cell death. The antioxidant properties of the A. sativum extract were evaluated is a rat turpentine oil induced inflammation, and compared to an anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, and the main compound from the extract, allicin. A. sativum reduced serum total oxidative status, malondialdehyde and nitric oxide production, and increased total thiols. The effects were comparable to those of allicin and diclofenac. In conclusion, the garlic extract had antifungal effects against M. guilliermondii and R. mucilaginosa, and antioxidant effect in turpentine-induced inflammation. Together, the antifungal and antioxidant activities support that A. sativum is a potential alternative treatment in onychomycosis.