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Garlic as a Food Supplement



For thousands of years, before this spice was used to flavor your favorite dishes, it was used as a medicinal treatment in ancient cultures. It is known that garlic was used in Chinese, Egyptian and Roman civilizations due to its health benefits. From these civilizations until today, a lot of information has been revealed about the important benefits of garlic to the body.


Why Garlic is Healthy?


Garlic is healthy due to the sulfur compounds and numerous vitamins and minerals it contains. Slicing garlic causes thiosulfinic, allogeneic, allicin and bisulfite compounds. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is released from these compounds and it is known that it is produced physiologically in our body and contributes to the normal functioning of many organs such as the heart, brain, intestines, etc.


H2S is soluble in water and forms H+, HS- and S2- ions when dissolved; It is a volatile gas with a weak acid character, colorless and flammable, with the odor of rotten eggs. In addition to its hydrophilic properties, H2S is lipophilic, allowing it to easily pass through biological membranes. H2S, which is naturally synthesized in mammals, is produced from the amino acid L-cysteine ​​through various synthesizing enzymes and is removed from the body through the kidneys.


H2S has vasodilator, antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the organism. Apart from these effects, some preclinical animal studies have shown that H2S increases the contractility and slows down the heart rate, and has a cardioprotective effect by reducing oxidation and inflammation in the heart (Elrod et al. 2007; Ji et al. 2008; Qian and Matson 2017). It has been shown that H2S has an antiatherosclerotic effect and that the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells, which play a very important role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, is suppressed by H2S (Mani et al. 2013).


H2S also has antioxidant properties and acts as a neuroprotectant and neuromodulator in the central nervous system (Njie-Mbye et al. 2010). H2S shows its antioxidative effect by reacting with reactive oxygen species (ROS) (Lowicka and Beltowski 2007).


It is thought that the antioxidant effect of H2S will be beneficial in diabetes, and it is aimed to protect the beta cells that secrete insulin in the pancreas from oxidation. It has also been shown to benefit wound healing (Papapetropoulos et al. 2009; Taniguchi et al. 2011).


As a result of the studies, it was revealed that H2S, which is found in high concentrations in the brain, is endogenously synthesized in the central nervous system (Shibuya et al. 2009). H2S is generally stored in neurons and astrocytes in the form of bound sulfane sulfur (Ishigami et al. 2009). In one study, it was reported that H2S levels in the brain of Alzheimer's patients decreased by 55% compared to the control group (Eto et al. 2002).


It is known that H2S is present in the retina and has physiological importance. In a study, it was shown that intravitreal (the gel-like liquid vitreous layer in the back of the eye) injection of ACS67, which acts on H2S, prevented retinal damage caused by glaucoma (Osborne et al. 2010).


In light of the above information, garlic is a beneficial nutrient due to the hydrogen sulfide it contains and its benefits can be summarized as follows:

1. Garlic Helps Strengthen Immune System


Your immunity is what protects you from being sick. Garlic strengthens the immune system to help prevent cold and flu viruses. Children catch cold six to eight in each year, while adults catch two to four. Eating raw garlic may protect against flu and cold.


Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.

2. Garlic Helps to Lower High Blood Pressure


Stroke and heart attack are the two most important health problems worldwide. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart diseases and is thought to be the cause approximately 70% of the chronic heart failure. High blood pressure is the cause of 13.5 percent of deaths worldwide. Garlic is a great to include in your diet for those people suffering from high blood pressure or hypertension. However, even if you are not a garlic lover, taking garlic supplements will still give you health benefits.


Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.


3. Garlic Helps to Lower Cholesterol Levels


Cholesterol is a fatty component in the blood. There are two types of cholesterol: “bad” LDL cholesterol and “good” HDL cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol and not enough HDL cholesterol can cause serious health problems. Garlic may lover LDL cholesterol. If you have a family history of heart disease or have heart disease, you should consider adding garlic to your diet.


Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.

4. Garlic can make you resistant to the pathogens.


Garlic contains allicin. Allicin help fight infections and bacteria.


Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.

5. Garlic can help in preventing neurological damage.


Garlic has high antioxidants that helps to prevent from any oxidative damage as seen in neurological disorders. This antioxidant property may be helpful in the prevention of some cognitive diseases such as Parkinson, dementia or Alzheimer's, in case of if the physician deems it appropriate.


Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.

6. Garlic May Improve Athletic Performance


This ingredient is one of the oldest performance enhancers available. Garlic was used in ancient times to relieve fatigue and increase workers' working hours and endurance. It was also given to Greek Olympic athletes to improve their athletic performance.


Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.

7. Garlic Helps to Detoxify Your Body


Detoxification is the process of getting rid of chemicals. It is an important part of health and long life. Living on Earth today, we are exposed to a wide variety of chemicals and compounds every day. Many of these compounds are not healthy and can even be harmful to the body. Environment, water and food include:


· Pesticides and chemicals used in agriculture

· Radiation from nuclear power plants, etc.

· Personal care products containing chemicals

· house cleaners

· Other household products


Garlic is a powerful detox food that supports glutathione production by various liver enzymes. It also provides other important detoxification ingredients, including multiple bioactive selenium and sulfur compounds.


Be sure to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements.


References:

Elrod, J.W., Calvert, J.W., Morrison, J., Doeller, J.E., Kraus, D.W., Tao, L., Lefer, DJ (2007). Hydrogen sulfide attenuates myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury by preservation of mitochondrial function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(39), 15560–15565. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0705891104

Eto, K., Asada, T., Arima, K., Makifuchi, T. and Kimura, H. (2002). Brain hydrogen sulfide is severely decreased in Alzheimer's disease. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 293. 1485–1488.

Ishigami, M., Hiraki,K., Umemura, K., Ogasawara,Y., Ishii, K. and Kimura, H.(2009). A source of hydrogen sulfide and a mechanism of its release in the brain. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 11(2). 205-214.

Ji, Y., Pang, Q. feng, Xu, G., Wang, L., Wang, J. ke, & Zeng, Y. ming. (2008). Exogenous hydrogen sulfide postconditioning protects isolated rat hearts against ischemia-reperfusion injury. European Journal of Pharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.03.044

Lowicka, E. and Beltowski, J. (2007). Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) – the third gas of interest for pharmacologists. Pharmacological Reports, 59. 4-24.

Mani, S. Untereiner, A., Wu, L. and Wang, R. (2013). Hydrogen sulfide and the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. Antioxidants&Redox Signaling, doi:10.1089/ars.2013.5324.

Njie-Mbye, YF, Bongmba, OYN, Onyema, CC, Chitnis, M., Kulkarni, M., Opere, CA, et al. (2010). Effect of hydrogen sulfide on cyclic AMP production in isolated bovine and porcine neural retinae. Neurochemical Research, 35. 487-494.

Osborne, N.N., Ji, D., Majid, ASA, Fawcett, R.J., Sparatore, A., & Del Soldato, P. (2010). ACS67, a hydrogen sulfide-releasing derivative of latanoprost acid, attenuates retinal ischemia and oxidative stress to RGC-5 cells in culture. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 51(1), 284–294. https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.09-3999

Papapetropoulos, A., Pyriochou, A., Altaany, Z., Yang, G., Marazioti, A., Zhou, Z., … Szabo, C. (2009). Hydrogen sulfide is an endogenous stimulator of angiogenesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(51), 21972–21977.

Qian, Y., & Matson, J. B. (2017). Gasotransmitter delivery via self-assembling peptides: Treating diseases with natural signaling gases. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews.

Shibuya, N.,Tanaka, M., Yoshida,M., Ogasawara, Y., Togawa, T., Ishii, K.et al. (2009). 3-mercaptopyruvate sulfurtransferase produces hydrogen sulfide and bound sulfane sulfur in the brain. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 11(4). 703-714.

Taniguchi, S., Kang, L., Kimura, T., & Niki, I. (2011). Hydrogen sulphide protects mouse pancreatic β-cells from cell death induced by oxidative stress, but not by endoplasmic reticulum stress. British Journal of Pharmacology, 162(5), 1171–1178. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01119.x




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