Allicin: The Natural Sulfur Compound from Garlic with Many Uses

Diana R. Cundell, PhD (Editor)
College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Professor of Biology and Pre-Medical Studies Program Director, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Series: Nutrition and Diet Research Progress
BISAC: HEA048000

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Allicin is the major active sulfur-containing moiety that is released when garlic cloves are crushed or damaged. Since its first recorded use in ancient times to ward off snakebites and by the physician Hippocrates to treat pneumonia and heal wounds, allicin has come a long way and its attributes now include antimicrobial and anti-insecticidal activities. Given the rapid appearance of resistant microbes and insects, allicin clearly has merit in these spheres, even more so as resistance does not appear following its usage. More recently allicin has been successfully used as a complementary treatment for chronic inflammatory diseases, which include type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and even certain tumors.

Having a “natural” medicine, which is associated with an absence of side effects, can only be beneficial in conditions requiring long-term usage and it is clear that allicin’s potential as an individual or adjunct medicine needs to be evaluated. The gold standard for phase III human studies are double blind randomized placebo controlled trials and allicin’s success in this area is just beginning to be realized. Allicin has great potential, and maximizing its bioavailability could be enhanced using computational chemistry methodology combined with the stabilization methods already used for other phytomedicines, such as curcumin. Given the attention it deserves, it is likely that allicin will provide much needed alternative management strategies for decreasing infection and disease over the next decade.

Preface

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1. Allicin: History, Ethnobotany and Uses as Told Primarily by the Garlic Plant
(Diana R. Cundell, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 2. Chemistry and Biochemistry of Allicin
(Gwendolyn Moise, PhD, and Mary Ann Wagner-Graham, PhD, College of Life Sciences, Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 3. General Biochemical Pathways of Inflammation and Allicin
(Diana R. Cundell, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 4. Immune System Effects of Allicin
(Diana R. Cundell, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 5. A Contemporary Overview of Allicin, an Ancient Antibiotic
(Mary Ann Wagner-Graham, PhD, College of Life Sciences, Department of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 6. Antifungal Activity of Allicin
(Beth A. French-Arthur, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore, MD, US)

Chapter 7. Antiprotozoan and Anti-Helminthic Activity of Allicin
(Beth A. French-Arthur, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Baltimore, MD, US)

Chapter 8. Virucidal Activity of Allicin
(Diana R. Cundell, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 9. Insecticidal and Anti-Pest Activity of Allicin and the Evolutionary Origins of the Allicin Trait
(Jeffrey A. Klemens, Department of Biolgical and Chemical Sciences, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 10. Cardiovascular Disease and Allicin
(Diana R. Cundell and Anne H. Bower, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 11. Cartilage and Bone Protecting Effects of Allicin in Chronic Disease
(Diana R. Cundell, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 12. Neuroprotective Effects of Allicin
(Diana R. Cundell, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 13. Tumoricidal Activities of Allicin
(Diana R. Cundell, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Chapter 14. Allicin and Our Changing World
(Diana R. Cundell, College of Life Sciences, Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, US)

Index

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