Garlic Garlic has innumerable beneficial elements which make it very good for the health. However the reason behind garlic’s beneficial mechanism was not known earlier. A latest study by Queen’s chemistry professor, Dr. Derek Pratt, unveils the positive effects of garlic.

Garlic is believed to be a natural health product. It has been used for treating high cholesterol and also prevention against cancer. It is stated that garlic’s aroma and flavor is credited to the organic compound, allicin, which acts as an anti-oxidant. However, before this study, it was unknown as to how do the organic compound in this pungent vegetable function. The study investigators wanted to unveil the factors responsible for the efficiency of garlic.

Dr. Pratt, Canada Research Chair in Free Radical Chemistry, says that, “We didn’t understand how garlic could contain such an efficient antioxidant, since it didn’t have a substantial amount of the types of compounds usually responsible for high antioxidant activity in plants, such as the flavanoids found in green tea or grapes. If allicin was indeed responsible for this activity in garlic, we wanted to find out how it worked.”

The investigators wanted to evaluate the capability of the organic compound, allicin, in getting a firm hold over the harmful radicals. They conducted various experiments on synthetically-generated allicin. They discovered that on decomposition of allicin, the yielded sulfenic acid had a quick reaction with the radicals. Dr. Pratt and his team believe that they have succeeding in discovering the reason behind garlic’s medicinal benefits.

This study was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Innovation.