Allicin is a compound produced when you bite fresh garlic or crush it or cut it. Allicin is produced by enzymatic action on the precursor component alliin.
Studies have found that Allicin has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and has been found beneficial in a number of health conditions.
Garlic contains a small amount of Allicin.
We all know that garlic is very beneficial for our health and is used in a variety of conditions both for prevention as well as treatment.
Allicin is the main bioactive substance found in garlic.
Allicin supplements have been developed for use in various conditions.
In Garlic, Allicin is derived from Alliin which is a chemical compound derived from the amino acid cysteine.
It is odorless.
When garlic is cut or crushed, alliin comes in contact with the enzyme alliinase, which converts alliin to allicin.
Allicin is mainly responsible for the pungent odor of garlic as compared to Alliin which is odorless. It is also the most bioactive compound of the garlic responsible for various health benefits.
Taking allicin supplements is said to help with a number of health problems like
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Allicin reduces LDL
- Muscle soreness
Allicin is also said to fight major diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Some people claim Allicin to enhance exercise performance.
Reports also claim that topical application of garlic may help treat fungal skin conditions such as Tinea corporis, known as ringworm.
Should You Use Allicin Supplement?
Although allicin has beneficial effects, the human body does not absorb it effectively.
Apart from that, there could be side effects which due to the lack of clinical trials are not very well known.
Minor side-effects like diarrhea, heartburn, gas, and nausea are known. Allicin is also believed to increase the risk of bleeding. So concurrent use with blood-thinning medications like warfarin, aspirin, etc should be avoided.
Though there is no substantial evidence about it theoretically, Allicin and garlic supplements when taken with blood pressure medications have the potential to lower blood pressure.
The same applies to its sugar-lowering property. If taken along with antidiabetic medication, there is a chance that blood sugar could be lowered further than desired.
Safety of Allicin in pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children has not been established yet.
Dosage and Preparation of Allicin
Allicin supplements are sold as tablets and supplements.
These are labeled either garlic or allicin. There is no standard recommended dose for allicin.
A single garlic clove has about 5 mg to 18 mg of allicin.
In research, doses between 300 mg and 1,500 mg of garlic have been studied.
A typical dosage is two 200-mg freeze-dried tablets taken three times per day, with tablets standardized to at least 0.6 percent allicin.
Some supplements are standardized to contain 10 to 12 mg/gm alliin and 4,000 micrograms of total allicin.
- Adetumbi M, Javor GT, Lau BH. Allium sativum (garlic) inhibits lipid synthesis by Candida albicans. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1986;30:499–501.
- Adler BB, Beuchat LR. Death of Salmonella, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes in garlic butter as affected by storage temperature. J Food Prot. 2002;65:1976–1980.
- Allison GL, Lowe GM, Rahman K. Aged garlic extract inhibits platelet activation by increasing intracellular cAMP and reducing the interaction of GPIIb/IIIa receptor with fibrinogen. Life Sci. 2012;91:1275–1280.
- Su, QS., Tian, Y., Zhang, JG. et al. Effects of allicin supplementation on plasma markers of exercise-induced muscle damage, IL-6 and antioxidant capacity.Eur J Appl Physiol (2008) 103: 275.
- Kannar D, Wattanapenpaiboon N, Savige GS, Wahlqvist ML. .Hypocholesterolemic effect of an enteric-coated garlic supplement. J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Jun;20(3):225-31.