Biologically valuable substances in garlic (Allium sativum L.) – A review
2019, 20 (1) p. 292-304
Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is one of the most valuable plants in the world because it contains important substances with protective and healing effects on human health. Its health-promoting effects have been already known in ancient Egypt, China, Greece and also the Romans used it. Many studies have shown that garlic can help from colds, coughs, flu, pulmonary diseases, clean blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and has antibacterial, antiviral, anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and antioxidant properties. Garlic contains antioxidant that support the body´s defense mechanism against oxidative damage. The physiological effect of garlic can be affected by sulphur – containing compounds as well as other biologically active compounds such as polyphenols (mainly flavonoids), minerals (Ca, Fe, I, K, Mg, Na, Zn) and vitamins (A, B1, B2, B6, C). The main sulphur compound in garlic is alliin, converted to allicin by the enzyme alliinase, which results in a characteristic garlic aroma and taste.