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Journal of Cancer Prevention


Journal of Korean Association of Cancer prevention 2004; 9(4): 215-225

Published online December 30, 2004

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

Chemoprevention by Organosulfur Compounds (from Garlic, Allium Sativum) and Garlic Extracts

Young Sook Hong


Although garlic has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years, investigations into its mode of action are relatively recent. Overall, several investigations indicate that garlic and its organic allyl sulfur components inhibit the cancer process. Furthermore, these studies reveal that the benefits of garlic are not limited to a specific species, a particular tissue, or a specific carcinogen. Finally, odor is not a prerequisite for the protection provided by garlic against the initiation of chemical carcinogenesis. Although the water-soluble compound S-allyl cysteine is effective in reducing the risk of chemically induced tumors in experimental animals, it has no effect on established tumors. However, oil-soluble compounds such as diallyl disulfide are effective in reducing the proliferation of neoplasms. Although the evidence supports the benefits of garlic, additional evidence is needed to determine the quantity needed by humans to minimize cancer risk.

Keywords: Garlic, Organosulfur compounds, Cytochrome P450 (CYP), Glutathione- S-Transferase (GST), Carcinogenesis, Chemoprevention

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