Health benefits

Scientists have found that each clove of garlic has an astonishing 400 plus beneficial compounds found within the oil.

The benefits of garlic

One of the key compounds in garlic is allicin, which has health enhancing properties and gives garlic its distinctive odour even in some supplements.

Heart and circulation

Nutritionists have long believed that garlic is healthy for the heart working to reduce homocysteine levels in the bloodstream. Homocysteine is an amino acid which damages arterial walls and encourages the deposition of cholesterol onto the arteries.

Research indicates that garlic boosts circulation by increasing the production of hydrogen sulphide. Garlic contains numerous sulphur compounds that may be of benefit in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and may also aid normal clotting. It is likened to taking low dose aspirin.

Immunity

Garlic stimulates white blood cell activity required by the immune system for fighting infections including colds and fungal infections such as candida.

In fact, some studies indicate that garlic fights infections that are often resilient to some antibiotics. Garlic has potent antimicrobial properties and in the 1950’s was used to treat cholera and dysentery. During the First World War, garlic was used to treat battle wounds in the absence of antibiotics.

Other known benefits

Garlic has been shown to be of benefit in normalising blood sugar levels and it is thought that this is due to its ability to enhance insulin production.

It is theorised that garlic may enhance testosterone levels in both men and women suggesting that it may be of benefit to boost libido.

Note: These are just some of the main benefits of garlic. Because garlic has blood thinning properties, those of anticoagulant medications should consult their GP before taking any garlic supplements.

 

So what is Black Garlic?

From a nutritional point of view, Black Garlic has a similar content of allicin, the active ingredient in White Garlic that imparts its benefits, but without the odour. Additionally, Black Garlic is rich in amino acids and has almost double the amount of antioxidants when compared to White Garlic. But that is not the whole story.

Black Garlic also contains an additional very specific compound called S-Allycysteine (SAC) in very high concentrations, compared to White Garlic. S-Allycysteine is water soluble and thus absorbed easily within the body and has been shown to assist with the absorption of allicin. This makes Black Garlic much more effective than White Garlic for all the benefits mentioned above and additionally it is well tolerated by the digestive system so the chance of gastric distress is completely minimised.

The aging process also increases concentration of flavonoids, pyruvate, total phenol, SAC, free sugars, and minerals.

In vitro and in vivo studies have also demonstrated that aged black garlic, in addition to the above-mentioned antioxidant effects on cells and animals, ABG has significant anti-inflammatory properties, as we as anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and obesity, anti-allergic, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, and anti-thrombotic effects.

 

Garlic and health through the ages

Garlic has been used as a medicinal herb since ancestral times antiquity and is one of the earliest documented examples of plants employed for treatment of disease and maintenance of health.

Garlic was found in Egyptian pyramids and ancient Greek temples. Ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India each prescribed medical applications for garlic. It is a herb that has been widely used in many systems of medicine, including Western medicine, Ayerverdic and Tradition Chinese Medicine. Historical records indicate that garlic had been used as medicine as a diuretic, digestive aid, antibiotic, anti-parasitic, for colds, infections and a wide variety of other ailments.

The medicinal use of garlic has continued into modern times and is now supported by a growing amount of scientific evidence.

References and reading

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Tak, H. M., Kim, G. M., Kim, J. S., Hwang, C. R., Kang, M. J., & Shin, J. H. (2014). Quality characteristics and biological activity of fermented black garlic with probiotics. Journal of Life Science, 24(5), 549-557.

Kim, I., Kim, J. Y., Hwang, Y. J., Hwang, K. A., Om, A. S., Kim, J. H., & Cho, K. J. (2011). The beneficial effects of aged black garlic extract on obesity and hyperlipidemia in rats fed a high-fat diet. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, 5(14), 3159-3168.

Choi, I., Cha, H., & Lee, Y. (2014). Physicochemical and antioxidant properties of black garlic. Molecules, 19(10), 16811-16823.

Dong, M., Yang, G., Liu, H., Liu, X., Lin, S., Sun, D., & Wang, Y. (2014). Aged black garlic extract inhibits HT29 colon cancer cell growth via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Biomedical reports, 2(2), 250-254.

Kim, J. H., Nam, S. H., Rico, C. W., & Kang, M. Y. (2012). A comparative study on the antioxidative and anti‐allergic activities of fresh and aged black garlic extracts. International journal of food science & technology, 47(6), 1176-1182.

Wang, D., Feng, Y., Liu, J., Yan, J., Wang, M., Sasaki, J. I., & Lu, C. (2010). Black garlic (Allium sativum) extracts enhance the immune system. Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Biotechnology, 4(1), 37-40.

Kim, S. H., Jung, E. Y., Kang, D. H., Chang, U. J., Hong, Y. H., & Suh, H. J. (2012). Physical stability, antioxidative properties, and photoprotective effects of a functionalized formulation containing black garlic extract. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 117, 104-110.

Kim, M. H., Kim, M. J., Lee, J. H., Han, J. I., Kim, J. H., Sok, D. E., & Kim, M. R. (2011). Hepatoprotective effect of aged black garlic on chronic alcohol-induced liver injury in rats. Journal of medicinal food, 14(7-8), 732-738.

Jung, I. C., & Sohn, H. Y. (2014). Antioxidation, antimicrobial and antithrombosis activities of aged black garlic (Allium sativum L.). Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters, 42(3), 285-292.

Shin, D. Y., Yoon, M. K., Choi, Y. W., Gweon, O. C., Kim, J. I., Choi, T. H., & Choi, Y. H. (2010). Effects of aged black garlic extracts on the tight junction permeability and cell invasion in human gastric cancer cells. Journal of Life Science, 20(4), 528-534.

García-Villalón, A. L., Amor, S., Monge, L., Fernández, N., Prodanov, M., Muñoz, M., ... & Granado, M. (2016). In vitro studies of an aged black garlic extract enriched in S-allylcysteine and polyphenols with cardioprotective effects. Journal of functional foods, 27, 189-200.

Ried, K., Frank, O. R., & Stocks, N. P. (2013). Aged garlic extract reduces blood pressure in hypertensives: a dose–response trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67(1), 64.

Wang, X., Jiao, F., Wang, Q. W., Wang, J., Yang, K., Hu, R. R., ... & Wang, Y. S. (2012). Aged black garlic extract induces inhibition of gastric cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Molecular medicine reports, 5(1), 66-72.

Shiju, T. M., Rajesh, N. G., & Viswanathan, P. (2013). Renoprotective effect of aged garlic extract in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Indian journal of pharmacology, 45(1), 18.

Ahmadi, N., Nabavi, V., Hajsadeghi, F., Zeb, I., Flores, F., Ebrahimi, R., & Budoff, M. (2013). Aged garlic extract with supplement is associated with increase in brown adipose, decrease in white adipose tissue and predict lack of progression in coronary atherosclerosis. International journal of cardiology, 168(3), 2310-2314.

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Seo, D. Y., Lee, S., Figueroa, A., Kwak, Y. S., Kim, N., Rhee, B. D., ... & Han, J. (2012). Aged garlic extract enhances exercise-mediated improvement of metabolic parameters in high fat diet-induced obese rats. Nutrition research and practice, 6(6), 513-519.

Kim, M. H., Kim, M. J., Lee, J. H., Han, J. I., Kim, J. H., Sok, D. E., & Kim, M. R. (2011). Hepatoprotective effect of aged black garlic on chronic alcohol-induced liver injury in rats. Journal of medicinal food, 14(7-8), 732-738.