Allicin - Overview, History, Benefits, Precaution, Dosage

Allicin is a type of allyl sulphide, a sulphur chemical with a powerful smell that is mostly present in vegetables belonging to the lily family, including green onions and garlic. Garlic is especially well-known for its ability to help people recover from fatigue. It is believed that this is because garlic contains allicin, which can increase physical power.

Allicin does not exist in food as allicin. When you cut or grate garlic or onions, the alliin contained in the food is broken down and converted to allicin by alliinase. Alliin is a type of amino acid found in proteins that contains sulfur. After alliin is converted to allicin, it further breaks down into degraded allicin compounds like diallyl disulfide and ajoene, which have different effects.

Primary allicin degradation products and effects

  • Ajoene: It inhibits platelet aggregation; also has antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
  • Diallyl disulphide: Its effects include anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-ulcer, blood sugar-lowering, tiredness recovery, and antioxidant.

History of Allicin

American scientists Caballito and Bailey discovered allicin in 1944. They found that when garlic is chopped or grated, an odourless sulphur compound called alliin is created, and allicin has antibacterial qualities. Swiss scientists Stoll and Seebeck, who were awarded the 1951 Nobel Prize, found that allicin was created when alliin was broken down by the enzyme alliinase. Later, day by day, its benefits spread throughout the world. Today, allicin is used to improve the health of the body because of its medical properties.

Benefits Of Allicin

Fatigue recovery effect: Allicin, a compound found in garlic, is responsible for its reputation as a food that promotes endurance and aids in fatigue recovery. Allicin facilitates the metabolism of sugar and when combined with vitamin B1, which gives the body energy to move, has the effect of maintaining its effects. One of the most important nutrients for promoting fatigue recovery is vitamin B12. Weakness, palpitations, and dyspnea are some of the symptoms that can arise from a deficiency of vitamin B1. For example, it is said that the high consumption of processed foods and soft drinks in modern diets makes people more susceptible to vitamin B1 deficits.

However, if you consume too much vitamin B1, your body will eliminate it. Allicin's benefits and effectiveness in helping the body recuperate from exhaustion are prolonged when combined with vitamin B1.

Prevent Lifestyle Diseases: Indian people are more prone to lifestyle-related diseases because of their Westernised eating habits, lack of exercise, heavy drinking, and smoking. Dyslipidemia or elevated levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, is thought to be the cause of lifestyle-related disorders like diabetes and high blood pressure. A lipid called cholesterol is necessary for the construction of new cells, but eating foods high in cholesterol raises blood cholesterol levels and aggravates arteriosclerosis, which can result in myocardial infarction. There is an elevated risk of cerebral infarction. Allicin has the effect of suppressing the rise in blood cholesterol levels and preventing lifestyle-related diseases as well as keeping the body healthy.

Powerful Antioxidant: Furthermore, allicin's antioxidant capacity reduces active oxygen and aids in the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases. Stress, UV radiation, smoking, extreme exercise, and other factors are thought to raise the level of active oxygen. Among these, it is said that the amount of active oxygen generated by stress is significantly higher, and modern people living in a stressed society are more susceptible to damage from active oxygen. Since active oxygen can destroy bacteria and viruses that enter the body, it is required for human health. However, if levels of active oxygen become too high, their potent force can cause damage to cells. Arteriosclerosis and diabetes can result from the oxidation of cholesterol by active oxygen. Because allicin is an antioxidant and can inhibit the rise in cholesterol, it is useful in preventing diseases linked to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Prevent High blood sugar: A blood sugar level is a measurement of the quantity of glucose in the blood. Allicin inhibits blood sugar spikes and keeps blood sugar levels from rising too high. Diabetes develops when lifestyle choices like weight and lack of exercise prevent blood sugar levels from staying at normal ranges. Diabetes is a lifestyle-related illness where high blood sugar levels are caused by improper absorption of sugar, which should be used as energy by cells, leaving it in the blood. As diabetes gets worse, it damages the body's blood vessels and nerves, which can result in problems and arteriosclerosis. Allicin suppresses blood sugar increases by promoting the release of insulin, a hormone that keeps blood sugar levels regular when combined with vitamin B12. 

Normalise blood flow: Allicin-containing sulphur compounds have the effect of inhibiting the production of blood clots as well as preventing the formation of blood clots. Blood clots are less common in healthy states when blood flows freely, however abnormal lifestyle choices can obstruct blood flow and increase the risk of blood clot formation. Ionic compounds help prevent cerebral and myocardial infarction because they preserve normal blood flow and avoid blood clots. Additionally, sulphur compounds aid in maintaining the smooth state of the blood by increasing blood circulation.

Prevent infectious diseases: Allicin possesses potent antibacterial properties. It has long been used as a condiment to ward against food poisoning and shield the body against infections including Vibrio cholerae, Salmonella typhi, and Salmonella. It's also claimed that allicin helps shield against colds. The usage of garlic, which contains allicin, has been used and mentioned in the ancient Indian medicine system book Ayurveda.

Appetite-stimulating Effect: Allicin is produced from alliin by destroying cells such as cooking. For example, garlic has a harsh and unpleasant taste when raw, but when it's fried or grilled, allicin is released, giving it a unique fragrance that is sweet and fragrant. Allicin's aroma triggers the release of digestive juices like saliva and gastric juices as well as the activation of gastrointestinal function, all of which increase hunger and facilitate better digestion and absorption.

Food Rich In Allicin

After knowing the benefits of allicin, it's time to know the food which contains allicin. The following table includes a list of foods that are high in allicin. The allicin content varies depending on the food type.

There appears to be significant variance based on the variety in the amounts of allicin and alliin discovered in garlic, according to a different analysis by the Food and Drug Safety Evaluation and Analysis Centre. Some samples were found to contain 518 mg of alliin and 17 mg of alliin. Please only use this value as a guide.

Additionally, allicin loses its potency when exposed to air for an extended period, so it is generally difficult to ingest allicin from cooked chopped garlic or tubed garlic.

Food Name

  • Garlic: It contains Allicin 394 mg/100g, allicin 230 mg/100g
  • Onion
  • Green onion
  • Leek
  • Chive
  • Rakkyo

Allicin Dosage- Recommended Daily Intake

There is no clear standard for the recommended daily intake of allicin. However, a general recommendation that does not result in adverse consequences, and is to consume 4 cloves, or 20g, of garlic per day.

It also depends on whether you eat it cooked or raw, so if you eat it raw, it's ideal to aim for one piece every day; if you eat it cooked, aim for two to three pieces.

For more, you can increase the dose gradually by observing your body's behaviour. Remember, a high dose will not result in better and quicker results. Always limit the dose of allicin to avoid adverse effects.

How to effectively take allicin?

We will discuss effective ways to consume allicin to get its medical properties

Grate and chop to increase content: When foods containing alliin are chopped or grated and exposed to air, alliin is transformed into allicin. To obtain allicin from garlic and onions, cut or grate them finely rather than consuming them whole. Furthermore, cooked food exposed to air increases the amount of allicin, but allicin loses its effectiveness after 15 minutes of exposure to air. Eat it fresh and avoid letting it sit out for too long.

Cutting perpendicular to the fibres is the most effective: To enhance the amount of allicin even more, cut the allicin-rich food with a knife that is perpendicular to the fibres. For instance, onions are usually sliced perpendicular to the fibres, but you can further increase allicin by first cutting perpendicular to the fibres and then parallel to them.

Eating it raw as a condiment works well: Since allicin is heat-sensitive and readily soluble in water, the best approach to consume it with the least amount of loss is raw as a condiment. It is safe to consume tubed garlic, etc as stated in "Foods Containing a Lot of Allicin," it has been exposed to air for a while and the allicin effect is believed to have been gone. You most likely won't be able to consume allicin in this manner.

Applying an oil coating: Applying an oil coat reduces the likelihood of harm. It has been discovered that adding oil to allicin reduces its vulnerability to deterioration and facilitates absorption. It is a good idea to check whether the raw materials contain oil or fat, not only when cooking, but also when using tubed garlic.

Combine with foods high in B1 and B6 vitamins: Allicin has metabolism-boosting properties, but to maximise these effects, eat meals high in vitamin B1 and vitamin B6, which are critical for the metabolism of carbohydrates. One common item that is high in vitamin B1 is pork.

Try supplements if you are worried about odour: Since allicin is an aromatic ingredient, it is frequently present in foods that are olfactory sensitive. Thus, think about taking it as a supplement if you're having trouble including it in your regular diet.

Side Effects & Precaution Of Allicin

Although allicin has several health advantages, taking too much of it can have the following negative effects:

  • Stomach ulcer is caused by too much stomach acid, stomach discomfort, abdominal pain, etc.
  • The bactericidal effect causes the gut flora to deteriorate.
  • Constipation and diarrhoea by the gastrointestinal environment deteriorating
  • Stomatitis (rough skin), angular stomatitis, and dermatitis are causes by the gastrointestinal environment's decline
  • Antihypertensive effects causing anaemia
  • Because of the inhibition of platelet aggregation, bleeding becomes irreversible.

Eating 10 cloves or more, which is roughly comparable to one entire clove of garlic, is regarded as an overdose according to general guidelines. Even if you take less than this quantity, if you still experience the symptoms indicated above, you may have a garlic allergy.

The following ideas should be kept in mind if you want to reduce your allicin intake.

  • Do not consume on an empty stomach.
  • Combine with water.
  • Take it with protein.
  • Heat and Consume.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) On Allicin

How does the body respond to allicin?

Allicin, a compound in garlic, can have various health benefits. When consumed, it can help reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and support the immune system. However, the body's response to allicin varies among individuals.

Is garlic allicin safe to consume?

The 10-minute rule suggests letting chopped or crushed garlic sit for 10 minutes before cooking or consuming. This allows more allicin to form, enhancing its health benefits.

Yes, allicin in garlic is safe for most people when consumed in culinary amounts. However, excessive consumption of supplements may lead to side effects like digestive issues and interfere with certain medications.

What alters garlic due to allicin?

Allicin is sensitive to heat. Cooking garlic can reduce its allicin content. Crushing or chopping garlic releases more allicin, enhancing its health benefits.

What does the 10-minute rule for garlic mean?

The 10-minute rule suggests letting chopped or crushed garlic sit for 10 minutes before cooking or consuming. This allows more allicin to form, enhancing its health benefits.

What happens if you consume 10 garlic cloves every day?

 Consuming 10 garlic cloves daily can have health benefits like improved heart health and immunity. However, it may cause digestive discomfort in some individuals. It's best to consult a healthcare professional for personalised advice.

What happens if you consume 30 garlic cloves?

 Consuming 30 garlic cloves daily is excessive and can lead to digestive distress and other side effects. It's not recommended, and moderation is key for garlic consumption.

How much allicin is in onion?

 Onions contain a precursor to allicin, but the allicin content is much lower than in garlic. The specific amount can vary based on the onion's variety and size.

Garlic contains which acid?

Garlic contains allicin, an organosulfur compound that forms when garlic is crushed or chopped.

What are garlic tablets benefits?

Garlic tablets or supplements are often used to support heart health, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation. They may also help lower cholesterol levels.

Is garlic good for health?

Yes, garlic offers various health benefits, including heart health support, immune system enhancement, and anti-inflammatory effects. It's a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

What is garlic?

Garlic is a popular bulbous plant with a pungent flavour and a long history of culinary and medicinal use. It contains various bioactive compounds like allicin, which contribute to its health benefits.

How to eat garlic in the morning?

Eating garlic in the morning can be done by adding it to omelettes, smoothies, or spreading it on toast. However, due to its strong flavour, it's commonly used in small amounts in morning dishes.

Is garlic acidic?

 Garlic is not inherently acidic, but its consumption may lead to acid reflux or indigestion in some individuals.

Is garlic good for the heart?

Yes, garlic is beneficial for heart health. It can help lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, and improve overall cardiovascular well-being.

Does garlic cause gas?

 Garlic may cause gas and digestive discomfort in some individuals, particularly when consumed in large quantities or by those with sensitive digestive systems.

How much garlic per day?

The recommended daily amount of garlic varies, but incorporating a small clove or a few grams in your diet is a good starting point. Consult a healthcare provider for personalised guidance.

Is garlic a blood thinner?

Garlic has mild blood-thinning properties, which can be beneficial for heart health. However, it's not a substitute for prescription blood thinners, and if you're on such medication, consult your doctor before increasing garlic consumption.

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