All about allicin
Allicin is a natural defence mechanism of garlic. It is produced when garlic bulbs are crushed, or attacked by bacteria, microbes or fungi. Allicin is a naturally volatile compound, but the stabilisedallicin is available in the form of the Allicinmax and Allimed range of products.
Garlic as a health supplement
It is thought that Garlic originated in the Kirgiz Desert in Siberia around 7000 years ago. It was imported into Ancient Egypt to feed the slaves who built the pyramids and to keep them fit and healthy. Since that time garlic has played an important part in almost every civilisation across the globe. In Ancient Greece, garlic was consumed in large quantities to improve circulation and build strength. In the last 50 years an enormous amount of research has been published all over the world to confirm the many beneficial properties of garlic.
What is allicin?
When fresh garlic is cut or crushed, a sulphur compound, alliin combines with an enzyme, allinase and a chemical reaction starts. The first compound that is formed is allicin. Allicin generated from fresh garlic is very unstable and quickly changes into a series of other sulphur compounds, known as thiosulphinates. Allicin is the described as the 'mother' substance of garlic, which is responsible for the majority of its remarkable properties.
Antibacterial activity of allicin
The antibacterial properties of crushed garlic have been known for many years. Raw garlic extracts have been shown to exhibit a wide spectrum of antibacterial activity against gram negative and gram positive bacteria. Allicin itself, particularly in a stabilised form such as AllicinMax™, does have published evidence showing significant antibacterial activity.
Scientists Cavillito and Bailey were the first to demonstrate that the antibacterial activity of garlic was mainly due to allicin. The sensitivity of various bacterial and clinical isolates to stabilised preparations of allicin is very significant and exhibits a broad spectrum.
How do different garlic supplements compare?
The table compares the allicin content of 'garlic supplements' compared to stabilised allicin.
Type of supplement
Garlic source declared
|Garlic Oil||No||Steam distillation||No|
|Aged Garlic||No||Aged over 2 years||No|
|Garlic Macerates||No||Crushed and dried||Some|
|Garlic powder||Sometimes||Cloves chopped and dried under pressure and temperature control||Possiblity that small quantities of allicin delivered, stomach acid protection needed|
|AllicinMax||Yes||Specialised patented extraction|
process produces allicin liquid and powder
|Yes, Allicin delivered directly into the system in large quantities|
This table shows that no other garlic supplement except for Allicinmax delvers allicin when and where is it needed.