An Evidence-based Perspective of Allium Sativum (Garlic) for Cancer Patients

  • Anna Herman-Antosiewicz
  • Anna Kawiak
  • Jędrzej Antosiewicz
Part of the Evidence-based Anticancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine book series (ACAM)


Allium sativum (garlic) has been used since prehistoric times in various cultures as a spice as well as a medicine to combat microbial and fungal infections, help in cardiovascular problems, stimulate immunological system or stop tumor growth. Epidemiological studies indicate that increased consumption of garlic is inversely correlated with the risk of different types of cancer in various human populations. Garlic preparations inhibit chemically induced cancers in animals. This chemo-preventive activity is attributed to organosulfur compounds which modulate Phase I and II detoxification enzymes, thus inhibit pro-carcinogen activation and/or enhance carcinogen neutralization and removal. Laboratory studies also indicate that garlic compounds suppress cancer development at post-initiation phases inducing cell cycle block and apoptosis as well as inhibiting angiogenesis and metastasis. Results of the in vitro studies explain the mechanisms of action of garlic organosulfurs at the molecular level, which is a necessary step before their clinical use for cancer patients. This chapter reviews the evidence on garlic chemo-preventive activities in human populations, animal models and limited clinical trials. It also summarizes the current knowledge on molecular mechanisms of its anti-proliferative activity toward cancer cells, possible interactions with drugs and impact on immune system—factors that should be considered before use of garlic compounds in cancer therapy.


Garlic Extract Aged Garlic Extract Garlic Powder Diallyl Trisulfide Labile Iron Pool 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Herman-Antosiewicz
    • 1
  • Anna Kawiak
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jędrzej Antosiewicz
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Molecular BiologyUniversity of GdańskGdańskPoland
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Intercollegiate Faculty of BiotechnologyUniversity of Gdańsk and Medical University of GdańskGdańskPoland
  3. 3.Laboratory of Human Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences with Subfaculty of NursingMedical University of GdańskGdańskPoland
  4. 4.Department of Bioenergetics and Physiology of ExerciseMedical University of GdańskGdańskPoland

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