Allicin: Hope or Hype
Does Allicin Really Live up To It's Reputation
Probably most of us have bought herbal supplements before being convinced of its great value, only to discover with time and observation that it was not all we expected it to be. The label was great, it said all the right things, the ingredient list was extensive and the price was something to write home about, but somehow it never lived up to the hype.
Lately there has been a lot of buzz within the Alternative health community surrounding a substance called allicin. When raw garlic is chopped or crushed allicin is produced by an enzymatic reaction, It's also what gives garlic its distinctive aroma and flavor
In addition to it's pungent flavor to spice up food the elustrious "Stinking Rose" also claims to have medicinal value and from the dawn of time man has used garlic as a cure for everything from the common cold to the plague.
What is it about garlic that makes people believe it's so good for us? Is it really a boon to our health or just mystical folklore? Can garlic really live up to it's reputation? What is it about garlic that inspires such interest?
Garlic among other things is a terrific source of sulphur compounds, some 45 of them have been isolated and recognised as having medicinal value. But above all it is allicin that is touted as being responsible for much of garlic's benefits, such as its ability to kill bacteria and fight infection. The big question is whether or not allicin can demonstrate any real benefit to our health or is just another clever marketing tool to get you to buy garlic supplements?
This lens is about allicin and the controversy surrounding this highly praised natural antibiotic and does it live up ot all the BUZZ.
Garlic And Allicin, What You Need To Know
Finding Real Allicin In A Garlic Supplement Is Not So Easy !
Consumer awareness of garlics benefits has led to a huge increase in the sales of garlic supplements. Garlic supplements are worth more than $100 million dollars in the US and are also one of the biggest sellers in the UK market. According to a 1998 survey by Hartman and New Hope, garlic supplements are used twice as much as other herbal supplements.
The manufactures of these products often create hype to capture their slice of the pie, skewing the facts about their products and using more creative terms such as "Allicin Potencial" and "Allicin yeild" on their lables. Because of the centrality of allicin and its metabolites to the health benefits of garlic, many garlic supplements claim they are standardized to yeild a certain "allicin potential," or "allicin yeild" for example, "allicin potential/allicin yeild 10,000 ppm." "Notice" they actually admit the product has "no allicin" only potencial.
This is just spin and neither of these creative marketing terms is an indicator of allicin itself being present in the product, just the possibility of some allicin creation in the body and that is a very big maybe. Yet this is supposed to be their indicator of their supplements potency. What you really need to know is ----
HOW MUCH ALLICIN DOES IT ACTUALLY CONTAIN ?
Why is this important ? Because Not All Garlic Supplements Are Created Equal ! Because in biochemical terms allicin is so keen in reacting with micro-organisms it is able to penetrate their cell walls. In doing so it is then able to upset their biochemical balance and impede their activity. At very low concentrations of allicin, the degree of interference may not be lethal, but sufficient to block the microbes virulence. At slightly higher concentrations, the effect can prove lethal for the micro-organism and render it unable to reproduce.
The allicin compound, as it decomposes, forms a potent antioxidant - sulfenic acid. This reaction between the sulfenic acid and free radicals in your body is extremely fast, limited only by the time it takes for the two molecules to come into contact making it one of the most effective antioxidants in the known world.
Additionally Allicin also forms many organosulfer compounds that have been demonstrated to have a positive effect on both the immune system and on heart health. One of the compounds is called ajoene. Ajoene has been shown to inhibit blood clotting, which helps to protect against atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.
So when it is all said and done it is "ALLICIN" that has proven to be the most benificial component of garlic consumption. It is the "Mother Substance" from which all others flo, the most important element of any garlic supplement.
What is important to remember about this is that "no allicin" simply means you are coming up short on the benefits of garlic and missing out on it's antimicrobial effectiveness in the body ----
And by virtue of the various preparation processes most commercial garlic supplements undergo, they have even less ability to potentially yield allicin. While some judicious re-hydration of some dried garlic products may reinitiate the alliin-plus-alliinase synthesis of allicin, in fact, most of those two reactive components will have already been depleted in the course of industrial processing to make their product.
There also has to be an eviroment condusive to the formation of allicin. In the body there are two major obstacles that stand in the way of virtually all garlic supplements that rob you of garlics benefit.
FIRST is the way that an acidic (pH 3 or lower) environment in the gastric cavity can irreversibly neutralize alliinase (Lawson& Hughes, 1992). Without that enzyme, no allicin can be formed in the stomach no matter how much alliin might be ingested - the hydrochloric acid in the stomach almost immediately destroys the alliinase preventing any allicin from forming.
NEXT, commercial grade supplements (such as capsules and garlic oil) do not contain any significant amounts of the sulfur by-products of garlic which have been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure by thinning the blood and allowing it to circulate more efficiently through the body and none of these products have shown the ability to create the all important anti-microbial benefits produced only by allicin
To help with this problem most manufactures employ effective coatings to meet their claims for allicin potential when crushed and suspended in water, but according to a resent study which simulated gastrointestinal conditions (found in your gut), a standard method for drug release was applied to all 24 known brands of enteric-coated tablets, 83 per cent of them failed to release less than 15 per cent of their potential dissolution of allicin release. Only when tablets had high alliinase activity and disintegrated rapidly did they show high allicin release.
Crucially the researchers concluded that garlic powder supplements should no longer be standardised on allicin potential, but rather on dissolution allicin release. Further evidence was published in the same journal by two researchers from The Department of Chemistry at the University of California. They analysed a large number of commercially available garlic products and concluded that the amount of allicin available from these products, when analysed in gastric or intestinal fluid, was less than one part per million (ppm). This compares with the guaranteed 100 per cent yield of at least 250ppm allicin from the true allicin-containing products that are now coming to market. Independent research confirms that many garlic supplements cannot provide ANY of the garlics active principal, allicin.
What all this boils down to is that there really is no comparison between the general body of allicin-"claiming" products and the allicin-"containing" products that are now being introduced to consumers worldwide. Some garlic powder tablet preparations do have the ability to generate tiny quantities of allicin, and therefore all the beneficial sulphur compounds that come from allicin will also be present. But, as we have seen, the actual amount of allicin your body receives from these products is minute. This is why there is absolutely NO DATA published on these products to show any anti-microbial activity, and even recent studies on cardiovascular activity have failed to confirm the promise that early studies showed.
A NEW GENERATION OF GARLIC SUPPLEMENTS LEADING THE WAY
For decades researchers have known that Allicin is the "magic bullet" in garlic from which its many benefits are derived. Allicin molecules can easily penetrate biological membranes and kill cells, but their potency is short-lived and highly unstable. This lack of stability has made it difficult to research allicin.
Only within the last decade has allicin been able to be extracted and stabilized. The challenge lies in the ability to not only release large amounts of allicin from each clove of garlic, but also to capture the allicin and prevent it from decaying into other chemical compounds.
Dr. Peter Josling and a team of researchers have developed a patented method that uses controlled temperature and pressure to release large amounts of alliin and alliinase from fresh garlic This is then flushed out of the production chamber with water, enabling the alliinase to continue to react with alliin.
With this process, they can convert up to 97 percent of a garlic bulb's alliin into allicin, then dilute the allicin with water and end up with a concentration that is mostly water but contains a stabilized solution of allicin that is easy to freeze dry and further process into pure allicn powder or liquid. A single capsule of stabilized allicin is the equivalent of 40 heads of garlic.
For the first time in the world, a garlic extract can physically contains real stabilized allicin not alliiin or alliinase that need to be combined to produce it..The body doesn't need to make it because it's already there in powder or liquid form. The powder and liquid physically contain allicin ready for the body to use.
At present there is only one company - Allicin International Limited - that produces "Genuine Stabilized Allicin" and its trademark is "Allisure". Always read the label of products you purchase and if Allisure is mentioned as an ingredient then this is your guarantee that real stabilized allicin has been used in that product
I've Been Looking For Allicin, But She's Not There !
The Real Allicin Is New On The Scene, You Won't Find Her In The Usual Places.
There are a lot of garlic pills and oils out there, but remember commercial garlic-based products contain "No Allicin" It is clear that the only really useful and viable type of a garlic extract is one that contains active "allicin" in a stabilized form. While there can be some benefit to these garlic products potentially, the reality is most will never bring any significant benefit to the consumer and they are mostly throwing away their money on them.
Remember at present there is only one company - Allicin International Limited - that produces "Genuine Stabilized Allicin" and its trademark is "Allisure" Products like Alligin and Alligel here in the U.S. contain real allicin and are capturing the attentions of Orthodox Medicine all over the world because these real allicin-containing products are getting results where Conventional Medicine has failed!
But there is another company here in America that has taken the benefits of Allicin powder and made it more effective than ever ! This has created some really good cosumer buzz. The kind we want to pay attention to. That company Allicin Center and their allicin product Alligin".
Alligin takes the power of allicin to the next level combining Ginger and Stabilized Allicin together in a single capsule. Ginger is a potent and versatile herb that has been used for thousands of years in treating a number of health problems such as: digestive disorders, motion sickness, inflammation and nausea, and is very helpful to cancer patients suffering from the effects of therapy.
Ginger also displays an ability to destroy various types of cancer cells, lending promise to new cancer research. In addition ginger has anti-microbial and cholesterol lowering properties similar to allicin. Bringing Allicin and Ginger together has created a synergistic effect that is much more powerful and effective than either herb is by itself. Read Dr.Josling's ebook and discover what these natural powerhouse healers have been able to acomplish even with the most serious of infections and what they can do for you too.
Allicin Center has also recently introduced AlliGEL to its product line. This topical gel combines Aloe and Liquid Allicin together to successfully treat various skin conditions, from Acne to Warts, including MRSA infections, and is a valued addition to Liberty's outstanding products.
These are the best allicin-containing products on the market today. But they are not avalible at your local health food store or supermarket. They are only availible through independent distributors. I highly recommend that everyone use them regularly. Not only will they help clear up infections, they will help prevent problems and enhance the immune response. There is no better Health Insurance than that!
Buzz or Hype, What's The Difference
Allicin Has Created Buzz not Hype
How do you know when something has buzz or hype? First off, buzz is not hype and hype is not buzz. Hype is often paid for in full-page print ads, corporate websites, logos on the sides of buses, billboards on Sunset Boulevard, carpet-bomb TV campaigns. Buzz is free, it is the cross-talk of people about things that interest them.
Hype is more often than not unreliable, it stems mostly out of corporate intrests, taking a lttle bit of truth and mixing in exaggerated claims. Buzz, on the other hand, is almost always far more reliable. No one knows why, any more than anyone knows how dogs can sense company is coming even when none is expected.
Buzz starts long before hype, buzz goes from mouth to ear to blog to text message and back to mouth and...well, you get it. But only if it's good. When we find something we like or worked for us we like to tell others about that experience. Or we want to write about it, partly so people will know there's something really good in the pipeline, really alive, but also to a lesser degree, like so much of human behavior we want to be able to say later on, ''I was there first. I knew that.
Allicin is something that has created a lot of buzz recently and people on both sides of health care (conventional and alternative) are talking.
The alternative crowd of "Herb-watchers" are particularly excited by what the lattest research has to say about allicin's antibiotic potential. One big reason is that many pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to widely used prescription antibiotics. And as the bacteria have developed their own ways of resisting attack, the quest for more naturally occurring, less specifically targeted antibiotics has ensued.
Allicin is emerging as a clear alternative to prescription antibiotics. There is an enormus amount of research that proves allicin has the ability to create an inhospitable environment to a wide range of microorganisms, including at least eight types of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi, such as Candida, the microbe that causes yeast infections, according to information provided by the nonprofit Herb Research Foundation in Boulder, Colorado. "Specifically, garlic extract surpassed penicillin, ampicillin, doxycycline, streptomycin, and cephalexin in fighting eight of nine strains of Staphylococcus, Escherichia, and Proteus, according to the foundation. Moreover, like the herb echinacea, garlic possess the ability to enhance immune function, making the body more resistant to infection, some research shows."
Here is what Dr. Peter Josling has to say; "Garlic is the only antibiotic that can actually kill infecting bacteria and at the same time protect the body from the poisons that are causing the infection. It is known that the most sensitive bacterium to garlic is the deadly Bacillus anthracis which produces the poison anthrax. Even the forefather of antibiotic medicine Louis Pasteur acknowledged garlic to be as effective as penicillin and late studies showed similar activity to a more modern antibiotic, chloramphenicol. Even the blood of garlic eaters can kill bacteria and it is also reported that the vapour from freshly cut garlic can kill bacteria at a distance of 20 cms!! Another once common, and apparently returning disease, tuberculosis was treated with garlic very successfully as the invading organism Mycobacterium tuberculosis is sensitive to several of the sulphur components found in garlic"
But what puts allicin head and shoulders above the rest is it's ability to be anti-viral, something pharmacuticals can not achieve. This is significantly important because colds and flu are "VIRAL" not bacterial. More productivity and wages are lost due to cold and flu than anything else. If you go to your doctor for a cold or flu he will undoubtadly prescribe an antibiotic, something that won't help you and has serious side effects. While this may make you believe he is helping you, it is in reality making matters worse. After all it is the over-use of anticbiotics that has created drug resistant superbugs in the first place.
Allicin's anti-viral properties also opens the door for effective cancer treatments by slowing and perhaps knocking out the viruses that trigger them. Researchers found that allicin inhibited the growth of cancer cells of murine (rats and mice which habitually live in intimate association with humans) and human origin. Allicin was able to destroy malignant bladder and liver tumors in mice by designing an ingenious delivery method that works with the pinpoint accuracy of a smart bomb.
Even conventional medicine (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi) has an abundance of scientific and historical evidence to show that garlic helps to chelate heavy metals, combats many bacterial, fungal and viral irritants, improves circulation, provides potent antioxidant effects in vivo, etc.
In a day and age where the emergance of pandemics are in the forefront, the alarming spread of drug resistant organisims are everywhere and the threat of biological warfare looms over our heads is this miracle of nature not getting the attention it deserves? Why is there not wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences for something that delivers hope, holds so much promise and has so much going for it. We are on our own to speculate why.
Links And More Info
Follow these links to order real allicin-contaiing products or find out more about allicn and what the buzz is all about.
- Order Products
Alligin and Alligel, real allicin-containing products with real world results.
- Natures Powerhouse Healers
A free ebook by Dr. Peter Josling about the power of ginger and garlic. Includes technical information, clinical data and testimonials along with treatment protocals using Alligin and Alligel.
- Are All Herbs Created Equal ?
A must read article that sheds a bright light on so-called natural products.