Allicin is a chemical compound contained primarily in garlic. It is an antibacterial, antifungal substance, but is not naturally found whole in powdered, granulated or processed garlic. This healthy chemical compound is present only in chopped or crushed garlic.
Allicin forms when 2 chemicals found in garlic - alliinase and alliin, combine during the chopping process.
Allicin breaks down over time (usually after 2-6 days). It is destroyed during cooking or heating in the microwave.
Sources of Allicin
As stated above, chopped or crushed garlic is the best source of allicin. Allicin is sold in specialized stores in the form of a food supplement.
Allicin capsules have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, they dilate the blood vessels and regulate heart function. Besides this, they bolster the body's defenses against viral and infectious diseases. They affect metabolism.
Benefits of Allicin
The antibacterial and antifungal activity of garlic is due to its allicin. These particles play their part in reactions with red blood cells - erythrocytes.
This reaction results in the formation of hydrogen sulfide. Characteristic of allicin is the unpleasant smell, although it plays a vital role in cell interaction.
Allicin is a potent antioxidant which decreases tension of red blood cell walls and the cells which make up the blood vessels. In this way it improves circulation. In turn, this leads to lower blood pressure.
Fresh garlic is very healthy, while its smell entices, plus slightly revolts at the same time. Thanks to its chemical composition, allicin provides more oxygen for organ function. It removes free radicals from cells. Sulfenic acid reacts to them - a byproduct of allicin break down.
Because of allicin, garlic is one of the most effective liver cleansers. All it takes is just a few garlic cloves to activate very important liver enzymes that are responsible for quick processing of harmful substances in the body.
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of garlic are very healthy for absorption. Buy fresh garlic, cut it and consume right away. The finer you cut the garlic, the greater the amount of allicin in it.
During cold and flu season, garlic is one of the best foods with which a person can guarantee themselves a stronger immunity against infectious and viral diseases.
And don't forget - to release the allicin, crush or chop the garlic finely. Whole garlic cloves don't have that same amount of beneficial properties.
Dangers of Allicin
Now let's focus on the dangers of garlic since it is the main source of allicin. Even though it's so healthy, sometimes we can't depend on the allicin from garlic.
Garlic is not suitable for people allergic to it. It has an anticoagulant action, making it unsuitable for combining with certain anticoagulant medications.
Combining it with natural anticoagulants such as vitamin E and ginkgo biloba also needs to be done carefully. It shouldn't be consumed after birth, before or after an operation. It's counter-productive if the person has difficulties managing their diabetes and if suffering from pemphigus.