The following article
is abstracted from the European producers of a freeze-dried garlic preparation
that is used for the animal industry. It is a translation from German
so the grammar is not terrific in some areas. The article explains why
nearly every commercial garlic preparation that you purchase is virtually
worthless. If you are going to use garlic you need to use fresh RAW garlic. -- Dr.
When we talk about allicin there is a group of compounds
that are formed when you crush the garlic clove which are called the
thiosulphanates. Of the thiosulphanates, allicin
is the dominant one. About 70
to 80% of the thiosulphates is allicin.
We tend to talk about allicin as the antimicrobial
agent but there is other thiosulphates in there that are also antimicrobials,
but much less work is being done on them. And this is why we use the whole
clove rather than trying to synthesize things like allicin.
The developers call it a new antimicrobials complex
for the feed industry. They developed Enteroguard from two active natural
ingredients to replace the use of antibiotics at low levels that are incorporated
in animal feed. Feed like pig feed, poultry fee, milk replacement for
calves, because we've known for a long time and it is been recognized
that having these antibiotics in feed
at low levels is causing resistance problems in the human population.
So it is this cross resistance
Antibiotics like Virginiamycin, Tylosiin, Spiramycin
have been used at low levels in the feed as growth promoters simply in
there to promote growth of the animal. But these growth promoters belong
to a family of antibiotics of which there is a human equivalent. So Virginiamycin
is a Streptogramin in the antibiotics category. An example of this on
the human side is synercid.
So the possibility then or the potential then is the
cross resistance into the human population
where you build up a reservoir of organisms
that then have resistance.
So in Europe in January of 1999, these six
growth promoters were banned across the whole of the EEC. They
could not be used as growth promoters. They allowed them four months into
which to work out their stocks, then that was it.
There are still left two, that they are trying to
get rid of but the main grouping is gone. At that stage people became
interested in our equivalent to see if it would work in this big feed
industry where they produce one half to one million tons of feed at a
time. And looking for that growth enhancement of the animals as well as
some disease protection in there. That is where we came in.
Enteroguard is a combination
of two potent plant derived antimicrobials.
And what I would like to do is to take you through
individually the two active ingredients in there in terms of why we selected
them and what are known about them. The first one is allicin from garlic
and I'll come on to that one in a minute, but the second one is also a
natural and it's cinnamaldehyde from the oil of cinnamon.
The researchers first came across allicin about 10
years ago. They screened over 200 natural plant substances for antimicrobials
activity. They determined allicin from garlic to be a potent sulfur containing
antimicrobial. Its chemical name is thiosulphonate. Its only found in
small concentrations in a group of food plants called the Allium group
which contains onions as well as garlic. But the largest concentration
of alliin is actually found in garlic which is why they selected garlic
as the source of allicin.
This is the structure of allicin or diallyl thiosulphonate.
In some ways it almost resembles an antibiotic- two cysteine derived molecules
on the ends, but it is this S-S double bond which is the very potent part
of the molecule that gives it its very strong antimicrobials activity.
Why Do They Actually Freeze
Dry The Garlic?
This comes down to the fact that if you take a garlic
clove and you peel it very carefully and you smell it. There is very little
smell. But as soon as you crush it...boom! You get an instantaneous smell.
This is a clean smell, that is allicin that is produced.
And the reason is that in garlic itself you don't
find allicin but what you do find is a precursor molecule called alliin.
And alliin is found within the garlic clove within the mesophyl cells
and also in the garlic clove you then find around the phloem in the cells
around the vascular bundle you find an enzyme called alliinase.
And these two are physically separated within the
cell. When you crush it these two come into contact and immediately the
combination of the two produce allicin,
and the other thiosulphonates.
Thiosulphonates As A Group
Allicin constitutes between 70
to 80% of those thiosulphonates because they providethe total
antimicrobial activity. One interesting thing is that the amount of enzyme
is almost the same as the amount of alliin. This is very unusual because
enzyme systems usually require very little enzyme to make a conversion.
But in garlic it is absolutely stocked with the enzyme.
So the same amount of enzyme there is, is equivalent
to is alliin; which is one of the reasons you get that instantaneous conversion.
And the conversion of all the alliin to allicin in the garlic occur within
20 seconds. When you crush it.
As far as the plant is concerned, the plant uses this
as an antimicrobials because you can imagine the garlic clove which becomes
the seed of the plant. If it is invaded by bacteria or a single cell pathogen
will start to break down the cells. So when the cells start to break down
you get alliin and alliinase coming together locally with a little puff
of allicin and boom you knock out the protozoa or bacteria or yeast.
The developers import garlic from China as the soil
is very rich in sulfur there, which contributes to increase activity.
The product has been analyzed at the University of Bonn in Germany which
found one of the highest garlic concentrate in tems of alliin content.
Imported Frozen Garlic
They make sure it raised in an area and a way that
gives it the highest alliin content, but they then hand peel the garlic
so in the fields there are 700 women sitting at tables gently peeling
the cloves by hand. Now you could get a machine to do this but it would
cause too much allicin to be released through cell damage which causes
the alliin to react with the alliinase.
Then allicin over a period of days will actually start
to break down. So after it is hand peeled they blast freeze it. It is
frozen very quickly. It goes into these big stores where they pump cold
air into it at -30 degrees and they are frozen solid. It is then imported
from China to a factory in UK as frozen garlic cloves.
It is shipped in 12-ton containers where they keep
it frozen all the way through. They then take those frozen cloves and
put them through a machine that chops them three or four times, some of
the small cloves are not chopped at all. This chopping just helps in moisture
removal. Then this garlic then goes into a freeze-drying facility.
It is put into trays and put straight into the freeze
dryer. And the freeze dryer removes all that moisture in a virtual vacuum.
So in a vacuum at -30 degrees C the moisture doesn't actually turn into
a liquid. It goes straight off as moisture to gas. It is rather like frozen
CO2. When that is warmed it doesn't go a liquid phase it comes immediately
into a gas phase.
They use this process as a gentle method of removing
water. Now with the moisture removed, the alliin and the alliinase are
separated and totally inactive because they can only react in the presence
of moisture. So they can then take the dried clove out of the freeze dryer
and mill them into a powder.
If the garlic were milled while the moisture content
was still high in the garlic then they would react to produce allicin
and the allicin would disappear in a few days. This is the problem with
all the garlic products that are on the market. There is no allicin left.
For when they milled their product there was moisture
in it. When Enteroguard is taken in by the animal or the human as it is
rehydrated as it makes its way down the digestive track is becomes active
the alliin reacts with the alliinnase and allicin is produced just where
you want it in the gut.
The allicin appears to
be effective against
- E. coli.
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Clostridium perfringens
- Salmonella spp.
However the lactic organisms and the enterococci are
virtually unaffected by garlic. Why is this good? Because this group contains
the beneficial bacteria in the gut. So here you have an organism that
is anti yeast and anti fungi, anti gram negative and gram positive bacteria,
and yet against a group of very beneficial organism it doesn't have any
Not only does garlic kill pathogenic bacteria but
it also kills rotavirus infection which is responsible for many cases
of diarrhea. At concentrations of 20 parts per million garlic totally
protects these mammalian cells from being invaded pathogenic viruses.
It has also been helpful in protoza infections like
Cryptosporidium parvum. It was first discovered in the USA in 1971 in
the following 22 years in has become absolutely endemic on the dairy farms;
90% of all dairy farms are infected by Crypto. And as soon as you get
100+ dairy cows on a unit all of them are infected.
Every in these cow/calve operations where the calves
are raised with their mothers out in the fields, 40% of them are infected
because the heifers before they are weaned they shed these oocysts through
their saliva into the pastures and these little oocyst just stay around
and the next generation gets them.
It is the single major
cause of contaminating the human water supply.
The Enteroguard is now sold to vets in the USA for
Rotavirus and Crypto.
During the First World War, garlic was the major battle
field wound dressing. They made a paste of it and rapped wounds with it.
So when the antibiotics were developed all the publications on garlic
Allicin is active interracially in the gut and once
absorbed it is quickly converted into diallyl suphides in the liver. Diallyl
sulphides have low antimicrobials activity and these are then expressed
through the urine, through the breath and through the skin. The diallyl
sulphides is the smell you get when you cook garlic or when you eat lots
But the allicin is the clean smell you get when you
crush it which is a different smell than the diallyl sulphides which is
stronger in smell and what you get when you cook it. Allicin is a cascade
molecule and as it breaks down there have been 150 different breakdown
molecules from a molecule of allicin. So you get allicin slowly degrading
into other molecules which themselves react with each other to form molecules
which may be very active against protozoa like giardia and trichomonous.
Garlic also appears to be very active
against Helicobacter pylori.
You would have to eat ten to twenty grams per kilo
weight which means you would have to eat a trunk load of garlic to have
any toxic effect.
Mode Of Action
How does it kill bacteria cells? This is what is called
the macroeffect. What we know is that allicin disrupts the cell membrane
biosynthesis. It inhibits DNA polymerases and inhibits RNA synthesis.
So it is disrupting the whole enzyme system that is responsible for cell
Allicin also destroys the SH groups in proteins. These
sulfur containing groups are found in thiol enzymes which are a large
part of the physiology of lower organisms- bacteria, virus, and protozoa.
Antibiotics tend to target a single metabolic pathway in an organism and
take apart this pathway. Now as far as the bacteria is concerned a single
gene mutation with just the random mutations that go on all the time,
can often find an alternative way from getting from A to B. When an antibiotic
destroys that ability from getting from A to B the cell is killed.
So when this cell has a successful mutation then resistance
is accomplished. When you take something like an allicin which is affecting
groups which are found in many enzymes in the lower organisms, they are
But these enzymes are building proteins that go into
the cell membrane, or proteins are part of other enzyme systems that are
then used in the DNA polymerase and the RNA polymerase synthesis system.
And they are the building blocks of all sorts of proteins. Now it is impossible
for the bacteria to spontaneously find its way around all these different
enzyme systems and to find alternative ways of doing it. So they can't
get resistance with natural compounds like allicin.
Resistance to the allicin in garlic can't be induced.
When you think about it, is makes sense for as far as a plant is concerned
it just needs a simple mechanism which will kill microorganisms without
allowing them to develop resistance for if they develop resistance them
the plant will be destroyed. It would no longer be around after 10,000
years. Garlic is around so there are no resistant pathogens that have
developed that are resistant to allicin.
Why Doesn't The Garlic
Harm Mammalian Cells
If you take a mammalian cell, we don't use S-H compounds
extensively used. Additionally S-H group can be protected. Glutathione
is known to protect groups. You can demonstrate this in a test tube. You
can take a sulfur containing enzyme. This mechanism of protection is the
same for the lactic acid organisms. So they have developed the same protective
mechanisms. If this was not so then in the garlic eating nations they
would have eradicated their lactic acid bacteria long ago, which is certainly
not the case.
So in summary with Allicin
you have a broad spectrum of activity against bacteria, virus, and protozoa.
No resistance can be built
up so it is an absolutely safe product to use.
It has no effect on mammalian
cells, and no effect on the lactic acid bacteria.