Researchers have found that allicin, a chemical found in
garlic that gives it its flavor, could be used to fight cancer.
A previous study also found that allicin can fight MRSA, or
staph infection. Although allicin is toxic, it breaks down
quickly and harmlessly when eaten. The chemical is not present
in unbroken cloves of garlic, but is produced when the clove
It is through this natural chemical reaction that allicin
may be able to fight cancer. Researchers recreated the toxic
reaction between alliinase and alliin (the two components
that covert to allicin) at tumor sites by using an antibody
that had been programmed to recognize tumor cells. The antibody
was bound to alliinase and injected into the bloodstream to
find cancer cells.
Alliin was also injected, and when the two components come
together to form allicin, the reaction penetrates and kills
the tumor cells.
Researchers say the finding is encouraging, and believe the
method could work for most types of cancers as long as an
antibody could be designed to recognize different types of
News December 31, 2003