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What Is Garlic

First, let's take a look at a simplistic overview of how garlic works so we can understand what we're dealing with. A bulb of garlic, Allium Sativum L., has from four to 16 or more cloves, depending on variety. In each of these cloves are cells containing the main compound of garlic, an amino acid called Alliin. In separate cells an enzyme called alliinase resides. Whenever the cellular walls separating them are damaged, some of the enzyme comes into contact with the amino acid and this sets off a chemical reaction that causes sulfenic acid to form instantly. But sulfenic acid is unstable and reacts with itself and breaks down at a steady rate into another unstable compound called allicin, which has a strong antibiotic property. Allicin is the "magic bullet" in garlic from which its many benefits are derived but being unstable, it reacts with many things and breaks down into other compounds. Because garlic forms the active compound, allicin, steadily and in regular spurts rather than all at once it is better to let it set for a 15 minutes to an hour before using it in order to build up a greater amount of allicin. Allicin has a half-life in air of about 18 hours as it slowly deteriorates into other smelly, sulfurous things. Adding allicin to water somewhat stabilizes it and preserves its antibiotic properties and extends its half life to about two months.

Allicin from crushed raw garlic is a very strong antibiotic that kills MRSA staph on contact and staph cannot become immune to it because it kills bacteria by causing their cells to swell and burst rather than blocking chemical receptors like pharmaceutical antibiotics do. One study (Walton, Herbold&Lendegren 1936-1938 - Journal of Food Science) even showed that the vapors alone from nearby crushed raw garlic could kill bacteria up to eight inches away in four hours. Numerous studies have shown that allicin kills cancer cells on contact but that's a moot point because allicin is too volatile to exist long enough (half-life of less than one minute in blood) in the human body to do any good.

When you cook or otherwise heat garlic that has been crushed the allicin that has formed breaks down into some unstable smelly fat-soluble polysulfide compounds that break down into Di Allyl Tri- Sulfide (DATS for short) which breaks down into the much more stable Di Allyl Di-Sulfide (DADS for short). When you mix crushed raw garlic with alcohol or vinegar, water-soluble polyvinyl compounds are generated. When you eat these things, the water-soluble compounds are tiny and pass right through the walls of the stomach are are absorbed directly through the capillaries into the blood stream; the fat-soluble polysulfides are too large to pass through the openings in the capillary walls and so move to the bottom of the stomach where they pass out through the pylorus into the duodenum where they are readily absorbed into the lymphatic system, a fat-soluble environment. They circulate around the lymphatic system for a few hours and then are dumped into the largest vein, the vena cava and circulate in the blood stream.

While these garlic metabolites are in the lymphatic system they kill or inhibit cancer cells and strengthen the immune system. Once they get into the blood stream they go through the liver and help purify it and also force it to manufacture more HDL cholesterol which then reduces the amount of LDL cholesterol and reduces total cholesterol and reduces tri-glycerides. They also work their way through the lungs and that is when they cause secondary garlic breath and also a garlicky smell emanates from the sweat glands and pores. This is an unavoidable consequence of consuming garlic and is your way of knowing the fat-soluble garlic is circulating in your lymphatic system and the rest of the body, too. Good garlic pills with abundant fat-soluble compounds will produce such a garlicky aroma several hours later; the less the secondary odor, the less the fat-soluble garlic compounds assimilated and those are the compounds that strengthen the immune system and protect against infection and cancer.

The fat-soluble compounds have certain properties and the water-solubles have different properties. The water-solubles are odorless while the fat-solubles are very odorous, thanks to a compound called allyl mercaptan, which causes the garlicky odor. The odor-free main water-soluble compound is S Allyl Cysteine, SAC for short, while the main fat-solubles are the polysulfides that break down into their most stable form, the smelly Di-Allyl Di-Sulfide, DADS for short. DADS is somewhat antibiotic but much less so than allicin, has anti-tumor properties and strengthens the immune system by stimulating the body to build antibodies.

The odor-free water-soluble SAC is great for those in socially sensitive situations who still want the circulatory benefits of garlic but who really don't want the odor of the fat-solubles. In standard dosages SAC has almost no antibiotic or antitumor properties but has excellent circulatory system benefits including lowering blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and total cholesterol and inhibits clotting, preventing strokes and heart attacks. Garlic pickled in vinegar and Kyolic aged garlic extract are sources of SAC.

The fat-soluble DADS may be smelly but it is a strong immune system ally in the fight against cancer and also has very strong circulatory system benefits similar to SAC as well. In 1996 Penn State reported that Kazuko Sakamoto, a researcher in their College of Health and Human Development had discovered that DATS and DADS were shown to have success in inhibiting skin, breast and lung cancer cell lines with DATS ten times more effective than DADS. That's very important because the DATS and DADS from crushed cooked garlic circulate in the lymphatic system where they inhibit cancer cells spreading there. In addition, the Diallyl Disulfide in DADS is used by the immune system to manufacture antibodies, which are held together by a disulfide chemical bond, further strengthening the immune system.