Garlic (Allium sativum) as an antidote or a protective agent against natural or chemical toxicities: A comprehensive update review.
Phytother Res. 2020 Feb 18. Epub 2020 Feb 18. PMID: 32068926
Garlic (Allium sativum, Liliaceae) is used widely as a spice and medicinal herb not only in its native region (Central Asia and northeastern Iran) but also all around the world. Garlic has abundance chemical compounds such as allicin, alliin, S-allyl cysteines, thiacremonone, diallyl-disulfide, diallylsulfide, and others. This medicinal plant and its constituents offer a lot of benefits including free-radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, anticholesterolemic, anti-gastric ulcer, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antioxidant properties. Garlic also modulates the activity of several metabolizing enzymes. This review summarizes various in vitro and animal studies on the protective effects of garlic against natural and chemical toxicities. It has been shown that garlic and its major components can ameliorate the toxicity of different agents in brain, kidney, blood, liver, embryo, spleen, pancreas, heart, reproductive system in part through radical scavenging, antioxidant effect, reducing lipid peroxidation, anti-inflammatory, chelating agent, cytoprotective activities, increase protein synthesis in damaged tissues, suppressing apoptosis, modulation of p53, phosphoinositide 3-kinase, Akt, nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2, antioxidant responsive element, p38 MAPK, inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2, cytosolic phospholipases A2, cleaved-caspase-9, cleaved-caspase-3 Bcl-2, Bcl-2-associated X, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, NF-jB, nuclear factor-kappaB signaling pathways and cytochrome P450 enzymes. With controlled clinical trials, garlic may be introduced as a universal antidote or protective plant against many toxic agents.