Garlic has been used medicinally across the globe for more than 5,000 years. References to this pungent herb have been found in the Bible and in ancient medical texts from Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, and India.
While many of these texts promoted garlic for its supposed ability to enhance strength and increase the capacity for work, it was also used by early physicians to treat a variety of ailments.
The compound credited for garlic’s benefits throughout the ages was allicin, which is produced when fresh garlic is chopped or crushed. But, although allicin appears to provide antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant benefits in test tube experiments, human trials haven’t shown the same results. This is likely because, when allicin reacts with blood, it oxidizes and quickly metabolizes before it can do any good.
Because of this chemical instability, there are no clinical trials showing that allicin is bioavailable or beneficial to human health. In one study, participants ate 25 grams (10 cloves) of fresh garlic that had been crushed to provide a large amount of allicin. After examining blood and urine samples from each participant, the researchers found that no allicin or the 16 compounds related to allicin were present from one to 24 hours after consumption.
What’s more, research shows that most garlic supplements don’t actually contain ANY bioavailable allicin. If traditional garlic supplements don’t deliver allicin to the body, or if allicin can’t do what’s promised, what makes Aged Garlic Extract so effective?
What is S-allyl cysteine (SAC)
Wakunaga’s proprietary aging process teases out compounds in garlic other than allicin that have demonstrated an array of health benefits. The most active and abundant compound in Aged Garlic Extract is S-allyl cysteine (SAC), a safe, water-soluble organosulfur compound. Unlike allicin, SAC is stable and extremely bioavailable. In fact, after taking Aged Garlic Extract, SAC is quickly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and has nearly 100% bioavailability. Once absorbed, SAC is metabolized into the antioxidant N-acetyl-SAC. A 2012 study that appeared in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity reported that SAC was detected in several types of tissue throughout the body up to eight hours after a single dose.
Because SAC is a powerful antioxidant that prevents oxidation in the body, it has been shown to provide beneficial anti-aging properties and the ability to support a variety of bodily systems, including cardiovascular, immune, and neurological health when combined with a healthy lifestyle. What’s more, some research suggest that SAC may be an anti-inflammatory agent that further supports good health.
While SAC is the primary compound in Aged Garlic Extract, it also contains other important non-sulfur compounds like allixin and saponins. Recent studies have found that these compounds also make important contributions to Aged Garlic Extract’s health benefits. All together, the unique chemical profile of Aged Garlic Extract makes it a smart addition to the quest for a healthier life.
This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
Colin-González AL, Santana RA, Silva-Islas CA, et al. The antioxidant mechanism underlying the Aged Garlic Extract- and S-allylcysteine-induced protection. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2012;2012:907162.
Chauhan NB and Mehla J. Ameliorative Effects of Nutraceuticals in Neurological Disorders in Bioactive Nutraceuticals and Dietary Supplements in Neurological and Brain Disease, 2015.