Recent Research Progress on Garlic ( dà suàn) as a Potential Anticarcinogenic Agent Against Major Digestive Cancers

J Tradit Complement Med. 2012 Jul;2(3):192-201. doi: 10.1016/s2225-4110(16)30099-2.


Garlic ( dà suàn; the bulb of Allium sativum), bestowed with an array of organosulfur compounds finds its application in treating many ailments including cardiovascular problems, common cold, bacterial and fungal infections and cancer. Numerous epidemiological evidences document the beneficial effects of various bioactive organosulfur compounds of garlic against different types of cancer. Studies involving the animal and cell models indicate garlic bioactive compounds could be effective in treating all the stages of cancer. This review gives an update on the recent pre-clinical and clinical trials, carried out to evaluate the efficacy of various garlic bioactive compounds along with the mechanism of action pertaining to major digestive cancers including liver, gastric and colorectal cancers. The major anti-carcinogenic mechanisms are caspase dependent and/or independent induction of apoptosis, anti-proliferative, anti-metastasis, anti-oxidant and immunomodulative properties. Form the clinical trials an increase in the garlic consumption of 20 g/day reduced the risk of gastric and colorectal cancer. In summary, increased uptake of garlic in diet may prevent the incidence of digestive cancers.

Keywords: Anticarcinogenic agent; Colorectal cancer; Garlic; Gastric cancer; Liver cancer.

Publication types

  • Review