Garlic (Allium sativum L.), a popular spice, has been used for decades in treating several medical conditions. Although Allicin, an active ingredient of garlic has been extensively studied on carcinogen-induced hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress in rats (Rattus norvegicus), no systematic study on the beneficial effects of generic aged garlic and specific aged garlic extract-Kyolic has been done. The present study involves rats fed chronically with two liver carcinogens, p-dimethylaminoazobenzene and phenobarbital, to produce hepatotoxicity. The aged garlic extract was characterized by UV-spectra, FTIR, HPLC and GC-MS. Biochemical and pathophysiological tests were performed by keeping suitable controls at four fixation intervals, namely, 30, 60, 90, and 120 days, utilizing several widely accepted toxicity biomarkers. Compared to the controls, remarkable elevation in the activities of lactate dehydrogenase, gamma glutamyl transferase and decline in catalase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase were observed in the carcinogen fed rats. Daily administration of aged garlic extract, could favorably modulate the elevated levels of various toxicity biomarkers including serum triglyceride, creatinine, urea, bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen except total cholesterol. It also altered the levels of blood glucose, HDL-cholesterol, albumin, AST, ALT, and hemoglobin contents in carcinogen intoxicated rats, indicating its protective potential against hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress in the experimental rats. Down-regulation of Bcl-2 and p53 proteins caused cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in garlic fed group. Kyolic exhibited additional benefits by arresting cell viability of cancer cells. This study would thus validate the use of aged garlic extract in the treatment of diseases causing liver toxicity including hepatocarcinoma.
Keywords: Aged garlic extract; blood profile; carcinogens; hepatotoxicity; oxidative stress; toxicity biomarkers.