Garlic (Allium sativum L.) as an Ally in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2023 Jan 11;45(1):685-698. doi: 10.3390/cimb45010046.


For centuries, garlic (Allium sativum) has been used both as a traditional remedy for most health-related ailments and for culinary purposes. Current preclinical investigations have suggested that dietary garlic intake has beneficial health effects, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antiobesity, antidiabetic, antiallergic, cardioprotective, and hepatoprotective effects. Its therapeutic potential is influenced by the methods of use, preparation, and extraction. Of particular importance is the Aged Garlic Extract (AGE). During the aging process, the odorous, sour, and irritating compounds in fresh raw garlic, such as allicin, are naturally converted into stable and safe compounds that have significantly greater therapeutic effects than fresh garlic. In AGE, S-allylcysteine (SAC) and S-allylmercaptocysteine (SAMC) are the major water-soluble organosulfurized compounds (OSCs). SAC has been extensively studied, demonstrating remarkable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory capacities. Recently, AGE has been suggested as a promising candidate for the maintenance of immune system homeostasis through modulation of cytokine secretion, promotion of phagocytosis, and activation of macrophages. Since immune dysfunction plays an important role in the development and progress of various diseases, given the therapeutic effects of AGE, it can be thought of exploiting its immunoregulatory capacity to contribute to the treatment and prevention of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

Keywords: Allium sativum; aged garlic extract; allicin; cytokines; diseases; health benefits; inflammatory bowel disease; organosulfur compounds.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.