Antioxidant activity of allicin, an active principle in garlic

Mol Cell Biochem. 1995 Jul 19;148(2):183-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00928155.


Garlic has been claimed to be effective against diseases, in the pathophysiology of which oxygen free radicals (OFRs) have been implicated. Effectiveness of garlic could be due to its ability to scavenge OFRs. However, its antioxidant activity is not known. We investigated the ability of allicin (active ingredient of garlic) contained in the commercial preparation Garlicin to scavenge hydroxyl radicals (.OH) using high pressure liquid chromatographic (HPLC) method. .OH was generated by photolysis of H2O2 (1.25-10 mumoles/ml) with ultraviolet light and was trapped with salicylic acid which is hydroxylated to produce .OH adduct products 2,3- and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHBA). H2O2 produced a concentration-dependent .OH as estimated by .OH adduct products 2,3-DHBA and 2,5-DHBA. Allicin equivalent in Garlicin (1.8, 3.6, 7.2, 14.4, 21.6, 28.8 and 36 micrograms) produced concentration-dependent decreases in the formation of 2,3-DHBA and 2,5-DHBA. The inhibition of formation of 2,3-DHBA and 2,5-DHBA with 1.8 micrograms/ml was 32.36% and 43.2% respectively while with 36.0 micrograms/ml the inhibition was approximately 94.0% and 90.0% respectively. The decrease in .OH adduct products was due to scavenging of .OH and not by scavenging of formed .OH adduct products. Allicin prevented the lipid peroxidation of liver homogenate in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that allicin scavenges .OH and Garlicin has antioxidant activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Free Radical Scavengers / pharmacology*
  • Garlic / chemistry*
  • Gentisates*
  • Hydroxybenzoates / metabolism
  • Hydroxyl Radical / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Malondialdehyde / analysis
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Rabbits
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Salicylates / metabolism
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Sulfinic Acids / isolation & purification
  • Sulfinic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Tablets


  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Gentisates
  • Hydroxybenzoates
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Salicylates
  • Sulfinic Acids
  • Tablets
  • Hydroxyl Radical
  • allicin
  • Malondialdehyde
  • 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid
  • Salicylic Acid
  • 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid