The Power of Garlic
June 24/Biotech Law Weekly -- According to a U.S. study, "Sodium nitrite (NaNO2), a food color fixative and preservative, contributes to carcinogenesis. We investigated the protective role of garlic oil against NaNO2-induced abnormalities in metabolic biochemical parameters and oxidative status in male albino rats."

"NaNO2 treatment for a period of three months induced a significant increase in serum levels of glucose, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bilirubin, urea and creatinine as well as hepatic AST and ALT. However, significant decrease was recorded in liver ALP activity, glycogen content, and renal urea and creatinine levels. In parallel, a significant increase in lipid peroxidation, and a decrease in glutathione content and catalase activity were observed in the liver and the kidney. However, garlic oil supplementation showed a remarkable amelioration of these abnormalities," wrote H.A. Hassan and colleagues, Louisiana State University.

The researchers concluded, "Our data indicate that garlic is a phytoantioxidant with powerful chemopreventive properties against chemically induced oxidative stress."

Hassan and colleagues published the results of their research in International Journal of Biological Sciences ("In Vivo Evidence of Hepato- and Reno-protective Effect of Garlic Oil Against Sodium Nitrite-induced Oxidative Stress." International Journal of Biological Sciences, 2009;5(3):249-255).

For additional information, contact A. Ouhtit, Louisiana State University, Health Science Center, Stanley S Scott Cancer Center, Dept. of Pathology, CSRB Bldg, Room 748C, 533 Bolivar St., New Orleans, LA 70112.

From the July 6, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition