Black garlic (BG), a product of aged raw garlic, is gaining recognition in the scientific community for its potential therapeutic properties. A recent review in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences explored the bioactive compounds of BG, emphasizing its potential advantages over traditional garlic. Garlic, while known for its health benefits, has limitations due to its intense flavor, smell, and potential toxicity. BG, however, offers a more palatable alternative with enhanced bioactive compounds.
The aging process of BG significantly changes its physicochemical properties, resulting in a higher concentration of antioxidants. Its enhanced composition is associated with numerous health benefits, including anti-cancer, anti-proliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects. The antioxidative capacity of BG is primarily due to its enriched content of phenols and flavonoids, essential in combating harmful reactive oxygen species in the body.
Interestingly, the method of preparation significantly affects the antioxidative efficacy of black garlic. For instance, water-based extracts tend to exhibit higher antioxidant activities. This variability highlights the importance of processing methods in determining the health benefits of black garlic.
Key compounds in black garlic, such as pyruvate and SAC, have demonstrated their efficacy in suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines. This anti-inflammatory action extends across various models, effectively regulating blood sugar levels, reducing lipid peroxidation, and mitigating oxidative stress.
With ongoing research into the role of phytochemicals in cancer therapy, BG, with its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties, also shows promise in direct anti-cancer applications. However, the effects vary depending on the type of cancer, indicating the need for further research to understand its full therapeutic potential.