Previous studies on garlic’s health effects have produced mixed results. For example, some studies of garlic have found few benefits, but others have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.
But researchers say if further studies confirm these findings, testing the ability to produce hydrogen sulfide may be used to standardize garlic supplements to produce greater health benefits.
Finding Garlic’s Effect
In the study, researcher Gloria Benavides, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues analyzed the effects of juice extracted from supermarket garlic on human red blood cells in the lab.
Further tests showed the key chemical reaction occurred at the membranes of the red blood cells, but a small amount of hydrogen sulfide was also produced inside the cells.
Few plants other than garlic contain the building blocks of hydrogen sulfide to provide these health benefits, and researchers say garlic is the only one commonly used in the human diet.
Written by: Omojo Emeje