Having a high metabolism, cancer cells need a lot of energy in order to grow faster. According to a report given by researchers in the journal Cancer, garlic compounds produce reactive oxygen species in brain cancer cells, that suffocate them to death with activation of multiple death cascades and blocking pathways the proliferation of brain tumors.
The reason for longevity on the Mediterranean region is the diet rich in garlic. This vegetable is the most powerful food and even science researches agree with this.
The most common and most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans is called Glioblatoma, which involves glial cells and accounting for 52% of all functional tissue brain tumor cases and 20% of all intracranial tumors.
The usual recommended and practiced treatments are chemotherapy and radiation, which unfortunately also damage healthy brain cells and offers a median survival rate of 15 months.
This disease also has a very high death rate. Namely, 90% of chemotherapy patients die within 10-15 years after treatment.
But, there is good news: for the first time, organo-sulfur compounds found in garlic have been identified as effective against glioblastoma, and may soon offer effective, non-invasive forms of cancer therapy without the deadly side effects associated with chemotherapy.
Namely, three pure organo-sulfur compounds (DAS, DADS, and DATS) from garlic and the interaction with human glioblastoma cells were studied by Swapan Ray, Ph.D.(MUSC Neurosciences/Neurology associate professor), Naren Banik, Ph.D. (MUSC Neurosciences/Neurology professor), and Arabinda Das, Ph.D. (MUSC Neurosciences/Neurology post-doctoral fellow). The sulphone hydroxyl ions in garlic can actually penetrate the blood-brain barrier.
It’s been demonstrated that all three compounds are effective in eliminating brain cancer cells, and DATS proved to be the most effective.
“This research highlights the great promise of plant-originated compounds as natural medicine for controlling the malignant growth of human brain tumor cells,” Ray said.
There is optimism in Ray and Banik when it comes to possible applications of their discovery to patient care.
“Our basic studies will eventually be translated to clinics for patient care. We may have to wait several years before its application to humans, but the significance of this discovery is enormous,” Banik said. “The benefits from this research to brain cancer patients will bring great satisfaction to researchers and clinicians who are trying to find a successful treatment for this devastating cancer.”
In order for maximum tumor inhibition to be achieved, allicin needs to be broken down. Allyl sulfur compounds preferentially suppress neoplastic over non-neoplastic cells (Sakamoto, Lawson, and Milner 1997).
It is becoming clearer and clearer that the way allyl sulfurs respond is related to their ability to form free radicals rather than to serve as an antioxidant (Antosiewicz et al. 2008). Allyl sulfurs could change things by influencing the genomic expression by affecting histone homeostasis.
Organo-sulfur compounds that are derived from garlic are small molecules that would not necessarily require complicated methods of delivery for treating brain tumor patients, while their natural origin would be way better than any other synthetic treatment.
In order to draw the maximum of any potential anti-cancer benefits from garlic,Ray suggests that it is best to peel a piece of fresh garlic and let it sit for fifteen minutes before eating it. Within these 15 minutes, the garlic will release enzyme (allinase) that produces the anti-cancer compounds.