Numerous scientific studies link consumption of Allium vegetables - garlic, onion, chives, leek, etc. - to lower risks of many threats to our well-being. A huge family of sulphur compounds is largely responsible for the pungent smell and benefits of Allium vegetables. GNLD’s Garlic Allium Complex is a state-of-the-art, whole-food supplement delivering standardized amounts of allicin, the key sulphur compound in garlic, plus other beneficial Allium nutrients. Our Targeted Delivery Technology insures that bioactive allicin reaches the intestines, where it delivers optimal benefit.
Garlic then have the power to save from death. Bear with it though it maketh unsavoury breath.
- Sir John Harington in “The Englishman’s Doctor”
No one is neutral about garlic. While some treasure it for its pungent aroma, others detest it for the same reason. The “stinking rose” is actually a member of the sweet-smelling lily family. It belongs to the Allium genus, an acrid-smelling group of vegetables whose odour derives from beneficial sulphur compounds. Allium vegetables include:
Despite their ability to produce socially undesirable effects (bad breath, belching, flatulence, etc.) Allium vegetables - especially garlic - have been prized throughout the ages by virtually every culture as foods, spices and traditional folk remedies.
Alliums have always been a natural part of the diet. In ancient Egypt, Pharaohs were entombed with garlic and onions to ensure well-seasoned meals in the afterlife. The slaves who built the pyramids ate garlic to prevent debilitating conditions and to bestow strength and endurance. In fact, Allium vegetables were among the items the Israelites missed upon their exodus: “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt so freely, and the pumpkins and the melons, and the leeks, onions, and garlic.” (Numbers 11:5).
Whatever global fame Allium vegetables have earned in the kitchen, has been far surpassed in other areas. Allium vegetables have a complicated chemistry and, as a result, a huge range of effects. The ability of onions to induce tears is just one example.
Throughout history, people worldwide - the Chinese, Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, Koreans, Romans, Babylonians and Vikings - have used Allium vegetables to enhance well-being: Today contemporary scientists have subjected Allium vegetables to serious scrutiny. In 1992 the U.S. National Cancer Institute embarked upon a major five-year effort to study garlic and other foods that are naturally rich in substances which combat negative influences on our well-being.
Scientists have yet to credit a single compound as responsible for the benefits of Allium vegetables. Garlic, for instance, contains more than 200 different compounds! Of vitamins and minerals, garlic supplies high levels of phosphorus, potassium, sulphur and zinc; moderate measures of selenium and vitamins A and C; and lesser amounts of calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, manganese and B-vitamins. Alliums also contain flavonoids and other antioxidants, essential oils and fatty acids, amino acids, pectin, carbohydrates and sulphur compounds (notably allicin). Allicin alone reacts with oxygen to produce more than 70 sulphur compounds!
Have you ever wondered why an intact garlic clove or onion bulb is relatively odourless compared to the diced vegetable? The answer is in the chemistry!
In garlic, unbroken cloves contain a stable, odourless chemical called alliin, which has no known biological activity. Cutting or crushing garlic, however, causes the release of an enzyme called allinase, which quickly converts odourless alliin to allicin, the smelly sulphur compound that gives garlic its characteristic scent and taste.
To reap the benefits of Allium vegetables, you have to eat them consistently and in quantities that can cause painful or socially undesirable consequences - bloating, flatulence, heartburn, belching and bad breath. Allicin, the key to many of garlic’s benefits, is what makes garlic smell. But sometimes it’s hard to take the good along with the bad. Why did Mother Nature produce such foul-smelling chemicals? Allicin protects garlic bulbs from decay and lacrimatory factor, the substance in cut onions that makes people cry, can irritate and repel animals. Scientists believe that these compounds confer a survival benefit to Allium plants.
The benefits of garlic and onions are well known. Yet many people avoid Alliums because they don’t like their taste or smell, don’t want garlic or onion breath, or reject these natural health treasures for other reasons. But those who turn up their noses at garlic and onions may be turning their backs on excellent benefits.
Those who do consume Allium vegetables or supplements may find they are not reaping full benefit. Aged garlic, for instance, contains only 5% of the active compounds in raw garlic. Cooked or deodorized garlic does not contain significant allicin and thus has little activity. In addition, crushed Allium vegetables or supplements without an enteric coating may fail to deliver much allicin.
You may have heard that if a garlic supplement doesn’t stink, it’s no good, as the lack of odour indicates that allicin, the compound responsible for garlic’s characteristic odour and many of its beneficial effects, is absent or inactive. This is not always the case. In fact, if a garlic supplement stinks a lot, it usually means that the chain reaction leading to the formation of allicin has already begun. In this case, allicin is unlikely to survive the stomach’s acidic environment and make it intact to the intestines, where it is targeted. On the other hand, any beneficial supplement that is odourless throughout the entire digestive tract lacks active allicin and as a result will not maximally benefit the body. As GNLD’s Garlic Allium Complex targets allicin to the intestines, the product avoids the problems of repeating or “garlic breath” while delivering bioactive compounds where they can most benefit the body.
How does GNLD use recent scientific breakthroughs and technical innovations to assure that Garlic Allium Complex delivers allicin? In a sophisticated process that has its origins in freeze-drying, water is gradually removed from Allium vegetables at a cool temperature. The remaining powder is rich in alliin (the odourless precursor required to form allicin) and allinase (the enzyme required to convert alliin to allicin). These compounds are tableted in an acid-stable enteric coating to protect the enzyme allinase from destruction by stomach acid. After the beneficial ingredients have passed safely to the alkaline environment of the intestines, the enteric coating dissolves and the contents make contact with water, which allows the allinase to convert alliin to allicin.
Every morning, after we do our yoga, we each take a clove of garlic, chop it up and swallow it whole.
- Sarah L. (age 104) and A. Elizabeth (age 102) Delany in their book Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years
Since Allium vegetables have been used throughout history as folk remedies, they are a natural subject of investigation for modern researchers. In the past century, more than 1,300 research articles have been written about garlic alone! This intense research effort has confirmed many health benefits of Allium vegetables, particularly with regard to heart disease, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal cancer and infectious diseases.