Effect of purified allicin, the major ingredient of freshly crushed garlic, on cancer cell proliferation. Academic Article uri icon


  • The diverse health benefit effects of garlic include its anticancer activity. However, very little is known about such activity of isolated garlic compounds, among which allicin (the major ingredient of crushed garlic) has been the least studied. The aim of this work was to determine whether pure allicin exhibits the antiproliferative effect reported for garlic in in vitro models. Allicin, but not its precursor alliin, inhibited proliferation of human mammary (MCF-7), endometrial (Ishikawa), and colon (HT-29) cancer cells (50% inhibitory concentration = 10-25 μM). Two of three tested primary lines of human fibroblasts displayed a similar response to allicin (50% inhibitory concentration = 16-40 μM), whereas the third line was almost unaffected by this compound. The pure allicin and water extract of garlic powder with equivalent allicin concentrations displayed a similar potency, suggesting that allicin is responsible for the antiproliferative effect of the extract. The growth inhibition was accompanied by...

publication date

  • January 1, 2000