Bioactive compounds and biological functions of garlic (allium sativum L.)

Ao Shang, Shi Yu Cao, Xiao Yu Xu, Ren You Gan*, Guo Yi Tang, Harold Corke, Vuyo Mavumengwana, Hua Bin Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

432 Scopus citations


Garlic (Allium sativum L.) is a widely consumed spice in the world. Garlic contains diverse bioactive compounds, such as allicin, alliin, diallyl sulfide, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, ajoene, and S-allyl-cysteine. Substantial studies have shown that garlic and its bioactive constituents exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, immunomodulatory, cardiovascular protective, anticancer, hepatoprotective, digestive system protective, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, neuroprotective, and renal protective properties. In this review, the main bioactive compounds and important biological functions of garlic are summarized, highlighting and discussing the relevant mechanisms of actions. Overall, garlic is an excellent natural source of bioactive sulfur-containing compounds and has promising applications in the development of functional foods or nutraceuticals for the prevention and management of certain diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number246
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Anticancer
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antioxidant
  • Cardiovascular protection
  • Garlic
  • Health benefits
  • Organic sulfides
  • Phytochemicals


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