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Don't throw out old, sprouting garlic -- it has heart-healthy antioxidants

Date:
February 26, 2014
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
'Sprouted' garlic -- old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves -- is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. But scientists report that this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts. They found that garlic sprouted for five days had higher antioxidant activity than fresher, younger bulbs, and it had different metabolites, suggesting that it also makes different substances. Extracts from this garlic even protected cells in a laboratory dish from certain types of damage. "Therefore, sprouting may be a useful way to improve the antioxidant potential of garlic," they conclude.

Researchers found that garlic sprouted for five days had higher antioxidant activity than fresher, younger bulbs.
Credit: Oksana Churakova / Fotolia

"Sprouted" garlic -- old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves -- is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. But scientists are reporting in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts.

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Jong-Sang Kim and colleagues note that people have used garlic for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Today, people still celebrate its healthful benefits. Eating garlic or taking garlic supplements is touted as a natural way to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure and heart disease risk. It even may boost the immune system and help fight cancer. But those benefits are for fresh, raw garlic. Sprouted garlic has received much less attention. When seedlings grow into green plants, they make many new compounds, including those that protect the young plant against pathogens. Kim's group reasoned that the same thing might be happening when green shoots grow from old heads of garlic. Other studies have shown that sprouted beans and grains have increased antioxidant activity, so the team set out to see if the same is true for garlic.

They found that garlic sprouted for five days had higher antioxidant activity than fresher, younger bulbs, and it had different metabolites, suggesting that it also makes different substances. Extracts from this garlic even protected cells in a laboratory dish from certain types of damage. "Therefore, sprouting may be a useful way to improve the antioxidant potential of garlic," they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexandra Zakarova, Ji Yeon Seo, Hyang Yeon Kim, Jeong Hwan Kim, Jung-Hye Shin, Kye Man Cho, Choong Hwan Lee, Jong-Sang Kim. Garlic Sprouting Is Associated with Increased Antioxidant Activity and Concomitant Changes in the Metabolite Profile. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2014; 62 (8): 1875 DOI: 10.1021/jf500603v

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Don't throw out old, sprouting garlic -- it has heart-healthy antioxidants." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226101823.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2014, February 26). Don't throw out old, sprouting garlic -- it has heart-healthy antioxidants. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226101823.htm
American Chemical Society. "Don't throw out old, sprouting garlic -- it has heart-healthy antioxidants." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140226101823.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

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