Due to a higher rate of cell division, cancer cells have increased metabolism and thus higher energy requirement. According to a study published in the Journals of Cancer, chemical agents present found in garlic can produce free radicals and reactive oxygen species in the brain cancer cells.
Reactive oxygen species are toxic to cancer cells because they induce apoptosis or programmed death of cells by inhibiting cell division process. Garlic is a nature gifted remedy. People of the Mediterranean region used to have plenty of garlic in their diet and thus enjoyed a healthy life. Researchers have also given special attention to this miracle food item.
Traditional Brain Cancer Treatment
Glioblastoma is the most commonly occurring and most invasive malignant tumor of the brain. This type of tumor originates from glial cells of the brain and accounts for 52% of all the brain tissue tumors and 20% of all the tumors occurring in the head.
Due to highly invasive nature, surgery is not the best option for glioblastoma. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be considered for its treatment. However, both of these options damage normal cells in addition to cancer cells. Most patients die within 15 months of diagnosis without treatment.
Despite standard chemotherapy, about 90% patients die within 10 to 15 years of treatment.
Effects of garlic on brain tumor cells
Garlic contains organo-sulphur compounds that can damage cells of glioblastoma without affecting normal cells. Due to the promising effects, organo-sulphur compounds are a new hope to the researchers that might emerge as a potential non-invasive treatment option for glioblastoma.
A team of professors of Neuroscience found three pure organo-sulphur compounds in garlic- DAS, DADS and DATS. According to a study published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, these compounds can enter glioblastoma cells and interfere with their metabolism. Although all of these compounds are effective in killing brain cancer cells, the most potent one is DATS.
Due to the presence of sulphone hydroxyl ions in garlic, the active ingredients can penetrate the blood-brain barrier and enter brain tissue. The study is a breakthrough in the field of brain cancer treatment and scientists are again beginning to recognize the importance of plant-based medicine for the treatment of various types of brain cancers including glioblastoma.
Allyl sulphur compounds of garlic induce selective toxicity to the malignant cells. Normal cells are not injured by these compounds, thus leaving minimum side effects. The principal mechanism of these compounds involves the formation of free radicals and reactive oxygen species.
Allyl sulphur compounds also interfere with the metabolism of a DNA-protein called histone. Due to the low molecular weight of organic sulphur compounds present in garlic, they can easily pass through the cell membrane and enter brain tissue. These natural compounds are better tolerated than artificial formulas and thus gaining trust if medical professionals.
For optimum effect, we should peel off a small piece of garlic and keep it at room temperature for about 15 minutes. During this delay, an enzyme known as alliinase is released from garlic that is essential for the formation of organo-sulphur compounds.
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