Most people have read or heard about the amazing health benefits that regular consumption of garlic can bring with it. This illustrious member of the allium family – which also includes onions, chives, leeks and shallots – has a proven track record when it comes to preventing heart disease and strengthening the immune system against the cold or flu. It has also been shown to be effective at reducing cancer risk. This new study just coming out, however, looked at garlic and its effects on a very serious form of brain cancer called glioblastoma and what they found was pretty amazing.
What is Glioblastoma?
Chances are, you have probably never heard the term “glioblastoma” before unless you or a family member has been unfortunate enough to contract it. It is the term given to the most aggressive form of brain tumor in humans. It effects the glial cells of the brain and is responsible for half of all functional tissue brain tumors and a fifth of intracranial tumors.
The treatment and prognosis for this form of tumor is not good. Patients typically undergo some combination of radiation and chemotherapy, but this does damage to both cancerous and healthy brain cells. The median survival rate after this surgery is 15 months, and around 90% of all patient die with 10-15 years after treatment. In short, finding better treatment alternatives for these patients is incredibly important.
What New Research Shows
Fortunately, new research is emerging that for the first time looked at the sulfuric compounds in garlic and what possible effect they could have on the development and progress of glioblastoma. For the study, they isolate three separate sulfur-containing compounds (called DAS, DADS and DATS) that are active in garlic and studied their interaction with human glioblastoma cells.
They found that one of the compounds, known as sulphone hydroxyl, was actually able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and that all three of the compounds were shown to be capable of eradicating the cancer cells, though the compound DATS proved to be the most efficient at accomplishing this.
This research has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer, and scientists are hopeful that this study might lead to further research and even to the development of a noninvasive and more natural form of cancer therapy that will eliminate cancer cells while leaving healthy brain cells intact – and giving brain cancer patients a better quality of life. One scientist involved in this research does indeed think that these discoveries will eventually translate into better treatment options for people with this devastating form of cancer.
In short, this study proves yet again that in some ways, modern science is only just not beginning to catch up with what traditional healers all around the world long have known that the best medicines for a whole array of human ailments, even the most serious, are plant-based, holistic and natural.
More Entries by Rosalina