Garlic (Allium sativum L., Liliaceae) was investigated for its potential to prevent the accumulation of lead or cadmium, major environmental pollutants, and to reduce their toxic effects in rats. The oral feeding of minced fresh garlic during intraperitoneal injection of lead acetate or cadmium chloride, daily for 6 weeks significantly decreased the accumulation of these toxic metals and prevented the metal sensitive biochemical alterations in blood, liver and kidney. The ability of garlic to provide glutathione, biosynthesize metallothionein or similar protein, and its antioxidant properties appear to protect against potential oxidative damage to tissues by lead or cadmium. The regular intake of garlic may be beneficial in reducing the toxic effects of these heavy metals in the exposed population.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science
- Drug Discovery
- Complementary and alternative medicine