Garlic Protects Against Heart Damage, Say Experts
Dhaka: Garlic may provide protection against heart damage as well as vampires, research suggests.
The pungent bulb contains an ingredient that has the power to prevent the destruction of heart tissue.
Scientists tested the compound, diallyl trisulphide, on mice at risk of heart damage from blocked coronary arteries. Treatment just before blood flow was restored reduced the amount of heart tissue damaged by 61%.
Diallyl trisulphide releases hydrogen sulphide, which has previously been shown to protect heart tissue in low concentrations.
Normally the unstable and volatile gas is difficult to deliver as a therapy.
The garlic compound acts on mitochondria, tiny "power houses" in cells that generate energy.
Study leader Professor David Lefer, from Emory University School of Medicine in the US, said: "Interruption of oxygen and blood flow damages mitochondria, and loss of mitochondrial integrity can lead to cell death. We see that diallyl sulphide can temporarily turn down the function of mitochondria, preserving them and lowering the production of reactive oxygen species."
Reactive oxygen species are destructive oxidising molecules that damage cells.
The findings were presented at the American Heart Association`s Scientific Sessions meeting in Orlando, Florida.
BDST: 1620 HRS, MAR 13, 2012