Sprouting Garlic Yields More Heart-Healthy Antioxidants

"Sprouted" garlicold garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the clovesis considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. However, this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts, according to a new study published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

DAEGU, Korea"Sprouted" garlicold garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the clovesis considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can. However, this type of garlic has even more heart-healthy antioxidant activity than its fresher counterparts, according to a new study published in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

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.

Korean researchers studied sprouted garlic to determine whether sprouting garlic would stimulate the production of various phytochemicals that improve health.

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 concluded.

Research has also determined garlic can be a powerful ally in preventing foodborne illness. Garlic has been found to be 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics at fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, the most common source of food-borne illness in the United States.

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