Garlic Supplements Available in marke

Garlic Supplements Available in marke

Garlic Supplements Available in market

The four main commercially produced garlic supplements are 

  • garlic powder
  • aged garlic extract
  • garlic oil
  • garlic oil-macerate

They are available in pharmacies, online and in certain supermarkets and health-food shops. 

Which you choose will depend on the health benefits you are seeking, since different production methods result in different ranges and levels of bioactive compounds. While the composition of garlic powder is closer to that of raw garlic than any other supplement, garlic powder may nevertheless contain less than half the allicin present in the equivalent amount of fresh garlic. 

The amounts and potency of the compounds in garlic supplements often remain unclear. Also, the amounts of a particular compound in different brands of a particular type of supplement can be very different. In addition, some products are not standardized for any particular bioactive compound, so you cannot be sure how much of that compound they contain. 

Some manufacturers add herbs such as mistletoe or hawthorn to their garlic supplements. Some add parsley in the probably forlorn hope that it will overcome secondary garlic odor, and others add other substances, such as cayenne (to expand arteries) and selenium or vitamins (hoping this might help to prevent or fight cancer). 

Lastly, pure allicin is available in various formulations. 

Garlic powder 

Commercially produced garlic-powder supplements usually come as capsules, but are also available as tablets or ointment. 

Garlic powder is made by slicing, drying and grinding fresh raw garlic cloves. It takes 1–1.2kg/2lb 4oz–2lb 6oz to produce 450g/1lb garlic powder. 

The range of constituents in a well-produced garlic-powder supplement is as in whole raw garlic. But the processing can alter their amounts and proportions. 

The alliinase in cloves remains safe but temporarily inactive (because of the lack of water), provided the temperature stays below 50–60°C/122– 140°F. Rehydrating a garlic-powder supplement with water activates its alliinase, so it converts alliin to allicin. But alliinase is destroyed by normal stomach acidity. So if you particularly want allicin to be produced and to survive your stomach acid (so you can benefit from allicin and its derivatives), you need to do one of the following: 

  • Empty garlic powder from a capsule into a glass of water, stir and leave to stand: the longer you leave it, up to 90 minutes, the more allicin is produced. When you drink the garlic-powder-containing water, the water can dilute your stomach acid.
  • Drink a glass of water to dilute your stomach acid, then swallow an enteric-coated product (see below). 

Note that some manufacturers treat garlic powder with sulfur dioxide to reduce discoloration, and with hydrogen peroxide, salt solution or irradiation to eradicate bacterial contamination. These processes may alter the range and amounts of sulfur compounds. 

Enteric-coated tablets 

The majority of garlic-powder tablets are enteric-coated – meaning their manufactured ‘shell’ protects their contents from stomach acid. Historically, the Assumption was that such a coating would break only when the tablet reached the intestine, and that the garlic powder would then rehydrate so its alliinase could act on alliin to produce allicin. This gave doubt to claims for a product’s ‘allicin potential’. But the reality is almost different from assumptions, because: 

  • too little portion may be present in the garlic powder;
  • enteric coating may dissolve early from expectation allowing stomach acid to destroy the alliinase;
  • an enteric coating may not dissolve in the intestine;
  • intestinal juice inhibits allicin production by 45%
  • intestinal cells may break down allicin

Test-tube experiments that mimic conditions in the stomach can predict allicin release, but few manufacturers provide such information. Also, this figure does not reflect what happens in original life: one study found that three in four types of enteric-coated product released less than 15 per cent of the expected amount of allicin. 

garlic powder or oil is put into gelatin capsules. However, stomach acid breaks down gelatin and prevents alliinase from converting alliin into allicin. 

Garlic extracts 

These are usually made by soaking whole or sliced garlic cloves in alcohol and water. The solution is then concentrated and can be dried, ground into a powder and formed into tablets. 

Garlic extracts mainly contain water-soluble sulfur compounds, such as S-allyl cysteine and S-allyl mercaptocysteine. These two compounds are the least odorous of garlic’s sulfur compounds. Garlic extracts may also contain allixin, S-1-propenyl cysteine and fructosyl arginine – a potent antioxidant not present in raw or cooked garlic.

Garlic extracts can be standardized according to their content of S-allyl cysteine. 

Aged garlic extract is made by soaking garlic cloves in alcohol and water for up to 20 months. This allows the ongoing conversion of gamma glutamyl cysteines to S-allyl cysteine and S-allyl mercaptocysteine. Aged garlic extract is also have high content of in flavonoids such as allixin, and in fructosyl arginine. It also contains the antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase. 

However, it contain extremely little alliin, no active alliinase, little allicin, and only traces of allicin derivatives. Indeed, its total content of sulfur compounds is only one tenth of that of fresh or cooked garlic. 

Manufacturers sometimes enrich aged garlic extract with other health promoting compounds, such as vitamins B or E, co-enzyme Q, cayenne, hawthorn or fish oil or its acids (EPA and DHA), yeast, kelp, whey or digestive enzymes. 

Steam-distilled garlic oil 

This is very old type of commercial garlic supplement and is usually sold in capsules called Perles. To produce garlic oil, steam is passed through crushed fresh raw garlic cloves, and the oil-rich steam condensed to form a reddish-brown oil. 

Steam-distilled garlic oil differs in several ways from garlic’s essential oil. It consists mainly of allicinderived sulfides, many of which have a strong odour. In particular, it is rich in diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide. While the amounts of these substances are vastly greater than in raw garlic or garlic powder, studies suggest that they are not as bioactive. 

It takes about 450g/1lb garlic to produce 1g/just over OZ steam distilled oil. It is therefore very expensive. Supplement manufacturers generally sell it in capsules, perhaps diluted with a cheaper vegetable oil. The concentration of garlic oil in the average finished product is often as low as 1 to 2 per cent. 

Ether-extracted garlic oil 

Extracting garlic’s oil with ether produces an oil that contains volatile oil soluble sulfur compounds formed by the conversion of allicin and other thiosulfates. Compared with steam-distilled garlic oil, this oil contains nine times as much of the vinyl dithiins and allyl sulfides and four times as much ajoene. 

A medium (4g/just under oz) clove of fresh raw garlic produces only about 4mg of this oil. 

Garlic oil-macerate 

Garlic oil-macerate is made by chopping or crushing (macerating) garlic, mixing it with vegetable oil, then leaving the mixture for one day at room temperature before straining out the pieces of garlic. The resulting garlic oil-macerate is put into capsules to create garlic Perles. 

During manufacture, some of the garlic’s alliin is converted to allicin. This quickly converts into other sulfur compounds such as sulfides, ajoene and vinyl dithiins. Garlic oil-macerate is the only garlic supplement that contains significant amounts of ajoene and vinyl dithiins, and much of its bioactivity is thought to be due to the vinyl dithiins. 

However, garlic oil-macerate contains much lower levels of diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide than does steam-distilled garlic oil. 

Low-odour or odour-free garlic tablets or capsules 

Enteric-coated products are ‘low-odour’ in that they prevent primary garlic breath but not the secondary sort. Odour-free garlic is produced by preventing alliinase from working, so that allicin and its derivatives cannot be produced. This can be done by:

  • exposing garlic to fumaric acid;
  • physically separating alliinase from garlic
  • freeze-drying garlic mixed with cyclodextrin; 
  • heating garlic; 
  • producing garlic tablets without an enteric coating, so gastric acid destroys alliinase; or 
  • mixing crushed garlic with yeasts that break down allicin into nonsmelly sulfur compounds. 

However, such derivative mostly lack the health benefits of allicin and its derivatives. 

Timed-release garlic tablets or capsules 

These are made in a way that delays the release of their contents. The aim is for each dose to have a longer effect. 


Purified stabilized allicin is available as capsules, liquid and cream. 

The suggested daily dose of powdered allicin in capsules is 3.6–5.4mg, which equal to the potential allicin yield from one medium clove of garlic. 

Other garlic products 

These include garlic syrup , garlic tincture and garlic juice. For information on which garlic supplement is best suited for which common ailment.

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