Antioxidant assumptions flipped for garlic thiosulfinates

Jessie-May Morgan writes about a hot Chemical Science article for Chemistry World

Garlic bulbs

Garlic is often called the world's oldest know medicine © Shutterstock

New mechanistic investigations at the interface of chemistry and biology reveal thiosulfinates of garlic and petiveria are not the superstars of the antioxidant world they were once thought to be.

Allicin, a thiosulfinate from garlic, well-known for its potent antimicrobial activity, is a popular molecule under investigation for its medicinal potential to treat diseases such as cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. It has long been hoped that its biocidal properties would translate into therapeutic effects in human cells. Previous studies carried out in organic solution indicated that allicin and petivericin, an analogous thiosulfinate derived from the South American plant Petiveria alliacea, were potent radical-trapping antioxidants because they decompose to give sulfenic acids that reduced free radicals and inhibited the undesirable oxidation of important biomolecules. Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in Chemical Science:
The medicinal thiosulfinates from garlic and Petiveria are not radical-trapping antioxidants in liposomes and cells, but lipophilic analogs are
Bo Li, Feng Zheng, Jean-Philippe R. Chauvin and Derek A. Pratt 
Chem. Sci., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02270C, Edge Article

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