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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 401630, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/401630
Review Article

Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds

1Psychiatric Genetics Department, National Institute of Psychiatry, “Ramón de la Fuente”, Clinical Research Branch, Calzada México-Xochimilco 101, Colonia San Lorenzo Huipulco, Tlalpan, 14370 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
2Unidad de Genética de la Nutrición, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto Nacional de Pediatría, Avendia del Iman No. 1, Cuarto Piso, 04530 Mexico, DF, Mexico
3Departamento de Farmacobiología, CUCEI, Universidad de Guadalajara, Boulevard Marcelino García Barragán, No. 1421, Esq. Calzada Olímpica, 44430 Guadalajara, JAL, Mexico
4National Institute of Psychiatry, “Ramón de la Fuente”, Clinical Research Branch, Calzada México-Xochimilco 101, Colonia San Lorenzo Huipulco, Tlalpan, 14370 Mexico City, DF, Mexico
5Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, Periférico Sur No. 4809, Colonia Arenal Tepepan, Delegación Tlalpan, 14610 México, DF, Mexico
6Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias Biomédicas (IICB), CUCS, Universidad de Guadalajara, Sierra Mojada No. 950, Colonia Independencia, 44340 Guadalajara, JAL, Mexico

Received 20 October 2014; Revised 24 January 2015; Accepted 25 January 2015

Academic Editor: Oscar Bottasso

Copyright © 2015 Rodrigo Arreola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The benefits of garlic to health have been proclaimed for centuries; however, only recently have Allium sativum and its derivatives been proposed as promising candidates for maintaining the homeostasis of the immune system. The complex biochemistry of garlic makes it possible for variations in processing to yield different preparations with differences in final composition and compound proportion. In this review, we assess the most recent experimental results, which indicate that garlic appears to enhance the functioning of the immune system by stimulating certain cell types, such as macrophages, lymphocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells, and eosinophils, by mechanisms including modulation of cytokine secretion, immunoglobulin production, phagocytosis, and macrophage activation. Finally, because immune dysfunction plays an important role in the development and progress of several diseases, we critically examined immunoregulation by garlic extracts and compounds isolated, which can contribute to the treatment and prevention of pathologies such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disorders, gastric ulcer, and even cancer. We concluded that A. sativum modulates cytokine secretion and that such modulation may provide a mechanism of action for many of their therapeutic effects.