Allicin (dialysyl thiosulfate) is a chiral compound that contains a sulfur atom. It is produced in garlic (Allium sativum); it is responsible for its characteristic, sharp smell and antibiotic properties. The precursor to allicin is alliin, found in garlic. The process of allicin formation takes place with the participation of the alliinase enzyme, which is activated after damage to garlic cell walls (for example by crushing the cloves).
Allicin has strong antimicrobial properties. It destroys harmful Gram-positive and Gram-negative, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, with efficacy comparable to that of broad-spectrum antibiotics. In addition, it combats viruses, fungi, and parasites. Allicin has a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. By limiting the production of thromboxane, it prevents excessive platelet aggregation and protects against clot formation. It may also lower cholesterol and reduce oxidation of the LDL fraction.
Preparations with allicin are a valued element of general-health prophylaxis. They are recommended to improve immunity, they can also be used as part of the prevention of cardiovascular and circulatory diseases.