garlic is a special vegetable. Pungent smell, long history, various “efficacy” legends. Many studies on the efficacy of garlic can also be found in scientific literature, from component analysis, animal experiments, epidemiological surveys and even intervention control experiments. The conclusion is that “the evidence is not sufficient, but it is not denied.”. For a more detailed introduction, see “garlic health legend.”.

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in the dazzling market of various garlic products, a kind of thing called “black garlic” came into being, claiming that it has the function of “lowering blood fat, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, softening blood vessels, improving sleep, improving constipation, and alleviating gastrointestinal parasites”. What is black garlic? Is it really so powerful? What is

black garlic?

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black garlic is not a special garlic variety, but a product of ordinary garlic after special processing. Its history is very short. It is only ten years since it was invented by Korean people. The legendary “health care function” of garlic has been attractive to many people. With the improvement of garlic flavor and taste, and more importantly, the increase of “active ingredients”, black garlic has achieved considerable success in the market. South Koreans even set up a company in the United States to sell black garlic products, and the products still have market appeal. The production of

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black garlic is not complicated, but it is very long. In short, fresh garlic is heated in high temperature and humidity for more than a month, or even as long as two or three months. This process is called “fermentation” in many places, including some scientific literatures. Some people think that this is a misnomer, because the temperature of black garlic is about 60 ° C or even higher, which makes it difficult for all kinds of microorganisms to grow. So they think that there is no microorganism involved in this process, mainly “non enzymatic browning” or oxidation caused by low temperature and long time heating. This process is similar to the “wohong” of black tea. After several decades of continuous heating,

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turned fresh garlic into black garlic. Garlic became soft and sour, and the pungent smell disappeared. For many people, the taste of black garlic is more attractive. What appears in

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black garlic? The popularity of

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black garlic is not due to the change of flavor and taste, but as a “functional food”. There are many antioxidant components in garlic, such as S-Allyl

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cystaine) and various polyphenol compounds. These substances have shown good antioxidant properties in chemical detection and cell experiments, and some of them also show various “health functions” in animal experiments. As a result, these ingredients are made into various “dietary supplements” for sale.

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experiments found that the content or activity of these substances increased greatly after fresh garlic turned into black garlic. Different studies selected different detection indicators, the increase range is different, but generally showed a significant increase. For example, it has been reported that the content of alliin increased by 5-6 times. In addition, the “superoxide dismutase like activity”, “hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity” and polyphenol content were detected in the literature. The results showed that the content of polyphenols increased by 13 times, 10 times and 7 times respectively. Why do the

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fresh garlic turn into black garlic, which leads to such a dramatic increase in these ingredients? There are three main mechanisms speculated in the literature: one is that some of these ingredients are closely combined with other substances in fresh garlic, and they are released after a long time of heating; the second is that there are some enzymes in fresh garlic that reduce or inhibit the activities of these substances, and these enzymes lose their activity during the production of black garlic, so the activity of these substances is increased; the third is that some of these ingredients are closely combined with other substances in fresh garlic, and they are released after a long time of heating In the browning process, simple polyphenols form a polyphenol complex, which is much more antioxidant – in black tea, catechins form theaflavins, leading to a significant increase in antioxidant capacity, which is a similar example. Are the effects of

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black garlic reliable?

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since those “functional ingredients” have increased substantially, are those “functions” of black garlic reliable?

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from the perspective of food supervision, because some research results support the function of those substances, and there are many of those ingredients in black garlic, then it is recognized as “functional food”.

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however, there is a considerable distance between “existing functional components” and “reflecting efficacy in human body”. Black garlic was invented only ten years ago, and the current research is mainly to detect the change of ingredients. A small number of animal experiments are not sufficient.

in 2014, a paper published by Taiwan scholars in the Journal of functional food reported a fairly perfect animal experiment. They fed the rats with normal diet, high-fat diet, high-fat diet and different doses of black garlic extract, and then measured the changes of body weight and a number of physiological indicators. The results showed that compared with the high-fat diet group, rats fed with high-fat food and supplemented with black garlic extract had significantly lower final body weight, relative weight of liver and adipose tissue, triglyceride in serum and oxidative stress level of liver. Many indexes were close to those of rats fed normal diet. Further analysis showed that the high-fat diet supplemented with black garlic extract had higher fecal fat content. This is equivalent to that the black garlic extract reduces the fat absorption in the diet, which may explain that the body weight and physiological indexes of the mice supplemented with black garlic extract are close to those of the normal diet group. According to the authors of this paper,

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, obesity may come from excessive energy intake or energy metabolism imbalance. Energy is converted into triglycerides and stored in adipocytes. Therefore, regulating fat production, decomposition and fatty acid oxidation is one of the ways to control body fat accumulation. In their research, many enzymes related to these biochemical processes were also detected, and the expression levels of many enzymes were changed. Based on these changes, they also proposed a mechanism model for the efficacy of black garlic extract.

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from the perspective of scientific research, this is a good study. However, it is only an animal experiment. The condition in human body remains to be further studied.

“kdAs for the “anti-cancer” effect of black garlic, there are only some very preliminary laboratory studies, but not really confirmed.

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at present, black garlic can be regarded as a kind of food with unique flavor. But if we expect it to prevent and treat diseases, we should wake up and not be too naive.

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