Mechanisms of inhibition of chemical toxicity and carcinogenesis by diallyl sulfide (DAS) and related compounds from garlic

C. S. Yang, S. K. Chhabra, J. Y. Hong, T. J. Smith

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172 Scopus citations


Diallyl sulfide (DAS) is a flavor compound derived from garlic and is sequentially converted to diallyl sulfoxide (DASO) and diallyl sulfone (DASO2) by cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1). These compounds have been shown to reduce the incidence of a multitude of chemically induced tumors in animal models. The impediment of phase I activation of these carcinogens is hypothesized to be accountable for the reduction in tumor incidence. Indeed, DAS, DASO and DASO2 are competitive inhibitors of CYP2E1. DASO2, in addition, is a suicide inhibitor of CYP2E1. These compounds have been shown to reduce carbon tetrachloride-, N-nitrosodimethylamine- and acetaminophen-induced toxicity in rodents. All three chemicals are substrates for CYP2E1. The protective effect was observed when the organosulfur compounds were given before, during or soon after chemical treatment. DAS and DASO2 inhibited the bioactivation of 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and related lung tumorigenesis in N/J mice. Because CYP2E1 does not play a key role in NNK activation, the inhibition of other CYP enzymes active in NNK metabolism is likely. DAS also has been shown to induce other CYP and phase II enzymes as well as decrease hepatic catalase activity. All of these effects are observed at concentrations much higher than what is normally ingested by humans. The biological activities of garlic and its related compounds at lower concentrations that mimic human consumption remain to be studied further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1041S-1045S
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Acetaminophen
  • Cancer chemoprevention
  • Cytochrome P
  • Diallyl sulfide
  • Garlic

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