Importance of Biochemistry

How does garlic gives bad breath ?

Garlic and bad breath?


How does garlic give bad breath?

Garlic and bad breath :

Garlic is often used in cooking, but its ingestion is inevitably accompanied by unwanted breath. As with onions, the chemicals that cause this odor are not present in whole garlic but are formed when cut.

When the garlic cloves are started mechanically, alliinase, an enzyme normally retained inside the cells, is released. This enzyme degrades alliin, found in pods, to allicin. This process is actually a mechanism for protecting garlic from insects or fungi.

Allicin is the main component of the aroma of chopped garlic . It is rather unstable and degrades into various sulfur organic compounds, several of which charge the breath with a smell of garlic .


Research has identified four essential contributing components:

1.Diallyl disulfide,

2.Methyl allyl sulfide

3.Allyl mercaptan

4.Methyl allyl disulfide.

While some are rapidly degraded in the body, others take longer to disappear.

Methyl allyl sulfide is the compound that the body takes the longest to break down. It is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and passes into the blood circulation to then migrate towards other organs more particularly the skin, the kidneys and the lungs where it is excreted with sweat, urine, and respiration.

This effect can last for 24 hours, until all of the compound is eliminated by the body, generating a slight but persistent odor of garlic .

So what can be done to counter this effect? Research has shown that certain foods such as parsley , milk, apple, spinach and mint reduce garlic breath. So do not hesitate to consume it if necessary!

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