Several studies suggest that the constituents of garlic may inhibit experimentally induced carcinogenesis. To evaluate the chemopreventive properties of garlic in humans, the effects of chronic administration of an aged garlic extract on the disposition of acetaminophen and metabolites were studied. This commonly used drug was chosen because it forms a reactive electrophilic metabolite after oxidative metabolism. Sixteen subjects ingested daily doses of garlic extract (approximately equivalent to six to seven cloves of garlic) for 3 months. Before the course of garlic, at the end of each month and 1 month after termination of garlic administration, a 1-g oral dose of acetaminophen was given to each subject. Plasma and urine were measured for acetaminophen and the glucuronide, sulfate, cysteinyl, mercapturate, and methylthio metabolites. It was found that garlic treatment had no discernible effect on oxidative metabolism but was associated with a slight increase in sulfate conjugation of drug. These findings suggest that garlic extract has limited potential as a chemopreventive agent.

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