() is a chemical compound
available from garlic
). The name (and pronunciation) is derived from "ajo", the Spanish
word for garlic. It is found as a mixture of two isomers, E-, and Z- 4,5,9-trithiadodeca-1,6,11-triene 9-oxide.
Ajoene, an unsaturated disulfide
, is formed from a chemical reaction involving two allicin molecules
. Allicin is a sulfinyl compound that gives garlic its strong odor
. The release of allicin occurs after a garlic clove is crushed or finely chopped. Subsequent formation of ajoene occurs when allicin is dissolved in various solvents including edible oils. Ajoene is also found in garlic extract. Ajoene is most stable and most abundant in macerate of garlic (chopped garlic in edible oil).
Scientists have found that ajoene has many properties
of interest to current medicine
. It functions as an antioxidant
, by inhibiting the release of superoxide
. Ajoene also has antithrombotic (anti-clotting) properties, which helps prevent platelets
in the blood
from forming blood clots
, potentially reducing the risk of heart disease
in humans. Ajoene is also known to have effective broad-spectrum antimicrobial (antibacterial and antifungal) properties, helpful in preventing yeast infection
) and treating athlete's foot
), for example. Ajoene has even been shown effective in inhibiting tumor cell
growth by targeting the microtubule
cytoskeleton of such cells.