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Garlic Inhibits Transformation Of Nitrates To Carcinogens

March 1, 2010: 04:10 AM EST
A new urine test developed at two U.S. universities has found that compounds in garlic and vitamin C slow a process (nitrosation) that converts nitrates from some processed meats into cancer-causing agents. (Nitrates are also found in vegetables, but previous research revealed that vegetable vitamin C reduces the chance that the nitrates become carcinogenic.) Scientists came up with a way to measure one biomarker in urine linked to cancer risk and another that measures garlic consumption. They then tested urine samples of participants in a small study and found an inverse relationship: people who consumed more garlic showed less nitrosation and were less at risk for cancer. The researchers said three to five grams of garlic worked as well as a 0.5-gram dose of vitamin C or a garlic extract supplement.
Keary Cope, Harold Seifried, et al. , "A gas chromatography–mass spectrometry method for the quantitation of N-nitrosoproline and N-acetyl-S-allylcysteine in human urine: Application to a study of the effects of garlic consumption on nitrosation", Analytical Biochemistry, March 01, 2010, © Elsevier Inc.
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