Garlic Extracts Improve Intestinal Health and Relieve Constipation

Jenn Hoskins
15th May, 2024

Garlic Extracts Improve Intestinal Health and Relieve Constipation

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study by Universiti Malaysia Sabah found that garlic polysaccharides (GPs) improved gut health in Kunming mice
  • GPs enhanced the expression of tight-junction proteins and mucins, strengthening the intestinal barrier
  • GPs promoted beneficial gut bacteria and reduced harmful bacteria, improving gut microbiota balance and reducing inflammation
Garlic polysaccharides (GPs), which make up over 75% of the dry weight of garlic, are gaining attention for their potential role in gut health. A recent study conducted by Universiti Malaysia Sabah[1] explored the effects of GPs on gut microbiota, intestinal barrier function, and constipation relief in Kunming mice. This study aimed to determine whether GPs could serve as effective prebiotics, substances that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. The study administered varied doses of GPs (1.25-5.0 g/kg body weight) and inulin (a well-known prebiotic used as a positive control) to mice via gavage. The researchers assessed the impact of GPs on the intestinal epithelial, chemical, and biological barriers. Additionally, a constipation model was established using loperamide to investigate the potential effects of GPs on relieving constipation. Results showed that GPs significantly enhanced the expression of tight-junction proteins and mucins in the small intestine tissue of the mice. Tight-junction proteins and mucins are crucial for maintaining the integrity of the intestinal barrier, preventing harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. The study also found that GPs elevated the cecal butyric acid content, an important short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced by gut bacteria that has anti-inflammatory properties. Interestingly, the administration of GPs led to a reduction in the abundance of Desulfobacterota, a group of bacteria associated with inflammation, and a decrease in the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes (F/B) ratio. A high F/B ratio is often linked to obesity and metabolic disorders. GPs also promoted the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Bacteroides acidifaciens and Clostridium saccharogumia, which are known for their roles in gut health. The study's findings align with previous research on the gut microbiome and its impact on overall health. For instance, a study investigating a novel synbiotic (SBT) found that SBT intake rehabilitated the composition and functionality of gut microbiota, increased the abundance of SCFA-producing bacteria, and suppressed inflammatory responses[2]. Similarly, the current study demonstrated that GPs could modulate gut microbiota composition and promote the production of beneficial SCFAs, thereby enhancing gut health. Moreover, the study highlighted the potential of GPs to alleviate constipation symptoms. GPs improved small intestinal transit, softened stool consistency, accelerated bowel movements, and promoted the release of excitatory neurotransmitters. This is consistent with findings from another study that showed SBT consumption ameliorated constipation by regulating gut microbiota and promoting SCFA production[2]. The ability of GPs to enhance intestinal motility and peristalsis further underscores their potential as a therapeutic option for constipation. The study also utilized Tax4Fun functional predictions, which suggested that GPs could reduce the risk of insulin resistance, infectious diseases, and drug resistance. These predictions are based on the observed changes in gut microbiota composition and the associated metabolic pathways. This aligns with the understanding that a healthy gut microbiome can have far-reaching effects on overall health, including metabolic and immune function[3]. In conclusion, the study conducted by Universiti Malaysia Sabah provides compelling evidence that garlic polysaccharides can play a significant role in maintaining gut health. By enhancing intestinal barrier function, modulating gut microbiota composition, and promoting intestinal motility, GPs demonstrate potential as effective prebiotics. These findings contribute to the growing body of research on the importance of gut health and its impact on overall well-being.

HerbsHealthAnimal Science


Main Study

1) Effects of garlic-derived fructan and oligofructose mixtures on intestinal health and constipation relief in mice.

Published 14th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Dietary synbiotic ameliorates constipation through the modulation of gut microbiota and its metabolic function.

3) Functional gastrointestinal disorders: advances in understanding and management.

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