Over 250 million pounds of garlic are consumed annually in the US. And it's very popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, as well as India and China.
Raw garlic by itself has many potential health benefits because it contains:
- Vitamins B6 and C
But when garlic is aged and fermented into black garlic, it not only has a very sweet and inviting taste, additional nutrients are created and others enhanced. One highly-beneficial nutrient in particular, S-allyl-cysteine (SAC), is created from the fermentation process.
SAC is the key to reaping the potential benefits of black garlic. Without it, or with reduced amounts, you won't receive the optimal benefits.
Raw Garlic vs. Black Garlic – An Eye-Opening Comparison
During the raw garlic fermentation process many astonishing things take place.
Here's a chart showing one example of the possible fermentation outcome on essential amino acids found in garlic. Essential amino acids are those building blocks of protein not produced by your body that must be consumed as part of your diet.
Essential Amino Acids Raw Garlic
|Isoleucine||217 mg||371 mg|
|Leucine||308 mg||779 mg|
|Lysine||273 mg||385 mg|
|Methionine||76 mg||210 mg|
|Histidine||113 mg||287 mg|
|Phenylalanine||183 mg||461 mg|
|Tryptophan||66 mg||102 mg|
|Valine||291 mg||610 mg|
*Dr. Mercola's Fermented Black Garlic contains 800 mg of black garlic
This is just an example of what potentially happens to the essential amino acids in raw garlic during the fermentation process. Results obviously can vary depending on the quality of the raw garlic and the fermentation process itself.
One of the most eye-opening points about black garlic is how new nutrients are created and others are enhanced by the fermentation process. Black garlic is packed with high concentrations of highly beneficial sulphur compounds, especially one in particular: S-allyl-cysteine (SAC).
Black Garlic Benefits Unveiled
What's interesting about SAC is how it's the result of a biological conversion that takes place during garlic fermentation. Even though most of the allicin is destroyed during the process, it is actually biologically converted to SAC.
The bottom line with SAC is that it:
- Provides better stability than allicin
- Absorbs well
- Delivers enhanced antioxidant effects compared to the same amount of allicin
More than Doubles the Antioxidant Power
The fermentation of raw garlic has been shown to improve antioxidant potency. This process that results in black garlic has oftentimes doubled or more, the oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) value of the raw garlic. The ORAC is a way of measuring and comparing the estimated potency of an antioxidant.
The most prevalent antioxidant found in black garlic is SAC.
A comprehensive review of SAC and black garlic (in both in-vivo and in-vitro scenarios) reports its antioxidant effect is a result of multiple complex mechanisms because it:
- Scavenges free radicals – Including superoxide, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl, peroxynitrite radicals, as well as hypochlorous acid and singlet oxygen
- Induces the activity of endogenous antioxidant enzymes – Such as glutathione peroxidase, NAD (P) H: quinone oxidoreductase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD)
- Chelates iron and copper ions and inhibits prooxidant enzymes – Such as nitric oxide synthase (NOS), xanthine oxidase, NADPH oxidase, and cycloxygenase (COX)
In a nutshell, these complex processes demonstrate how potent black garlic's antioxidant capability can be.