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Updated November 21, 2008

Definition: Allicin is a powerful natural compound that is produced in garlic if it is crushed, chopped, or bruised. Fresh garlic has two enzymes within it -- allinase and alliin -- which are stored in separate, neighboring compartments. Allicin is produced within 10 seconds after these separate compartments are broken and the two enzymes combine.
Pronunciation: A-luh-sun
Also Known As: diallyl thiosulphinate
Common Misspellings: allisin, allisen
Allicin, when it is produced, gives off the characteristic pungent fragrance of raw garlic. In population studies of cultures with a high consumption of garlic (China, Japan, France, to name a few), rates of breast, colon, esophageal, stomach, and pancreatic cancers were reduced at least 50% in people who consumed above average amounts of fresh and cooked garlic. Allicin may prevent cancer because it has antioxidants, acts as an antimicrobial agent, prevents the formation of nitrosamine (a carcinogen) and can initiate cancer cell death.
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