New York: Natural garlic-derived compounds combined with flourine could be used as a potent drug therapy to block tumour growth and formation of blood clots, a study suggests.

For centuries, garlic has been used as a natural medicine. Scientists have found that compounds in garlic serve as a natural antibiotic to prevent and fight various diseases and illnesses.

In a study published in the journal Molecules, the researchers from the University at Albany in the US hypothesised that adding fluorine into natural garlic-derived compounds would enhance beneficial biological activity.

Fluorine is one of the most reactive elements in the periodic table and widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. To test their hypothesis, the scientists modified several garlic compounds, replacing hydrogen atoms with fluorine atoms. Once completed, they used 10-day-old chick embryo eggs to compare the effectiveness of the fluorine-modified compounds and unmodified compounds as anti-angiogenesis and antithrombotic agents.

Anti-angiogenesis agents are used to fight against cancer by blocking tumour growth, while antithrombotic agents help reduce the formation of blood clots. The results showed that the modified compounds were superior in biological activity and should be considered in the development of future drug therapies.

"Our results show evidence that new pharmaceuticals can involve modifying naturally-formed garlic compounds to enhance their beneficial biological activity," said Eric Block, from the University at Albany.