Garlic consumption is associated with reduced risk of breast cancer, in part due to its organosulfur compound content. Now a new study has demonstrated that diallyl trisulfide can inhibit the progression to breast cancer in precancerous breast cells.

The study referenced above was designed to investigate the influence of diallyl trisulfide in the initiation phase of breast cancer development. To conduct the study, the authors used MCF-10A breast cells, which is a non-cancerous breast cell line. Long-term exposure of MCF-10A cells to carcinogens has been shown to increase colony formation and invasion, both typical of cancer cells. In the study, the authors tested whether diallyl trisulfide could inhibit the carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) from inducing precancerous activity.

MCF-10A cells were either pre-treated or concurrently treated with 1 μM BaP, and either 6 or 60 μM diallyl trisulfide for up to 24 hours. Concurrent treatment with 6 and 60 μM diallyl trisulfide was found to inhibit BaP-induced cell proliferation by 71.1% and 120.8%, respectively, at 6 hours. Pretreatment with 60 μM diallyl trisulfide reduced BaP-induced G2/M cell cycle transition by 127%, and attenuated the increase in cells in the S-phase by 42%. Diallyl trisulfide was also observed to effectively inhibit BaP-induced peroxide formation by a minimum of 54%, which might have prevented carcinogen-induced DNA strand breaks. The authors conclude that the mechanisms involved in the chemopreventive effects of diallyl trisulfide include inhibition of cell proliferation, regulation of the cell cycle, reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS, free radicals derived from molecular oxygen) formation, and inhibition of DNA damage.

Please see our article on how to optimize your breast cancer diet for information on what to eat during all stages of treatment and recovery.