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  • This week on Reactions, were talking garlic.

  • Hey, it’s good for your taste buds and good for your body, but youve got to wonder,

  • how can something that adds such a brilliant flavor to food leave you with such bad breath after you eat it?

  • Our buddies over at Compound Interest have some answers for us,

  • so sit back, get peeling, and get ready for some hard chemistry facts about garlic.

  • Garlic contains four major volatile organic compounds that are responsible for that notorious garlic breath.

  • Interestingly enough, none of these compounds are present in garlic until it’s crushed up or chopped.

  • When garlic’s structure is damaged, enzymes convert the compound alliin to allicinwhich is responsible for garlic’s distinctive smell.

  • Allicin is then broken down into the four compounds that were just mentioned.

  • Once you take your first bite, the allyl methyl sulfide compound is broken down in your body much slower than the rest of the gang,

  • so it’s mostly responsible for your garlic breath.

  • This compound is then passed into your bloodstream and organs,

  • and is excreted when you sweat, breathe, and when you have to pee.

  • But hey, if youre worried about garlic breath, try eating some parsley or drinking milk.

  • These two foods are actually known to reduce garlic breath!

  • There’s also more to garlic than its delicious flavor accompanying bad breath.

  • You may have heard people telling you that garlic is good for you health.

  • Well, theyre right!

  • Garlic carries antibacterial properties,

  • and three compounds in particular do the dirty work.

  • Sulfur-containing organic compounds like these can penetrate the cell membranes of bacteria cells,

  • and combine with certain enzymes or proteins to alter their structure, which ultimately damages the cells.

  • Also, along with these organosulfur bacterial assassins,

  • allicin has similar antibacterial properties.

  • Well, now all you people out there are properly armed with some chemical facts to back up your love affair with garlic,

  • maybe you want to check out this other video about the chemistry of Sriracha,

  • and hey, why not check out Chemistry Life Hacks Volume 2.

  • It’s got a little tip for an unwanted effect of the other most loved allium, onions.

  • So thanks for watching,

  • well see you again soon, and don't forget to subscribe!

This week on Reactions, were talking garlic.

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