Garlic and Kidney Injury Protection


avatar Hamid Nasri 1 , avatar Mahmoud Rafieian-Kopaei ORCID 2 , *

Department of Nephrology, Division of Nephropathology, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, IR Iran
Medical Plants Research Center, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, IR Iran

how to cite: Nasri H, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Garlic and Kidney Injury Protection. Shiraz E-Med J. 2013;14(4):e16653. doi: 10.17795/semj.16653.

Dear Editor,

Recently much attention has been directed toward attenuation of renal tubular cell injury by herbal antioxidants (1-3). Medicinal plants are plentiful sources of polyphenols with antioxidant activities and these beneficial properties have been attributed to their antioxidant mechanisms (4-6). There has also been a linear association between oxygen radical absorbance capacity values and total phenolic contents in several herbal medicines (7-12). Garlic (Allium sativum L) is an important part in the complementary and alternative medicine (13, 14). To investigate the ameliorative effect of garlic extract on renal biochemical and histologic alterations of gentamicin-induced kidney damage in rats, we conducted a preclinical investigation (15). In this study, we found attenuation of gentamicin-induced acute kidney injury by garlic juice in male rats. In this study, fifty male rats were divided into 5 groups of 10 as follows: group 1, sham group (control); group 2 (positive control group), gentamicin (GM) for 10 days; group 3, garlic and GM for 10 days; group 4, GM for 10 days followed by garlic juice for 10 days; and group 5, GM for 10 days followed by saline solution for 10 days.GM, 10 mg/kg, and garlic extract, 20 mg/kg, were administered intraperitoneally. In our study, we found serum creatinine were significantly high in the gentamicin group (group 2) after the experiment. However, the level of creatinine in group 3 (co-treatment with gentamicin and garlic) were significantly lower than those in group 2. Serum creatinine also lower in group 4 (consecutive treatment with gentamicin and garlic), when compared with group 5 (gentamicin and saline). We also assessed the pathology damage score. Histopathological study, showed the higher injury for GM group. Post-administration of garlic after GM treatment (group 4) or co-administration of garlic and GM (group 3) significantly attenuated the damage score. In this study, we concluded that, garlic extract, has regenerative potential after tubular injury induced by GM in animal models (15). Additionally, to find the efficiency of co administration of garlic extract and metformin for prevention of gentamicin–kidney tubular cell injury, we conducted another investigation on 70 male rats (16). The results of this study showed that metformin and garlic juice or their combination has both curative and protective effect against gentamicin renal toxicity (16).The protective effect of the garlic derived antioxidant S-allylcysteine on kidney injury and oxidative stress induced by ischemia and reperfusion was shown previously (15, 16). It was found, that garlic have high level of antioxidant activity. The S-allylmercaptocysteine as one of the water soluble organo-sulfur compounds of garlic juice scavenges hydroxyl radical and abolishes oxidative and nitrosative stress. Interestingly, it was found that, the equivalent antioxidant capacity values of several forms of garlic extracts were associated well with their total phenolic, flavonoid and flavonol contents (1). Diabetic kidney disease is one of the most important complications of diabetes mellitus (17-21), and metformin has been mostly used for treatment of this disease (13, 14, 22-25). Thus it is possible that garlic extract protects against tubular injury induced by diabetes and restoring the biochemical alterations and modulation of oxidative stress on the tubules (3, 24). Furthermore, in diabetic kidney disease,there is also tubular cell injury due to glycosuria (26-28). These findings can more potentiate the clinical use of combination of metformin and garlic extract in diabetic patients to protect better the kidneys. In our studies, we showed co-administration or post-administration of garlic for GM-induced acute renal injury was applicable (23, 25-31). Thus, we conclude that garlic is a kidney protective drug to improve tubular injury by GM or other nephrotoxic drugs which act like the same mechanisms as the aminoglycoside does. However in this regard, to better understand the garlic renal protective properties, more animal and clinical studies are suggested.


  • 1.

    Khajehdehi P. Turmeric: Reemerging of a neglected Asian traditional remedy. J Nephropathol. 2012; 1 (1) : 17 -22

  • 2.

    Nasri H. Re: effect of silymarin on streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced type 2 diabetic nephropathy in rats. Iran J Kidney Dis. 2013; 7 (5) : 414 -5 [PubMed]

  • 3.

    Rafieian-Kopaei M, Baradaran A, Rafieian M. Plants antioxidants: From laboratory to clinic. J Nephropathol. 2013; 2 (2) : 152 -3

  • 4.

    Gheissari A. Acute kidney injury and renal angina. J Ren Inj Prev. 2013; 2 (2) : 33 -4

  • 5.

    Nasri H, Madihi Y, Marikhi A. Commentary on: Effects of Cinnamon Consumption on Glycemic Status, Lipid Profile and Body Composition in Type 2 Diabetic Patients. Int J Prev Med. 2013; 4 (5) : 618 -9 [PubMed]

  • 6.

    Rafieian-Kopaei M, Nasri H. Ginger and diabetic nephropathy. J Ren Inj Prev. 2012; 2 (1) : 9 -10

  • 7.

    Baradaran A, Nasri H, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Comment on: Anti-Oxidative Stress Activity of Stachys lavandulifolia Aqueous Extract in Humans. Cell J. 2013; 15 (3) : 272 -3 [PubMed]

  • 8.

    Nasri H. Acute kidney injury and beyond. J Ren Inj Prev. 2012; 1 (1) : 1 -2

  • 9.

    Nasri H. Effect of garlic extract on blood glucose level and lipid profile in normal and alloxan diabetic rabbits. Adv Clin Exp Med. 2013; 22 (3) : 449 -50 [PubMed]

  • 10.

    Nasri H. World kidney day 2013: acute kidney injury; a public health aware. Iran J Public Health. 2013; 42 (3) : 338 -40 [PubMed]

  • 11.

    Tavafi M. Complexity of diabetic nephropathy pathogenesis and design of investigations. J Ren Inj Prev. 2013; 2 (2) : 59 -62

  • 12.

    Tavafi M. Diabetic nephropathy and antioxidants. J Nephropathol. 2013; 2 (1) : 20 -7

  • 13.

    Nasri H. Renoprotective effects of garlic. J Ren Inj Prev. 2012; 2 (1) : 27 -8

  • 14.

    Rafieian-Kopaei M, Baradaran A. Combination of metformin with other antioxidants may increase its renoprotective efficacy. J Ren Inj Prev. 2013; 2 (2) : 35 -6

  • 15.

    Nasri H, Nematbakhsh M, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Ethanolic extract of garlic for attenuation of gentamicin-induced nephrotoxicity in Wistar rats. Iran J Kidney Dis. 2013; 7 (5) : 376 -82 [PubMed]

  • 16.

    Baradaran A, Rafieian-kopaei M. Histopathological study of the combination of metformin and garlic juice for the attenuation of gentamicin renal toxicity in rats. J Ren Inj Prev. 2012; 2 (1) : 15 -21

  • 17.

    Nasri H. Comment on: Serum cholesterol and LDL-C in association with level of diastolic blood pressure in type 2 diabetic patients. J Ren Inj Prev. 2012; 1 (1) : 13 -14

  • 18.

    Nasri H. On the occasion of the world diabetes day 2013; diabetes education and prevention; a nephrology point of view . J Ren Inj Prev. 2013; 2 (2) : 31 -2

  • 19.

    Rahimi Z. ACE insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism and diabetic nephropathy. J Nephropathol. 2012; 1 (3) : 143 -151

  • 20.

    Rahimi Z, Mansouri Zaveleh O, Rahimi Z, Abbasi A. AT2R -1332 G:A polymorphism and diabetic nephropathy in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. J Ren Inj Prev. 2013; 2 (3) : 97 -101

  • 21.

    Roshan B, Stanton RC. A story of microalbuminuria and diabetic nephropathy. J Nephropathol. 2013; 2 (4) : 234 -240

  • 22.

    Amini FG, Rafieian-Kopaei M, Nematbakhsh M, Baradaran A, Nasri H. Ameliorative effects of metformin on renal histologic and biochemical alterations of gentamicin-induced renal toxicity in Wistar rats. J Res Med Sci. 2012; 17 (7) : 621 -5 [PubMed]

  • 23.

    Behradmanesh S, Derees F, Rafieian-kopaei M. Effect of Salvia officinalis on diabetic patients. J Ren Inj Prev. 2013; 2 (2) : 51 -4

  • 24.

    Rafieian-Kopaie M. Medicinal plants for renal injury prevention. J Ren Inj Prev. 2013; 2 (2) : 63 -5

  • 25.

    Tolouian R, Hernandez GT. Prediction of Diabetic Nephropathy: The need for a sweet biomarker. J Nephropathol. 2013; 2 (1) : 4 -5

  • 26.

    Nasri H. Re metformin revisited: a critical review of the benefit-risk balance in at-risk patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Metab. 2013; 39 (4) : 375 -6 [DOI][PubMed]

  • 27.

    Nasri H, Nematbakhsh M, Ghobadi S, Ansari R, Shahinfard N, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Preventive and curative effects of ginger extract against histopathologic changes of gentamicin-induced tubular toxicity in rats. Int J Prev Med. 2013; 4 (3) : 316 -21 [PubMed]

  • 28.

    Rafieian-Kopaei M, Nasri H. Comment on "Carbamylated erythropoietin ameliorates cyclosporine nephropathy without stimulating erythropoiesis". Cell Transplant. 2013; [DOI][PubMed]

  • 29.

    Nasri H, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Metformin improves diabetic kidney disease. J Nephropharmacol. 2012; 1 (1) : 1 -2

  • 30.

    Nasri H, Rafieian-Kopaei M. Herbal medicine and diabetic kidney disease. J Nephropharmacol. 2013; 2 (1) : 1 -2

  • 31.

    Tavafi M. Protection of renal tubules against gentamicin induced nephrotoxicity. J Ren Inj Prev. 2012; 2 (1) : 5 -6

Copyright © 2013, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.