New Garlic Study Reveals One More Smelly Benefit
Garlic is well known as a natural antibacterial agent as well as a culinary favorite, but in the former category there is still much experts do not understand about this aromatic plant. Now a researcher at the University of Copenhagen has announced his findings regarding one of the substances in garlic and its value in fighting resistant bacteria.
The race between multi-resistant bacteria and the development of new drugs to fight them is underway, and the battle appears to be neck-to-neck at the moment. However, it is a battle humans cannot afford to lose to these microscopic organisms, so the quest for safe and effective antibacterials is a critical one.
According to Tim Holm Jakobsen, a PhD student at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, his work has shown that a substance in garlic called ajoene is capable of stopping the destruction of white blood cells. Without white blood cells, humans are not able to kill bacteria and effectively fight off infections.
Further, Jakobsen and his colleagues found that when ajoene is used along with antibiotics, the combination is capable of killing more than 90 percent of highly resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria in the lab and in mice. (P. aeruginosa is a common bacterium that is often associated with infections in immunocompromised people.) However, use of either the antibiotics alone or ajoene alone is not effective.
More precisely, ajoene prevents harmful bacteria from releasing rhamnolipid, a toxin that kills white blood cells. Ajoene disrupts the bacteria’s communication network that is involved in developing infections.
Other health benefits of garlic
- Garlic oil contains diallyl trisulfide, a substance that may trigger the release of hydrogen sulfide. Individuals who have experienced a heart attack or who need treatment for heart failure can benefit from hydrogen sulfide because it can protect the heart from damage.
- Eating raw garlic twice a week could reduce the risk of lung cancer by 44 percent, according to one study. Other cancer research suggests the selenium in garlic may have anticancer properties.
- A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that garlic has “significant potential” for the prevention of diabetic cardiomyopathy.
- Earaches affect children as well as adults, and garlic has been shown to help relieve the inflammation and pain in people of all ages.
- Consider the power of raw garlic if you need to fight intestinal parasites such as roundworm.
- The addition of garlic to metformin as treatment of type 2 diabetes was found to be more effective at lowering fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein than metformin alone
The bottom line
In the new study, Jakobsen noted that although ajoene is a potent substance in garlic for fighting resistant bacteria, you would need to eat an enormous amount of garlic to enjoy any of the benefits. That’s why he believes it’s important for pharmaceutical companies to produce ajoene so we can develop new products to fight these aggressive bacteria and infections.
Kumar R et al. Antihyperglycemic, antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory and adenosine deaminase-lowering effects of garlic in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with obesity. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity 2013; 6:49-56
University of Copenhagen