GarlicÂ is probably natureâ€™s most potent food. It is one of the reasons people who eat the Mediterranean diet live such long healthy lives. An active sulphurous compound found in garlic can be used to fight robust bacteria in patients with chronic infections, a new study from the University of Copenhagen indicates.
A previous finding from Washington State University showed that garlic isÂ 100 times more effective than two popular antibioticsÂ at fighting disease causing bacteria commonly responsible for foodborne illness.
Here the researchers show that the garlic compound is able to destroy important components in the bacteriaâ€™s communication systems, which involve regulatory RNA molecules.
â€˜We really believe this method can lead to treatment of patients, who otherwise have poor prospects. Because chronic infections like cystic fibrosis can be very robust. But now we, together with a private company, have enough knowledge to further develop the garlic drug and test it on patientsâ€™, says Assistant Professor Tim Holm Jakobsen from the Costerton Biofilm Center at the Department of Immunology and Microbiology.
The study is the latest addition from a research group headed by Professor Michael Givskov, which since 2005 has focussed on garlicâ€™s effect on bacteria. At the time they learned that garlic extract is able to inhibit bacteria, and in 2012 they showed that the sulphurous compound ajoene found in garlic is responsible for the effect. The new study, which has been published in the scientific journalÂ Scientific Reports, takes an even closer look and documents ajoeneâ€™s ability to inhibit small regulatory RNA molecules in two types of bacteria.
â€˜The two types of bacteria we have studied are very important. They are called Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. They actually belong to two very different bacteria families and are normally fought using different methods. But the garlic compound is able to fight both at once and therefore may prove an effective drug when used together with antibioticsâ€™, says Tim Holm Jakobsen.
Previous studies have shown thatÂ garlicÂ appears to offer the most powerful, naturally occurring resistance to bacteria. In addition to inhibiting the bacteriaâ€™s RNA molecules, the active garlic compound also damages the protective slimy matrix surrounding the bacteria, the so-called biofilm. When the biofilm is destroyed or weakened, both antibiotics and the bodyâ€™s own immune system are able to attack the bacteria more directly and thus remove the infection.
In 2012 the researchers took out a patent on the use of ajoene to fight bacterial infections. Similar patents have been taken out for compounds in allicin â€” which gives garlic its aroma and flavour â€” and is known as one of the worldâ€™s most powerful antioxidants.
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Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site HealthNutNews.com is barely 4 years old, butÂ cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites worldwide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original work which have attracted international media coverage. Erin was the recipient for the Doctors Who Rock “Truth in Journalism award for 2017.Â You can get Erinâ€™s free e-book hereÂ and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vaccine injuries, Lyme disease, significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin onÂ Facebook,Â Twitter, andÂ Instagram.
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