A recent study reports that aged garlic supplementation may reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms.
Garlic is a culinary herb that is widely used for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Numerous controlled trials have examined the effects of oral garlic on serum lipids. Multiple cases of bleeding have been associated with garlic use, and caution is warranted in patients at risk of bleeding or prior to some surgical or dental procedures
The new study recruited 120 healthy individuals, who were randomly assigned to take 2.56 grams daily of either aged garlic extract or a placebo pill. Neither the researchers nor the individuals were aware of the group assignments.
Individuals consuming garlic for 45 days showed a significant increase in the production of immune cells, compared to the placebo individuals. Ninety days into the study, the proportion of individuals acquiring the cold or flu was not significantly different between groups. However, the garlic group had a significant reduction in illness symptom severity, illness duration, and missed days of school or work.
More research on this topic is warranted.
For more information about integrative therapies for the common cold and flu, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness database.
The information in this brief report is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions. Copyright © 2017 Natural Medicines Inc. Commercial distribution or reproduction prohibited. Natural Medicines is the leading provider of high-quality, evidence-based, clinically-relevant information on natural medicine, dietary supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, functional foods, diets, complementary practices, CAM modalities, exercises and medical conditions. Monograph sections include interactions with herbs, drugs, foods and labs, contraindications, depletions, dosing, toxicology, adverse effects, pregnancy and lactation data, synonyms, safety and effectiveness.