Garlic Supports the Immune System

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WholeFoods Magazine Staff
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Mission Viejo, CA—Though garlic is well known to keep the heart strong, some new research finds it can do much more. According to the University of Florida, aged garlic extract (AGE, Kyolic from Wakunaga of America Co., Ltd.) may help people through the terrible cold and flu seasons.

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study determined that AGE may reduce the duration of cold and flu symptoms by 61%. Cold and flu sufferers in the AGE group experienced a 21% reduction in number of symptoms and 58% fewer missed workdays. The experiment included 120 healthy adults that took either 2.5 g of AGE or a placebo daily. After 45 days, blood samples were taken, and after 90 days they were given a cold/flu questionnaire.

Compared to the placebo group, the AGE group had a significant increase in immune cell count after 45 days. AGE also enhanced the functions of NK cells and gamma-delta T-Cells; these cells help fight colds and flus. What also helped immune function were the sulfur-containing antioxidant compounds that are naturally present in AGE. Other studies prove that glutathione, production of which may be stimulated by  AGE, enhances immune response by protecting lymphocytes from oxidative damage and premature cell death.'

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2012