Garlic key to fighting hospital superbugs and chronic infections
It’s known for keeping vampires at bay, but garlic has also been found to ward off something even scarier - hospital superbugs.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen discovered that sulphurous compound ajoene, found in garlic, when combined with antibiotics can break down resistant bacteria.
This is because ajoene has the ability to disrupt a gene that microbes require to stick to human tissue, without which they cannot reproduce.
And it’s not just superbugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that can be tackled, but also genetic condition cystic fibrosis and chronic wounds in diabetes sufferers.
“We really believe this method can lead to [the] treatment of patients who otherwise have poor prospects,” study author Professor Tim Holm Jakobsen said. “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 patients.
“The two types of bacteria we have studied are very important. They are called Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The garlic compound is able to fight both at once and therefore may prove an effective drug when used together with antibiotics.”
The findings have been published in journal Nature Scientific Reports.
It is the latest study to prove the health benefits of garlic; previous research had found that garlic appears to offer the most powerful, naturally occurring resistance to bacteria. Consuming garlic has also been found to lower cholesterol levels, regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels and boost the function of the immune system.