Does garlic prevent infection?

Garlic may improve resistance to infections. Garlic appears to be effective against many kinds of microbes that cause infections. Allicin, one of the main biologically active compounds of garlic, is an antibiotic. At least against one bacterial species, allicin is more potent than penicillin.

In the test tube, extracts of allicin can disable infection-causing amoebas by inhibiting key processes that many microbes need to cause infections.

Test-tube studies show garlic extracts to be protective of tissue against certain viruses. One study found that the garlic compounds ajoene and allicin were the most effective ingredients of garlic extracts against herpes simplex, common cold and a number of other viruses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.