Scientists Turn to Garlic to Kill Deadly Bacteria - The New Indian Express

Scientists Turn to Garlic to Kill Deadly Bacteria

Published: 19th February 2014 01:29 PM

Last Updated: 19th February 2014 01:35 PM

A promising research into garlic shows that a potent chemical substance in it neutralises resistant bacteria by paralysing their communication system - thus strengthening our immune system.

Ajoene - the substance present in garlic - specifically prevents the bacteria from secreting the toxin rhamnolipid which destroys white blood cells in the body.

“White blood cells are indispensable because they play a crucial role in the immune defence system - not only warding off infection but also killing bacteria,” explained Tim Holm Jakobsen, from University of Copenhagen, Germany.

When bacteria clump together in what is known as biofilm - where they surround themselves with a tough film of organic materials - they become resistant to antibiotics.

"Ajoene supports and improves treatment with conventional antibiotics. We have clearly demonstrated the effect of them together on biofilm cultivated in the laboratory and in trials involving mice,” added Jakobsen. 

Combination treatment with ajoene and antibiotics kills more than 90 percent of the normally virulent biofilm.

“Garlic contains so little ajoene that you would need to eat around 50 a day to achieve the desired effect. This means we have to pick up the ball from Mother Nature and run with it,” informed Jacobsen.

“If we are to win the race against bacteria, we need to bring new antibiotics into play. Nature is a great starting point for developing medicines - two-thirds of all new pharmaceuticals are based on natural substances,” said Jakobsen.

Aggressive multi-resistant infections constitute an increasing health problem all over the world.

Bacteria are developing resistance at an alarming pace, so new pharmaceuticals that can combat this threat are in great demand.

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