Garlic Wards Off Colds During the Winter Months
One particular study demonstrated the immune boosting benefits of garlic containing allicin by examining its effects on subjects throughout the cold season. 146 subjects received either a one capsule of a garlic supplement containing allicin or a placebo for 12 weeks throughout the coldest winter months. The group using the garlic supplement experienced significantly fewer total colds, less than half of the amount of colds experienced in the placebo group. Not only did the group taking the garlic supplement get less colds than the placebo groups, but the symptoms of the colds that were caught were on average several days shorter than the colds experienced by the placebo group.
From these results, the researchers concluded that the allicin contained in garlic can effectively prevent and cure colds. This would indicate that the users experienced enhanced immune system function, protecting them from other types of illnesses as well. A final note is that to gain the benefits of garlic one must either eat raw garlic or take a garlic supplement standardized for allicin rather than using garlic powder on food, as garlic powder does not contain a significant amount of allicin.
Josling P. (2001). Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Advances in Therapy. 18(4), 189-93.
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