Guest article by Sam Hadadi,
Loved by vampire hunters, foodies and health bloggers across the globe, garlic has long been renowned for its body-boosting, body-loving properties.
Yet packed with goodness and known to protect the heart, garlic isn’t just a tasty addition to your favourite recipes – it’s also an essential food in the battle against all kinds of illnesses.
As if you needed another reason to toss the garlic into your homemade pasta sauce, this super bulb has now been proven to protect the body against urinary tract infection, or UTIs.
According to a new study, published in the Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, this little superfood can fight drug-resistant strains of pathogenic bacteria, which can cause UTIs.
The study, carried out by researchers at the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, found that "even crude extracts of [garlic] showed good activity against multidrug resistant strains where antibiotic therapy had limited or no effect. This provides hope for developing alternative drugs which may be of help in fighting the menace of growing antibacterial resistance.”
Urinary tract infections are massively common. In fact, they’re the second most common infectious disease across the globe. Worldwide, about 150 million people are diagnosed each year with a UTI, which costs billions of dollars to treat.
Although UTIs are usually treated with antibiotics, the fact that bacteria are now becoming resistant to many medicines means that doctors are being forced to look to "traditional medicines or herbal products, which may provide appropriate/acceptable alternative solutions.”
One of the potential solutions? Garlic! Also known as allium sativum, a member of the onion family, garlic has been used since the ancient times to treat all manner of illnesses and conditions.
You see, all sorts of microorganisms - including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses - are known to be sensitive to compounds found in garlic, such as allicin and sulphur.
In this study, the team found that 56 per cent of 166 bacteria strains found in the urine of those with a UTI showed a high resistance to antibiotics.
However, about 82 per cent of the antibiotic-resistant bacteria were damaged or killed by a crude, aqueous extract of garlic. According to the researchers, "ours is the first study to report the antibacterial activity of aqueous garlic extract against multi-drug resistant bacterial isolates from infected urine samples leading to UTI.
"To conclude, there is evidence that garlic has potential in the treatment of UTI and maybe other microbial infections.”
Garlic is one clever little bulb. Add it to your daily diet to see the following health benefits:
Clever, isn’t it? Yet it’s so easy to enjoy this simple health boost!
Want to up your daily dose of garlic? Try our Lucy Bee favourites with these garlic-loving recipes here:
For further reading on this please see Science Daily.
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Sam Hadadi is an ex-BBC journalist and now a freelance writer specialising in fitness and food.