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Survive the flu season with Aged Garlic Extract

Are those around you dropping like flies with the flu or an ordinary cold? But you of course can't afford to take to spend days in bed. A human study that nutritionists at the University of Florida are about to publish in Clinical Nutrition suggests that an Aged Garlic supplement can boost your immune system.

The researchers gave 120 healthy subjects aged between 21 and 50 a placebo or 2.56 g Aged Garlic Extract every day for 90 days. As its name suggests, the sulphur-based substances, such as S-allyl-L-cysteine and S-allyl-mercaptocysteine, in Aged Garlic have lost their pungent smell through a fermentation process. That's why people who take Aged Garlic wouldn't be troubled by smelly breath that bothers the users of regular garlic pills.

The subjects started taking the supplement in February and stopped in May. In the US this is the main flu and colds season.

The supplement boosted the concentration of S-allyl-L-cysteine in the blood. The glutathione concentration rose in the immune cells in the blood [Lymphocyte GSH levels]. Glutathione helps enzymes in detoxification processes and makes cells fitter.

Survive the flu season with Aged Garlic Extract

Survive the flu season with Aged Garlic Extract

The higher concentration of glutathione in the immune cells may have stimulated their development. Active adult immune cells in the innate immune system the natural killer cells that are the body's first line of defence against pathogens have more receptors for tracking down intruders than do young and not yet active immune cells. The more receptors, the higher their proliferation index as it's called. The researchers discovered that the Aged Garlic supplement put the killer cells on red alert. The cells developed more receptors.

Survive the flu season with Aged Garlic Extract
The figure above refers to gamma-delta-T cells, which are a special kind of immune cell. They are killer cells and belong to the innate immune system, but they also direct the immune cells of the adaptive immune system. These are the immune cells that are equipped to destroy a specific pathogen. The body only synthesises these if a pathogen manages to get through the innate immune system.

Supplementation with Aged Garlic didn't prevent the subjects from becoming ill. But the people who took the supplement were sick for less than half the days that the control group were, and their symptoms were less severe.

Survive the flu season with Aged Garlic Extract

The Aged Garlic supplement used was from Wakanuga in Japan. [] Wakanuga funded the research.

Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan 24. [Epub ahead of print].

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