When it comes to throwing off colds, flu and other winter illnesses, common wisdom is that you’re stuck with them until nature takes its course. Of course “nature”, in this case, is just another word for your immune system.
Your immune system is a complex collection of organs, cells and processes designed to fight off invading micro-organisms like cold and flu viruses. The healthier your immunity, the less severely the sniffles, coughs and other cold and flu symptoms will affect you. And the stronger your immune response, the faster all those symptoms disappear.
Now, new research1 is showing that Kyolic® aged garlic could provide exactly the boost your immune system needs to overcome winter ills and chills.
This placebo-controlled, double-blinded randomised trial was carried out by University of Florida researchers, and published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It was fairly large, with 120 participants, each of whom either took Kyolic® aged garlic extract or a placebo over a period of three months.
Participants were given a blood test at the start of the study, and again after 45 days to test for immune cell levels. They also kept a daily illness diary in which they recorded any cold or flu symptoms they experienced.
Researchers saw statistically significant results on both a cellular and a symptomatic level. Specific results included:
After 45 days, the participants taking Kyolic® aged garlic extract had better levels of two essential types of immune cells. One was the type that directly attacked and destroyed invading viruses, while the other produced antibodies that recognise and help to fight off viruses.
After 90 days, participants taking Kyolic® experienced 21% fewer cold and flu symptoms, took 58% fewer sick days, and recovered 61% faster.
The study results suggest that aged garlic extract can both enhance immune system function, and reduce the symptoms of colds and flu.
Aged garlic extract is a very different substance to fresh garlic, in much the same way as wine is a different substance to grapes. Kyolic® does start life as organically grown garlic – but the process by which it is naturally aged fundamentally changes it.
On a chemical level, the aging process transforms the odour-causing, unstable, oil-based compounds in fresh garlic into odour-free, stable, water-based ones. These new compounds have been shown to have a range of immune-supporting, antioxidant and other health benefits.
If you’d like to try taking Kyolic® aged garlic, talk to your local health food store expert. They will be able to recommend the right product for you.
1Nantz, M. et al. 2012. Supplementation with aged garlic extract improves both NK and γδ-T cell function and reduces the severity of cold and flu symptoms: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition intervention. Clinical Nutrition, Volume 31, Issue 3.