Garlic limits inflammatory compounds
Garlic is great at reducing inflammation because it contains compounds that inhibit lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase which are enzymes that promote inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes. Along with the Vitamin C it contains, these anti-inflammatory compounds in fresh garlic make it especially useful in protecting the body against severe attacks of asthma and can also reduce the pain and inflammation that is caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
NF Kappa B and the common cold
Studies conducted at the University of Munich in Germany have found garlic to significantly reduce the activity of the chemical mediator of inflammation: NF kappa-B. Nuclear transcription factor (NF) kappa-B is a chemical that is activated as part of your immune systems inflammatory response to invading organisms. A surge in NF kappa-B can be triggered by things like allergenic foods, high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, colds, physical trauma and other infections. This NF kappa-B surge promotes the inflammation response and sets up ideal conditions for viruses to replicate. In these German studies, unfertilized garlic caused a 25% drop in NF kappa-B activity in blood samples.
Allicin: the microbe killer
Allicin, the sulfur compound that forms when garlic is chopped or otherwise crushed, not only gives garlic that distinctive pungency, it is also a powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent with the ability to annihilate potentially harmful microbes. Research studies on Allicin show it to be effective against the common cold, flu and stomach viruses. It has also shown the ability to fight off Candida yeast and even defend the body against powerful pathogens such as tuberculosis and botulism.
Garlic cannot prevent a person from getting an infection from Heliobacter pylori, the bacterium which causes peptic ulcers. However, eating garlic may help keep this bacterium from doing too much damage. A study conducted in Turkey compared two groups of people: one group that loved to eat lots of garlic both raw and cooked and another group that avoided it at all costs. Blood samples were collected for 19 months and evaluated for the presence of H.pylori. While both groups did display comparable results when it came to the presence of the bacterium, the garlic loving group did display a much lower H.pylori antibody count within their blood.
Drug resistant Strains of Bacteria
Garlic has also shown the ability to be a potent antibiotic even against strains of drug resistant bacteria. A study published in 2003 by the University of California Irvine Medical School, showed that garlic juice displayed significant antibacterial activity against many antibiotic-resistant strains including staphylococci, enterococci and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.