University of Florida Study Determines Kyolic May Address Cold and Flu Symptoms
MISSION VIEJO, Calif., March 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans looking to impact their cold and flu symptoms this season may have a new weapon at their disposal. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study just published by the University of Florida determined that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) may reduce the duration of symptoms associated with common colds or flus by as much as 61 percent. In addition, cold and flu sufferers in the AGE group experienced a 21 percent reduction in number of symptoms and 58 percent fewer missed workdays due to their illness.
"Comparing the severity of cold and flu in both groups, the number of symptoms and the days of not feeling 100% was significantly reduced in those taking the AGE supplement," said lead researcher, Dr. Sue Percival from the University of Florida.
During the clinical trial, researchers gave 120 healthy adults a daily dose of either 2.5g of AGE or a placebo. After 45 days, blood samples from each volunteer were analyzed, and after 90 days a cold/flu questionnaire was administered. Compared to the placebo group, those taking AGE had a significant increase in the number of immune cells after just 45 days. In fact, AGE appeared to enhance the function of two specific types of flu and cold-fighting immune cells: NK (natural killer) cells and gamma-delta T cells (a type of immune cell in the intestinal tract).
"We performed this study to determine if AGE will modify immune cell activity and reduce cold and flu symptoms," Percival said. "Supplementation of the diet with AGE reduced the severity of the illnesses."
Another reason for this uptick in immune function, note the authors of the study, is the glutathione-boosting ability of the sulfur-containing antioxidant compounds naturally present in AGE. Studies suggest that glutathione enhances immune response by optimizing macrophage function while protecting disease-fighting cells from oxidative damage and premature cell death.
What differentiates AGE from other garlic supplements is a unique aging process that converts the organosulfur compounds responsible for garlic's odor into beneficial compounds like S-allyl cysteine and S-allylmercaptocysteine.
"It would surprise me if a food or dietary supplement could actually prevent a cold, but if certain functions of immunity are enhanced by diet, then the pathogen can be eliminated faster, lessening the severity of the symptoms," Percival said.
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