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Compounds Found In Garlic Have Potential As Natural Antibacterial Agent In Food Chain

August 15, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers have discovered that a group of garlic-derived organosulfur compounds act as potent antibacterial agents that could someday be used as a natural way to destroy harmful microbes in the food chain. According to the researchers, organosulfur compounds known as diallyl sulfides freely penetrate bacterial membranes and combine with sulfur containing proteins and enzymes, destroying the bacteria. The target microbe in the study was campylobacter jejuni, a bacteria commonly found in animal feces. It  is considered the most common cause of bacterial food-borne illness in the world. It causes abdominal cramps, fever, and diarrhea accompanied by gross blood and leukocytes.
X. Lu, et al., "Investigating Antibacterial Effects of Garlic (Allium sativum) Concentrate and Garlic-Derived Organosulfur Compounds on Campylobacter jejuni", Applied and Environmental Microbiology, August 15, 2011, © American Society for Microbiology
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