Garlic and bacterial cystitis

A short article about garlic and its active principle: allicin.

*we are talking here about the active ingredient – allicin – and not about garlic as a food

Allicin is an organic compound of sulfur (extract of garlic in general) first identified in 1944. Many medicinal properties have been attributed to this active ingredient over time without providing a true scientific confirmation.

In urology, in particular, we have only one scientific work, available here.

This study, carried out in vitro, refers to the antimicrobial action of garlic extract. Garlic contains allicin (not titrated). Researchers evaluated the action of allicin in 166 bacterial strains isolated from the urine of patients with ongoing UI.

56% of the isolated bacterial strains were resistant to the main antibiotics. Of these, 82% were sensitive to the garlic extract used. In this way, the publication tends to indicate some antimicrobial potential of the substance allicin against resistant bacterial strains.

However, there are some elements that lead us to emphasize the lack of importance of these results for a direct transposition in vivo. Nor can we indicate with certainty the effectiveness of natural remedies that contain garlic extracts in case of UTIs:

  • the pharmacokinetics of allicin remains to be defined (there are no studies in this regard). In fact, a product with the correct dosage and titration cannot be formulated
  • studies are being conducted to define more clearly the bioavailability of this substance, once ingested, in the human body
  • renal clearance of allicin in its active form remains to be demonstrated to guarantee that the active ingredient actually reaches the lower urinary tract and may have the opportunity to act against germs present in that area

In conclusion, allicin shows some efficacy in vitro. There is insufficient evidence of its real action in vivo.

It will be better to focus on a natural approach with D-Mannose instead as its effectiveness is supported by many studies.

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