Possibly. People have been using garlic for centuries (think Egypt at the time of the Pyramids) to prevent infection, but it’s only in the past few decades that scientists isolated numerous sulfur-containing compounds in garlic that have potent antibacterial and possibly anti-viral effects. These sulfur compounds destroy germs’ ability to grow and reproduce, much in the same way as penicillin fights infections. A well-designed study of nearly 150 people supports the value of garlic for preventing and treating the common cold. In this study, people received either garlic supplements or placebo for 12 weeks during “cold season” (between the months of November and February). Those who received the garlic had significantly fewer colds than those who received placebos. Plus, when faced with a cold, the symptoms lasted a much shorter time in those receiving garlic compared to those receiving placebos.
The trick is getting enough, without sacrificing your social life. While some researchers suggest as much as 10 cloves a day, others say that as little as 2 to 3 cloves is enough, especially if combined with a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and high in vitamin C. That’s as simple as adding a few cloves to pasta sauces, stews, soups, or salad dressing. When it comes to garlic supplements, most clinical studies have used aged garlic extract (AGE) or enteric-coated, dried garlic tablets (dose: : 600 to 1,200 milligrams daily in divided doses).