This study, from University of Granada, Spain, is the first controlled, randomised, and double-blind study conducted with a mixture of garlic and onion extract concentrate, demonstrating its protective effect on respiratory diseases in elderly healthy volunteers in residential care facilities.

Residents living in residential care facilities are at higher risk of pneumonia, influenza, and recently, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Although vaccination against these pathogens in this population is widespread, outbreaks persist, resulting in morbidity and mortality. Moreover, once infected, residents are more likely to develop complications, such as lower respiratory tract illness, one of the most common reasons​ for transfer to the hospital.

Therefore, there is clearly an urgent need to develop preventive therapeutic strategies that reduce the incidence and/or the severity of respiratory infections, according to the authors of the new study, adding that different plant-based natural herbal formulations and related compounds, could be a high-value therapeutic approach for these conditions.

Previous in-vitro studies​ have reported that the supplementation of a formula that includes concentrated garlic and onion shows broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against multidrug-resistant bacteria isolated from human samples, and is also effective against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRS), as reported in experimental and human studies​.

However, few studies report the benefits of Allium extracts in the prevention of infectious processes. Moreover, most of them focus on the benefits of garlic or onion separately, not studying the effects of their combination

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