02/05/2012 09:58 BST

Garlic ‘Prevents Food Poisoning Bacteria Better Than Antibiotics'

Have you got food poisoning? Forget asking your GP for antibiotics, as scientists reckon garlic is not only great at fighting vampires – it also beats food poisoning.

Researchers from the Washington State University discovered that garlic is 100 times more effective than two commonly used antibiotics when it comes to treating poisoning caused by the most common source of bacterium: campylobacter.

The study discovered the garlic compound 'diallyl sulfide' was able to penetrate through the bacterium’s slimy biofilm layer and kill the cell by shutting down its growth and metabolism.

However, antibiotics erythromycin and ciprofloxacin did not have the same ability.

"This work is very exciting to me because it shows that this compound has the potential to reduce disease-causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply," said lead author Dr Xiaonan Lu, in a statement.

Adding to this, Michael Konkel, a co-author who has been studying this particular type of food poisoning for 25 years, said: "This is the first step in developing or thinking about new intervention strategies.”

The study results were published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

How To Avoid Food Poisoning