The Univesity of Louisville research was conducted on mice.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
April 15, 2019
Garlic on Cutting Board
Credit: Kroeger/Gross/Getty Images

You likely aren't looking to nosh on garlic cloves as part of your daily regime, but new research may inspire you to swallow your pungent pride and consider doing just that.

According to scientists at the University of Louisville, eating garlic may reduce aging-related memory problems. Specifically, a compound found in garlic called allyl sulfide may have a protective effect on older people's memory by benefiting the gut microbiome.

The recent research, presented at the American Physiological Society's annual meeting during the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting last week was conducted on older and younger mice. "Our findings suggest that dietary administration of garlic containing allyl sulfide could help maintain healthy gut microorganisms and improve cognitive health in the elderly," said Jyotirmaya Behera, PhD, who lead the research team with Neetu Tyagi, PhD, both from University of Louisville, in a press release.

Of course, these findings were on mice and not people, so future research would need to be done in a human population to see if the effects are replicated. Nevertheless, the researchers find the results encouraging as they indicate that allyl sulfide can help with memory in older people by improving gut bacteria health.

"The diversity of the gut microbiota is diminished in elderly people, a life stage when neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's develop and memory and cognitive abilities can decline," said Tyagi in the same statement. "We want to better understand how changes in the gut microbiota relate to aging-associated cognitive decline."

WATCH: How to Roast a Whole Cauliflower

If incorporating garlic into your diet isn't all that appealing, consider hitting the gym: Research shows that lifting weights may protect memory as we age.

Garlic or gym? Hmmmmm. Why can't chocolate ice cream be an option?