Given the position that oxidant free radicals are thought to play in aging and disease, one purpose fruit and veggies could also be so good for us is that they include antioxidant compounds. As you possibly can see at 0:20 in my video Benefits of Marjoram for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), totally different greens and herbs have totally different antioxidant content. When making a salad, for instance, spinach, arugula, or purple leaf lettuce might provide twice the antioxidants as butterhead lettuce, and selecting purple cabbage over green, or purple onions over white can even increase the salad’s antioxidant energy.
Fresh herbs are so highly effective that even a small amount might double or even quadruple the antioxidant energy of the whole meal. For instance, as you’ll be able to see at 0:50 in my video, the whole antioxidants in a easy salad of lettuce and tomato leap up by adding only a tablespoon of lemon balm leaves or half a tablespoon of oregano or mint. Adding marjoram, thyme, or sage not solely adds nice flavor to the salad, however effectively quadruples the antioxidant content material at the similar time, and including a bit recent garlic or ginger to the dressing ups the antioxidant power much more.
Herbs are so antioxidant-rich that researchers determined to see if they could have the ability to scale back the DNA-damaging effects of radiation. Radioactive iodine is usually given to individuals with overactive thyroid glands or thyroid cancer to destroy part of the gland or take care of any remaining tumor cells after surgery. For days after the isotope injection, patients turn out to be so radioactive they are advised not to kiss or sleep shut to anyone, including their pets, and in the event that they breathe on a telephone, they’re suggested to wipe it “carefully” or cowl it “with an easily removed plastic bag.” Other suggestions embrace “avoid[ing] splatter of radioactive urine,” not going near your youngsters, and principally just staying away from others as a lot as potential.
The remedy could be very efficient, but all that radiation exposure appears to improve the danger of creating new cancers afterward. In order to forestall the DNA injury associated with this remedy, researchers examined the power of oregano to shield chromosomes of human blood cells in vitro from exposure to radioactive iodine. As you possibly can see at 2:25 in my video, at baseline, about 1 in 100 of our blood cells present proof of chromosomal injury. If radioactive iodine is added, though, it’s more like 1 in 8. What happens if, as well as to the radiation, growing quantities of oregano extract are added? Chromosome injury is lowered by as a lot 70 %. Researchers concluded that oregano extract “significantly protects” towards DNA injury induced by the radioactive iodine in white blood cells. This was all carried out outdoors the body, although, which the researchers justified by saying it wouldn’t be notably ethical to irradiate individuals for experimental research. True, however hundreds of thousands of individuals have been irradiated for remedy, and researchers might have studied them or, at the very least, they might have just had individuals eat the oregano after which irradiate their blood in vitro to mannequin the amount of oregano compounds that really make it into the bloodstream.
Other in vitro studies on oregano are equally unsatisfying. In a comparability of the consequences of varied spice extracts, together with bay leaves, fennel, lavender, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, and thyme, oregano beat out all but bay leaves in its potential to suppress cervical most cancers cell progress in vitro while leaving regular cells alone. But individuals tend to use oregano orally—that’s, they sometimes eat it—so the relevance of those outcomes are usually not clear.
Similarly, marjoram, an herb intently related to oregano, can suppress the expansion of individual breast most cancers cells in a petri dish, as you’ll be able to see at 3:53 in my video, and even effectively entire human breast tumors grown in hen eggs, which is something I’ve never seen earlier than. Are there any medical trials on oregano-family herbs on actual individuals? The only such medical, randomized, management research I might find was a research on how marjoram tea affects the hormonal profile of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The commonest explanation for feminine fertility issues, PCOS affects up to one in eight young women and is characterised by extreme male hormones, leading to extra physique or facial hair, menstrual irregularities, and cysts in one’s ovaries that show up on ultrasounds.
Evidently, conventional drugs practitioners reported marjoram tea was useful for PCOS, however it had never been put to the check…till now. Drinking two every day cups of marjoram tea versus a placebo tea for one month did seem to beneficially have an effect on the themes’ hormonal profiles, which seems to supply credence to the claims of the normal drugs practitioners. However, the research didn’t last lengthy sufficient to affirm that actual symptoms improved as nicely, which is absolutely what we care about.
Is there something that’s been shown to help? Well, decreasing one’s intake of dietary glycotoxins might assist forestall and treat the disease. “Over the past 2 many years there was growing proof supporting an necessary contribution from food-derived advanced glycation end products (AGEs)…[to] elevated oxidative stress and irritation, processes that play a serious position in the causation of persistent illnesses,” probably including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS have a tendency to have almost twice the circulating AGE levels in their bloodstream, as you’ll be able to see at 0:33 in my video Best Foods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS may be the most typical hormonal abnormality among young women within the United States and is a standard explanation for infertility, menstrual dysfunction, and excess facial and physique hair. The prevalence of weight problems can also be larger in women with PCOS. Since the very best AGE ranges are present in broiled, grilled, fried, and roasted foods of “mostly animal origin,” is it attainable that this causal chain begins with a nasty eating regimen? For instance, perhaps eating plenty of fried hen leads to weight problems, which in flip leads to PCOS. In that case, maybe what we eat is simply indirectly associated to PCOS via weight achieve. No, because the same link between high AGE ranges and PCOS was present in lean women as nicely.
“As chronic inflammation and increased oxidative stress have been incriminated in the pathophysiology [or disease process] of PCOS, the role of AGEs as inflammatory and oxidant mediators, may be linked with the metabolic and reproductive abnormalities of the syndrome.” Further, the buildup of AGE inside polycystic ovaries themselves suggests a potential position of AGEs contributing to the precise disease course of, beyond just a few of its consequences.
RAGE is very expressed in ovarian tissues. The receptor in the physique for these superior glycation finish products, the “R” in RAGE, is concentrated in the ovaries, which can be notably delicate to its impact. So, AGEs may certainly be contributing to the reason for PCOS and infertility.
Does this mean we should always simply minimize down on AGE-rich foods, reminiscent of meat, cheese, and eggs? Or hey, why not come up with medicine that block AGE absorption? We know AGEs have been implicated in the improvement of many persistent illnesses. Specifically, food-derived AGEs play an essential position as a result of eating regimen is a serious source of these pro-inflammatory AGEs. Indeed, chopping down on these dietary glycotoxins reduces the inflammatory response, however the “argument is often made that stewed chicken would be less tasty than fried chicken…” Why not have your KFC and eat it, too? Just take an AGE-absorption blocking drug every time you eat it to scale back the absorption of the toxins. What’s extra, it truly lowers AGE blood ranges. This oral absorbent drug, AST-120, is only a preparation of activated charcoal, like what’s used for drug overdoses and when individuals are poisoned. I’m positive in case you took some ipecac with your KFC, your levels would go down, too.
There’s another means to scale back absorption of AGEs, and that’s by decreasing your consumption within the first place. It’s easy, protected, and feasible. The first step is to quit smoking. The glycotoxins in cigarette smoke might contribute to increased coronary heart illness and most cancers in people who smoke. Then, lower your consumption of high-AGE meals, improve your consumption of foods which will help pull AGEs out of your system, like mushrooms, and eat foods high in antioxidants, like berries, herbs, and spices. “Dietary AGE intake can be easily decreased by simply changing the method of cooking from a high dry heat application to a low heat and high humidity…” In different phrases, transfer away from broiling, searing, and frying to more stewing, steaming, and boiling.
What we eat, nevertheless, may be extra essential than how we prepare dinner it. At 4:00 in my video, I embrace a table displaying the amounts of AGEs in numerous meals. For instance, boiled hen incorporates less than half the glycotoxins of roasted hen, but even deep-fried potatoes have less than boiled meat. We may also eat meals raw, which doesn’t work as well as for blood pudding, however uncooked nuts and nut butters might include about 30 occasions less glycotoxins than roasted, and we will keep away from high-AGE processed meals, like puffed, shredded, and flaked breakfast cereals.
Why does it matter? Because research after research has proven that switching to a low-AGE food regimen can decrease the irritation inside our bodies. Even only a single meal excessive in AGEs can profoundly impair our arterial perform inside simply two hours of consumption. At 4:54 in my video, you possibly can see the difference between a meal of fried or broiled hen breast and veggies compared with steamed or boiled hen breast and veggies. Same components, simply totally different cooking strategies. Even a steamed or boiled hen meal can still impair arterial perform, but significantly less than fried or broiled.
“Interestingly, the amount of AGEs administered [to subjects] during the HAGE [high-AGE] intervention was similar to the average estimated daily intake by the general population,” who sometimes comply with the usual American eating regimen. This is why we will decrease irritation in individuals by putting them on a low-AGE eating regimen, but a rise in inflammation is much less apparent when topics change from their regular weight-reduction plan to one high in AGEs. Indeed, they have been already eating a high-AGE weight-reduction plan with so many of those glycotoxins.
Do we’ve evidence that decreasing AGE intake truly helps with PCOS? Yes. Within just two months, researchers found differences from subjects’ baseline diets switched to a high-AGE eating regimen after which to a low-AGE food plan, with parallel modifications in insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress, and hormonal status, as seen at 5:54 in my video. The take-home learning? Those with PCOS may want to attempt a low-AGE weight loss plan, which, in the research, meant proscribing meat to as soon as every week and eating it solely boiled, poached, stewed, or steamed, in addition to chopping out fast-food-type fare and soda.
What if as an alternative of eating steamed hen, we ate no meat at all? Rather than measuring blood levels, which differ with every meal, we will measure the level of glycotoxins stuck in our body tissues over time with a high-tech gadget that measures the amount of sunshine our skin provides off because AGEs are fluorescent. And, not surprisingly, this turns out to be a robust predictor of general mortality. So, the lower our levels, the higher. The “one factor that was consistently associated with reduced [skin fluorescence]: a vegetarian diet.” This “suggests that a vegetarian diet may reduce exposure to preformed dietary AGE…potentially reduc[ing] tissue AGE,” in addition to continual disease danger
What’s so nice about antioxidants? See my videos:
Just how many antioxidants do we’d like? Check out:
For a couple of easy tips on how to shortly increase the antioxidant content of your food with herbs and spices, see my video Antioxidants in a Pinch.
I touched on the benefits of spearmint tea for PCOS in Enhancing Athletic Performance with Peppermint. Another sorely under-recognized gynecological problem is endometriosis, which I talk about in How to Treat Endometriosis with Seaweed.
Because of AGEs, I not toast nuts or purchase roasted nut butters, which is disappointing because I really take pleasure in these flavors a lot more than untoasted and unroasted nuts. But, as Dr. McDougall likes to say, nothing tastes nearly as good as healthy feels. For extra on why it’s necessary to reduce our publicity to these toxic compounds, see:
Michael Greger, M.D.
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