Given the function that oxidant free radicals are thought to play in growing older and illness, one purpose vegatables and fruits could also be so good for us is that they comprise antioxidant compounds. As you’ll be able to see at 0:20 in my video Benefits of Marjoram for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), completely different greens and herbs have completely different antioxidant content material. When making a salad, for instance, spinach, arugula, or pink leaf lettuce might present twice the antioxidants as butterhead lettuce, and selecting purple cabbage over inexperienced, or pink onions over white may increase the salad’s antioxidant energy.
Fresh herbs are so highly effective that even a small quantity might double and even quadruple the antioxidant energy of your entire meal. For occasion, as you’ll be able to see at 0:50 in my video, the full antioxidants in a easy salad of lettuce and tomato soar up by including only a tablespoon of lemon balm leaves or half a tablespoon of oregano or mint. Adding marjoram, thyme, or sage not solely provides nice taste to the salad, however successfully quadruples the antioxidant content material on the identical time, and including just a little recent garlic or ginger to the dressing ups the antioxidant energy much more.
Herbs are so antioxidant-rich that researchers determined to see if they could have the option to cut back the DNA-damaging results of radiation. Radioactive iodine is usually given to individuals with overactive thyroid glands or thyroid most cancers to destroy a part of the gland or take care of any remaining tumor cells after surgical procedure. For days after the isotope injection, sufferers develop into so radioactive they’re suggested not to kiss or sleep shut to anybody, together with 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 embody “avoid[ing] splatter of radioactive urine,” not going close to your children, and principally simply staying away from others as a lot as doable.
The remedy could be very efficient, however all that radiation publicity seems to enhance the chance of growing new cancers afterward. In order to forestall the DNA injury related with this remedy, researchers examined the flexibility of oregano to defend chromosomes of human blood cells in vitro from publicity to radioactive iodine. As you’ll be able to 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, although, it’s extra like 1 in 8. What occurs if, as well as to the radiation, rising quantities of oregano extract are added? Chromosome injury is diminished 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 achieved outdoors the physique, although, which the researchers justified by saying it wouldn’t be significantly moral to irradiate individuals for experimental analysis. True, however tens of millions of individuals have been irradiated for remedy, and researchers might have studied them or, on the very least, they might have simply had individuals eat the oregano after which irradiate their blood in vitro to mannequin the quantity of oregano compounds that really make it into the bloodstream.
Other in vitro research 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 however bay leaves in its means to suppress cervical most cancers cell development in vitro whereas leaving regular cells alone. But individuals have a tendency to use oregano orally—that’s, they usually eat it—so the relevance of those outcomes usually are not clear.
Similarly, marjoram, an herb carefully associated to oregano, can suppress the expansion of particular person breast most cancers cells in a petri dish, as you’ll be able to see at 3:53 in my video, and even successfully entire human breast tumors grown in hen eggs, which is one thing I’ve by no means seen earlier than. Are there any medical trials on oregano-family herbs on precise individuals? The solely such medical, randomized, management examine I might discover was a examine on how marjoram tea impacts the hormonal profile of ladies with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The most typical explanation for feminine fertility issues, PCOS impacts up to one in eight younger ladies and is characterised by extreme male hormones, leading to extra physique or facial hair, menstrual irregularities, and cysts in a single’s ovaries that present up on ultrasounds.
Evidently, conventional drugs practitioners reported marjoram tea was useful for PCOS, however it had by no means been put to the check…till now. Drinking two day by day cups of marjoram tea versus a placebo tea for one month did appear to beneficially have an effect on the topics’ hormonal profiles, which appears to supply credence to the claims of the standard drugs practitioners. However, the examine didn’t final lengthy sufficient to verify that precise signs improved as effectively, which is actually what we care about.
Is there something that’s been proven to assist? Well, decreasing one’s consumption of dietary glycotoxins might assist forestall and deal with the illness. “Over the previous 2 a long time there was rising proof supporting an necessary contribution from food-derived superior glycation finish merchandise (AGEs)…[to] elevated oxidative stress and irritation, processes that play a significant function within the causation of continual illnesses,” doubtlessly together with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS have a tendency to have almost twice the circulating AGE ranges of their bloodstream, as you’ll be able to see at 0:33 in my video Best Foods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS could also be the commonest hormonal abnormality amongst younger ladies within the United States and is a standard explanation for infertility, menstrual dysfunction, and extra facial and physique hair. The prevalence of weight problems can be greater in ladies with PCOS. Since the best AGE ranges are present in broiled, grilled, fried, and roasted meals of “mostly animal origin,” is it doable that this causal chain begins with a foul weight-reduction plan? For occasion, perhaps eating a lot of fried hen leads to weight problems, which in flip leads to PCOS. In that case, maybe what we eat is just not directly associated to PCOS by means of weight achieve. No, as a result of the identical link between excessive AGE ranges and PCOS was present in lean ladies as effectively.
“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 possible function of AGEs contributing to the precise illness course of, past simply a few of its penalties.
RAGE is extremely expressed in ovarian tissues. The receptor within the physique for these superior glycation finish merchandise, the “R” in RAGE, is concentrated within the ovaries, which can be significantly delicate to its impact. So, AGEs would possibly certainly be contributing to the reason for PCOS and infertility.
Does this imply we must always simply minimize down on AGE-rich meals, comparable to meat, cheese, and eggs? Or hey, why not come up with medicine that block AGE absorption? We know AGEs have been implicated within the growth of many continual illnesses. Specifically, food-derived AGEs play an necessary function as a result of weight-reduction plan is a significant supply of those pro-inflammatory AGEs. Indeed, slicing 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 each time you eat it to cut back the absorption of the toxins. What’s extra, it really 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 persons are poisoned. I’m positive when you took some ipecac with your KFC, your ranges would go down, too.
There’s one other means to cut back absorption of AGEs, and that’s by decreasing your consumption within the first place. It’s easy, protected, and possible. The first step is to give up smoking. The glycotoxins in cigarette smoke might contribute to elevated coronary heart illness and most cancers in people who smoke. Then, lower your consumption of high-AGE meals, enhance your consumption of meals that will assist pull AGEs out of your system, like mushrooms, and eat meals excessive 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 extra stewing, steaming, and boiling.
What we eat, nevertheless, could also be extra necessary than how we prepare dinner it. At 4:00 in my video, I embody a desk exhibiting the quantities of AGEs in varied meals. For occasion, boiled hen incorporates lower than half the glycotoxins of roasted hen, however even deep-fried potatoes have lower than boiled meat. We may eat meals uncooked, which doesn’t work in addition to for blood pudding, however uncooked nuts and nut butters might comprise about 30 instances much less glycotoxins than roasted, and we are able to keep away from high-AGE processed meals, like puffed, shredded, and flaked breakfast cereals.
Why does it matter? Because examine after examine has proven that switching to a low-AGE weight-reduction plan can decrease the irritation inside our 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’ll be able to see the distinction between a meal of fried or broiled hen breast and veggies in contrast with steamed or boiled hen breast and veggies. Same substances, simply completely different cooking strategies. Even a steamed or boiled hen meal can nonetheless impair arterial perform, however considerably lower 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 usually observe the usual American weight-reduction plan. This is why we are able to lower irritation in individuals by placing them on a low-AGE weight-reduction plan, but a rise in irritation is much less obvious when topics swap from their common weight-reduction plan to one excessive in AGEs. Indeed, they have been already eating a high-AGE weight-reduction plan with so many of those glycotoxins.
Do now we have proof that decreasing AGE consumption really helps with PCOS? Yes. Within simply two months, researchers discovered variations from topics’ baseline diets switched to a high-AGE weight-reduction plan after which to a low-AGE weight-reduction plan, with parallel modifications in insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress, and hormonal standing, as seen at 5:54 in my video. The take-home studying? Those with PCOS might want to strive a low-AGE weight-reduction plan, which, within the examine, meant limiting meat to as soon as per week and eating it solely boiled, poached, stewed, or steamed, in addition to slicing out fast-food-type fare and soda.
What if as an alternative of eating steamed hen, we ate no meat in any respect? Rather than measuring blood ranges, which differ with every meal, we are able to measure the extent of glycotoxins caught in our physique tissues over time with a high-tech system that measures the quantity of sunshine our pores and skin offers off as a result of AGEs are fluorescent. And, not surprisingly, this seems to be a robust predictor of general mortality. So, the decrease our ranges, 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 illness danger
What’s so nice about antioxidants? See my movies:
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For just a few easy tips on how to shortly increase the antioxidant content material of your food with herbs and spices, see my video Antioxidants in a Pinch.
I touched on the advantages of spearmint tea for PCOS in Enhancing Athletic Performance with Peppermint. Another sorely under-recognized gynecological situation is endometriosis, which I focus on in How to Treat Endometriosis with Seaweed.
Because of AGEs, I now not toast nuts or purchase roasted nut butters, which is disappointing as a result of I actually take pleasure in these flavors a lot greater than untoasted and unroasted nuts. But, as Dr. McDougall likes to say, nothing tastes pretty much as good as healthy feels. For extra on why it’s necessary to reduce our publicity to these poisonous compounds, see:
Michael Greger, M.D.
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