Given the function that oxidant free radicals are thought to play in growing old and illness, one purpose vegatables and fruits could also be so good for us is that they comprise antioxidant compounds. As you may 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 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 can even enhance 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 the complete meal. For occasion, as you may see at 0:50 in my video, the entire 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 similar time, and including somewhat 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 ability to cut back the DNA-damaging results of radiation. Radioactive iodine is typically given to individuals with overactive thyroid glands or thyroid most cancers to destroy a part of the gland or care for any remaining tumor cells after surgical procedure. For days after the isotope injection, sufferers grow to be so radioactive they’re suggested to not kiss or sleep near anybody, together with their pets, and in the event that they breathe on a cellphone, 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 close to your children, and mainly simply staying away from others as a lot as attainable.
The remedy may be very efficient, however all that radiation publicity seems to extend the danger of creating new cancers afterward. In order to stop the DNA injury related to this remedy, researchers examined the power of oregano to guard chromosomes of human blood cells in vitro from publicity to radioactive iodine. As you may 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, along with the radiation, rising 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 achieved outdoors the physique, although, which the researchers justified by saying it wouldn’t be notably 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 may have simply had individuals eat the oregano after which irradiate their blood in vitro to mannequin the quantity of oregano compounds that truly make it into the bloodstream.
Other in vitro research on oregano are equally unsatisfying. In a comparability of the results of assorted spice extracts, together with bay leaves, fennel, lavender, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, and thyme, oregano beat out all however bay leaves in its capacity to suppress cervical most cancers cell development in vitro whereas leaving regular cells alone. But individuals have a tendency to make use of oregano orally—that’s, they usually eat it—so the relevance of those outcomes should not clear.
Similarly, marjoram, an herb intently associated to oregano, can suppress the expansion of particular person breast most cancers cells in a petri dish, as you may 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 scientific trials on oregano-family herbs on precise individuals? The solely such scientific, randomized, management research I might discover was a research on how marjoram tea impacts the hormonal profile of ladies with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The most typical reason for feminine fertility issues, PCOS impacts as much as one in eight younger girls 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 helpful for PCOS, but it surely had by no means been put to the check…till now. Drinking two each day cups of marjoram tea versus a placebo tea for one month did appear to beneficially have an effect on the themes’ hormonal profiles, which appears to supply credence to the claims of the normal drugs practitioners. However, the research didn’t final lengthy sufficient to substantiate that precise signs improved as nicely, which is absolutely what we care about.
Is there something that’s been proven to assist? Well, lowering one’s consumption of dietary glycotoxins might assist stop and deal with the illness. “Over the past 2 decades there has been increasing evidence supporting an important contribution from food-derived advanced glycation end products (AGEs)…[to] increased oxidative stress and inflammation, processes that play a major role in the causation of chronic diseases,” doubtlessly together with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS are inclined to have practically twice the circulating AGE ranges of their bloodstream, as you may see at 0:33 in my video Best Foods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS could also be the most typical hormonal abnormality amongst younger girls within the United States and is a standard reason for infertility, menstrual dysfunction, and extra facial and physique hair. The prevalence of weight problems can be larger in girls with PCOS. Since the best AGE ranges are present in broiled, grilled, fried, and roasted meals of “mostly animal origin,” is it attainable that this causal chain begins with a nasty food regimen? For occasion, possibly consuming plenty of fried hen results in weight problems, which in flip results in PCOS. In that case, maybe what we eat is barely not directly associated to PCOS by means of weight acquire. No, as a result of the identical hyperlink between excessive AGE ranges and PCOS was present in lean girls 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 possible function of AGEs contributing to the precise illness course of, past simply a few of its penalties.
RAGE is very 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 notably delicate to its impact. So, AGEs would possibly certainly be contributing to the reason for PCOS and infertility.
Does this imply we should always simply lower down on AGE-rich meals, akin to meat, cheese, and eggs? Or hey, why not provide you with medicine that block AGE absorption? We know AGEs have been implicated within the improvement of many continual ailments. Specifically, food-derived AGEs play an necessary function as a result of food regimen is a serious 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 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 certain in case you took some ipecac along with your KFC, your ranges would go down, too.
There’s one other approach to cut back absorption of AGEs, and that’s by lowering 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 which 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, nonetheless, could also be extra necessary than how we prepare dinner it. At 4:00 in my video, I embrace a desk exhibiting the quantities of AGEs in numerous meals. For occasion, boiled hen comprises lower than half the glycotoxins of roasted hen, however even deep-fried potatoes have lower than boiled meat. We can even 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 research after research has proven that switching to a low-AGE food regimen 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 may 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 totally 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 food regimen. This is why we are able to lower irritation in individuals by placing them on a low-AGE food regimen, but a rise in irritation is much less obvious when topics change from their common food regimen to 1 excessive in AGEs. Indeed, they have been already consuming a high-AGE food regimen with so many of those glycotoxins.
Do we have now proof that lowering AGE consumption truly helps with PCOS? Yes. Within simply two months, researchers discovered variations from topics’ baseline diets switched to a high-AGE food regimen after which to a low-AGE food regimen, 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 wish to strive a low-AGE food regimen, which, within the research, meant proscribing meat to as soon as per week and consuming it solely boiled, poached, stewed, or steamed, in addition to slicing out fast-food-type fare and soda.
What if as an alternative of consuming steamed hen, we ate no meat in any respect? Rather than measuring blood ranges, which range with every meal, we are able to measure the extent of glycotoxins caught in our physique tissues over time with a high-tech machine 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 powerful predictor of total 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 threat
What’s so nice about antioxidants? See my movies:
Just what number of antioxidants do we want? Check out:
For a number of easy tips about tips on how to rapidly enhance the antioxidant content material of your meals 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 concern is endometriosis, which I focus on in How to Treat Endometriosis with Seaweed.
Because of AGEs, I 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 nearly as good as wholesome feels. For extra on why it’s necessary to reduce our publicity to those poisonous compounds, see:
In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.
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