Given the function that oxidant free radicals are thought to play in growing old and illness, one cause fruit and veggies could also be so good for us is that they contain 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 material. When making a salad, for instance, spinach, arugula, or purple leaf lettuce could provide twice the antioxidants as butterhead lettuce, and selecting purple cabbage over inexperienced, or purple onions over white may also enhance the salad’s antioxidant energy.

Recent herbs are so highly effective that even a small quantity could double and even quadruple the antioxidant energy of your complete meal. For example, as you possibly can see at 0:50 in my video, the overall antioxidants in a easy salad of lettuce and tomato bounce up by adding only a tablespoon of lemon balm leaves or half a tablespoon of oregano or mint. Including 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 slightly contemporary 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 reduce the DNA-damaging results of radiation. Radioactive iodine is typically given to folks with overactive thyroid glands or thyroid most cancers to destroy a part of the gland or deal with any remaining tumor cells after surgical procedure. For days after the isotope injection, sufferers turn into so radioactive they’re advised 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 “rigorously” or cowl it “with an simply eliminated plastic bag.” Different suggestions embrace “keep away from[ing] splatter of radioactive urine,” not going close to your youngsters, and mainly simply staying away from others as a lot as doable.

The remedy could be very efficient, however all that radiation publicity seems to increase the danger of creating new cancers in a while. So as to stop the DNA injury related to this remedy, researchers tested the flexibility of oregano to guard chromosomes of human blood cells in vitro from publicity to radioactive iodine. As you possibly can see at 2:25 in my video, at baseline, about 1 in 100 of our blood cells show proof of chromosomal injury. If radioactive iodine is added, although, it’s extra like 1 in 8. What occurs if, along with the radiation, growing quantities of oregano extract are added? Chromosome injury is lowered by as a lot 70 p.c. Researchers concluded that oregano extract “considerably protects” in opposition to DNA injury induced by the radioactive iodine in white blood cells. This was all carried out exterior the physique, although, which the researchers justified by saying it wouldn’t be notably moral to irradiate folks for experimental analysis. True, however hundreds of thousands of individuals have been irradiated for remedy, and researchers may have studied them or, on the very least, they might have simply had folks eat the oregano after which irradiate their blood in vitro to mannequin the quantity of oregano compounds that truly make it into the bloodstream.

Different 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 skill to suppress cervical most cancers cell development in vitro whereas leaving regular cells alone. However folks have a tendency to make use of oregano orally—that’s, they sometimes eat it—so the relevance of those outcomes aren’t clear.

Equally, marjoram, an herb intently associated to oregano, can suppress the expansion of particular person breast most cancers cells in a petri dish, as you possibly can see at 3:53 in my video, and even successfully complete human breast tumors grown in rooster eggs, which is one thing I’ve by no means seen earlier than. Are there any scientific trials on oregano-family herbs on precise folks? The one such scientific, randomized, management examine I may discover was a examine on how marjoram tea affects 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 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 medication practitioners reported marjoram tea was useful for PCOS, but it surely had by no means been put to the take a look at…till now. Consuming two day by day cups of marjoram tea versus a placebo tea for one month did appear to beneficially affect the topics’ hormonal profiles, which appears to supply credence to the claims of the normal medication practitioners. Nonetheless, the examine didn’t final lengthy sufficient to verify that precise signs improved as properly, which is de facto what we care about.

Is there something that’s been proven to assist? Effectively, reducing one’s consumption of dietary glycotoxins could assist stop and deal with the illness. Over the previous 2 a long time there was growing proof supporting an vital 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 including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Ladies with PCOS are inclined to have practically twice the circulating AGE ranges of their bloodstream, as you possibly can see at 0:33 in my video Best Foods for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). 

PCOS could be the most typical hormonal abnormality amongst younger ladies in the US and is a standard reason for infertility, menstrual dysfunction, and extra facial and physique hair. The prevalence of weight problems can also be greater in ladies with PCOS. Because the highest AGE ranges are found in broiled, grilled, fried, and roasted meals of “largely animal origin,” is it doable that this causal chain begins with a foul weight loss program? For example, perhaps consuming a number of fried rooster results in weight problems, which in flip results in PCOS. In that case, maybe what we eat is just not directly associated to PCOS by way of weight achieve. No, as a result of the identical hyperlink between excessive AGE ranges and PCOS was found in lean ladies as properly.

“As continual irritation and elevated oxidative stress have been incriminated within the pathophysiology [or disease process] of PCOS, the function of AGEs as inflammatory and oxidant mediators, could also be linked with the metabolic and reproductive abnormalities of the syndrome.” Additional, 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 may certainly be contributing to the reason for PCOS and infertility.

Does this imply we should always simply reduce down on AGE-rich meals, reminiscent of meat, cheese, and eggs? Or hey, why not give you medication that block AGE absorption? We all know AGEs have been implicated within the improvement of many continual illnesses. Particularly, food-derived AGEs play an vital function as a result of weight loss program is a significant supply of those pro-inflammatory AGEs. Certainly, chopping down on these dietary glycotoxins reduces the inflammatory response, however the “argument is commonly made that stewed rooster could be much less tasty than fried rooster…” Why not have your KFC and eat it, too? Simply take an AGE-absorption blocking drug each time you eat it to reduce 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 individuals are poisoned. I’m certain for those who took some ipecac along with your KFC, your ranges would go down, too.

There’s one other solution to reduce absorption of AGEs, and that’s by lowering your consumption within the first place. It’s easy, protected, and possible. Step one is to quit smoking. The glycotoxins in cigarette smoke could contribute to elevated coronary heart illness and most cancers in people who smoke. Then, decrease 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 consumption could be simply decreased by merely altering the tactic of cooking from a excessive dry warmth software to a low warmth and excessive 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 vital than how we cook dinner it. At 4:00 in my video, I embrace a desk showing the quantities of AGEs in numerous meals. For example, boiled rooster comprises lower than half the glycotoxins of roasted rooster, however even deep-fried potatoes have lower than boiled meat. We will additionally eat meals uncooked, which doesn’t work in addition to for blood pudding, however uncooked nuts and nut butters could contain about 30 occasions 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? As a result of examine after examine has shown that switching to a low-AGE weight loss program 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 possibly can see the distinction between a meal of fried or broiled rooster breast and veggies in contrast with steamed or boiled rooster breast and veggies. Similar substances, simply totally different cooking strategies. Even a steamed or boiled rooster meal can nonetheless impair arterial perform, however considerably lower than fried or broiled.

“Curiously, the quantity of AGEs administered [to subjects] through the HAGE [high-AGE] intervention was just like the common estimated day by day consumption by the final inhabitants,” who sometimes comply with the usual American weight loss program. For this reason we are able to decrease irritation in folks by placing them on a low-AGE weight loss program, but a rise in irritation is much less obvious when topics swap from their common weight loss program to at least one excessive in AGEs. Certainly, they have been already consuming a high-AGE weight loss program with so many of those glycotoxins.

Do we now have proof that lowering AGE consumption really helps with PCOS? Sure. Inside simply two months, researchers found variations from topics’ baseline diets switched to a high-AGE weight loss program after which to a low-AGE weight loss program, with parallel adjustments in insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress, and hormonal standing, as seen at 5:54 in my video. The take-home studying? These with PCOS could need to strive a low-AGE weight loss program, which, within the examine, meant limiting meat to as soon as per week and consuming it solely boiled, poached, stewed, or steamed, in addition to chopping out fast-food-type fare and soda.

What if as an alternative of consuming steamed rooster, we ate no meat in any respect? Relatively than measuring blood ranges, which fluctuate 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 robust predictor of general mortality. So, the decrease our ranges, the higher. The “one issue that was persistently associated with lowered [skin fluorescence]: a vegetarian weight loss program.” This “suggests {that a} vegetarian weight loss program could scale back publicity to preformed dietary AGE…doubtlessly reduc[ing] tissue AGE,” in addition to continual illness threat


What’s so nice about antioxidants? See my movies:

Simply what number of antioxidants do we want? Try:

For just a few easy tips about easy methods 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. One other sorely under-recognized gynecological challenge is endometriosis, which I talk about in How to Treat Endometriosis with Seaweed.

Due to AGEs, I now not toast nuts or purchase roasted nut butters, which is disappointing as a result of I actually get pleasure from these flavors a lot greater than untoasted and unroasted nuts. However, as Dr. McDougall likes to say, nothing tastes pretty much as good as wholesome feels. For extra on why it’s vital to attenuate our publicity to those poisonous compounds, see:

In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.

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