Given the function that oxidant free radicals are thought to play in getting older and illness, one cause vegatables and fruits could also be so good for us is that they contain antioxidant compounds. As you may 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 provide twice the antioxidants as butterhead lettuce, and selecting purple cabbage over inexperienced, or pink onions over white also can increase the salad’s antioxidant energy.

Recent herbs are so highly effective that even a small quantity might double and even quadruple the antioxidant energy of your complete meal. As an example, as you may 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. Including 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 a little bit 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 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 change 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 “fastidiously” 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 potential.

The therapy could be very efficient, however all that radiation publicity seems to increase the chance of creating new cancers in a while. With the intention to stop the DNA harm related to this therapy, researchers tested 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 show proof of chromosomal harm. 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 harm is diminished by as a lot 70 p.c. Researchers concluded that oregano extract “considerably protects” towards DNA harm induced by the radioactive iodine in white blood cells. This was all finished 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 therapy, 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.

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

Equally, marjoram, an herb carefully 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 rooster 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 one such medical, randomized, management research I might discover was a research on how marjoram tea affects the hormonal profile of girls with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The commonest 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 medication practitioners reported marjoram tea was useful for PCOS, nevertheless it 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 themes’ hormonal profiles, which appears to supply credence to the claims of the standard medication practitioners. Nevertheless, the research didn’t final lengthy sufficient to substantiate that precise signs improved as properly, which is basically what we care about.

Is there something that’s been proven to assist? Nicely, reducing one’s consumption of dietary glycotoxins might assist stop and deal with the illness. Over the previous 2 many years there was growing proof supporting an essential contribution from food-derived superior glycation finish merchandise (AGEs)…[to] elevated oxidative stress and irritation, processes that play a serious function within the causation of continual ailments,” doubtlessly including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Ladies 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 might be the most typical hormonal abnormality amongst younger girls in the USA and is a typical reason for infertility, menstrual dysfunction, and extra facial and physique hair. The prevalence of weight problems can be greater in girls with PCOS. For the reason that highest AGE ranges are found in broiled, grilled, fried, and roasted meals of “largely animal origin,” is it potential that this causal chain begins with a nasty weight-reduction plan? As an example, perhaps consuming a lot of fried rooster 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 way of weight achieve. No, as a result of the identical hyperlink between excessive AGE ranges and PCOS was found in lean girls 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 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 notably delicate to its impact. So, AGEs may certainly be contributing to the reason for PCOS and infertility.

Does this imply we must 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 all know AGEs have been implicated within the growth of many continual ailments. Particularly, food-derived AGEs play an essential function as a result of weight-reduction plan is a serious supply of those pro-inflammatory AGEs. Certainly, reducing down on these dietary glycotoxins reduces the inflammatory response, however the “argument is commonly made that stewed rooster can 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 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 when you took some ipecac together 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 might contribute to elevated coronary heart illness and most cancers in people who smoke. Then, decrease your consumption of high-AGE meals, improve 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 strategy 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 essential than how we prepare dinner it. At 4:00 in my video, I embrace a desk showing the quantities of AGEs in varied meals. As an example, boiled rooster accommodates lower than half the glycotoxins of roasted rooster, however even deep-fried potatoes have lower than boiled meat. We are able to additionally eat meals uncooked, which doesn’t work in addition to for blood pudding, however uncooked nuts and nut butters might contain about 30 occasions much 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? As a result of research after research has shown 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 operate inside simply two hours of consumption. At 4:54 in my video, you may see the distinction between a meal of fried or broiled rooster breast and veggies in contrast with steamed or boiled rooster breast and veggies. Identical substances, simply completely different cooking strategies. Even a steamed or boiled rooster meal can nonetheless impair arterial operate, however considerably lower than fried or broiled.

“Curiously, the quantity of AGEs administered [to subjects] through the HAGE [high-AGE] intervention was much like the common estimated day by day consumption by the overall inhabitants,” who usually observe the usual American weight-reduction plan. That is why we will decrease 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 at least one excessive in AGEs. Certainly, they had been already consuming a high-AGE weight-reduction plan with so many of those glycotoxins.

Do we’ve got proof that lowering AGE consumption truly helps with PCOS? Sure. Inside simply two months, researchers found variations from topics’ baseline diets switched to a high-AGE weight-reduction plan after which to a low-AGE weight-reduction plan, 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 might wish to attempt a low-AGE weight-reduction plan, which, within the research, meant proscribing meat to as soon as every week and consuming it solely boiled, poached, stewed, or steamed, in addition to reducing out fast-food-type fare and soda.

What if as an alternative of consuming steamed rooster, we ate no meat in any respect? Slightly than measuring blood ranges, which differ with every meal, we will measure the extent of glycotoxins caught in our physique tissues over time with a high-tech gadget that measures the quantity of sunshine our pores and skin provides off as a result of AGEs are fluorescent. And, not surprisingly, this seems to be a powerful predictor of general mortality. So, the decrease our ranges, the higher. The “one issue that was constantly associated with diminished [skin fluorescence]: a vegetarian weight-reduction plan.” This “suggests {that a} vegetarian weight-reduction plan might scale back publicity to preformed dietary AGE…doubtlessly reduc[ing] tissue AGE,” in addition to continual illness danger

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

Simply what number of antioxidants do we’d like? Try:

For a couple of easy recommendations on easy methods to shortly increase 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 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 nearly as good as wholesome feels. For extra on why it’s essential to reduce our publicity to those poisonous compounds, see:

In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.

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