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Arctic herb linked to IMPROVED quality of life, especially for people feeling emotionally upset

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by:  | May 27, 2021

arctic-herb-quality-of-life(NaturalHealth365) For centuries, natural practitioners have relied on Rhodiola rosea to stop depression, treat age-related cognitive decline, promote overall wellbeing and boost physical performance.  Now, emerging data links this ancient herb with the ability to prolong life.

Rhodiola also called golden root or arctic root grows in the mountainous areas of Asia and Europe.  The medicinal use of rhodiola root, which has a characteristic fragrance of roses, has been documented as early as the first century A.D.  In fact, rhodiola has been traditionally used in Russian folk medicine to treat stress, hysteria, and headaches; in the ancient Indian healing system known as Ayurveda, rhodiola is treasured as a rasayana, or “royal” herb capable of extending life.

Multifaceted herbal solution reduces stress-related fatigue

Like ginseng, another adaptogenic herb, rhodiola boosts the immune system, combats depression and fatigue, and helps the body deal with stress.  Animal and test-tube studies have supported the power of rhodiola, as an antioxidant, to decrease the creation of free radicals – which helps to prevent serious health conditions like, cancer and heart disease.

Rhodiola’s therapeutic powers – which have been known to natural healers for close to two thousand years — are currently impressing conventional Western-trained scientists.  Even the anti-natural healing advocates at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center credit rhodiola with neuroprotective, antidepressant, and antioxidant effects, and confirms that the herb can improve physical and mental performance while reducing stress-related fatigue.

Interestingly, the effects of this useful herb can vary by the amount you take.  While low amounts appear to stimulate mental clarity and promote vitality – by improving blood flow to the brain and stimulating the serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine systems – higher amounts have a mildly sedating effect.

Recent studies confirm rhodiola has potent life-extending properties

In a study published in 2013 in the medical journal PLOS One, researchers found that rhodiola increased the lifespan of Drosophilia fruit flies by a dramatic 24 percent.  Drosophila fruit flies are a common subject of laboratory study, due to both their abbreviated life spans and the number of genes they share in common with humans.  Although this result may seem at first glance to have little relevance to human longevity, knowing how rhodiola helps prolong life can help scientists glean valuable insight into ways in which the herb can help treat and prevent age-related health issues and degenerative diseases.

Making the study results even more significant is the fact that rhodiola produced its results by an unusual mechanism that was unrelated to dietary restriction, the usual method of increasing life span in studies.

Dietary restriction prolongs life — up until the point that diet is so severely restricted that malnutrition becomes an issue.  Contrary to all expectations, rhodiola prolonged life even when the severely decreased nutrients should have shortened it, and even helped extend the lives of flies that were already elderly.  These promising results led researchers to conclude that rhodiola is a viable candidate to treat aging and age-related disease in humans.

Like so many other life-prolonging herbs, rhodiola is rich in antioxidants.

In addition to rhodiola’s primary active constituents – phytochemicals known as rosavin, rosarin, and salidroside – the roots are also packed with flavonoids, catechins, and proanthocyanidins – the same healthful plant pigments found in acknowledged ‘superfoods’ such as blueberries and cherries.  Beta-sitosterol, a natural anti-inflammatory substance, is found in rhodiola as well, as well as beneficial gallic acid, which is also a constituent of life-prolonging green tea.

How effective is rhodiola in helping people with depression?

In a double-blind, randomized 6-week study published in 2007 in Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, patients with mild to moderate depression who were given rhodiola experienced a substantial reduction in symptoms of depression and insomnia, as assessed on day 42 with the use of the Hamilton Depression Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory.

Patients who received a placebo rather than rhodiola reported no improvement whatsoever.  Plus, no serious side effects were reported in the rhodiola group.

How much rhodiola should I take?

Rhodiola, standardized to contain 3 percent rosavin and 1 to 2 percent salidroside, is available in capsule and tablet form at health food stores and online.  The usual amount is 200 to 600 milligrams per day.

Rhodiola is generally considered safe, but you shouldn’t use it to treat depression – or any other condition – unless under the guidance of a qualified medical professional – well trained in herbalism.  It can interact with prescription drugs and other supplements; so consult your doctor before taking rhodiola – especially if you also take psychotropic medications or have diabetes or a thyroid condition.

This sweet-smelling, rose-scented arctic root – which is currently being studied for possible applications in treating Alzheimer’s disease and cancer – may hold a sweet promise indeed: the potential for extending human life.

Sources for this article:

NIH.gov
NIH.gov
MSKCC.org
MentalHealthAmerica.net
PLOS.org

 

Quercetin: What It Is and Why You Need It

© May 25th 2021 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC.
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Posted on: Wednesday, May 19th 2021 at 4:15 pm
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Find out more about quercetin and how this potent antioxidant flavonoid offers significant therapeutic benefits against a wide range of conditions, from diabetes to DNA damage

Flavonoids are one of nature’s many therapeutic gifts. Widely found in fruits and vegetables, these phenolic substances have antioxidant properties that protect cells from free radical damage.[i] One of the most well-known and studied flavonoids is quercetin, a flavonol mostly found in onions, berries, citrus fruits, broccoli and grapes.

A potent antioxidant, quercetin boasts of anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, antiobesity and anti-atherosclerotic actions. Since free radicals figure into the development of diseases, quercetin holds promise for benefitting conditions such as high blood pressure, vascular disorders and metabolic syndrome.[ii] Here is compelling evidence of the health benefits of quercetin.

Potential Anti-Diabetes Aid

The development of Type 2 diabetes has been linked to oxidant stress caused by an unhealthy diet.[iii] Toona sinensis leaves, which are rich in quercetin, may reduce the risk of diabetes by reducing oxidative stress in the liver.

A topical compound containing substances such as quercetin, ascorbyl palmitate and vitamin D3 was formulated to reduce the oxidative stress contributing to peripheral diabetic neuropathy.[iv] A preliminary study in 2005 showed that the compound may safely relieve the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy and enhance quality of life.

Quercetin displayed protective effects in the kidneys and liver of obese animal models with Type 2 diabetes.[v] Together with quinic acid, quercetin also helped ameliorate hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and insulin resistance in diabetic rats.[vi]

Protection From DNA Damage

A 2011 study investigated the potential protective effects of quercetin against DNA damage and oxidative stress induced by methylmercury in animal subjects.[vii] For over 45 days, animal models were orally treated with methylmercury and the flavonoid with doses reflecting human exposure. The team then measured DNA damage in liver cells called hepatocytes and peripheral leukocytes (white blood cells).

The results revealed that methylmercury reduced the concentration of glutathione in the body by 17% and caused DNA damage to liver and blood cells. With quercetin, no such effects manifested. “In summary, our results indicate that consumption of quercetin-rich foods may protect mercury-exposed humans against the adverse health effects of the metal,” the researchers wrote.[viii]

What makes this benefit particularly crucial is that the prevention of DNA damage is involved in preventing cancer via dietary compounds. An aqueous horseradish extract and its main flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin, for instance, demonstrated potential for DNA damage protection likely by acting as antimutagens.[ix]

Chemopreventive Properties

Epidemiological studies vouch for the protective effects of phytochemicals against cancer risk. As a ubiquitous flavonoid, quercetin is an ideal candidate to fight cancer due to its antioxidant and antiproliferative actions.[x]

It is known to modulate a plethora of molecules for multitargeted cancer prevention and therapy. Here are examples of quercetin’s chemopreventive abilities:

  • Incorporated in liposomes along with resveratrol, quercetin may be valuable in treating inflammation or oxidative stress associated with precancerous or cancerous skin lesions.[xi]
  • Quercetin exhibited a preventive effect on liver cancer in animal models.[xii] Hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer, is on the rise in many countries, with an estimated 905,677 new cases globally in 2020.[xiii]
  • Quercetin inhibited tumor growth and enhanced the sensitivity to thermotherapy, indicating a potential treatment option for hepatocellular carcinoma.[xiv]
  • The combination of quercetin and ionizing radiation might be a promising therapy for colon cancer treatment through targeting colon cancer stem-like cells and inhibiting the Notch-1 signaling.[xv]
  • Quercetin suppressed the metastatic ability of lung cancer, with potential therapeutic applications for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in particular.[xvi]

Prevention and Treatment of Various Infections

Quercetin may protect against the antibiotic-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae infection mainly through inhibiting pneumolysin, a pore-forming cytotoxin and a major determinant of virulence.[xvii] Separate findings previously highlighted quercetin’s therapeutic potential in treating sepsis as well.[xviii]

The flavonoid derivative quercetin-3β-O-D-glucoside (Q3G) also showed promising antiviral activity against two distinct species of Ebola, outbreaks of which occur frequently in African countries.[xix]

Hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, curcumin and quercetin taken together were also effective in preventing recurrent urinary tract infections in postmenopausal women.[xx]

Read more about scientific proof of the therapeutic value and significance of quercetin across numerous health issues and conditions in the nearly 600 abstracts with quercetin research found on the GreenMedInfo.com database.

 


References

[i] David A et al “Overviews of Biological Importance of Quercetin: A Bioactive Flavonoid” Pharmacogn Rev. 2016 Jul-Dec; 10(20): 84-89.

[ii] David A et al “Overviews of Biological Importance of Quercetin: A Bioactive Flavonoid” Pharmacogn Rev. 2016 Jul-Dec; 10(20): 84-89.

[iii] Zhang Y et al “Quercetin Isolated from Toona sinensis Leaves Attenuates Hyperglycemia and Protects Hepatocytes in High-Carbohydrate/High-Fat Diet and Alloxan Induced Experimental Diabetic Mice” J Diabetes Res. 2016 ;2016:8492780. Epub 2016 Nov 15.

[iv] Valensi P et al “A multicenter, double-blind, safety study of QR-333 for the treatment of symptomatic diabetic peripheral neuropathy. A preliminary report” J Diabetes Complications. 2005 Sep-Oct;19(5):247-53.

[v] Lai L et al “Protective effects of quercetin and crocin in the kidneys and liver of obese Sprague-Dawley rats with Type 2 diabetes: Effects of quercetin and crocin on T2DM rats” Hum Exp Toxicol. 2020 Oct 6:960327120954521.

[vi] Arya A et al “Synergistic effect of quercetin and quinic acid by alleviating structural degeneration in the liver, kidney and pancreas tissues of STZ-induced diabetic rats: a mechanistic study” Food Chem Toxicol. 2014 Sep ;71:183-96. Epub 2014 Jun 19.

[vii] Barcelos G et al “Protective properties of quercetin against DNA damage and oxidative stress induced by methylmercury in rats” Arch Toxicol. 2011 Feb 1. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

[viii] Barcelos G et al “Protective properties of quercetin against DNA damage and oxidative stress induced by methylmercury in rats” Arch Toxicol. 2011 Feb 1. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

[ix] Molecules. 2014 ;19(3):3160-72. Epub 2014 Mar 14. PMID: 24637991 www.greenmedinfo.com/article/aqueous-horseradish-extract-and-its-main-flavonoids-kaempferol-and-quercetin-h

[x] Priyadarsini R et al “The flavonoid quercetin modulates the hallmark capabilities of hamster buccal pouch tumors” Nutr Cancer. 2011 Feb 2:1. Epub 2011 Feb 2.

[xi] Caddeo C et al “Effect of quercetin and resveratrol co-incorporated in liposomes against inflammatory/oxidative response associated with skin cancer” Int J Pharm. 2016 Nov 20 ;513(1-2):153-163. Epub 2016 Aug 5.

[xii] Seufi A et al “Preventive effect of the flavonoid, quercetin, on hepatic cancer in rats via oxidant/antioxidant activity: molecular and histological evidences” J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2009 ;28:80. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

[xiii] Medscape January 31, 2021 https://www.medscape.com/answers/197319-39196/what-is-the-global-incidence-of-hepatocellular-carcinoma-hcc-worldwide

[xiv] Dai W et al “Quercetin induces apoptosis and enhances 5-FU therapeutic efficacy in hepatocellular carcinoma” Tumour Biol. 2015 Dec 1. Epub 2015 Dec 1.

[xv] Li Y et al “Quercetin pretreatment enhances the radiosensitivity of colon cancer cells by targeting Notch-1 pathway” Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2020 Jan 18. Epub 2020 Jan 18.

[xvi] Chang J et al “Quercetin suppresses the metastatic ability of lung cancer through inhibiting Snail-dependent Akt activation and Snail-independent ADAM9 expression pathways” Biochim Biophys Acta. 2017 10 ;1864(10):1746-1758. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

[xvii] Lv Q et al “Quercetin, a pneumolysin inhibitor, protects mice against Streptococcus pneumoniae infection” Microb Pathog. 2020 Mar ;140:103934. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

[xviii] Cui W et al “Quercetin Exerted Protective Effects in a Rat Model of Sepsis via Inhibition of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and Downregulation of High Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) Protein Expression” Med Sci Monit. 2019 Aug 4 ;25:5795-5800. Epub 2019 Aug 4.

[xix] Qiu X et al “Prophylactic efficacy of Quercetin-3-β-O-D-glucoside against Ebola virus infection” Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2016 Jun 13. Epub 2016 Jun 13.

[xx] Torella M et al “Efficacy of an orally administered combination of hyaluronic acid, chondroitin sulfate, curcumin and quercetin for the prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in postmenopausal women” Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2016 Dec ;207:125-128. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

GMI Research Group

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Seasonal Allergies? These 6 Foods May Help

© May 21st 2021 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC.
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Posted on: Tuesday, May 18th 2021 at 4:30 pm
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When seasonal allergies flare, do you reach for antihistamine drugs that can leave you edgy and dehydrated? If you’d like to explore natural options for your runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, and post-nasal drip, these six foods, all rich in nutrients called flavonoids, may help you combat hay fever

The first signs of spring are unmistakable for the allergy-prone: red, watery eyes, congestion, a pervasive tickle in your throat and, of course, fatigue; how do you sleep when you can’t breathe freely?

While some people reach for over-the-counter medication at the first sign of allergies, side effects like drowsiness, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea and vomiting may be giving you pause. These top six anti-allergy foods are nature’s way of helping you breathe easy and enjoy the fruits of spring.

It’s All About the Flavonoids

The prevalence of allergic diseases has increased worldwide in the last 20 years. The standard American diet (SAD) is a causal factor that is scientifically linked to this increase as well as to worsened symptoms for allergy sufferers.[i]

As natural health enthusiasts know, increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet can provide an array of health benefits, including boosting immunity to illness and disease. Flavonoids are phytonutrients found in plant foods that are one of the key components identified by science as driving this boost in resilience.

A 2007 study reported that flavonoids, ubiquitously present in fruits, vegetables and teas, inhibit histamine release and suppress the body’s allergic response.[ii] Top anti-allergy foods contain copious quantities of flavonoids to help you manage allergy symptoms without the draining effects of medication.

1. Onions (Quercetin)

You may not know what quercetin is, but you’re already acquainted if onions are a part of your diet. A natural plant pigment, quercetin is a flavonoid found in fruits like apples and berries, in vegetables like broccoli, and in herbs like tea and St. John’s wort.

Onions and shallots are considered the most important source of quercetin in many countries since they are available year-round. Quercetin is known for stimulating the immune system through antioxidant and anti-allergic properties characterized by antiviral activity and antihistamine effects.[iii]

Quercetin’s allergy-busting superpowers are so pronounced, quercetin extract is the main ingredient of many anti-allergy drugs and supplements.[iv] When your seasonal allergies start flaring, try adding sulfur-rich onions liberally to your diet. The highest concentration of quercetin is found in the outer rings where it provides UV-protection for the bulb.[v]

If you balk at the thought of eating onions, quercetin is available as a dietary supplement to aid during times of hay fever and high pollen count.

2. Turmeric (Curcumin)

Curcumin, one of the active flavonoids in the spice turmeric, is a super-supplement with a long history of use for health concerns that cause inflammation, such as seasonal allergies. Curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have been clinically validated to support the body when the discomforts of hay fever start to flare.

Curcumin’s anti-allergy effects have been researched for decades, including a 2015 study examining the impact of curcumin supplementation on inflammatory markers detected in the body during an allergic reaction, including histamines and cytokines.[vi]

Researchers found that curcumin improved symptoms of allergic rhinitis, inhibited the changes in nasal mucosa associated with allergic reactions and decreased serum levels of histamines in mice. Curcumin also significantly suppressed the production of inflammatory cytokines in the blood.[vii]

3. Bee Pollen (Propolis)

Bee pollen is an ancient aid for human health, helpful for issues like fever reduction and wound healing, and as a topical medicament due to its antiseptic and disinfectant properties.[viii] An enzyme-rich mix of flower pollens, honey, wax and bee secretions, bee pollen granules contain essential vitamins and amino acids and are a potent source of plant flavonoids.[ix]

Bee propolis is related to, but not the same as, bee pollen. A resinous substance made by bees as they gather exudate from trees, propolis is a popular health supplement worldwide. Waxy in nature, bees use propolis to construct their hives, and this miraculous substance has been studied as a human health aid for conditions including upper respiratory infections, colds, flus and seasonal allergies.[x]

In a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers explored the efficacy of honeybee-collected pollen on allergic reactions in the bloodstream. Daily oral administration of bee pollen to mice significantly reduced cellular-level activation of specific blood antigens found during an allergic reaction.[xi]

Propolis and bee pollen extracts are available for seasonal or year-round consumption. With more bioactive components, extracts may be the fastest route to quick allergy relief.[xii]

4. Kiwi (Vitamin C)

Kiwifruits, commonly referred to as kiwis in the U.S., are a premier source of vitamin C,[xiii] a key nutrient in diet-based illness-prevention strategies. Adequate vitamin C in your diet helps stave off disease and may boost your resistance to seasonal allergies.

A 2013 study explored the association of antioxidants with allergic rhinitis (AR) in children.[xiv] Allergic rhinitis refers to a group of symptoms affecting the nose and nasal passages and may include common allergic responses to dust, pollen, or pet dander.

Noting the increase in allergic diseases in recent decades, researchers tested the potential link between intake of vitamins A, C and E on allergy symptoms. Children with AR were placed into four groups, one each receiving supplementation of vitamin C, A or E, and one control group.

The group receiving supplemental vitamin C had fewer AR symptoms,[xv] suggesting that a boost of vitamin C, in the form of a little green kiwi, is just what the sinus doctor ordered.

5. Broccoli Sprouts

Sprouted broccoli seeds are a rich source of the sulfur-based nutrient sulforaphane, which may help attenuate allergic rhinitis by reducing inflammation in the nasal passages.[xvi] A potent anti-inflammatory, sulforaphane also works to detoxify your body by neutralizing free radicals,[xvii] actions that may help reduce symptoms of allergy flare-ups.

Airborne pollutants cause oxidative stress that can contribute to the incidence of allergy and asthma, problems often exacerbated during hay fever season. A 2014 study demonstrated that treatment with broccoli sprout extract, containing high concentrations of sulforaphane, suppressed the nasal inflammatory response in human subjects exposed to levels of diesel exhaust particles equivalent to driving on a Los Angeles freeway during evening rush hour traffic.[xviii]

Results showed that the average nasal white blood cell count increased by 66% over the period of initial screening and increased by a whopping 85% over control group levels 24 hours after initial exposure to the diesel toxins.[xix]

6. Kimchi

Studies on probiotics have demonstrated their effectiveness at reducing allergy symptoms. One symptom that may accompany an allergic attack is wheezing — labored breathing when congestion is present in the lungs, creating a whistle-like sound.

 

A 2010 study explored the use of probiotics to suppress allergic responses in the airways and found that when it comes to medicine, food truly is the best form around.

The study compared the effectiveness of probiotics obtained from heat-killed lactobacilli strains, like those often found in commercial probiotic supplements, and lactobacillus sakei bacteria isolated from kimchi, a spicy fermented vegetable dish. Results showed that eating kimchi was more effective at suppressing a hyper-allergic response in the airways than heat-killed lactic acid bacteria.[xx]

Eating fermented vegetables like kimchi introduces live strains of healthy bacteria into your gut, allowing breakdown in the digestive tract and facilitating enculturation of these heat-sensitive bacteria.

Prepared kimchi is widely available in Asian markets, but it’s easy to make your own. Mix roughly chopped cabbage, ginger, onions, garlic and red chilis with brine and store in airtight jars. While fresh vegetables may only be viable for a matter of days, fermenting vegetables in brine can increase shelf-life to several months.


References

[i] Kawai M, Hirano T, Higa S, Arimitsu J, Maruta M, Kuwahara Y, Ohkawara T, Hagihara K, Yamadori T, Shima Y, Ogata A, Kawase I, Tanaka T. Flavonoids and related compounds as anti-allergic substances. Allergol Int. 2007 Jun;56(2):113-23. doi: 10.2332/allergolint.R-06-135. Epub 2007 Mar 1. PMID: 17384531

 

[ii] Kawai M, Hirano T, Higa S, Arimitsu J, Maruta M, Kuwahara Y, Ohkawara T, Hagihara K, Yamadori T, Shima Y, Ogata A, Kawase I, Tanaka T. Flavonoids and related compounds as anti-allergic substances. Allergol Int. 2007 Jun;56(2):113-23. doi: 10.2332/allergolint.R-06-135. Epub 2007 Mar 1. PMID: 17384531

 

[iii] Mlcek J, Jurikova T, Skrovankova S, Sochor J. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. 2016;21(5):623. Published 2016 May 12. doi: 10.3390/molecules21050623

 

[iv] Mlcek J, Jurikova T, Skrovankova S, Sochor J. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. 2016;21(5):623. Published 2016 May 12. doi: 10.3390/molecules21050623

 

[v] Mlcek J, Jurikova T, Skrovankova S, Sochor J. Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response. Molecules. 2016;21(5):623. Published 2016 May 12. doi: 10.3390/molecules21050623

 

[vi] Ning Zhang, Hong Li, Jihui Jia, Mingqiang He. Anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin on mast cell-mediated allergic responses in ovalbumin-induced allergic rhinitis mouse. Cell Immunol. 2015 Nov-Dec;298(1-2):88-95. Epub 2015 Sep 28. PMID: 26507910

 

[vii] Ning Zhang, Hong Li, Jihui Jia, Mingqiang He. Anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin on mast cell-mediated allergic responses in ovalbumin-induced allergic rhinitis mouse. Cell Immunol. 2015 Nov-Dec;298(1-2):88-95. Epub 2015 Sep 28. PMID: 26507910

 

[viii] Wagh VD. Propolis: a wonder bees product and its pharmacological potentials. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2013;2013:308249. doi: 10.1155/2013/308249

 

[ix] Joanna Kocot, Małgorzata Kiełczykowska, Dorota Luchowska-Kocot, Jacek Kurzepa, Irena Musik, “Antioxidant Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly: Possible Medical Application”, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2018, Article ID 7074209, 29 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7074209

 

[x] Wagh VD. Propolis: a wonder bees product and its pharmacological potentials. Adv Pharmacol Sci. 2013;2013:308249. doi: 10.1155/2013/308249

 

[xi] Ishikawa Y, Tokura T, Nakano N, Hara M, Niyonsaba F, Ushio H, Yamamoto Y, Tadokoro T, Okumura K, Ogawa H. Inhibitory effect of honeybee-collected pollen on mast cell degranulation in vivo and in vitro. J Med Food. 2008 Mar;11(1):14-20. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2006.163. PMID: 18361733

 

[xii] Joanna Kocot, Małgorzata Kiełczykowska, Dorota Luchowska-Kocot, Jacek Kurzepa, Irena Musik, “Antioxidant Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly: Possible Medical Application”, Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2018, Article ID 7074209, 29 pages, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/7074209

 

[xiii] Vissers MC, Carr AC, Pullar JM, Bozonet SM. The bioavailability of vitamin C from kiwifruit. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2013;68:125-47. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-394294-4.00007-9. PMID: 23394985.

 

[xiv] Seo JH, Kwon SO, Lee SY, et al. Association of antioxidants with allergic rhinitis in children from seoul. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2013;5(2):81-87. doi: 10.4168/aair.2013.5.2.81

 

[xv] Seo JH, Kwon SO, Lee SY, et al. Association of antioxidants with allergic rhinitis in children from seoul. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2013;5(2):81-87. doi: 10.4168/aair.2013.5.2.81

 

[xvi] David Heber, Zhaoping Li, Maria Garcia-Lloret, Angela M Wong, Tsz Ying Amy Lee, Gail Thames, Michael Krak, Yanjun Zhang, Andre Nel. Sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract attenuates nasal allergic response to diesel exhaust particles. Food Funct. 2014 Jan ;5(1):35-41. PMID: 24287881

 

[xvii] Egner PA et al, “Rapid and sustainable detoxication of airborne pollutants by broccoli sprout beverage: results of a randomized clinical trial in china.” Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2014 Aug;7(8):813-23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24913818

 

[xviii] David Heber, Zhaoping Li, Maria Garcia-Lloret, Angela M Wong, Tsz Ying Amy Lee, Gail Thames, Michael Krak, Yanjun Zhang, Andre Nel. Sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract attenuates nasal allergic response to diesel exhaust particles. Food Funct. 2014 Jan ;5(1):35-41. PMID: 24287881

[xix] David Heber, Zhaoping Li, Maria Garcia-Lloret, Angela M Wong, Tsz Ying Amy Lee, Gail Thames, Michael Krak, Yanjun Zhang, Andre Nel. Sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract attenuates nasal allergic response to diesel exhaust particles. Food Funct. 2014 Jan ;5(1):35-41. PMID: 24287881

 

[xx] Hye-Jin Hong, Eugene Kim, Daeho Cho, Tae Sung Kim. Differential suppression of heat-killed lactobacilli isolated from kimchi, a Korean traditional food, on airway hyper-responsiveness in mice. J Clin Immunol. 2010 May;30(3):449-58. Epub 2010 Mar 5. PMID: 20204477

 

GMI Research Group

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Five Reasons to Eat More Onions

© April 25th 2021 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC.
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Posted on: Wednesday, April 7th 2021 at 4:30 pm
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This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2021


Onions are an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer and pro-heart powerhouse that come in various colors and types. Here are five of the vegetable’s important contributions to health

Vegetables are a crucial source of health and nutrition. There are, however, a few standout veggies, and onions — a staple in many American kitchens and cuisines worldwide — have offered some of the most outstanding benefits for many generations.

The type of onion may clue you in on its specific benefits. Red onions are known to be particularly rich in quercetin, a plant pigment or flavonoid present in many fruits, vegetables and grains. Found in a great variety of foods as well as beverages like tea and wine, flavonoids have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties, along with an ability to modulate cellular enzyme function.[i]

Other varieties such as green, brown and white boast their own sets of health benefits. Green onions, also commonly known as scallions, are traditionally used to treat colds, flu, abdominal pain, headache and heart disease.[ii] Let’s have a look at five impressive health benefits of onions.

1. Support Heart Health

Onions contain antioxidants that may support healthy cholesterol levels as well as help manage blood pressure, both of which may lower the risk of heart disease.

A study involving 70 overweight individuals with high blood pressure found that quercetin-rich onion extract, 162 milligrams (mg) per day in particular, notably pushed down systolic blood pressure by 3 to 6 mmHg versus a placebo.[iii]

Another study conducted in 54 patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) concluded that eating about 40 to 50 grams (g) per day of raw red onions (if overweight) and 50 to 60 g a day (if obese) for an eight-week period slashed total and LDL cholesterol, compared to a control group, which ate smaller amounts of onions.[iv]

2. Fight Oxidative Stress

Onions are an excellent antioxidant source, and in fact offer more than 25 different varieties of flavonoid antioxidants.[v]

Specifically, anthocyanins, which are special plant pigments that give red onions their color, have been associated with a lower likelihood of heart attacks. This was found in a study of 93,600 women with the highest intake of anthocyanin-filled foods.[vi] Additionally, anthocyanins offer protective effects against certain kinds of cancer.[vii]

In a 2012 study, quercetin displayed a protective effect against sodium fluoride-induced oxidative stress in the heart in an animal model.[viii] Consuming onion peel itself, found to contain quercetin in abundance, may also benefit obese individuals as a way to reduce oxidative stress to help prevent the onset of chronic disease.[ix]

3. Improve Skin and Hair Health

Onion extract gel may be useful for wound healing, showing promise in improving the cosmetic appearance of postsurgical scars.[x] A study showed that it significantly improved scar softness, redness, texture, as well as appearance at the excision site at weeks four, six and 10 during the research.

Applied topically, crude onion juice may assist in hair regrowth compared to tap water, potentially serving as an effective topical therapy for patchy alopecia areata.[xi]

4. Provide Anticancer Benefits

Onions contain the flavonoid antioxidant quercetin, which may inhibit the growth of tumors.[xii] In a 2006 study, a uniquely large data set from southern European populations showed an inverse association between the frequent consumption of allium vegetables, particularly onions and garlic, and the risk of several common cancers.[xiii]

Allium vegetables also surfaced in an analysis of a Northeast Chinese population and were linked to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer in both men and women.[xiv]

5. Help Fight Diabetes

Consuming onions may also bring about helpful effects on diabetics by helping lower blood sugar levels. A study in 42 Type 2 diabetics, for instance, showed that consuming 3.5 ounces of fresh red onion decreased fasting blood sugar levels by 40 mg/dl after four hours.[xv]

Quercetin, combined with hesperidin, may also play an effective role in the regulation of insulin metabolism in diabetes.[xvi] Justifying their strong antioxidant properties, garlic, white onion and purple onion display antidiabetes as well as antihypertensive properties.[xvii]

Quercetin also shows promise for preventing neurodegeneration in diabetic retinopathy, a severe complication of the disease and a leading cause of blindness in adults worldwide.[xviii] Discover additional onion health benefits and quercetin wellness benefits on GreenMedInfo.com.


References

[i] Panche A et al “Flavonoids: an overview” J Nutr Sci. 2016 Dec 29;5:e47. doi: 10.1017/jns.2016.41.

[ii] Young Sung Y et al “Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of welsh onion, Allium fistulosum, attenuate high-fat diet-induced obesity” BMC Complement Altern Med. 2018 Mar 20;18(1):105.

[iii] Brull V et al “Effects of a quercetin-rich onion skin extract on 24 h ambulatory blood pressure and endothelial function in overweight-to-obese patients with (pre-)hypertension: a randomised double-blinded placebo-controlled cross-over trial” Br J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28;114(8):1263-77. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

[iv] Ebrahimi-Mamaghani M et al “Effects of raw red onion consumption on metabolic features in overweight or obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled clinical trial” J Obstet Gynaecol Res. 2014 Apr;40(4):1067-76. Epub 2014 Mar 10.

[v] Slimestad R et al “Onions: a source of unique dietary flavonoids” J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Dec 12;55(25):10067-80. Epub 2007 Nov 13.

[vi] Cassidy A et al “High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women” Circulation. 2013 Jan 15;127(2):188-96.

[vii] Lin B et al “Effects of anthocyanins on the prevention and treatment of cancer” Br J Pharmacol. 2017 Jun;174(11):1226-1243. Epub 2016 Oct 25.

[viii] Nabavi S et al “Protective effect of quercetin against sodium fluoride induced oxidative stress in rat’s heart” Food Funct. 2012 Feb 8. Epub 2012 Feb 8.

[ix] Kim K et al “Antioxidative Activity of Onion Peel Extract in Obese Women: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo Controlled Study” J Cancer Prev. 2015 Sep ;20(3):202-7.

[x] Draelos Z. “The ability of onion extract gel to improve the cosmetic appearance of postsurgical scars” J Cosmet Dermatol. 2008 Jun;7(2):101-4.

[xi] Sharquie K et al “Onion juice (Allium cepa L.), a new topical treatment for alopecia areata” J Dermatol. 2002 Jun;29(6):343-6.

[xii] Hashemzaei M et al “Anticancer and apoptosis-inducing effects of quercetin in vitro and in vivo” Oncol Rep. 2017 Aug; 38(2): 819-828.

[xiii] Galeone C et al “Onion and garlic use and human cancer” Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Nov;84(5):1027-32.

[xiv] Wu X et al “Allium vegetables are associated with reduced risk of colorectal cancer: A hospital-based matched case-control study in China” Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2019 Feb 20. Epub 2019 Feb 20.

[xv] Eldin I et al “Preliminary Study of the Clinical Hypoglycemic Effects of Allium cepa (Red Onion) in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetic Patients” Environ Health Insights. 2010; 4: 71-77. Epub 2010 Oct 14.

[xvi] Dokumacioglu E et al “The Effects of Hesperidin and Quercetin on Serum Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha and Interleukin-6 Levels in Streptozotocin-induced Diabetes Model” Pharmacogn Mag. 2018 Apr-Jun;14(54):167-173. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

[xvii] Oboh G et al “Inhibitory Effect of Garlic, Purple Onion, and White Onion on Key Enzymes Linked with Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension” J Diet Suppl. 2018 Mar 9:1-14. Epub 2018 Mar 9.

[xviii] Ola M et al “Neuroprotective effects of quercetin in diabetic rat retina” Saudi J Biol Sci. 2017 Sep ;24(6):1186-1194. Epub 2016 Dec 3.

 

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

Flavonoids – we Cannot do Without them

Written by Brenton Wight, Health Researcher, LeanMachine
Copyright © 1999-2021 Brenton Wight, LeanMachine

What Are Flavonoids?

Also called phytonutrients, flavonoids are a class of polyphenols.
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (Nobel Prize-winning physiologist), who also first isolated vitamin C, carried out work in the 1930’s identifying different flavonoids and properties, giving flavonoids the classification of “Vitamin P”.
Flavonoids are highly concentrated nutritional elements, essential for correct functioning of every cell and organ in the body.
Flavonoids protect plants fungi, pests, bacteria and other pathogens, as well as giving plants their colour, flavour and scent.
About 5,000 different flavonoids have been identified so far, each providing important functions in the body.
The most important functions:
1. Essential for absorption of Vitamin C, responsible for tissue growth and repair.
2. Essential for maintenance of bones and teeth.
3. Essential for production of collagen, along with Vitamin C for skin, muscles, blood vessels, immunity etc.
4. Essential for the brain and the cardiovascular system.
5. Essential for resistance to disease and cancer.

Antioxidants

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants.
Oxidative damage from free radicals is a big de-generative health issue in our toxic world.
Processed foods contain little or no flavonoids.
Cooking destroys most of Vitamins C, B1, B5, B6 and B9 (folate), and Flavonoids are damaged as well. Oxygen also degrades vitamins and flavonoids.
Vegetables that are cut or juiced should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator, but cutting, cooking or juicing is best carried out as close as possible to meal time, and either no cooking (salads) or lightly steaming is best. High-temperature cooking is best avoided altogether.
Flavonoids help destroy free radicals, improving health and preventing disease, including cancers.
Read more in my upcoming Antioxidants article.

Types of Flavonoids

Anthoxanthins, comprising 2 subgroups: flavone and flavonol (or 3-hydroxy flavone)
Flavanones (with an “a”)
Flavonols (with an “o”)
Flavanonols
Flavans comprising subgroups Flavan-3-ols (flavanols), Theaflavin, Thearubigin
Anthocyanidins
Isoflavonoids comprising subgroups Isoflavones, Isoflavanes, Isoflavandiols, Isoflavenes, Coumestans, Pterocarpans

Common Flavonoids

Some best-known flavonoids include:

  • myricetin from foods including oranges, blueberry leaves, grape seeds, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, garlic
  • apigenin from foods including grapefruit, parsley, onions, oranges, tea, chamomile, wheat sprouts
  • hesperidin from foods including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, apricots, plums, bilberry, green and yellow peppers, broccoli
  • quercetin from foods including apples, berries, parsley, capers, buckwheat, onions, peppers
  • rutin from foods including buckwheat, asparagus, apples (skin), figs, black tea, green tea, elderflower tea
  • luteolin from foods including radicchio (red chicory), green peppers, chicory greens, celery, pumpkin, artichoke, red leaf lettuce
  • catechin from foods including green tea

Foods containing Flavonoids

All plant foods contain flavonoids.
Here are some of the highest flavonoid content foods:

  • Parsley
  • Onions
  • Blueberries and other berries
  • Black tea, green tea and oolong tea
  • Bananas
  • Citrus fruits
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Red wine
  • Sea-buckthorns
  • Buckwheat
  • Dark chocolate (over 70% cacao)

Disclaimer
Any information here is for educational purposes, and the needs of each individual varies, so everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure that there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010, and has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.