Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus) has been shown in research to support
the body’s response to injury and intense exercise, mostly through its ability to provide an excellent source of polyphenols.
Health Benefits of Antioxidant-Rich Tart Cherries
Montmorency cherry (or tart cherry) is the most popular sour cherry in the United States and Canada and is extensively used in cherry pies, jams,
preserves and as a juice, among other uses. Montmorency cherries are less sweet
than regular cherries, but they have better health benefits than sweet
varieties like Marasca cherries.
both cherries have a variety of phytochemicals contributing
both color and antioxidant activity to the fruit, tart cherries contain
more. For instance, both sweet and tart cherries are a good source of fiber,
vitamin C, and potassium. Tart cherries also contain vitamin A. Here are some
of the properties of these tart cherries.
1. Strong antioxidants: Montmorency
cherries’ anthocyanins and other antioxidant compounds provide
the consumer with up to 5000 - 8000 ORAC units per one-ounce serving, depending
on the concentration. ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is
a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in food, and 5000 – 8000 ORAC
units equal the entire day’s recommendation of antioxidants for an average
2. Pain relief: The antioxidants in Montmorency
cherries may help ease the pain of arthritis and osteoarthritis. In fact, anthocyanins specifically
have been compared to ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen for their
anti-inflammatory properties. They may also reduce the uric acid and the pain
related to gout.
3. Post-exercise recovery: Recent studies have
shown that Montmorency cherry consumption effectively reduces inflammation,
muscle damage, and muscle soreness following bouts of exercise. It also
accelerates exercise recovery.
4. Improved sleep: Tart cherries are a
natural source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake
cycle. Tart cherry juice may also increase the availability of tryptophan,
an essential amino acid and a precursor to serotonin, which helps with sleep.
According to studies, consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks
helps increase sleep time by about 84 minutes among older adults with insomnia
compared to the placebo. Their sleep tended to be more restful, too.
following are potential benefits of tart cherries that need further support
outside of the laboratory.
1. On cardiovascular disease risk: Tart cherries
may reduce cardiovascular disease risk due to its strong antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory properties. Animal studies have shown a reduction in
unhealthy triglyceride levels, but more research in humans is needed.
2. Possible anti-cancer properties: The
antioxidant compounds found in tart cherries have been shown to reduce cancer
growth and proliferation in cell cultures in laboratory studies. This has been
demonstrated in human colon cancer cell
lines, but more research is needed to establish effectiveness in humans outside
of the lab.
3. On diabetes: Studies in animals have shown
that cherries lower body weight and abdominal fat, which is the type of fat
linked with increased heart disease risk, metabolic syndrome, and type 2
diabetes. For now, we are waiting for the outcomes in human studies.
are a seasonal product, available in June and July, but in order to get all the
benefits from tart cherries year-round, you can purchase cherry juice and dried
cherries, which have similar properties to fresh cherries. When purchasing tart
cherry juice, aim for 100% juice and avoid juice from concentrate. Frozen
cherries’ antioxidant content is somewhat lower than that of fresh cherries;
canned cherries’ antioxidant content is lower still but remains significant.
Karen Alexander, Oncology Wellness Specialist – Ackerman Cancer Center - https://ackermancancercenter.com/blog/7-health-benefits-of-antioxidant-rich-tart-cherries
Turmeric has long been recognized to aid in the
body’s modulation of autocoids via the active constituent,
curcumin. It may also enhance the synthesis of the antioxidant glutathione, which is produced within the body.
Turmeric Health Benefits
(Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine
that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an
anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including
flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage,
toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.
Curcumin (from turmeric) Consumer
Labs states: may improve blood sugar levels, according to preliminary
studies, and one study found curcumin to dramatically lower the chances of
pre-diabetes in middle-aged, slightly overweight men and women with somewhat
higher than normal blood sugar levels.
A Potent, Yet Safe Anti-Inflammatory
volatile oil fraction of turmeric has been demonstrated significant
anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more
potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which
is called curcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent
in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects have
been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and
phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as
Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects
(ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding),
curcumin produces no toxicity.
An Effective Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
may provide an inexpensive, well-tolerated, and effective treatment for
inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis,
recent research suggests. In this study, mice given an inflammatory agent that
normally induces colitis were protected when curcumin was added to their diet
five days beforehand. The mice receiving curcumin not only lost much less
weight than the control animals, but when researchers checked their intestinal
cell function, all the signs typical of colitis-mucosal ulceration, thickening
of the intestinal wall, and the infiltration of inflammatory cells were all
much reduced. While the researchers are not yet sure exactly how curcumin
achieves its protective effects, they think its benefits are the result of not
only antioxidant activity but also inhibition of a major cellular inflammatory
agent called NF kappa-B. Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical studies have
substantiated that curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects. As
an antioxidant, curcumin is able to neutralize free radicals, chemicals that
can travel through the body and cause great amounts of damage to healthy cells
and cell membranes. This is important in many diseases, such as arthritis,
where free radicals are responsible for the painful joint inflammation and
eventual damage to the joints. Turmeric's combination of antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory effects explains why many people with joint disease find
relief when they use the herb regularly. In a recent study of patients with
rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was compared to phenylbutazone and produced
comparable improvements in shortened duration of morning stiffness, lengthened
walking time, and reduced joint swelling.
Help for Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers
the major constituent of turmeric that gives the spice its yellow color, can
correct the most common expression of the genetic defect that is responsible
for cystic fibrosis, suggests an animal study published in the April 2004 issue
of Science. Cystic fibrosis, a fatal disease that attacks the lungs with a
thick mucus, causing life-threatening infections, afflicts about 30,000
American children and young adults, who rarely survive beyond 30 years of age.
The mucus also damages the pancreas, thus interfering with the body's ability
to digest and absorb nutrients.
now know that cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in the gene that encodes
for a protein (the transmembrane conductance regulator or CFTR). The CTFR
protein is responsible for traveling to the cell's surface and creating
channels through which chloride ions can leave the cell. When the protein is
abnormally shaped because of a faulty gene, this cannot happen, so chloride
builds up in the cells, which in turn, leads to mucus production.
most common mutation, which is called DeltaF508, results in the production of a
misfolded protein. When mice with this DeltaF508 defect were given curcumin in
doses that, on a weight-per-weight basis, would be well-tolerated by humans,
curcumin corrected this defect, resulting in a DeltaF508 protein with normal
appearance and function. In addition, the Yale scientists studying curcumin
have shown that it can inhibit the release of calcium, thus allowing mutated
CTFR to exit cells via the calcium channels, which also helps stop the chloride
driven build up of mucus. Specialists in the treatment of cystic fibrosis
caution, however, that patients should not self-medicate with dietary
supplements containing curcumin until the correct doses are known and any
adverse interactions identified with the numerous prescription drugs taken by
cystic fibrosis sufferers.
antioxidant actions enable it to protect the colon cells from free radicals
that can damage cellular DNA--a significant benefit particularly in the colon
where cell turnover is quite rapid, occurring approximately every three days.
Because of their frequent replication, mutations in the DNA of colon cells can
result in the formation of cancerous cells much more quickly. Curcumin also
helps the body to destroy mutated cancer cells, so they cannot spread through
the body and cause more harm. A primary way in which curcumin does so is by
enhancing liver function. Additionally, other suggested mechanisms by which it
may protect against cancer development include inhibiting the synthesis of a
protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation and preventing the
development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth.
Reduce Risk of Childhood Leukemia
presented at a recent conference on childhood leukemia, held in London,
provides evidence that eating foods spiced with turmeric could reduce the risk
of developing childhood leukemia. The incidence of this cancer has risen
dramatically during the 20th century, mainly in children under age five, among
whom the risk has increased by more than 50% cent since 1950 alone. Modern
environmental and lifestyle factors are thought to play a major role in this
leukemia is much lower in Asia than Western countries, which may be due to
differences in diet, one of which, the frequent use of turmeric, has been
investigated in a series of studies over the last 20 years by Prof. Moolky
Nagabhushan from the Loyola University Medical Centre, Chicago, IL.
of the known risk factors that contribute to the high incidence of childhood
leukemia are the interaction of many lifestyle and environmental factors. These
include prenatal or postnatal exposure to radiation, benzene, environmental
pollutants and alkylating chemotherapeutic drugs. Our studies show that
turmeric-and its coloring principle, curcumin-in the diet mitigate the effects
of some of these risk factors."
Nagabhushan has shown that the curcumin in turmeric can:
the mutagenicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (carcinogenic
chemicals created by the burning of carbon-based fuels including cigarette
smoke) inhibit radiation-induced chromosome damage
the formation of harmful heterocyclic amines and nitroso compounds, which may
result in the body when certain processed foods, such as processed meat
products that contain nitrosamines, are eaten irreversibly inhibit the
multiplication of leukemia cells in cell culture. Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth
studies have linked the frequent use of turmeric to lower rates of breast,
prostate, lung and colon cancer, and earlier laboratory experiments have shown
curcumin can prevent tumors from forming. Now, new research conducted at the
University of Texas suggests that even when breast cancer is already present,
curcumin can help slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.
this study, published in the September 2005 issue of Biochemical Pharmacology,
human breast cancer cells were injected into mice, and the resulting tumors
removed to simulate a mastectomy.
mice were then divided into four groups. One group received no further
treatment and served as a control. A second group was given the cancer drug
paclitaxel (Taxol); the third got curcumin, and the fourth was given both Taxol
five weeks, only half the mice in the curcumin-only group and just 22% of those
in the curcumin plus Taxol group had evidence of breast cancer that had spread
to the lungs.
75% of the mice that got Taxol alone and 95% of the control group developed
did curcumin help? "Curcumin acts against transcription factors, which are
like a master switch," says lead researcher, Bharat Aggarwal.
"Transcription factors regulate all the genes needed for tumors to form.
When we turn them off, we shut down some genes that are involved in the growth
and invasion of cancer cells."
another laboratory study of human non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cells published in the
September 2005 issue of Biochemical Pharmacology, University of Texas
researchers showed that curcumin inhibits the activation of NF-kappaB, a
regulatory molecule that signals genes to produce a slew of inflammatory
molecules (including TNF, COX-2 and IL-6) that promote cancer cell growth. In
addition, curcumin was found to suppress cancer cell proliferation and to
induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis (cell suicide) in the lung cancer cells.
Early phase I clinical trials at the University of Texas are now also looking
into curcumin's chemo-preventive and therapeutic properties against multiple
myeloma and pancreatic cancer, and other research groups are investigating
curcumin's ability to prevent oral cancer.
Improved Liver Function
recent rat study that was conducted to evaluate the effects of turmeric on the
liver's ability to detoxify xenobiotic (toxic) chemicals, levels of two very
important liver detoxification enzymes (UDP glucuronyl transferase and
glutathione-S-transferase) were significantly elevated in rats fed turmeric as
compared to controls. The researchers commented, "The results suggest that
turmeric may increase detoxification systems in addition to its antioxidant
properties...Turmeric used widely as a spice would probably mitigate the
effects of several dietary carcinogens."
has been shown to prevent colon cancer in rodent studies. When researchers set
up a study to analyze how curcumin works, they found that it inhibits free
radical damage of fats (such as those found in cell membranes and cholesterol),
prevents the formation of the inflammatory chemical cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2),
and induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme, glutathione
S-transferase (GST) enzymes. When the rats were given curcumin for 14 days,
their livers' production of GST increased by 16%, and a marker of free radical
damage called malondialdehyde decreased by 36% when compared with controls.
During this two week period, the researchers gave the rats a cancer-causing
chemical called carbon tetrachloride. In the rats not fed curcumin, markers of
free radical damage to colon cells went up, but in the rats given turmeric,
this increase was prevented by dietary curcumin. Lastly, the researchers
compared giving turmeric in the diet versus injecting curcumin into the rats'
colons. They found injecting curcumin resulted in more curcumin in the blood,
but much less in the colon mucosa. They concluded, "The results show that
curcumin mixed with the diet achieves drug levels in the colon and liver
sufficient to explain the pharmacological activities observed and suggest that
this mode of administration may be preferable for the chemoprevention of colon
may be able to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. Since oxidized
cholesterol is what damages blood vessels and builds up in the plaques that can
lead to heart attack or stroke, preventing the oxidation of new cholesterol may
help to reduce the progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
In addition, turmeric is a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to keep
homocysteine levels from getting too high. Homocysteine, an intermediate
product of an important cellular process called methylation, is directly damaging
to blood vessel walls. High levels of homocysteine are considered a significant
risk factor for blood vessel damage, atherosclerotic plaque build-up, and heart
disease; while a high intake of vitamin B6 is associated with a reduced risk of
Protection against Alzheimer's Disease
evidence suggests that turmeric may afford protection against neurodegenerative
diseases. Epidemiological studies show that in elderly Indian populations,
among whose diet turmeric is a common spice, levels of neurological diseases
such as Alzheimer's are very low. Concurrently, experimental research conducted
recently found that curcumin does appear to slow the progression of Alzheimer's
in mice. Preliminary studies in mice also suggest that curcumin may block the
progression of multiple sclerosis. While it is still unclear how it may afford
protection against this degenerative condition, one theory is that it may
interrupt the production of IL-2, a protein that can play a key role in the
destruction of myelin, the sheath that serves to protect most nerves in the
number of studies have suggested that curcumin, the biologically active
constituent in turmeric, protects against Alzheimer's disease by turning on a
gene that codes for the production of antioxidant proteins. A study published
December 2003 in the Italian Journal of Biochemistry discussed curcumin's role
in the induction of the hemeoxygenase pathway, a protective system that, when
triggered in brain tissue, causes the production of the potent antioxidant
bilirubin, which protects the brain against oxidative (free radical) injury.
Such oxidation is thought to be a major factor in aging and to be responsible
for neurodegenerative disorders including dementias like Alzheimer's disease.
Another study conducted jointly by an Italian and U.S. team and presented at
the American Physiological Society's annual scientific conference, held April
17-21, 2004 in Washington, DC, confirmed that curcumin strongly induces
expression of the gene, called hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) in astrocytes from the
hippocampal region of the brain.
conducted at UCLA and published in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of
Biological Chemistry has provided more insight into the mechanisms behind
curcumin's protective effects against Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease
involves the formation and accumulation of amyloid plaques, oxidative damage
and inflammation. Initially, the researchers conducted test tube studies in
which curcumin was shown to inhibit amyloid-beta aggregation and to dissolve
amyloid fibrils more effectively than the anti-inflammatory drugs ibuprofen and
naproxen. Then, using live mice, the researchers found that curcumin crosses
the blood-brain barrier and binds to small beta-amyloid species, blocking
fibril formation, amyloid aggregation and the formation of amyloid plaques. The
study results were so promising, the UCLA team is beginning human clinical
trials to further investigate curcumin's potential as a preventive and/or
therapeutic agent for Alzheimer's disease.
Turmeric was traditionally called "Indian saffron" since its deep
yellow-orange color is similar to that of the prized saffron. It has been used
throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy, and textile dye.
comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a
deep orange flesh. This herb has a very interesting taste and aroma. Its flavor
is peppery, warm and bitter while its fragrance is mild yet slightly
reminiscent of orange and ginger, to which it is related. LifeSource
Vitamins Turmeric Extract Shown to help with Cardiovascular Protection, Liver,
Colon, Cancer, Alzheimer's, Antioxidant, Gallbladder, Arthritis, Cystic
Fibrosis, Inflammation and more.
Sayer Ji • Originally published on Greenmed.info
is a medicinal spice so timelessly interweaved with the origins of human
culture and metabolism, so thoroughly supported by modern scientific inquiry,
as to be unparalleled in its proven value to human health and well-being.
turmeric turns the entire drug-based medical model on its head. Instead of
causing far more side effects than therapeutic ones, as is the case for most
patented pharmaceutical medications, turmeric possesses hundreds of potential
side benefits, having been empirically demonstrated to positively modulate over
160 different physiological pathways in the mammalian body.
no food or herb is right for everyone, and everything has the potential for
unintended, adverse side effects, turmeric is truly unique in its exceptionally
high margin of safety vis-à-vis the drugs it has been compared with, e.g.
hydrocortisone, ibuprofen, chemotherapy agents. Furthermore, nothing within the
modern-day pharmaceutical armamentarium comes even remotely close to turmeric’s
6,000-year track record of safe use in Ayurvedic medicine.
its vast potential for alleviating human suffering, turmeric will likely never
receive the FDA stamp of approval, due to its lack of exclusivity,
patentability and therefore profitability. Truth be told, the FDA’s “gold
standard” for proving the value of a prospective medicinal substance betrays
the age old aphorism: “he who owns the gold makes the rules,” and unless an
investor is willing to risk losing the 800+ million dollars that must be spent
upfront, the FDA-required multi-phased double-blind, randomized clinical trials
will not occur. For additional details on this rather seedy arrangement read my
article on the topic: Why The Law Forbids the Medicinal Use of Natural
GreenMedInfo, we have reviewed over 5,000 study abstracts from the National
Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database known as MEDLINE and have
discovered over 600 potential health benefits of turmeric, and/or its primary
polyphenol, known as curcumin. These can be viewed on our turmeric research
page which is dedicated to disseminating the research on the topic to a larger
of the most amazing demonstrated properties include:
Destroying Cancer Stem
Cells (arguably, the root of all cancer)
Levels of Inflammation
Protecting Against Heavy
Preventing and Reversing
Alzheimer’s Disease-Associated Pathologies
what is so amazing is not that turmeric may have value in dozens of health
conditions simultaneously, or that it may improve conditions that are
completely resistant to conventional treatment, but that there are over six
hundred additional health conditions it may also be valuable in preventing
and/or treating. Consider also the fact that turmeric grows freely on the
Earth, and you will understand why its very existence threatens billions of
dollars in pharmaceutical industry revenue.
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Disclaimer: All the
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