Botanicals for health


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Botanicals for health

  1. 1. PBRC 2012 Botanicals for Health Special points of interest: Cinnamon can increase insulin sensitivity Ginger can help reduce chronic diseases Lemongrass has been used against colds Olive has other healthful components other than oil B otanicals for chronic dis eas e prevention Botanicals are phytochemicals sage, sassafras, tamarind, over the years in Europe have from plants that have an tarragon, tea, thyme, and found similar results. Cinnamon impact on human health. turmeric. These plants have Many of the plant phytochemi- specific phytochemicals that One of the healthiest diets in cals act as anti-oxidants that have been shown to kill can- the world, the Mediterranean get rid of many harmful com- cer cells, reduce diabetes risk Diet is high in fruits and vege- pounds in the body. They are and to protect blood vessels tables, healthful oils and anti-inflammatory, antimicrobi- against plaque formation. The many botanicals. Typical bo- #92 al, antitumor, cardiovascular types and numbers of phyto- tanicals as part of the Medi- system enhancing and choles- chemicals in these and many terranean diet are garlic, on- terol lowering compounds. other botanicals is in the thou- ion, mint, lime, orange, lemon, Pennington Nutrition Series They also influence the im- sands. fennel, basil, bay leaf, dill, mune system and act as anti- pomegranate, rosemary, sage, diabetic compounds. Many large scale studies have tarragon, and thyme. This diet shown that plant phytochemi- is also high in olive oil, red We consume many botanicals cals offer protection against wine and tomatoes. The Medi- as part of our regular diet that cancer and cardiovascular terranean diet is particularly offer health benefits beyond disease. In the Nurse’s Health good for heart health. basic nutrition. Plants that can Study, a large scale, long term be part of a normal diet in- study on women showed that clude aloe, anise, basil, bay those consuming the most leaf, cacao, cayenne, cinna- fruits and vegetables had mon, cloves, coffee, dill, eu- reduced risk for colorectal calyptus, fennel, garlic, ginger, cancer and cardiovascular ginseng, geranium, lemon, disease. A similar large scale lemongrass, lime, mint, mace, study on men called theInside this issue: mustard, nutmeg, olive, oats, Health Professionals Study onion, orange, parsley, pome- found the same results. Sever- granate, radish, rosemary, al other large scale studies Basil , olive oil, tomatoes and mozzarellaGinger 2 cheese are components of the Mediterranean DietLemongrass 2 CinnamonOlive 2 Cinnamon has been used by of all foods. Cinnamon has reduce cholesterol and folk medicine specialists several phytochemicals that blood glucose levels, andRosemary 3 around the world for treating have been identified for hav- control several bacterial and diabetes, as an anti-bacterial ing important effects in the fungal infections. Cinnamon and anti-fungal agent, and as body such as increasing mus- is particularly effective inTarragon 3 an anti-oxidant. Most of the cle and liver insulin sensitivity, persons with Type 2 Diabe- spices used in cooking such reducing blood glucose, total tes. Cinnamon may also be as cinnamon, cloves, and cholesterol, and triglyceride helpful in cancer preventionThyme 3 turmeric have the highest levels while raising good (HDL) by increasing certain en- antioxidant values in foods. cholesterol. Several studies zyme activities. The antioxidant value of cin- have shown that cinnamonTurmeric 4 namon is the second largest can reduce blood pressure,
  2. 2. Botanicals for Health Page 2 Ginger Because of its pungent taste that some studies have linked was able to reduce triglycerides and interesting aroma, ginger the consumption of ginger with and LDL cholesterol and to in- has been used since the ancient beneficial effects in: crease HDL cholesterol. times as a spice. It remains an Heart Disease Ginger has been used in eastern important cooking spice around Cancer medicine for the treatment of the world. Ginger is the under- gastrointestinal ailments. The Hypertension ground stem or rhizome of the combined treatment of antibiot- GingerPennington Nutrition Series Obesity plant Zingiber officinale Roscoe. ics and ginger were tested for Ginger has anti-inflammatory, Diabetes the control and treatment of anti-thrombotic, cholesterol- Osteoarthritis Helicobacter pylori infections. lowering, blood pressure- Bacterial infections The treatment was effective and lowering, antimicrobial, antioxi- was shown to inhibit H. pylori dant, antitumor and hypoglyce- Ginger has been shown to pos- growth. mic properties. Because of sess anti-diabetic activity in a these properties, it is no wonder variety of animal studies and it Lemongrass Plant Lemongrass or Cymbopogon has been used for nervous and used as a treatment for ring- phytochemicals citratus is grown in the warm gastrointestinal disturbances, worm and other fungal infec- climates for use as a flavoring high blood pressure, pain, vom- tions as well as a mosquito protect against in foods. Lemongrass is incor- iting, cough, fever, cold and repellent. porated into many foods in joint pain in South East Asia When ingested, lemongrass oil bacterial Thailand and other South East and South America. suppresses certain enzymes in infections, free Asian countries and in South As an antiseptic and an astrin- the cholesterol synthesis path- America. It is used in soups, gent, lemongrass oil has also way and for this reason has radical damage, teas, meat and chicken dishes. been used for various skin con- been suggested to help reduce and chronic The main component identified ditions. Lemongrass oil has cholesterol levels. in lemongrass that has health also been found to be an effec- disease benefits is citral. Lemongrass tive fungicidal and has been development. Olive Olive branch The Mediterranean diet is one of olive oil that offer protection pounds in olives and olive oil the healthiest for heart health. against heart disease. The com- can prevent LDL oxidation. They Many believe that it is the mono- pounds in olive oil are strong can also reduce total cholesterol unsaturated fatty acid content anti-oxidants and are anti- and triglyceride levels. A compo- that makes olive oil healthy. inflammatory agents. They re- nent in olive oil, fruit and leaves However, research show that move free radicals that cause known as oleuropein, has also olive oil has many compounds damage inside blood vessels been shown to inhibit cancer that make olive oil a functional and cells. Arterial damage can development, reduce the risk for food. Functional food gives occur after a meal when fat and Alzheimer’s and even protect health benefits beyond basic other substances are absorbed against peptic ulcer by inhibiting nutrition. It is now believed that as LDL particles. Preventing LDL bacterial growth. it is those other compounds in oxidation is key, and com-
  3. 3. Page 3 Rosemary Rosemary Rosmarinus offici- from various harmful chemicals ic heart disease, cataract, yeast nalis L. is an herb grown in and to reduce cancerous chang- and bacterial infections and many parts of the world, particu- es. The most important constitu- cancer. There is also a compo- larly in the Mediterranean re- ents of rosemary have antioxi- nent in rosemary that has been gion. It is used in foods and dant effects. As antioxidants found to improve the health and beverages and in cosmetics. they protect against free radical maintenance of nerve tissue Rosemary has a distinctive fla- damage and oxidative stress and stimulate new nerve growth. vor when used in foods. It has which can cause cancer and This could be particularly benefi- been used in folk medicine as aging. Rosemary and its constit- cial for prevention of Alzheimer’sRosemary potatoes an antispasmodic, as a treat- uents have a therapeutic poten- disease. ment for respiratory disorders tial in treatment or prevention of and to stimulate hair growth. bronchial asthma, peptic ulcer, Extract of rosemary has also inflammatory diseases, liver been found to protect the liver toxicity, atherosclerosis, ischem-Tarragon High level of freeArtemisia dracunculus L. or processes. shows improvement in insulin radicals causesTarragon is a genus of aromatic Recent research on the health resistance with A. dracunculus oxidative stress,and bitter plants of a large sun- effects of Russian tarragon has and its use as a potential treat-flower family Asteraceae. focused on its influence on ment for the metabolic syn- which can causeTarragon has an impact on glucose and insulin levels in drome. Components in A. dran- chronic diseasehuman health in many ways. diabetes. A. dracunculus can cunculus L. extract increasedThe therapeutic properties were impact lipid metabolism in the glucose transport into cells from development anddiscovered in the Middle Ages muscle, such as the use of fat the bloodstream. It also reduced aging. This can bewhen it was used to treat fever for energy vs storage in the cell, glucose synthesis in the liver inand upper respiratory infections, and influencing the synthesis diabetic laboratory animals. eliminated byulcers and plaque epidemics, to of new fat cells. Preliminarystimulate appetite and digestive research in laboratory animals antioxidants. Thyme Thymus vulgaris L. is an dant and a biocidal agent. It is can preserve lipid molecules Thyme important culinary herb used in antibacterial and fungicidal. It from oxidation. The antioxidant many regions of the world, par- has been used since early histo- property is effective in different ticularly in the Mediterranean ry as a preservative and an anti- components in the cell as well region and the United States. bacterial agent. These proper- as in red blood cells. Research It is used as an aromatic flavor- ties allow thyme to be used as a also shows that components in ing in sauces, stews, dressing, preservative in foods. There are thyme can help detoxify harmful meats, poultry and seafood. many other components that chemicals in the liver such as It has also been used in teas. also act as strong antioxidants. alcohol. One of the therapeutic com- Studies have shown that the pounds in thyme is called essential oils in thyme have thymol which is a strong antioxi- strong antioxidant effects and
  4. 4. Business Tagline or Motto References: Al-Sereitia MR, Abu-Amerb KM, Sena P. Indian J. Pennington Biomedical Research Center Exp. Biol. (1999) 37: 124-131. VISION Aggarwal S, et al. Int. J. Cancer (2004) 111: 679-682. Our vision is to lead the world in eliminating chronic diseases. Cicerale Q, Luas LJ, Keast RSJ. Curr. Op. Biotech. MISSION (2012) 23: 129-135. Our mission is to discover the triggers of chronic diseases through innovative Funk JL, et al. J. Agric. Food Chem. (2010) 58: 842- research that improves human health across the lifespan. We are helping 849. people live Well Beyond the Expected. Hatcher H, et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. . (2008) 65: 1631-1647. Imelouane et al. Int. J. Agric. Biol. (2009) 11(2): The Pennington Center has several research areas, including: 205-208. Clinical Obesity Research Kahn A, et la. Diabetes Care (2003) 26: 3215-3218. Experimental Obesity Kato A, et al. J. Agric. Food Chem. (2006) 54: 6640- Functional Foods 6644. Preedy VR, Watson RR. (Eds) (2010) Olives and Health and Performance Enhancement olive oil in health and disease prevention. 1479 p. Nutrition and Chronic Diseases Academic Press. Suaeyun R, et al. Carcinogenesis (1997) 18(5): 949– Nutrition and the Brain 955. Dementia, Alzheimer’s and healthy aging WangZQ, et al. Metabolism (2008) 57: S58-S64. Wright LE, et al. J. Agric. Food chem. (2010) 58: Diet, exercise, weight loss and weight loss maintenance 9498-9504. The research fostered in these areas can have a profound impact on healthy Xiong Z, et al. Pharmacol. Rep. (2011) 63: 1101- living and on the prevention of common chronic diseases, such as heart 1108. disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and osteoporosis. Ye M-X, et al. J. Mol. Sci. (2012) 13: 3959-3978. The Division of Education provides education and information to the scien- tific community and the public about research findings, training programs and research areas, and coordinates educational events for the public on various health issues. We invite people of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the exciting research studies being conducted at the Pennington Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. If you would like to take part, visit the clinical trials web page at or call (225) 763-3000 Turmeric The yellow colored com- molecules involved in in- systems. Eliminating the Turmeric root pound of turmeric was flammatory conditions reactive oxygen species isolated in 1842 and was such as rheumatoid arthri- can help prevent LDL oxi- named curcumin. Because tis, psoriasis, cancer ad dation and reduce the risk of its chemical structure, asthma, and by external for cardiovascular disease, Pennington Nutrition Series # 92 12/12 curcumin is a strong anti- stressors. Curcuminoids cancer, diabetes, Alzhei- oxidant and free radical stop the immune system mer’s and alcoholic liver Authors: scavenger and can there- from responding by block- disease. There are several Heli Roy PhD, MBA, RD fore prevent diseases that ing a reaction that would drugs that are used to Division of Education Philip Brantley PhD, Director involve damage caused by lead to a host of negative treat blood lipids and insu- Pennington Biomedical free radicals. Curcumi- responses. They also de- lin levels. Turmeric has the Research Center noids can inhibit factors crease the levels of com- potential to be used as a Steven Heymsfield, MD, that are involved in stimu- pounds that cause pain, natural compound to sta- Executive Director lation of the immune sys- fever and blood clotting. bilize blood lipids and glu- tem when an individual is Curcuminoids can improve cose levels by helping subjected to stressors the antioxidant status in prevent lipid oxidation. such as radiation or infec- the body by increasing the Turmeric feeding had a tion. They have been circulation of antioxidant positive effect on glucose shown to suppress the vitamin C and E, and en- and lipid levels in mice. production of a number of hancing other enzyme