Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Garlic and bioflavanoids

Nutrition fascinates me -- and has since my late 20's, which was over 40 years ago.  I'm always looking out for new research, new information, places I can learn and understand more. Listening to the radio the other night I caught the last 10 minutes of an interview that led me to search out the man being interviewed. I wanted more. His name is Bill Sardi -- don't know anything really about him, but I know enough to realize he knew what he was talking about, and his website confirms that. He also cites studies for about everything he states, with links.

I learned a lot in my brief perusal of the site yesterday. One -- that L-theanine is 'nature's beta blocker', I mentioned yesterday. In that article he talks about staying out of trouble when taking supplements, something I also care about and love to fine-tune in my own life.

One thing that caught my attention was the proper use of polyphenols/bioflavanoids, which are one of the current nutrition rages. I've written about some of them here previously (cinnamon and turmeric), although I didn't call them polyphenols or bioflavanoids.  He says that these things work best in modest doses, because they are actually biological stressing agents. They are detected by the body as a biological threat and in response activate internal antioxidant defenses, but this only happens when modest doses are consumed. And, an excessive dose negates the proposed beneficial effects and may even worsen existing conditions.  His point was that supplement users are not hearing any precautions about dosages, a case where too much of a good thing is bad for you.

These polyphenols, or bioflavanoids are found in lots of things -- he cites citrus rind, berries, tea leaves, grapes, pomegranates, spices, coffee beans, more specifically, turmeric, red apple peel, green tea, coffee beans, milk thistle and resveratrol from red grapes and wine. He says he expects that many serious supplement users have numerous bottles of these items in their daily supplement regime, and suggests they'd do well to limit the dosages.  This is where L-theanine comes in. It, along with various other things are natural anti-stress agents, or adaptagens, that will counteract overdosages of the stressors -- to a point. It's easy, he says, to get caught up in taking lots of stressors, more than the body can conteract, then start taking these adaptagens or theanine to counteract the stressors, setting up an endless circle.

I tend to prefer getting any possible nutrient direct from food. My diet includes lots of turmeric because I like curries, and it's a major ingredient. I also use a good bit of cinnamon and lots of cayenne, berries, coffee, etc. For me, the theanine is a separate issue -- meant to counteract an over-zealous heart, rather than over-zealous use of supplements.

One more article, on garlic, was also interesting. I've often wondered if the therapeutic value of garlic existed outside the raw garlic clove, and for the most part, he says it isn't, and that most garlic supplements on the market don't really have much value. The therapeutic allicin in the garlic only occurs when a fresh clove is smashed (presumably grated or minced, as well).  Fortunately, that's how I like my garlic best, in salad dressings, hummus and other foods -- although I also use lots in cooking just for flavor. If you take garlic supplements, you might want to read this article, because you just might be wasting your money.

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