Rosemary is an herb that’s more than a flavor enhancer
Rosemary is one more herb to add to your kitchen shelf. Whether you steep it, sauté it, or soak it, tasty rosemary can elevate both your culinary skills and your health.
Why? Because not only is it a trendy cooking spice, but the fragrant needle-leaved herb is also showing early promise as a cancer killer.
Human studies are needed to confirm the effects, but in cell studies, rosemary extract has given both breast cancer and leukemia cells a real fight. That’s good news about an herb we already know is chock-full of antioxidants — those free-radical killers that help protect you from cell-level damage.
When you fry, broil, or grill meats at high temperatures, that creates substances (heterocyclic amines a/k/a HCA’s) that are implicated in several cancers. However, when rosemary extract is added as a marinade before cooking meat the HCA’s are reduced.
Four Ways to Get More Rosemary into Your Life
- Use fresh or dried rosemary in marinades for meats or vegetables (olive oil, fresh or dried rosemary, and soy sauce make a nice, simple one).
- Stick a fresh sprig in your lemonade, or steep it in hot tea.
- Add chopped rosemary to your tossed salads. See this RealAge.com recipe.
- Try this delicious rosemary-infused recipe from EatingWell.com: Garlic-Rosemary Mushrooms.
Everything’s Coming Up Rosemary
More reasons everything’s rosy with rosemary:
- It could give your brain a boost. Find out how with this aromatherapy article.
- It may make your meats safer. Here’s what it does to meat.
RealAge Benefit: Getting the right amount of antioxidants through diet or supplements can make your RealAge 6 years younger.
If you are a gardener
Plant rosemary in your garden so you can sip a warm cup of fragrant rosemary tea . Be sure to include this tough cancer fighter as part of your herb section — not only is it a delicious flavor booster; it’s also a hearty grower that will turn even the blackest thumb green.
Vitamin D reduces risk of cancer
New possible factor in cancer development: Low vitamin D levels may have a role
Science Daily (May 26, 2009) — “In studying the preventive effects of vitamin D, researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, have proposed a new model of cancer development that hinges on a loss of cancer cells’ ability to stick together. The model, dubbed DINOMIT, differs substantially from the current model of cancer development, which suggests genetic mutations as the earliest driving forces behind cancer.
“The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels,” said epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPh, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, who led the work. “In this new model, we propose that this loss may play a key role in cancer by disrupting the communication between cells that is essential to healthy cell turnover, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over.”
2000 IU/day of vitamin D3 can help prevent cancer
Garland said that diet and supplements can restore appropriate vitamin D levels, and perhaps help in preventing cancer development. “Vitamin D levels can be increased by modest supplementation with vitamin D3 in the range of 2000 IU/day,” he noted.
Vitamin D and breast cancer
According to Science Daily “Calcitrol, the active form of vitamin D, has been found to induce a tumor suppressing protein that can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, according to a study by researcher Sylvia Chistakos, Ph.D., of the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.”
Sunlight: Nature’s Most Potent Cancer Fighter?
The Canadian Cancer Society is now recommending vitamin D for all adults, the first time a major public-health organization has endorsed the vitamin as a cancer-prevention therapy.
If US health officials would simply recommend that you get some sensible sun exposure, or supplement with oral vitamin D3 if you can’t get out into the sun, there could be major advances made in the fight against cancer.
In short, your risk of cancer could be cut in half. This is according to a large-scale, randomized, placebo-controlled study that looked at almost 1,200 women, aged 55 and older, over the course of four years.
Those in a group that was given supplemental calcium and vitamin D had a 60 percent lower risk for all cancers than those who received a placebo.
Get enough “D” and calcium
Getting enough vitamin D and calcium reduces the risk for developing cancer by an incredible amount, found a recent 4-year study at Creighton University: Women who took the combo reduced their overall risk by up to 77%. “Vitamin D enhances your body’s immune response–which is the first line of defense against cancer,” says lead researcher Joan Lappe, PhD, RN, a professor of nursing and medicine.
Your skin makes D when it’s exposed to sunlight, but researchers say the best way to guarantee you get enough is with a pill. The 1,100 IU used in the Creighton study will do the trick (and is safe.)
Where can you buy Vitamin D and calcium supplements?
You can buy them at many grocery stores, drug stores, health food stores, and online. You’ll have no problem finding them in your area.
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