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Show 1079: What Is the Science Behind Fabulous Foods for Health?

Learn about the scientific support for the health benefits of three fabulous foods: olive oil, cherries and curcumin. How do you choose the best?
Cherries on the Tree – A cluster of red Montmorency Michigan cherries on the tree.
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What Is the Science Behind Fabulous Foods for Health?

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Which fabulous foods can make a difference for our health? There might be too many to count. For this show, we are focusing on the science supporting the health benefits of just three power-packed foods: olive oil, curcumin and cherries.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Is One of the Fabulous Foods:

Olive oil is a pillar of the Mediterranean diet. Studies show that this eating pattern cuts your chance of developing heart disease, diabetes or other chronic conditions. What is it about olive oil that makes it so good for you? How can you choose the best olive oil?

Curcumin to Fight Cancer?

An Asian spice, turmeric, has been getting a lot of attention in research labs. One principal component, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory activity. It can benefit a tremendous variety of health conditions. In particular, it shows great promise against colon cancer, as our guest Ajay Goel, PhD, points out. How could it NOT count as one of the fabulous foods?

Cherries to Keep Muscles from Getting Sore?

Tart cherries, such as Montmorency cherries, have a surprising super-power. Taken before and after a major athletic competition such as a marathon, they reduce muscle soreness and speed healing. People who drink cherry juice have better endurance as well. Wouldn’t you like a sip?

This Week’s Guests:

Tod Cooperman, MD, is the founder and President of both ConsumerLab.com and PharmacyChecker.com. He writes and comments on consumer healthcare issues. His report on extra virgin olive oil can be found at https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Extra-Virgin-Olive-Oil-Review/evoo/

Ajay Goel, PhD, is director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Research and of the Center for Translational Genomics and Oncology at the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute. He is professor of medicine at Baylor University Medical Center and is with the Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center of the Baylor Research Institute and the Sammons Cancer Center of the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX. You will find his most recent research in Scientific Reports. Dr. Goel has a relationship with Europharma USA.

Malachy P. McHugh, PhD, has been the Director of Research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma (NISMAT) at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City since 1999. He leads a multidisciplinary research team including orthopaedic surgeons, physical therapists, exercise physiologists, nutritionists, biomechanists, biomedical engineers, and athletic trainers. He has been a consultant with the New York Rangers Hockey Team since 2000. Malachy McHugh received his PhD in Exercise Physiology in 1999 from the University of Wales, Bangor. His research on cherry juice for marathon runners was published in 2015 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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On the topic of olive oil: With the problem of soaring obesity in the U.S., I think we must be aware how calorie-dense olive oil is versus other more nutritionally dense foods we can consume. Looking at the pros and cons of including olive oil in your diet, especially in larger quantities, would be a good idea for everyone.

I have found the THORNE brand of curcumin to be of the highest quality, which dramatically reduces my osteo arthritis symptoms. Taking 2 capsules daily allows me to participate in a daily morning spin class, afternoon zumba class 3 times weekly, alternating with a 3 mile walk. I am 71, and enjoy an active lifestyle.
Before I discovered the Thorne curcumin, my joints were painfully running for president! ( I did try many other brands, and they were not as effective for me.)

I do not have any relationship at all with the Thorne company. It is just the brand that my joints like the best.

Great show. Since curcuminoids are fat soluble, but not water soluble, I am grinding turmeric root in the Cuisinart and adding the paste to olive oil.

One supermarket in my town carries turmeric root and you can find it online.

Ps. I am diabetic and it has not caused a problem for me,but I only use the pure unsweetened concentrate,not the watered down or mixed with another fruit juice.

I have been taking pure tart cherry juice daily for nearly a year and can tell a huge difference in my knee pain
(I’ve been told for 20 years my only answer it knee replacement) I can only find the pure concentrate at one grocery chain which is not close,so if I run out within a day or two I am back to my original pain! This is very disabling.I now buy 2 bottles at a time so that won’t happen! I take 2 tablespoons a day,you can dilute it in water,but I find it easier to bite the bullet and take it straight! (Like cough syrup) believe me it works better than anything I’ve ever taken.I’m 69 and have done everything else,lubricating shots,2 arthroscopic surgeries,cortisone,etc,etc.Tart cherry juice works better than anything else,the pain doesn’t go away completely but the difference is amazing in my case! Try it what have you got to lose.

Your program last Saturday was fascinating. My wife and I use olive oil, take a tart cherry extract pill and a turmeric curcumin pill each day. Is their any chance you could put in your newsletter a quality supplement that could be purchased?

Hi muscles hurt because they r tense! To relieve the tension simply use a curcular motion *clock wise) directly over thesoreness using the two first fingers mediumpressure mussles willget the message and relax! My massage therapist does this for me once a week He taughtme how to do it on myself!

I went to the ConsumerLab.com website and discovered there was no information available without a subscription. I then found reviews of the ConsumerLab indicating a conflict of interest in that they are paid by the supplement companies as well as subscriptions.

I don’t mind paying for the product reviews if I can trust that they are not influenced by the companies selling the products.

Did People’s Pharmacy check to see if ConsumerLab has conflicts of interest affecting their reviews?

I loved hearing what each of your guests had to say. However regarding the cherries and/or juice I kept waiting for someone to caution that this is not for diabetics or those with blood sugar problems.

Please interview Dr. Michael Greger (NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG) on your program. And the CHIPHEALTH.COM people .

My wife and I drink about 4 ounces of pure tart cherry juice from concentrate twice a day at breakfast and at bedtime. We have been doing this for about 10 years and have had no negative effects of any kind. We also have no pain’s, joint or otherwise. Prior to cherry juice I took Vioxx and later Celebrex , for ankle and knee pain. We are very active, she take care of the house and outside flower beds.I take care of 2horses, 4 acres of pasture and about 2 acres of lawn and orchard. By the way, in 2 months she will be 82 and I will be 83.

There is much controversy about olive oil (and oils in general). See NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG.

I’m so intrigued by this information but never listen to podcasts, for technical reasons. Would it be possible to provide a written summary? I would be most happy to pay for it.

Thank you for what you do.


* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^