NutritionFacts.org

Health Topics

  1. #
  2. A
  3. B
  4. C
  5. D
  6. E
  7. F
  8. G
  9. H
  10. I
  11. J
  12. K
  13. L
  14. M
  15. N
  16. O
  17. P
  18. Q
  19. R
  20. S
  21. T
  22. U
  23. V
  24. W
  25. X
  26. Y
  27. Z
Browse All Topics

Plants vs. Pesticides

Phytonutrients found in certain foods may protect against the toxic effects of industrial pollutants such as dioxin and DDT, suggesting a dual role for plant-based diets to reduce both exposure and subsequent damage.

November 2, 2012 |
GD Star Rating
loading...

Topics

Supplementary Info

Sources Cited

Acknowledgements

Transcript

Not only do plant foods tend to have significantly lower levels of industrial pollutants because they are at the bottom of the food chain, there may be phytonutrients that combat the effects of some of these toxicants. A group of scientists recently published a paper describing what happened when they ordered some dioxin from Dow Chemical, grabbed some DDT while they were at it, and dripped the chemicals on some human white blood cells with and without a variety of phytonutrients to see if they could have a protective effect.

They identified two as “the most effective agents in protecting human blood cells from developing these cell toxic effects of dioxin and DDT. Here’s a bit of their data—this is measuring inflammation triggered by the dioxin. All four of these phytonutrients seemed to mitigate the toxic effect, but zerumbone, found in ginger, and auraptene, found in citrus, appeared best at suppressing the inflammation. Now this is obviously very preliminary, it was in a test tube and they tested only a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of known phytonutrients, but it does open up the possibility that plant-based diets may play a dual role in protecting us against industrial pollutants, reducing exposure—and, potentially, reducing some of the damage from any chemicals we're still exposed to, given how polluted our world has become.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Kerry Skinner.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Where is dioxin found in our diet? See Dioxins in the Food Supply. What about DDT? See yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Food Sources of Perfluorochemicals. How many different chemicals are the most vulnerable amongst us overall? See CDC Report on Environmental Chemical Exposure for pollutants in pregnant women and yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day, How Fast Can Children Detoxify from PCBs?, for exposure of children. More on ginger in Amyloid and Apple Juice and Dangerous Advice From Health Food Store Employees. See how we can incorporate more in our diet in Healthy Pumpkin Pie and The Healthiest Beverage. I've also got 11 videos on citrus and hundreds of videos on a thousand other topics.

For some more context, please check out my associated blog posts: Countering Dietary Pollutants & PesticidesDr. Greger's Natural Nausea Remedy Recipe, and  Apple Peels Turn On Anticancer Genes

If you haven't yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Where is dioxin found in our diet? See Dioxins in the Food Supply. What about DDT? See yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day Food Sources of Perfluorochemicals. To how many different chemicals are the most vulnerable amongst us exposed overall? See CDC Report on Environmental Chemical Exposure for pollutants in pregnant women and yesterday’s NutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day, How Fast Can Children Detoxify from PCBs?, for exposure of children. More on ginger in Amyloid and Apple Juice and Dangerous Advice From Health Food Store Employees. See how we can incorporate more in our diet in Healthy Pumpkin Pie and The Healthiest Beverage. I’ve also got 11 videos on citrus and hundreds of videos on a thousand other topics.
     
    If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

    • Pbeach

      I don’t understand why the chemicals are more concentrated in animals?

      • R Ian Flett

        Because animals are higher on the food chain. The cow eats a huge amount of vegetation and the veggie contaminants are gradually accumulated in the cow’s proteins and fats. It’s also why regularly eating swordfish or shark rather than sardines will get you mercury poisoning. Eat low on the food chain to avoid toxins.

        • Toxins

          Well spoken R lan Flett

  • http://www.donatopoetry.com/ Donato Cianci

    Putting cow manure on my vegetable garden yesterday I had a thought that this stuff might be as contaminated as the cow that produced it, and I m risking contaminating my veggies when I use it. Any data on this? thanks for your efforts. 

    • Vegan Betty

      Use organic, or look into vermiculture… Worms make GOLD!!!

    • R Ian Flett

      No simple answer here. It depends on the source of the cow manure. If it came from grain fattening feed lots it could concentrate certain toxins and if it came from pastures it could be filtered by the vegetation that the cows ate. The cow acts as a filter to some extent by accumulating certain toxins in its fat and others in its protein. Its liver and its huge amount of stomach bacteria help break down many toxins. The bacteria keep working in the manure long after it’s excreted. My guess is that good quality cow manure in the food cycle is detoxic in most cases. Also you are not spreading it on the plant leaves but on the ground and it has to go through another filtration process in the soil to get to the veggie’s roots.

      • http://www.donatopoetry.com/ Donato Cianci

         Thanks very much for your reply. I am going to act as if your advice was my experience, and use the cow manure . However Think I’ll use our community garden compost bin more too.

    • Toxins

      I would say that the cow manure possibly could transfer pollutants to your garden. The milk of grazing animals such as cows and sheep can be used to estimate the PCB toxic waste contamination of the soil (http://1.usa.gov/Pxhuut) although as R lan Flett pointed out the pollutants may not necessarily be in the waste although I wouldn’t doubt that the cow itself is trying to remove pollutants as we humans do through the feces.

      • http://www.donatopoetry.com/ Donato Cianci

        Thanks for your reply . I;m now wondering if the fact that the cow’s meat and fat contain a lot of toxins, means the animal has sequestered some of what it ingested, so that its manure has less as a result? Does anyone know if any studies have been done on this? Why is cow manure an acceptable fertilizer on an organic farm? Should it be?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=640861216 Gary Yuen

    Don’t know anything about these herbs, but if you’re interested, found other citrus plants used in chinese medicine : Atalantia buxifolia [Syn. Severinia buxifolia], Poncirus trifoliata, and Zanthoxylum schinifolium. There’s also acetoxyauraptene (no clue about it) which is in szechuan pepper. Stuff to check out if you’re into it.

  • Guest

    I heard someone tell me they still use pesticides on big corporate farms. Organic ones that are dangerous and they don’t have tests to test for them… So that is why organic is not much greater than foods with pesticides sprayed on them? As they’re getting sprayed with Organic Pesticides? Is this true? Is Organic any better than none organic? And Does organic raise the nutritional value more than say than non organic or wild vegetables and fruit?