Yet another good reason to consider including fermented foods in your diet
For those of you already enthused about, or tentatively considering, making and consuming your own fermented foods (e.g. vegetables), you may, perhaps(!), find the following of interest.
I am all for consuming a diet rich in food nutrients, along with various supportive culinary, medicinal and adaptogenic herbs.
However, provided they are of natural origin, I will permit myself a little supplementation, in the form of concentrated antioxidants, such as extracts of grapeseed, pine bark, etc. There are certain reasons why I am content with doing this, which I needn't get into, here.
I know there are other RFT members who take a similar approach - i.e. primary focus of nutrient intake being from wisely-structured diet, plus a little shrewd naturally-derived supplementation.
With this in mind, and with the numerous benefits of consuming fermented foods, there is an interesting conversation about pine bark extracts on another forum, from a couple of years ago, which I just stumbled across, and which I thought may be of interest to some of you. The reason I mention this particular conversation is because it claims to contain the contents of a discussion with a member of staff from the company that manufactures 'Enzogenol' (which is a high-end, branded (as opposed to generic), pine bark extract, broadly equivalent to 'Pycnogenol').
Now, the fact that the discussion may relate to a commercial manufacturer might lead to one dismissing it as biased.
However, the particular element of the discussion which I am drawing your attention to is not subject to manufacturer bias, and it is as follows:
"The OPC’s are not absorbed directly, they are first broken down by gut microflora and it is the metabolites that are actually the active compounds."
So, if you are paying for somewhat-expensive pinebark extracts (or indeed the cheaper grapeseed extracts), it might just be that inclusion of live fermented foods in your diet may confer the additional benefit of maximising absorption and implementation of these antioxidant compounds.
Last edited by Aleesha Sattva; 02-18-2013 at 10:48 AM.
Reason: removing link to another forum - Admin
I also found the following of interest (from the same discussion linked above):
"Some recent research shows that catechin has quite a good prebiotic effect whereas epicatechin does not.The catechin appears to selectively stimulate growth of good bacteria & inhibit growth of bad bacteria in your gut.The OPC’s in PBE are primarily composed of catechin and at the other end of the spectrum is coca OPCs which are mostly epicatechin.Since some studies have shown positive benefits for pro/pre- biotics fo asthma & allergies, this could explain some of the positive benefits of pycnogenol compared to grape seed (which has higher levels of epicatechin)"
So drinking tea (green tea, for example) may perhaps support healthy bowel flora, although there are many other natural prebiotic substances, of course, including chicory root, jerusalem artichoke, oats etc. (one may even include a little chicory root in the fermentation vessel, to encourage the lactic acid bacteria to flourish more vigourously).
Curiously, though tea has been observed to exert some anti-bacterial effects. This is a bit of a rabbit hole of a discussion, since one needs to be a scientist with a list of microbiology qualifications as long as your arm, in order to differentiate between the varying effects of any given substance (be it natural or synthetic) upon different kinds of bacteria.
For my part, I'll continue to include green and white teas in my daily diet, and, when I am again able to tolerate fermented foods, I will eagerly reintroduce them to my daily diet. It'll be nice to know that, in addition to their hundreds of other health benefits, they'll be increasing the bioavailablity of my expensive Pycnogenol / Enzogenol supplements!
Just to throw another hat into the ring, so-to-speak, I also noticed something else of interest in the above linked discussion, in relation to the tea catechins and their health-promotive effects, and it's something that is counter-intuitive for those of us who favour green or white tea over black tea:
"A study by Kirin .... does a comparison between a range of high quality procyanidin rich ,commercially available extracts. They used a mouse auto-immune disease model in the study.
In this study they compared Pine Bark extract v’s Jatoba v’s Grape Seed v’s Cranberry v’s Applephenon v’s Cocoa v’s green tea v’s cinnamon. These are all refined extracts and the pine bark extract used was pycnogenol.
In order of effectiveness Pycnogenol came out top and was the only one to completely suppress the disease. Then cranberry , cinnamon, &Jatoba were next with approx equal effects. Then Grape Seed with approx 50% suppression.Interestingly the apple skin extract,cocoa extract and green tea were worse than the controls, and were actually proinflammatory. The Japanese researchers observed that the amount of disease suppression was related to the degree of polymerization of the procyanidins.The higher the better."
So, why might this have any bearing on white/green vs. black tea consumption?:
"The oxidation of catechins, known as fermentation in the tea industry, causes them to polymerize and to form larger, more complex polyphenols known as theaflavins and thearubigins.
...During the processing of black teas, tea leaves are rolled and allowed to oxidize or ferment fully, resulting in high concentrations of theaflavins and thearubigins and relatively low catechin concentrations"
Conclusion? It may be best to consume a spectrum of teas, including some black. I already mix white and green teas, so I guess I'll add in some black, too!
Anyway, back to the fermented foods discussion, whatever kinds you decide to consume (even if it's kombucha) do ensure you make them at home rather than buying commercially (many reasons for this advice), and remember that although they are very health-promotive, they should not be consumed excessively. The latter is also true for the various antioxidant substances encompassed in the discussion in this thread.
"...little and often; little and often..." :-)
Anyway, apologies for the 'dual' nature of the discussion in this thread, I just thought it was an interesting overlap between two seemingly unrelated topics, and with some interesting off-shoots.
Another interesting off-shoot about green tea:
I like yerba mate, guayusa and yaupon. All of these are hollys and supposedly have higher anti-oxidant content than teas?
They are also the only caffeinated sources I know of that I've found truly raw. Even cacao is not raw. Though extremely rare I've found some online sources. As for guayusa... I'm not really sure if I can find it truly raw, but close.. the sources I've gotten them from dry theirs no lower than 107 degrees or so. It's not raw enough for me.
I've tried yerba mate dried at 100 degrees F and another dried at around 107 and I could tell quite a noticable difference. The 100 degrees dried mate did not burn me out, it was the highest quality.
The yaupon was also excellent. Note: that for these to be brewed cold they should be fully dried and ground like the Brazilian "chimarrao".
Interesting; thanks for your input. I must admit, I hadn't previously heard of guayusa or yaupon; I'll look into them!
Re 'raw', are you aware that, where camellia sinensis (tea) is concerned, the heat processing (steam, dry-frying, hot air, or whatever) is to deliberately deactivate enzymes, so as to preserve the polyphenols as they are? Personally, I have no concerns at all about consuming tea that has been heat-treated. Raw isn't always best for absolutely everything, but I know there will be those who adhere so tenaciously to the raw philosophy that they will disagree with me. Each to their own, and I definitely do support the ethos of consuming plenty of raw foods/beverages :-)
Hmmm... so I just looked at the guayusa and it has really high levels of caffeine! That's not, personally, what I wish for. Caffeine stresses the adrenals, and for someone like me, who has heavy metal intoxication (extremely stressful upon the adrenal glands), that would be an unwise choice. I see that it is high in antioxidants but, from what I just read, it seems to be rather misleading to market it as containing twice as many antioxidants as green tea, since it also contains double the caffeine of green tea. So there's no reason why one couldn't simply drink a second cup of green tea and end up with the same intake of caffeine and antioxidants as the one cup of guayusa! LOL! Difference in tannin levels, of course, but that's of no consequence to me, either way.
I have noticed that David Wolfe, for all his enthusiasm, knowledge, even 'fame', on the subject of raw superfoods and health issues in general, seems to really like his natural stimulants(!). I don't favour this approach, personally, as I don't think it promotes good health to be continually consuming stimulant substances, even if they're natural and raw, and even if they may have a history of use by various native tribes around the world.
My caffeine intake, as a consequence of consuming tea, is as low as I can reasonably keep it - no more than 20-30mg per day, total (perhaps slightly more if I have a small matcha tea, but I'm very mindful of caffeine intake). It so happens that I also take adrenal supportive substances, too, for the aforementioned heavy metals reasons, so this relatively small amount of caffeine shouldn't cause me problems.
How do you handle all that caffeine, 'Non' ? I infer from your enthusiasm for the teas you mentioned, and the fact that you voiced no concerns about the caffeine content, that you intentionally enjoy a 'raw' caffeine hit each day? If you handle it OK, then that's cool. I'm just amazed that you can, that's all!
I don't drink caffeine everyday. I was addicted to it once for a long time. About a year or so... Everyday drinking. Couldn't get off the wagon until finally I just gave it up. Nowadays.. I don't have any unless it is absolutely raw or close to "if I need it". But really I still try not to. In the past 3 months I've had it less then 10 times either from cacao or "ku ding cha" which is a Chinese tea made also from Holly plant but it is oxidized the same way all other teas are oxidized. It was raw yerba mate that helped me to quit and then after that I had the occasional cacao or ku ding cha.
As for the caffeine content.. I still wish to experiment with raw yerba mate when it's available again. I had one packet full once and I noticed how different it was to everything else I've tried, including "raw" cacao. No jitters, no burnout, and a feeling of energy. I want to see how it really effects the adrenals as people say it does but in the "truly raw form". I mean it's still dried and ground still yet... it is as closest to fresh and raw as possible. I just know that I didn't feel adrenal burnout from this one as opposed to other forms of caffeine even so called "raw" cacao, and guayusa.
I don't think I could ever give up the occasional drink of yerba mate or yaupon.... Having it everyday though is too much. Everything else does not effect me well, no matter what. It is possible the yerba mate still would lead to a burnout but a lot less then the others.
Last edited by Non; 02-18-2013 at 03:25 PM.