Posted on Aug 21, 2014, 6 a.m.
The culinary herbs oregano and rosemary may become an important natural approach to manage blood sugar, among diabetics.
With lifestyle as a leading modifiable factor for type-2 diabetes, some people can manage the disease with exercise and changes to their diet. Previous research suggests that herbs may provide a natural way to help lower glucose in blood. Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois, USA), and colleagues tested four different herbs, either greenhouse-grown or dried commercial versions, namely – Greek oregano (Origanum vulgare), marjoram (Origanum majorana), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), and Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens), for their ability to interfere with a diabetes-related enzyme known as dipeptidyl peptidase IV. The team found that greenhouse herbs contained more polyphenols and flavonoids compared to the equivalent commercial herbs. Notably, commercial extracts of Greek oregano, Mexican oregano and rosemary were better inhibitors of the enzyme, required to reduce risk of type-2 diabetes, than greenhouse-grown herbs. The study authors submit that: “Overall, herbs contain several flavonoids that inhibit [dipeptidyl peptidase IV] and should be investigated further regarding their potential in diabetes management.”
Allyson M. Bower, Luis M. Real Hernandez, Mark A. Berhow, Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia. “Bioactive Compounds from Culinary Herbs Inhibit a Molecular Target for Type 2 Diabetes Management, Dipeptidyl Peptidase IV.” J. Agric. Food Chem., 2014, 62 (26), pp 6147–6158.