The popular culinary herbs oregano and rosemary are packed with healthful compounds, and now lab tests show they could work in much the same way as prescription anti-diabetic medication, scientists report. In their new study published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they found that how the herbs are grown makes a difference, and they also identified which compounds contribute the most to this promising trait.
The researchers tested four different herbs, either greenhouse-grown or dried commercial versions, for their ability to interfere with a diabetes-related enzyme, which is also a target of a prescription drug for the disease.
They found that greenhouse herbs contained more polyphenols and flavonoids compared to the equivalent commercial herbs. But this didn’t affect the concentration required to inhibit the enzyme. 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.
Source: American Chemical Society. “Rosemary, oregano contain diabetes-fighting compounds.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2014.
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