Herbs may help fight diabetes
New research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that herbs like Greek oregano, marjoram, rosemary and Mexican oregano contain enzymes that may help manage type 2 diabetes and could even serve as an alternative to prescription drugs.
The scientists prepared extracts of these plants obtained from greenhouse-grown and commercially purchased dried forms and examined their ability to inhibit two enzymes - one called DPP-IV (also called DPP-4) that plays a role in insulin secretion, and another called PTP1B that is involved in insulin signaling. These enzymes are targets of drugs used to treat diabetes.
The team found that the greenhouse-grown herbs contained more polyphenols and flavonoids than the commercial, dried versions. They also found that extracts of greenhouse-grown rosemary, Mexican oregano, and marjoram were the best inhibitors of DPP-IV, while extracts from the commercial, dried versions were the best inhibitors of PTP1B. While the results are promising, the team said more studies are needed to determine how effective these compounds can be in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes in humans.