With lifestyle as a leading modifiable factor, some people can manage type 2 diabetes with exercise and changes to their diet. Previous research suggested that herbs may provide a natural way to help lower blood glucose. Elvira Gonzalez de Mejia, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues tested four different herbs, either greenhouse-grown or dried commercial versions of 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 than the equivalent commercial herbs and that Greek oregano, Mexican oregano and rosemary were better inhibitors of the enzyme. “Overall,” the authors submit, “herbs contain several flavonoids that inhibit [dipeptidyl peptidase IV] and should be investigated further regarding their potential in diabetes management.”
Bower, A.M., et al. (2014). Bioactive compounds from culinary herbs Inhibit a molecular target for type 2 diabetes management, dipeptidyl peptidase IV. J Agric Food Chem. 62 (26): 6147–6158.
—Dr. Bob Goldman
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