By Andrew Stewart
A paper in the Journal of Medicinal Health describes researchers attempting to see “whether polyphenolic substances in extracts of commercial culinary herbs and spices would inhibit fructose-mediated protein glycation.” In layman’s terms, they were searching for a correlation between extracts from household spices and a lowering of effects from raised blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Extracts were taken from 24 herbs and spices found at a common grocery store for the experiment. The researchers ground dry samples and extracted with ethanol, and total phenolic content and ferric reducing antioxidant potential (FRAP).
Of the materials tested, it was found that spice was, in general, better at inhibiting glycation (the result of a sugar molecule bonding to a protein) but overall “inhibition was correlated with total phenolic content.” Amongst the most potent of herbs tested were marjoram, tarragon and rosemary.
Overall this study has shown the direct benefits of preventing protein glycation in regards to diabetics, confirming that bioactive compounds in culinary herbs and spices have more health benefits to offer than might have been initially believed.
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SOURCE: Journal of Medicinal Food, June 1, 2008, 11(2): 275-281