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Common herbs may play a role in controlling diabetes

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If your garden includes any edibles, it probably includes rosemary and oregano.  Not only do they grow well in this climate but even weeding around them can be restful.  There’s nothing like pulling up a weed and accidentally crushing the leaves of one of these wonderfully aromatic plants.  Now, there’s another reason to grow them.  A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that Greek and Mexican oregano, rosemary and marjoram each contain compounds that work in the same way as prescription anti-diabetic medication.  Researchers found that the herbs provide a natural way to help lower blood glucose levels.  A comparison of greenhouse-grown plants versus commercial extracts found that commercial extracts were better inhibitors of a diabetes-related enzyme.  More studies are needed but scientists are hopeful that the extracts could provide a low cost option for people with type-2 diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes primarily strikes seniors, affecting over 25 percent of seniors.  Individuals with diabetes have healthcare costs 2.3 times higher than for those without diabetes.  By 2050, researchers estimate that one out of three American adults will have diabetes.  People with diabetes die an estimated 6 years earlier than people without the disease do and have a reduced ability to remain independent.  Because the cost of diabetes costs the country about $200 billion a year, controlling diabetes has personal and societal implications.

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