Skip Navigation LinksHome > May/June 2010 - Volume 45 - Issue 3 > Oregano: Overview of the Literature on Health Benefits
Text sizing:
A
A
A
Nutrition Today:
doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3181dec789
Food Science

Oregano: Overview of the Literature on Health Benefits

Singletary, Keith PhD

Free Access
Article Outline
Collapse Box

Author Information

Keith Singletary, PhD, is Professor Emeritus of Nutrition, Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.

This study was supported by McCormick Science Institute.

Correspondence: Keith Singletary, PhD, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801 (kws@illinois.edu).

Collapse Box

Abstract

Oregano is an herb that has been cultivated for centuries in the Mediterranean area, although it now can be found on most continents. Actually, there is not simply one "oregano," but rather several species that may contribute to the oregano used for culinary purposes. Origanum vulgare (also referred to as Spanish thyme and wild marjoram), a member of the plant family Lamiaceae, is generally the spice variety sold as oregano in Europe and the United States. Medicinal uses for oregano date back to the ancient Greek and Roman empires where applications of the leaves were used to treat such maladies as skin sores and relieve aching muscles and as an antiseptic. Oregano also has been used in traditional medicines for such ailments as asthma, cramping, diarrhea, and indigestion. In Greece, an oregano infusion is still used as a folk remedy against colds and upset stomach and to maintain general health. Based on the current scientific literature, oregano extracts and individual constituents consistently have demonstrated antimicrobial actions in vitro toward food-borne pathogens, although the capacity to counter human infections is not well studied. Oregano contains several potent antioxidants that may contribute to the findings in preliminary studies that oregano exhibits benefits toward the cardiovascular and nervous systems, relieves symptoms of inflammation, and modulates blood sugar and lipids. Well-controlled human studies substantiating these health effects are lacking

Oregano is an herb that has been cultivated for centuries in the Mediterranean region, although now it can be found in most continents. The name oregano translates roughly into "mountain joy," which explains in part its association for ancient Greeks and Romans with joy and happiness. Actually there is not simply one "oregano," but rather several species that may contribute to the oregano used for culinary purposes. Origanum vulgare (also referred to as Spanish thyme and wild marjoram), a member of the plant family Lamiaceae (Labiatae), is generally the spice variety sold as oregano in Europe and the United States. Its light green leaves are used either "dry" or "fresh" as a culinary seasoning, and its use has elicited such sensory responses as "pungent," "pleasantly bitter," "herbaceous," and "aromatic," to name a few. Two constituents of oregano, carvacrol and thymol, contribute to the sensation of warmth in the mouth due to their actions on temperature-sensitive structures called ion channels.1,2

Oregano is most well known for imparting an "Italian taste" to Mediterranean cuisine and may be used to enhance the flavors of a variety of foods including baked goods, vegetables, legumes, fish, pizza, pasta sauce, and chilis. It has been included in aromatic teas and is a frequent addition to Mexican dishes. Mexican oregano is prepared from Lippia spp (Verbenaceae).3 In the Philippines, a related herb suganda (Coleus amboinicus) also is used as oregano in cooking.4

Medicinal uses for oregano date back to the ancient Greek and Roman empires where applications of the leaves were used to treat skin sores, to relieve aching muscles, and as an antiseptic. Oregano also has been used in traditional medicines for such ailments as asthma, cramping, diarrhea, and indigestion.5 In Greece, an oregano infusion is still used as a folk remedy against colds and an upset stomach and to maintain general health.6

Because there are so many species of Origanum used around the world as an "oregano" condiment and for medicinal purposes, it is not surprising that there are variations in their profiles of bioactive constituents and in the purported beneficial effects.7-12 For example, the carvacrol content of essential oils from Origanum plants may vary over 20-fold, and similarly thymol content may vary 3-fold to almost 30-fold among plant oils.7,9 The amounts of the terpene alcohol linalool could range from nondetectable in one plant oil to approximately 30% of the essential oil composition of another.9

The volatile compounds carvacrol (isopropyl-o-cresol or 5-isopropyl-2-methylphenol) and thymol (isopropyl-m-cresol) are considered major terpene components of oregano essential oils,7,9,13 along with p-cymene (4-isopropyl toluene) and γ-terpinene, which are precursors in the biosynthesis of thymol and carvacrol. Thymol is used in perfumes and mouthwashes. Other bioactive compounds identified in oregano leaf include phenolic acids (caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid), rosmarinic acid and caffeoyl derivatives, ursolic acid, and carnosic acid, as well as a mixture of flavonoids.5 In fact, rosmarinic acid is one of the most abundant phenolic compounds present in aqueous extracts of oregano leaf and is known to be the dominant phenolic compound in Labiatae spices (such as oregano, rosemary, sage, etc).5

Figure Oregano leave...
Figure Oregano leave...
Image Tools

It should be mentioned at the onset of this overview of oregano and health that the benefit of oregano to humans ultimately will depend on the bioavailability of its biologically active constituents following ingestion, that is, how well those components are absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and eliminated from the body. This will be of critical importance in establishing any link between health effects detected in vitro and those that might be expected to occur in vivo. Investigations evaluating the bioavailability of oregano in humans are limited. Two reports in humans have indicated that the intake of oregano extracts containing doses of 300 to 600 mg/d total oregano-derived phenolics resulted in the absorption and quick elimination of the phenolic acids.14,15 Yet, even given a dose of 600 mg/d for 4 weeks, no significant changes in biomarkers of lipid peroxidation were detected in these subjects.14 A number of issues were identified by the authors of this study that may explain variations in natural product bioavailability and bioactivity. For example, the bioactivity of metabolites of a parent antioxidant phytochemical can be markedly different than that of the parent compound. Also, phytochemicals in a complex mixture may differ individually in their extent of absorption, their manner of metabolism, and thus their distribution in various body tissues. The bioavailability of single compounds identified in oregano, such as rosmarinic acid and thymol, also has been reported. In a clinical trial involving 12 healthy volunteers, the systemic availability and pharmacokinetics of thymol following a single 1.08-mg dose were examined. The metabolite thymol sulfate was detected in plasma, with a half-life of 10.2 hours16 and a maximum plasma concentration of approximately 93 ng/mL. In another small clinical trial, 6 healthy men were given a single oral dose of 200 mg rosmarinic acid in an extract of Perilla frutescens.17 They observed that rosmarinic acid was absorbed and detected in sulfate- and glucuronide-conjugated forms, with 75% of the rosmarinic acid metabolites being rapidly excreted within 6 hours after intake. Similar results were obtained in a study in rats orally administered rosmarinic acid at 50 mg/kg body weight.18 The absorption efficiency of rosmarinic acid in rats was determined to be much less than that of other phenolic acids such as caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid following a 100-μmol dose per kilogram of body weightt.19 This important area of study in humans warrants additional attention.

Back to Top | Article Outline

Summary

A variety of health benefits of oregano or its individual constituents have been the subject of scientific study. Oregano extracts and individual constituents consistently have demonstrated antimicrobial actions in vitro toward food-borne pathogens, although the capacity to counter human infections is not well studied. Oregano contains several potent antioxidants that may partly contribute to findings in preliminary studies in which oregano exhibits benefits toward the cardiovascular and nervous systems, relieves symptoms of inflammation, and modulates blood glucose and lipid levels. Well-controlled human studies substantiating these health effects are lacking.

Examples of several uses for oregano are presented in the following, and an effort was made to give an overview of the variety of scientific research on this topic. Points of view for rating of evidence in each category are based on consideration of cell culture and animal and human clinical data from the peer-reviewed scientific literature. A higher rating was given when there were both preclinical and clinical data and when there was consistency of findings among well-controlled human studies.

The safety of oregano extracts and individual constituents for medicinal use in humans has not been thoroughly studied. The German Commission E and the American Herbal Products Association have reported no known safety risks associated with typical uses of oregano leaf. A similar report for the essential oil has not been issued.117,118 Furthermore, the Commission E does not recommend therapeutic use of this herb, because efficacy has not been well documented. An aqueous distillate of Origanum onites L containing carvacrol as the major constituent was shown to be nontoxic in acute and chronic preclinical toxicity models,119 and carvacrol is not hepatotoxic in the rat.114 Some oregano constituents such as the monoterpenoids carvacrol and thymol are known to be activators of the transient receptor potential channel (TRPV3), although they do not consistently induce skin sensitization120,121 and are not skin irritants.1 There are a few cases of systemic allergic reactions following ingestion of oregano.122 In light of the concern that the volatile components of oregano oil can be irritating to mucous membranes, it has been recommended that the oils not be applied topically to mucous membranes at greater than a 1% concentration.123 Oregano essential oil administered in the diet at 0.1% to female mice for 2 weeks resulted in a significant increase in cell death of mouse preimplantation embryos.124 Dose-response effects of oregano essential oil following internal use in humans have not been well characterized, especially considering the potential variability in bioactive component profiles. Oregano was reported to have biological activity as a progestin in in vitro assays.125 However, because the bioavailability of oregano and any subsequent effects on hormones have not been well studied in vivo, the biological significance of these in vitro findings, if any, remains to be determined.

Summary of Scientifi...
Summary of Scientifi...
Image Tools
Summary of Scientifi...
Summary of Scientifi...
Image Tools
Summary of Scientifi...
Summary of Scientifi...
Image Tools
Back to Top | Article Outline

Conclusions

Oregano has several properties that deserve further characterization and confirmation. It is clear that oregano's chemical constituents can suppress the growth of a broad range of microorganisms in vitro. The conditions under which it can act effectively to counteract microbial contamination in food products need to be better examined. Particularly valuable will be characterization of the conditions under which its constituents may combat human infection.20 There is limited but suggestive evidence that oregano bioactive components may suppress inflammation and improve blood glucose and lipid regulation. Such properties warrant additional preclinical evaluation to determine the active agents, potential mechanisms, and consistency among experimental models. In particular, confirmation of the potential capacity of oregano to decrease hyperglycemia and enhance insulin sensitivity and the doses necessary to do so warrant further investigation. Lastly, despite numerous reports that oregano's phytochemicals have antioxidant actions in vitro, the in vivo evidence in animals is limited and in humans is unsubstantiated.14 This lack of effect clinically in part may be due to poor oral bioavailability that has been observed. Thus, it will be of value to determine the specific oregano extracts, active constituents, effective doses, and conditions for which oregano may have measurable impact on markers of antioxidant status in humans after supplementation.14

Back to Top | Article Outline

REFERENCES

1. Xu H, Delling M, Jun J, Clapham D. Oregano, thyme and clove-derived flavors and skin sensitizers activate specific TRP channels. Nat Neurosci. 2006;9:628-635.

2. Lee S, Buber M, Yang Q, et al. Thymol and related alkyl phenols activate the TRPA1 channel. Br J Pharmacol. 2008;153:1739-1749.

3. Arcila-Lozano C, Loarca-Pina G, Lecona-Uribe S, Gonzalez-deMejia E. Oregano: properties, composition and biological activity. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2004;54:100-111.

4. The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press; 2007.

5. Shan B, Cai B, Sun M, Corke H. Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents. J Agric Food Chem. 2005;53:7749-7759.

6. Clark M. Wild herbs in the marketplace. In Kardulias P and Shutes M, (eds). Aegean Strategies: Studies of Culture and Environment on the European Fringe. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers; 1997:215-236.

7. Fleisher A, Sneer N. Oregano spices and Origanum chemotypes. J Sci Food Agric. 1982;33:441-446.

8. Hazzit M, Baaliouamer A, Faleiro L, Miguel M. Composition of the essential oils of Thymus and Origanum species from Algeria and their antioxidant and antimicrobial activities. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54:6314-6321.

9. Figueredo F, Cabassu P, Chalchat J, Pasquier B. Studies of Mediterranean oregano populations VIII-chemical composition of essential oils of oregano of various origins. Flav Frag J. 2006;21:134-139.

10. Figueredo G, Cabassu P, Chalchat J, Pasquier B. Studies of Mediterranean oregano populations-V. Chemical composition of essential oils of oregano: Origanum syriacum L. var. siniacum (Boiss.) Ietswaart, O. syriacum L. var. syriacum (Bioss.) Ietswaart, and O. syriacum L. var. syriacum from Lebanon and Israel. Flav Frag J. 2004;20:164-168.

11. Dorman H, Bachmyer O, Kosar M, Hironen P. Antioxidant properties of aqueous extracts from selected Lamiaceae species grown in Turkey. J Agric Food Chem. 2004;52:762-770.

12. D'Antuono F, Galletti G, Bocchini P. Variability of essential oil content and composition of Origanum vulgare L. Populations from a North Mediterranean area (Liguria region, Northern Italy). Ann Botany. 2000;86:471-478.

13. Russo M, Galletti G, Bocchini P, Carnacini A. Essential oil composition of wild populations of Italian oregano spice (Origanum vulgare spp. Hirtum (Link) Ietswaart): a preliminary evaluation of their use in chemotaxonomy by cluster analysis. 1. Influorescences. J Agric Food Chem. 1998;46:3741-3746.

14. Nurmi A, Mursu J, Nurmi T, et al. Consumption of juice fortified with oregano extract markedly increases excretion of phenolic acids but lacks short- and long-term effects on lipid peroxidation in healthy nonsmoking men. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54:5790-5796.

15. Nurmi A, Nurmi T, Mursu T, Hiltunen R, Voutilainen S. Ingestion of oregano extract increases excretion of urinary phenolic metabolites in humans. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54:6916-6923.

16. Kohlert C, Schindler G, Marz R, et al. Systemic availability and pharmacokinetics of thymol in humans. J Clin Pharmacol. 2002;42:731-737.

17. Baba S, Osakabe N, Natsume M, et al. Absorption, metabolism, degradation and urinary excretion of rosmarinic acid after intake of Perilla frutescens extract in humans. Eur J Nutr. 2005;44:1-9.

18. Baba S, Osakabe N, Matsume M, Terao J. Orally administered rosmarinic acid is present as the conjugated and/or methylated forms in plasma and is degraded and metabolized to conjugated forms of caffeic acid, ferulic acid, and m-coumaric acid. Life Sci. 2004;75:165-178.

19. Konishi Y, Hitomi Y, Yoshida M, Yoshioka E. Pharmacokinetic study of caffeic and rosmarinic acids in rats after oral administration. J Agric Food Chem. 2005;53:4740-4746.

20. Kalemba D, Kunicka A. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Curr Med Chem. 2003;10:813-829.

21. Dorman H, Deans S. Antimicrobial agents from plants: antibacterial activity of plant volatile oils. J Appl Microbiol. 2000;88:308-316.

22. Aligiannis N, Kalpoutzakis E, Mitaku S, Chinou I. Composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of two Origanum species. J Agric Food Chem. 2001;49:4168-4170.

23. Leeja L, Thoppil J. Antimicrobial activity of methanol extract of Origanum majorana L. (sweet marjoram). J Environ Biol. 2007;28:145-146.

24. Sokmen M, Serkedjieva J, Daferera D, et al. In vitro antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiviral activities of the essential oil and various extracts from herbal parts and callus cultures of Origanum acutidens. J Agric Food Chem. 2004;52:3309-3312.

25. Bozin B, Mimica-Dukic N, Simin N, Anackov G. Characterization of the volatile composition of essential oils of some Lamiaceae spices and the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of the entire oils. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54:1822-1828.

26. Elgayyar M, Draughon F, Golden D, Mount J. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms. J Food Prot. 2001;64:1019-1024.

27. Preuss H, Echard B, Enig M, Brool I, Elliott T. Minimum inhibitory concentrations of herbal essential oils and monolaurin for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Mol Cell Biochem. 2005;272:29-34.

28. Manohar V, Ingram C, Gray J, et al. Antifungal activities of Origanum oil against Candida albicans. Mol Cell Biochem. 2001;228:111-117.

29. Hammer K, Carson C, Riley T. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. J Appl Microbiol. 1999;86:985-990.

30. Lopez P, Sanchez C, Batile R, Nerin C. Development of flexible antimicrobial films using essential oils as active agents. J Agric Food Chem. 2007;55:8814-8824.

31. Busatta C, Vidal R, Popiolski A, et al. Application of Origanum majorana L. essential oil as an antimicrobial agent in sausage. Food Microbiol. 2008;25:207-211.

32. Juneja V, Thippareddi H, Friedman M. Control of Clostridium perfringens in cooked ground beef by carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, thymol or oregano oil. J Food Prot. 2006;69:1546-1551.

33. Firouzi R, Shekarforoush S, Nazer A, Borumand Z, Jooyandeh A. Effects of essential oils of oregano and nutmeg on growth and survival of Yersinia enterocolitica and Listeria monocytogenes in barbequed chicken. J Food Prot. 2007;70:2626-2630.

34. Bampidis V, Christodoulou V, Florou-Paneri P, Christaki E. Effect of dried oregano leaves versus neomycin in treating newborn calves with colibacillosis. J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med. 2006;53:154-156.

35. O'Mahony R, AlKhtheeri H, Weerasekera D, et al. Bactericidal and anti-adhesive properties of culinary and medicinal plants against Helicobacter pylori. World J Gastroenterol. 2005;11:7499-7507.

36. Santoro G, DasGracas-Cardoso M, Guimaraes L, et al. Effect of oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) essential oils on Trypanosoma cruzi (protozoa: Kinetoplastida) growth and ultrastructure. Parasitol Res. 2007;100:783-790.

37. Ponce-Macotela M, Rufino-Gonzalez Y, Gonzalez-Maciel A, Reynoso-Robies R, Martinez-Gordillo M. Oregano (Lippia spp.) kills Giardia intestinalis trophozoites in vitro: antigiardiasic activity and ultrastructural damage. Parasitol Res. 2006;98:557-560.

38. Force M, Sparks W, Ronzio R. Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytother Res. 2000;14:213-214.

39. Periago P, Delgado B, Fernandez P, Palop A. Use of carvacrol and cymene to control growth and viability of Listeria monocytogenes cells and predictions of survivors using frequency distribution functions. J Food Prot. 2004;67:1408-1416.

40. Burt S, VanDerZee R, Koets A, et al. Carvacrol induces heat shock protein 60 and inhibits synthesis of flagellin in Escherichia coli O157:H7. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2007;73:4484-4490.

41. Castillo M, Martin-Orue S, Roca M, et al. The response of gastrointestinal microbiota to avilamycin, butyrate and plant extracts in early-weaned pigs. J Anim Sci. 2006;84:2725-2734.

42. Veldhuizen E, Tjeerdsma-VanBokhoven J, Zweijtzer C, Burt S, Haagsman H. Structural requirements for the antimicrobial activity of carvacrol. J Agric Food Chem. 2006;54:1874-1879.

43. Cristani M, D'Arrigo M, Mandalari G, et al. Interaction of four monoterpenes contained in essential oils with model membranes: implications for antibacterial activity. J Agric Food Chem. 2007;55:6300-6308.

44. VanDyke T, Braswell L, Offenbacher S. Inhibition of gingivitis by topical application of ebselen and rosmarinic acid. Agents Actions. 1986;19:376-377.

45. Kristinsson K, Magnusdottir A, Petersen H, Hermansson A. Effective treatment of experimental acute otitis media by application of volatile fluids into the ear canal. J Infect Dis. 2005;191:1876-1880.

46. Didry N, Dubreuil L, Pinkas M. Activity of thymol, carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde and eugenol on oral bacteria. Pharm Acta Helv. 1994;69:25-28.

47. Osawa K, Matsumoto T, Maruyama T, Takiguchi T, Okuda K, Takazoe I. Studies of the antibacterial activity of plant extracts and their constituents against periodontopathic bacteria. Bull Tokyo Dent Coll. 1990;31:17-21.

48. Swarup V, Ghosh J, Ghosh S, Saxena A, Basu A. Antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of rosmarinic acid in an experimental model of Japanese encephalitis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2007;51:3367-3370.

49. Hooker C, Lott W, Harrich D. Inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase target distinct phases of early reverse transcription. J Virol. 2001;75:3095-3104.

50. Braga P, DalSasso M, Culici M, Bianchi T, Bordoni L, Marabini L. Anti-inflammatory activity of thymol: inhibitory effect on the release of human neutrophil elastase. Pharmacol. 2006;77:130-136.

51. Melzig M, Henke K. Inhibition of thrombin activity by selected natural products in comparison to neutrophil elastase. Planta Med. 2005;71:787-789.

52. Demrci F, Paper D, Franz G, Baser K. Investigation of the Origanum onites L. essential oil using the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. J Agric Food Chem. 2004;52:251-254.

53. Hur Y, Yun Y, Won J. Rosmarinic acid induces p56Lck-dependent apoptosis in Jurkat and peripheral T cells via mitochondrial pathway independent from Fas/Fas ligand interaction. J Immunol. 2004;172:79-87.

54. Ahn S, Oh W, Kim B, et al. Inhibitory effects of rosmarinic acid on Lck SH2 domain binding to a synthetic phosphopeptide. Planta Med. 2003;69:642-646.

55. Dunbar E, Olgun E, Isiksoy S, Kurkcuglu M, Baser K, Bal C. The effects of intra-rectal and intra-peritoneal applications of Origanum onites L. essential oil on 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid-induced colitis in the rat. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2008;59:399-408.

56. Bukovska A, Cikos S, Juhas S, Ilkova G, Rehak P, Koppel J. Effects of a combination of thyme and oregano essential oils on TNBS-induced colitis in mice. Med Inflamm. 2007. Article 23296.

57. Osakabe N, Yasuda A, Natsume M, et al. Rosmarinic acid, a major polyphenolic component of Perilla frutescens, reduces lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver injury in D-galactosamine (D-GalN)-sensitized mice. Free Radic Biol Med. 2002;33:798-806.

58. Youn J, Lee K, Won J, et al. Beneficial effects of rosmarinic acid on suppression of collagen-induced arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2003;30:1203-1207.

59. Sanbongi C, Takano H, Osakabe N, et al. Rosmarinic acid in perilla extract inhibits allergic inflammation induced by mite allergen in a mouse model. Clin Exp Allergy. 2004;34:971-977.

60. Osakabe N, Takano H, Sanbongi C, et al. Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effect of rosmarinic acid, inhibition of seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and its mechanism. Biofactors. 2004;21:127-131.

61. Kang M, Yun S, Won J. Rosmarinic acid inhibits Ca2+-dependent pathways of T-cell antigen receptor-mediated signaling by inhibiting the PLC-gamma 1 and Itk activity. Blood. 2003;101:3534-3542.

62. Won J, Hur Y, Hur E, et al. Rosmarinic acid inhibits TCR-induced T cell activation and proliferation in an Lck-dependent manner. Eur J Immunol. 2003;33:870-879.

63. Hur Y, Suh C, Kim S, Won J. Rosmarinic acid induces apoptosis of activated T cells from rheumatoid arthritis patients via mitochondrial pathway. J Clin Immunol. 2007;27:36-45.

64. Aherne S, Kerry J, O'Brien N. Effects of plant extracts on antioxidant status and oxidant-induced stress in Caco-2 cells. Br J Nutr. 2007;97:321-328.

65. Dragland S, Senoo H, Wake K, Holte K, Blomhoff R. Several culinary and medicinal herbs are important sources of dietary antioxidants. J Nutr. 2003;133:1286-1290.

66. Zheng W, Wang S. Antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in selected herbs. J Agric Food Chem. 2001;49:5165-5170.

67. Tsai P, Tsai T, Yu C, Ho S. Evaluation of NO-suppressing activity of several Mediterranean culinary spices. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007;45:440-447.

68. Karioti A, Vrahimi-Hadjilouca T, Droushiotis D, Rancic A, Hadjipavlou-Litina D, Skaltsa H. Analysis of the essential oils of Origanum dubium growing wild in Cyprus: investigation of its antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial activity. Planta Med. 2006;72:1330-1334.

69. Kivilompolo M, Hyotylainen T. Comprehensive two-dimensional liquid chromatography in analysis of Lamiaceae herbs: characterization and quantification of antioxidant phenolic acids. J Chromatogr A. 2007;1145:155-164.

70. Foti M, Ingold K. Mechanisms of inhibition of lipid peroxidation by γ-terpinene, and unusual and potentially useful hydrocarbon antioxidant. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51:2758-2765.

71. Milde J, Elstner E, Grasman J. Synergistic inhibition of low-density lipoprotein oxidation by rutin, γ-terpinene, and ascorbic acid. Phytomed. 2004;11:105-113.

72. Grassman J. Terpenoids as plant antioxidants. Vitam Horm. 2005;72:505-535.

73. Heo H, Cho H, Hong B, et al. Ursolic acid of Origanum majorana L. reduces Abeta-induced oxidative injury. Mol Cells. 2002;13:5-11.

74. Gal S, Lichtenberg D, Bor A, Pinchuk I. Copper-induced proxidation of phosphatidylserine-containing liposomes is inhibited by nanomolar concentrations of specific antioxidants. Chem Phys Lipids. 2007;150:186-203.

75. Soobrattee M, Neergheen V, Luximon-Ramma A, Arouma O, Bahorun T. Phenolics as potential antioxidant therapeutic agents: mechanisms and actions. Mutat Res. 2005;579:200-213.

76. Qiao S, Li W, Tsubouchi R, et al. Rosmarinic acid inhibits the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in RAW264.7 macrophages. Free Radic Res. 2005;39:995-1003.

77. Braga P, DalSasso M, Culici M, Galastri L, Marceca M, Guffanti E. Antioxidant potential of thymol determined by chemiluminescence inhibition in human neutrophils and cell-free systems. Pharmacol. 2006;76:61-68.

78. Lagouri V, Boskou D. Nutrient antioxidants in oregano. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 1996;47:493-497.

79. Youdim K, Deans S. Effect of thyme oil and thymol dietary supplementation on the antioxidant status and fatty acid composition of the aging rat brain. Br J Nutr. 2000;83:87-93.

80. Botsoglou N, Taitzoglou I, Botsoglou E, Lavrentiadou S, Kokoli A, Roubies N. Effect of long term dietary administration of oregano on the alleviation of carbon tetrachloride-induced oxidative stress in rats. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56:6287-6293.

81. Makino T, Ono T, Liu N, Nakamura T, Muso E, Honda G. Suppressive effects of rosmarinic acid on mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis in rats. Nephron. 2002;92:898-904.

82. Fukumoto S, Sawasaki E, Okuyama S, Miyaki Y, Yokogoshi H. Flavor compounds of monoterpenes in citrus essential oils enhance the release of monoamines from rat brain slices. Nutr Neurosci. 2006;9:73-80.

83. Zibrowski E, Hoh T, Vanderwolf C. Fast wave activity in the rat rhinencephalon: elicitation by the odors of phytochemicals, organic solvents and a rodent predator. Brain Res. 1998;800:207-215.

84. Huang M, Wu S, Shen A. Stimulatory actions of thymol, a natural product, on Ca(2+)-activated K(+) current in pituitary GH(3) cells. Plant Med. 2005;71:1093-1098.

85. Priestley C, Williamson E, Wafford K, Sattelle D. Thymol, a constituent of thyme essential oil, is a positive allosteric modulator of human GABAA receptors and a homo-oligomeric GABA receptor from Drosophila melanogaster. Br J Pharmacol. 2003;140:1363-1372.

86. Takeda H, Tsuji M, Matsumiya T, Kubo M. identification of rosmarinic acid as a novel antidepressive substance in the leaves of Perilla frutescens Britton var. acuta Kudo (Perillae herba). Nihon Shin Seish Yakurig Zasshi. 2002;22:15-22.

87. Takeda H, Tsuji M, Miyamoto J, Matsumiya T. Rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid reduce the defensive freezing behavior of mice exposed to conditioned fear stress. Psychopharmacology. 2002;164:233-235.

88. Takeda H, Tsuji M, Inazu M, Egashira T, Matsumiya T. Rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid produce anti-depressive-like effect in the forced swimming test in mice. Eur J Pharmacol. 2002;449:261-267.

89. Kwon Y, Vattem D, Shetty K. Evaluation of clonal herbs of Lamiaceae species for management of diabetes and hypertension. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15:107-118.

90. McCue P Shetty K. Inhibitory effects of rosmarinic acid on porcine pancreatic amylase in vitro. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2004;13:101-106.

91. Lemhadri A, Zeggwagh N, Maghram M, Jouadi H, Eddouks M. Anti-hyperglycemic activity of the aqueous extracts of Origanum vulgare growing wild in Tafilet region. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;92:251-256.

92. Talpur N, Echard B, Ingram C, Bagchi D, Preuss H. Effects of a novel formulation of essential oils on glucose-insulin metabolism in diabetic and hypertensive rats: a pilot study. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2005;7:193-199.

93. Lermioglu F, Bagci S, Onderoglu S, Ortac R, Tugrul L. Evaluation of the long-term effects of oleum origami on the toxicity induced by administration of streptozotocin in rats. J Pharm Pharmacol. 1997;49:1157-1161.

94. Aydin Y, Kutlay O, Ari S, Duman S, Uzuner K, Aydin S. Hypotensive effects of carvacrol on the blood pressure of normotensive rats. Planta Med. 2007;73:1365-1371.

95. Case G, He H, Elson C. Induction of geranyl pyrophosphate pyrophosphatase activity by cholesterol-suppressive isoprenoids. Lipids. 1995;30:357-359.

96. Yazdanparast R, Shahriyary L. Comparative effects of Artemisia dracunculus, Satureja hortensis and Origanum majorana on inhibition of blood platelet adhesion, aggregation and secretion. Vascul Pharmacol. 2008;48:32-37.

97. Takahashi Y, Inaba N, Kuwahara S, Kuki W. Effects of γ-terpinene on lipid concentrations in serum using Triton WR1339-treated rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003;67:2448-2450.

98. Rao B, Shanbhoge R, Upadhya D, et al. Antioxidant, anticlastogenic and radioprotective effect of Coleus aromaticus on Chinese hamster fibroblast cells (V79) exposed to gamma radiation. Mutagenesis. 2006;21:237-242.

99. Bakkali F, Averbeck S, Averbeck D, Zhiri A, Baudoux D, Idaomar M. Antigenotoxic effects of three essential oils in diploid yeast (S. cerevisiae) after treatments with UV radiation, 8-MPO plus UVA, and MMS. Mutat Res. 2006;606:27-38.

100. Zeytinoglu H, Incesu Z, Baser K. Inhibition of DNA synthesis by carvacrol in mouse myoblast cells bearing a human N-Ras oncogene. Phytomedicine. 2003;10:292-299.

101. Sasaki K, Wada K, Tanaka Y, Yoshimura T, Matuoka K, Anno T. Thyme leaves and its constituents increase the activities of xenobiotic-metabolizing enzymes in mouse liver. J Med Food. 2005;8:184-189.

102. Slamenova D, Horvathova E, Sramkova M, Marcalkova L. DNA-protective effects of two components of essential plant oils carvacrol and thymol on mammalian cells cultured in vitro. Neoplasma. 2007;54:108-112.

103. Aydin S, Basaran A, Basaran N. The effects of thyme volatiles on the induction of DNA damage by the heterocyclic amine IQ and mitomycin C. Mutat Res. 2005;581:43-53.

104. He L, Hadisusilo S, Qureshi A, Elson C. Isoprenoids suppress the growth of murine B16 melanomas in vitro and in vivo. J Nutr. 1997;127:668-674.

105. Mezzoug N, Elhadri A, Dallouh A, et al. Investigation of the mutagenic and antimutagenic effects of Origanum compactum essential oil and some of its constituents. Mutat Res. 2007;629:100-110.

106. Renzulli C, Galvano F, Peirdomenico L, Speroni E, Guerra M. Effects of rosmarinic acid against aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A-induced cell damage in a human hepatoma cell line (HepG2). J Appl Toxicol. 2004;24:289-296.

107. Karkabounas S, Kostoula O, Daskalou T, et al. Anticarcinogenesis and antiplatelet effects of carvacrol. Exp Oncol. 2006;28:121-125.

108. Niture S, Rao V, Srivenugopal K. Chemopreventive strategies targeting the MGMT repair protein: augmented expression in human lymphocytes and tumor cells by ethanolic and aqueous extracts of several Indian medicinal plants. Int J Oncol. 2006;29:1269-1278.

109. Huang S, Zheng R. Rosmarinic acid inhibits angiogenesis and its mechanism of action in vitro. Cancer Lett. 2006;239:271-280.

110. Jankun J, Selman S, Aniola J, Skrzypczak, Jankun E. Nutraceutical inhibitors of urokinase: potential applications in prostate cancer prevention and treatment. Oncol Rep. 2006;16:341-346.

111. Osakabe N, Yasuda N, Natsume M, Yoshikawa T. Rosmarinic acid inhibits epidermal inflammatory responses: anticarcinogenic effect of Perilla frutescens extract in the murine two-stage skin model. Carcinogenesis. 2004;25:549-557.

112. Uyanoglu M, Canbek M, Aral E, Husnu K. Effects of carvacrol upon the liver of rats undergoing partial hepatectomy. Phytomedicine. 2008;15:226-229.

113. El-Ashmawy I, El-Nahas A, Salama O. Protective effect of volatile oil, alcoholic and aqueous extracts of Origanum majorana on lead acetate toxicity in mice. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2005;97:238-243.

114. Canbek M, Uyanoglu M, Bayramoglu G, et al. Effects of carvacrol on defects of ischemia-reperfusion in the rat liver. Phytomedicine. 2008;15:447-452.

115. Kim D, Kim H, Woo E, Hong S, Chae H, Chae S. Inhibitory effects of rosmarinic acid on adriamycin-induced apoptosis in H9c2 cardiac muscle cells by inhibiting reactive oxygen species and the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Biochem Pharmacol. 2005;70:1066-1078.

116. Chlopcikova S, Psotova J, Miketova P, Sousek J, Lichnovsky V, Simanek V. Chemoprotective effect of plant phenolics against anthracycline-induced toxicity on rat cardiomyocytes. Part II: caffeic, chlorogenic and rosmarinic acids. Phytother Res. 2004;18:408-413.

117. Blumenthal M, Busse W, Goldberg A, et al, eds. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Boston, MA: Integrative Medicines Communications; 1998.

118. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1997.

119. Aydin S, Ozturk Y, Baser K. Acute lethal toxicity and effects of volatile and nonvolatile fractions of Origanum onites L. on barbiturate sleeping time. Presented at the 10th Symposium on Plant Drugs; 1993; Izmir, Turkey.

120. Vogt-Eisele A, Weber K, Sherkheli M, et al. Monoterpenoid agonists of TRPV3. Br J Pharmacol. 2007;151:530-540.

121. Anderson A. Final report on the safety assessment of sodium p-chloro-m-cresol, chlorothymol, mixed cresols, m-cresol, p-cresol, isopropyl cresols, thymol, p-cymene-5-ol, and carvacrol. Int J Toxicol. 2006;25:29-127.

122. Benito M, Jorro G, Morales C, Pelaez A, Fernandez A. Labiatae allergy: systemic reactions due to ingestion of oregano and thyme. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1996;76:416-418.

123. Tisserand R, Balazs T. Essential Oil Safety. New York: Churchill Livingston. 1996:156-157.

124. Domaracky M, Rehak P, Juhas S, Koppel J. Effects of selected plant essential oils on the growth and development of mouse preimplantation embryos in vivo. Physiol Res. 2007;56:97-104.

125. Zava D, Dollbaum C, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1998;217:368-378.

Back to Top | Article Outline
Vitamin D Deficiency Likely Among Some Kidney Disease Patients Starting Dialysis

Vitamin D deficiency is very common among patients with kidney disease who have low blood protein levels and who start dialysis during the winter according the results of a new study. The research identifies a group of patients who are at extremely high risk of being deficient in vitamin D and provides some clues as to why the deficiency occurs in them. Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with end-stage renal disease on dialysis, but it is not clear which patients are at increased risk. The study sought to determine whether routinely measured clinical and demographic characteristics could identify dialysis patients who have a high risk of vitamin D deficiency. Researchers analyzed data from 908 patients in the ArMORR (Accelerated Mortality on Renal Replacement) cohort, a nationally representative group of US dialysis patients. Data from 60% of the patients were used to find potential predictors of vitamin D deficiency, whereas data from the other 40% of patients were used to validate the predictors. Fully 79% of the study population was vitamin D deficient. Black race, female sex, winter season, and low blood levels of the protein albumin (≤3.1 g/dL) were the strongest predictors of vitamin D deficiency. In the validation set, the presence of low blood albumin levels and winter season increased the likelihood of vitamin D deficiency in black females (from 90% to 100%), black males (from 85% to 100%), white females (from 82% to 94%), and white males (from 66% to 92%).One interpretation of the finding that low blood albumin levels were associated with deficiency is that at-risk patients leak large amounts of protein in their urine. The investigators suspect that vitamin D-binding protein, which transports the vitamin through the blood, may also be lost through the urine. Its loss could lead to the loss of vitamin D as well. In addition, whereas previous studies have demonstrated that patients on dialysis have an impaired ability to generate vitamin D from sun exposure, these findings emphasize that skin-based production of the vitamin is likely to be important in patients with end-stage renal disease.

Source: Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2010;5:460-467.

Back to Top | Article Outline
Dairy Avoiders: Are You Getting Enough?

Lactose intolerance is a real and important clinical syndrome, but quantifying its public health burden is challenging. A National Institutes of Health Consensus Development panel recently assessed the available evidence on lactose intolerance and health across the age spectrum and across racial and ethnic groups. Many individuals with diagnosed or perceived lactose intolerance avoid dairy products, which constitute a readily accessible source of calcium, other nutrients, and vitamin D (when fortified). Inadequate consumption of these nutrients may increase the risk for chronic health problems, including osteoporosis and decreased bone health. The panel defined lactose intolerance as the onset of gastrointestinal symptoms-diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, and/or bloating-after ingesting lactose-containing foods and beverages; this is due to deficient levels of lactase, an enzyme necessary to break down lactose. Lactose malabsorption occurs when lactose is incompletely broken down in the intestine, which may or may not result in gastrointestinal symptoms after eating dairy products. Reduction of lactase enzyme in humans occurs in childhood and persists through the life span in most individuals (lactase nonpersisters). These individuals may or may not have the gastrointestinal symptoms of lactose intolerance. Understanding the distinction and interplay between these conditions is important when considering ways to meet nutritional needs.

For diagnosed lactose-intolerant individuals, multiple management strategies have been proposed. These include distributing lactose intake throughout the day and/or combining it with other foods, choosing nondairy foods rich in the nutrients found in dairy products, taking dietary supplements, ingesting incremental amounts of dairy products over time to increase tolerance, consuming reduced-lactose dairy products, and using probiotics (in supplements and foods). The panel emphasized the need for additional research to better understand the effectiveness of these approaches for decreasing symptoms, optimizing nutritional intakes, and improving health outcomes, with special emphasis on diverse populations. Depending on a variety of factors, some affected individuals could be counseled on ways to increase dairy intake, whereas others could be urged to meet nutrient requirements from other sources. For example, studies show that when consumed with other foods, even individuals diagnosed with lactose malabsorption can consume at least 1 cup of milk with few or no symptoms.

Source: http://consensus.nih.gov/2010/lactosestatement.htm

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

Login