Nasturtium mustard oils affect cellular sugar and detoxification metabolism
Nasturtium contains mustard oil compounds that have a pungent taste when consumed. A study now shows that this mustard oil has an anti-diabetic effect and activates the enzymes of the detoxification metabolism.
In nature, mustard oils are mainly chemically bound as so-called "mustard oil glycosides" (glucosinolates) in cruciferous vegetables (mustard, broccoli, pak choi, radishes, horseradish, garden and nasturtiums). It has long been known from naturopathy that mustard oil compounds from horseradish and the edible great nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) have antibacterial properties. Recently, however, there has also been scientific evidence of anti-diabetic effects of these bioactive plant ingredients.
But what cellular and molecular mechanisms underlie this antidiabetic effect? To find an answer to this question, the researchers investigated the metabolic effects of mustard oil from nasturtium using test systems based on human cells kept in culture.
To this end, the scientists added different concentrations of a mustard oil compound isolated from nasturtium into the nutrient medium of the test cells and at the same time added the plant enzyme myrosinase, which converts the compound into the mustard oil benzyl isothiocyanate. As the researchers observed, the mustard oil released in the cell culture medium modulated the intracellular signaling pathways of the messenger insulin in a dose-dependent manner.
It also reduced the production of enzymes in the examined human liver cells, which are necessary for new sugar formation. The researchers conclude that mustard oil also reduces sugar synthesis in the liver. This is a very important result, as an excess of the body's sugar production can lead to increased blood sugar levels with regard to diabetes. Another interesting finding is that the mustard oil also activates protective mechanisms against oxidative stress by stimulating the production of enzymes of the cellular detoxification metabolism, according to the scientists.
You can find the study here.