Investigating the Biological Effects of Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) Extract on Skeletal Muscle Glucose Uptake
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Skeletal muscle (SKM) is the most important tissue in maintaining glucose homeostasis and impairments in this tissue leads to insulin resistance (IR). Activation of 5’ AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) is viewed as a targeted approach to counteract IR. Rosemary extract (RE) has been reported to decrease blood glucose levels but its effects on SKM are not known. We hypothesized that RE acts directly on SKM to increase glucose uptake (GU). We found an increase in GU (184±5.07% of control, p<0.001) in L6 myotubes by RE to levels similar to insulin and metformin. Carnosic acid (CA) and rosmarinic acid (RA), major polyphenols found in RE, increased GU. RE, CA, and RA significantly increased AMPK phosphorylation and their effects on GU was reduced by an AMPK inhibitor. Our study is the first to show a direct effect of RE, CA and RA on SKM GU by a mechanism that involves AMPK activation.