RCT supports black seed oil’s blood sugar benefits

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Marc Bruxelle / Getty Images
© Marc Bruxelle / Getty Images

Related tags Nigella sativa Blood sugar management

Supplements containing oil from black cumin (Nigella sativa) may help manage blood sugar and improve cardiometabolic measures in type-2 diabetics, says a new study.

The seed and oil of Nigella sativa have been used extensively in traditional medicine in many Middle Eastern and Asian countries for the treatment of a range of conditions, including some immune and inflammatory disorders.

Data published in Phytotherapy Research​ indicated that eight weeks of supplementation with one gram per day of a Nigella sativa​ oil extract led to significant improvements in fasting blood sugar levels, total and LDL cholesterol, BMI, waist circumference, and blood pressure, compared to placebo.

​Nigella sativa oil supplementation exerted surprising therapeutic benefits on glycemic control, serum lipid profile, blood pressure, and body weight among people with T2D in a short-term clinical trial,” ​wrote scientists from Iran and Australia.

Up and down sales for Nigella

According to the 2018 herbal supplement market report from the American Botanical Council (Herbalgram 123, pp. 62-73​), sales of Nigella-containing supplements grew 21.1% in 2018 in the natural channel. However, sales subsequently declined 8.6% over the next 12 months to $5.44 million (Herbalgram 127​, pp. 54-69​), but the oil is still #18 on the top selling herbal supplements list for 2019.

Study details

The researchers recruited 43 people with type-2 diabetes to participate in their randomized, controlled, clinical trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either two 500-mg per day soft gel capsules of the Nigella sativa​ oil extract or a sunflower oil placebo for eight weeks.

The results showed that participants in the Nigella​ group experienced significant improvements in fasting blood sugar levels, total & LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, BMI, waist circumference, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure, compared to placebo.

On the other hand, no significant changes were observed for HOMA-IR and HDL-cholesterol, said the researchers.

“Findings on the improvement of glycemia and lipid levels are in line with the results of previous human trials and animal studies,” ​wrote the researchers.

Source: Phytotherapy Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/ptr.6990
“Effect of ​Nigella sativa oil extract on cardiometabolic risk factors in type 2 diabetes: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial”
Authors: S. Hadi, et al.

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