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.
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.