|Is a small bowl of yogurt with 1.5g cumin better than every weight loss drug? Probably not, but if we go by the results of the study at hand, it's a damn effective adjunct to an energy reduced diet.|
6.2kg in the cumin and 4.19kg in the control group - that does not sound much for "obese / overweight" women. Luckily Iranian "obese women" are comparably slender compared to their Western counterparts. With a starting weight of 79.43kg in the active and 76.7kg in the control arm of the study, those 6.2kg and 4.19kg were thus -7.14% and -5.54% of the women's total body weight.
In contrast to the starting weight the waist circumference of the ladies who participated in the study showed a borderline significant difference, with a non-significant advantage on part of the women in the control group whose waists were on average 3.2cm more slender.
|Figure 1: As the data shows, the cumin supplement helped with both fat loss and lean mass conservation (Zare. 2014)|
"But I have heard nigella sativa causes abnormal heart growth!" That's fortunately incorrect. Studies by Yar et al. (2008) indicate that high doses of cumin aka "nigella sativa" will lead to physiological cardiac hypertophy, with a "selective enhancement of the inotropic reserve" that's similar to the one "provoked by exercise training" (Yar. 2008). It is thus not really surprising that Dehkordi et al. (2008) observed that cumin exerts anti-, not pro-hypertensive effectsin patients with mild hypertension. Moreover, Al-Asoom et al. have recently been able to show that kumin supplements in combination with exercise "might be introduced as a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of heart failure with superior advantages to exercise training alone" (Al-Asoom. 2014)
|Figure 2: Blood lipids & fasting blood glucose improved as well (Zare. 2014)|
Obviously, this deficit was large enough to trigger a weight loss of approx. 1lbs per week in the cumin group, and 0.6lbs per week in the control group - and that in the absence of any restrictions in carbohydrates, fats or an additional exercise component (the latter is something I would strongly recommend if you plan to lose body fat, though).
- Al-Asoom, L. I., et al. "Effect of Nigella sativa Supplementation to Exercise Training in a Novel Model of Physiological Cardiac Hypertrophy." Cardiovascular toxicology (2014): 1-8.
- Bin Sayeed, Muhammad Shahdaat, et al. "The effect of< i> Nigella sativa</i> Linn. seed on memory, attention and cognition in healthy human volunteers." Journal of ethnopharmacology 148.3 (2013): 780-786.
- Dehkordi, Farshad Roghani, and Amir Farhad Kamkhah. "Antihypertensive effect of Nigella sativa seed extract in patients with mild hypertension." Fundamental & clinical pharmacology 22.4 (2008): 447-452.
- Hayes, K. C., et al. "Free phytosterols effectively reduce plasma and liver cholesterol in gerbils fed cholesterol." The Journal of nutrition 132.7 (2002): 1983-1988.
- Milan, K. S., et al. "Enhancement of digestive enzymatic activity by cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) and role of spent cumin as a bionutrient." Food chemistry 110.3 (2008): 678-683.
- Mohiti Ardakani, J., Z. Akbarian, And A. Nazarian. "Effects Of Cumin (Cuminum Cyminum L) Oil On Serum Glucose And Lipid Levels Of Rats." Journal Of Shahid Sadoughi University Of Medical Sciences And Health Services (2011).
- Ramadan, Mohamed F., and Jörg‐Th Mörsel. "Characterization of phospholipid composition of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seed oil." Food/Nahrung 46.4 (2002): 240-244.
- Ramadan, Mohamed Fawzy. "Nutritional value, functional properties and nutraceutical applications of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.): an overview." International journal of food science & technology 42.10 (2007): 1208-1218.
- Yar, T., et al. "Effects of Nigella sativa supplementation for one month on cardiac reserve in rats." Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 52.2 (2008): 141-8.
- Zare, Roghayeh, et al. "Effect of cumin powder on body composition and lipid profile in overweight and obese women." Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2014).