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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 42-48

Hypoglycemic Effect of Black Cumin Seeds (Nigella sativa L.) on Type 2 Diabetes


Department of Nutrition, Food Service Management and Dietetics, Ethiraj College for Women, 70, Ethiraj Salai, Egmore, Chennai - 600008, India

Date of Web Publication4-Oct-2021

Correspondence Address:
M Ragavi
Department of Nutrition, Food Service Management and Dietetics, Ethiraj College for Women, 70, Ethiraj Salai, Egmore, Chennai - 600008
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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  Abstract 


OBJECTIVE: The main objective of the study was to determine the effect of black cumin seeds on the blood glucose level (both fasting and postprandial) of subjects with type 2 diabetes. METHOD: The experimental study includes fifteen individuals with type 2 diabetes aged between 45 – 65years. The subjects were supplemented with 2g Nigella sativa seed powder for a period of 45 days. The blood glucose (both fasting and postprandial) levels of the subjects were assessed on 0th day, 30th day and 45th day of supplementation. RESULT: The fasting and postprandial blood glucose level on 0th day, 30th day and 45th day were compared. There was a significant reduction in fasting and postprandial blood glucose level between 0th day and 30th day and 0th day and 45th day. CONCLUSION: Supplementation of Nigella sativa commonly known as black cumin seeds resulted in a reduction in the blood glucose level (both fasting and post prandial) at 30th day and 45th day. Hence Nigella sativa can be used as an adjuvant in the treatment of diabetes.

Keywords: Nigella sativa, Supplementation, Type 2 Diabetes, Adjuvant, Blood Glucose


How to cite this article:
Ragavi M, Muthumeenakshi P. Hypoglycemic Effect of Black Cumin Seeds (Nigella sativa L.) on Type 2 Diabetes. J Res Siddha Med 2019;2:42-8

How to cite this URL:
Ragavi M, Muthumeenakshi P. Hypoglycemic Effect of Black Cumin Seeds (Nigella sativa L.) on Type 2 Diabetes. J Res Siddha Med [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Dec 3];2:42-8. Available from: http://www.jrsm.com/text.asp?2019/2/2/42/327523




  1. Introduction Top


Diabetes is a life-long disease that affects the way the body handles glucose in the blood.[1] It is one of the most common chronic diseases affecting millions of people worldwide with a large negative impact on the patient’s health. “WHO’s Global report on diabetes 2016 says” - between 1980 and 2014, the global prevalence of diabetes nearly doubled from 4.7% to 8.5%, with most of the new cases in low-and middle-income countries. An estimated 96 million people have diabetes in the South East region, 90% of whom has type 2, which is preventable. WHO indicates that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030.[2] For the last few years several herbal anti diabetic drugs are gaining popularity because of their longer shelf life, natural origin and lesser side effects in both developing and developed country.[3] Nigella sativa commonly known as black cumin seeds is one such medicinal plant, widely used around the world to control blood glucose level when its seeds are supplemented. Nigella sativa is an annual plant belongs to the botanical family of Ranunculaceae and commonly grows in Europe, Middle East and Western Asia.[4] It is very popular in various system of medicine like Unani, Ayurveda and siddha. The seeds of Nigella sativa have been widely used in the treatment of different diseases and ailments. It has been widely used as antihypertensive, liver tonics, diuretics, digestive, anti-diarrheal, appetite stimulant, and analgesics, anti-bacterial and in skin disorders.[5]

A prophetic statement says that Nigella sativa is an effective herbal remedy for all disease except death. The seeds contain more than hundred phytochemical constituents but out of hundred phytochemical constituents only sixty-nine have been characterized and identified by the researchers. The three-natural phytochemical in black cumin seed oil that produce tremendous benefits are thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone and thymol. It also contains fifteen amino acids including nine essential amino acids, carbohydrates, and essential fatty acids including linoleic acid, linolenic acid and oleic acid. It also contains vitamin A, thiamin, niacin and vitamin C and minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.[6]

In a prospective study conducted in Aligarh, India, effect of Nigella sativa oil on clinical and biochemical parameters of metabolic syndrome was studied. Sixty subjects were enrolled. Subjects were divided in to two groups of thirty each. In group one participant were given tablet Atorvastatin 10 mg once a day and tablet Metformin 500 mg twice a day for a period of six weeks. In group two (Nigella sativa) groups, patients were given tablet Atorvastatin 10 mg once a day, tablet Metformin 500 mg twice a day and Nigella sativa oil 2.5 ml twice daily for a period of six weeks. Results showed a significant reduction in fasting blood sugar in group 2 was (29.2392±6.0937) which is significantly higher (p value=0.001) than in group 1(18.4637±6.7724). Reduction in postprandial blood sugar in group 2 was higher (23.3879±8.5426) than in group 1 (19.8745±6.2160). Thus, it was concluded that Nigella sativa oil is effective as an add-on therapy.[7]

In a study conducted in Saudi Arabia, effect of Nigella sativa seeds on glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes was analyzed. Ninety-four subjects were recruited and divided in to three groups. Capsules containing grounded Nigella sativa seeds were administered orally in a dose of 1, 2 and 3 gm/day for three months. The effect of Nigella sativa was assessed through measurement of fasting blood glucose, postprandial blood glucose level and glycosylated hemoglobin. Insulin resistance and Beta cell function were calculated using the homeostatic model assessment. From the result obtained it was found that fasting blood glucose was reduced by an average of 45, 62 and 56 mg/dl at 4, 8 and 12 weeks respectively. Glycosylated hemoglobin levels were reduced by 1.52% at the end of the 12 weeks of treatment (P<0.0001). Insulin resistance was reduced significantly (P<0.01), while Beta cell function was increased (P<0.02) at 12 weeks of treatment. It was concluded that 2g/ day dose of Nigella sativa acted as a beneficial adjuvant to oral hypoglycemic agents in type 2 diabetic patients.[4]

Nigella sativa thus exhibits anti-diabetic property due to the dual effect on insulin resistance and beta cell function. The 2 g dose of Nigella sativa seed powder, managed to reduce insulin resistance and at the same time seems to increase beta cell function also. The evident anti-diabetic effect of Nigella sativa was attributed to its insulinotropic action and the antioxidant properties which decrease the oxidative stress and preserve pancreatic beta cell integrity. The glycemic control obtained by Nigella sativa is also attributed to its extra-pancreatic actions, mainly the inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis.[4]

In a study conducted in Saudi Arabia, effect of Nigella sativa on glycemic control and oxidative stress in type 2 diabetes were determined. Type 2 diabetic subjects (n = 114) on standard oral hypoglycemic drugs were selected and divided in to control group and Nigella sativa group; the control group received activated charcoal whereas the Nigella sativa group received 2g of Nigella sativa seed powder daily for a period of one year. Fasting blood glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, C-peptide, total antioxidant capacity, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione and thio-barbituric acid reactive substances, at the base line and at every 3months thereafter were determined. Based on the result between the two groups showed a significant drop in fasting blood glucose (from 180±5.75to 180±5.59 in control Vs from 195±6.57 to 172±5.83 in Nigella sativa group), HbA1c (from 8.2±0.12 to 8.5±0.14 in control VS from 8.6±0.13 to 8.2±0.14 in Nigella sativa group). From this it was concluded that long term supplementation of Nigella sativa reduces oxidative stress and blood glucose level in diabetic subjects.[8]

Based on the above evidences, the Nigella sativa seed exerts an anti-diabetic effect by reducing fasting blood glucose and post prandial blood glucose levels; thus, there was a felt need to undertake this study to investigate the effect of supplementation of Nigella sativa seeds among rural south Indian population. Moreover, Nigella sativa seeds are easily available and also cost effective as a hypoglycemic agent.


  2. Materials and Methods Top


The present study was conducted on fifteen subjects with type 2 diabetes of age 45 – 65 years. The subjects in the study were selected from Bodi Reddy Kandigai village and Gopal Reddy Kandigai village near Gumudipoondi, in Thiruvallur district. Subjects with fasting blood glucose level less than 110mmHg and post prandial blood glucose level less than 350mmHg were selected. The study passed through the institutional ethical committee and written informed consent was taken from all the subjects. Subjects treated only with oral hypoglycemic drug metformin were chosen. Subjects with any other complications other than type-2-diabetes, subjects who are on insulin and subjects treated with any other treatment modalities like Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy were excluded.

Baseline information related to demographic data, anthropometric data, medical information, lifestyle information and twenty-hour dietary recall were collected from the subjects. After obtaining the baseline information, the subjects were then supplemented with Nigella sativa seed powder for a period of 45 days. They were asked to consume the seed powder ten minutes before breakfast. The blood samples of the subjects were collected on 0th day, 30th day and 45th day of supplementation and the values were compared.

2.1. Experimental procedure

At first the subjects were screened and selected based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. An interview schedule was administered to the included subjects. After administration of the interview schedule anthropometric measurements of the subjects were taken and 0th day blood samples were collected in the phase 1. In phase 2. Nigella sativa seed powder was supplemented to the subjects and the venous blood samples were collected from them on 30th day and 45th day.

2.2. Screening and selection of the subjects

Subjects were screened and selected on the basis of inclusion criteria of the study. The selected subjects were oriented about the study to facilitate their compliance to the dietary supplementation. Interview schedule was administered to elicit the baseline information about the subjects. Venous blood sample was used to analyze the fasting and post prandial blood glucose level.

2.3. Administration of supplement

The selected subjects were supplemented with Nigella sativa seed powder in a single pack which contains 2g of Nigella sativa seed powder. The subjects were asked to consume the seed powder with water ten minutes before breakfast for a period of 45 days. Blood samples for the subjects were drawn for glucose analysis at 0th day, 30th day and at the end of the supplementation period.


  3. Results and Discussion Top


An interview schedule was used to collect the general information such as age, gender, education qualification, medication, exercise, and number of years being diagnosed with diabetes. A twenty-four hours dietary recall was used to assess their dietary intake. The anthropometric measurements such as height and weight of the subjects were measured and BMI was calculated. Blood sample from the subjects were collected for the blood glucose analysis at 0th day, 30th day and 45th day. The data obtained from the above criteriawere tabulated and subjected to statistical analysis. The results obtained were tabulated and discussed below.

[Table 1] shows the percentage distribution of subjects based on gender, education qualification and occupation of the subjects. From the [Table 1] it is found that out of fifteen subjects, 46.6% (n=7) of subjects were illiterates; 13.3% (n= 2) of subjects were graduates and another 13.3% (n=2) of the subjects completed SSLC. While 26.6% (n=4) of the subjects did not complete SSLC. 40% (n=6) of the subjects were farmers and another 40% (n=6) of the subjects were home makers. The remaining 20% (n=3) of the subjects were contractor, government servant and kooli respectively.
Figure 1: Mean difference in fasting glucose level between 0th day and 30th day and 45th day

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Figure 2: Mean difference in post prandial glucose level between 0th day and 30th day and 45th day

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Table 1: General information of the subjects

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Table 2: Anthropometric measurements of the subjects

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Table 3: Dietary recall of the subjects

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Fourteen subjects have normal BMI and only one subject was pre obese.

From the [Table 4], the mean value of fasting blood glucose level from 0th day to 30th day was 137.5mg/dl. The t- value for fasting blood glucose from 0th day to 30th day was 6.740, which was significant at 1% level. The mean value of fasting blood glucose from 0th day to 45th day was 134.96. The t- value for the same was 5.502 and the value was significant at 5% level. From this it was evident that there is a mean decrease in the fasting and postprandial blood glucose level after 30th and 45th day by 10.86mg/dl and 15.93mg/dl respectively.
Table 4: Effect of black cumin seeds on fasting blood glucose level

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From the [Table 5], mean value of post prandial blood glucose from 0th day to 30th day was 230.63mg/dl with a t- value of 5.770, which was significant at 1% level, indicating a mean level. A mean difference in post prandial blood glucose of 48.4mg/dl was observed at the 45th decrease of 37.27mg/dl. The mean value of post prandial blood glucose between 0th day and 45th day is 225.07mg/dl. The t -value for the same was 4.858 which were significant at 1% day of supplementation. It was evident from the above analysis that the supplementation of black cumin seeds helps in reducing the blood glucose level in a period of 30 days. Though the supplementation period was 45 days, both the fasting and post prandial blood glucose levels were reduced at 30th day itself and at the end of the 45th day the reduction in blood glucose was even better than 30th day. From this it was found that black cumin seeds can be added to the diet of the diabetic subjects in order to reduce high blood glucose levels and also to treat blood glucose levels. The reduction in both fasting and post prandial blood glucose level was because of the Insulino trophic and antioxidant property of the Nigella sativa seeds.
Table 5: Effect of black cumin seeds on post prandial blood glucose level

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  Conclusion Top


As a hypoglycemic agent, Nigella sativa acts through multiple pathways to achieve normoglycemia. The seed of the plant enhances insulin production, glucose tolerance and beta cell proliferation. It also reduces pancreatic inflammation, gluconeogenesis and glucose uptake from intestine[9]. Nigella sativa seed powder also acts as a potential hypoglycemic agent by increasing the beta cell function and decreasing the insulin resistance. Hence from this study it is concluded that Nigella sativa seeds has pharmacological properties and can be used as an adjuvant therapy to treat type 2 diabetes and ensure better glycemic control.



 
  References Top

1.
Dansinger M. Type 2 diabetes: the basics, (Updated June, 2017), Available from https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes. www.who.int (home page on the internet). Diabetes, World Health Organisation (Updated 2017).  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Pal RS, Pranay WA, Pal Y, Sachan S, Kumar D, Tiwari S. A Review article on: The usage of herbal medicines in the treatment of diabetes. Eur J PharmlMed Res 2016;3(6): 201 – 4.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Bamosaa AO, Kaatabia H,Lebdaa FM, Elq AMA, Sultan AA. Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2010;54(4):344 – 54.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Ahmad A, Husain A, Mujeeb M, Khan SA, Najmi AK, Siddique NA, Damanhouri ZA, Anwar F. A review on therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed 2013;3(5):337-52.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Hussain DAS, Hussain MM. Nigella sativa (black seed) is an effective herbal remedy for every disease except death – a Prophetic statement which modern scientists confirm unanimously: A review. Adv Med Plant Res 2016; 4(2): 27 – 57.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Najmi A, Nasiruddin M, Khan RA, Haque SF. Effect of Nigella sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of insulin resistance syndrome. Int J Diabetes DevCtries 2008; 28(1):11-4.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Kaatabi H, Bamosa AO, Badar A, -Elq AA, Hozaifa BA, Lebda F, Khadra A, Almaie SA. Nigella sativa Improves Glycemic Control and Ameliorates Oxidative Stress in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Placebo Controlled Participant Blinded Clinical Trial. PLoS One 2015; 10(2):e0113486.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Saleem U, Sabir S, Ahmad B. How Nigella sativa Seeds Treat Diabetes and scientists confirm unanimously: A review. Adv Med Plant Res. 2016; 1-8.  Back to cited text no. 8
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5]



 

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