Black Cumin Seed and Blood Sugar

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  Black cumin seed “reducing the risk of many maladies per Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Aug;50(7):654-65. doi: 10.1080/10408390902768797.  Nigella sativa: reduces the risk of various maladies.  author:  Butt MS1, Sultan MT.

Coinage of terms like nutraceuticals, functional, and pharma foods has diverted the attention of human beings to where they are seeking more natural cures. Though pharmaceutical drugs have been beneficial for human health and have cured various diseases but they also impart some side effects. Numerous plants have been tested for their therapeutic potential; Nigella sativa, commonly known as black cumin, is one of them. It possesses a nutritional dense profile as its fixed oil (lipid fraction), is rich in unsaturated fatty acids while essential oil contains thymoquinone and carvacrol as antioxidants. N. sativa seeds also contain proteins, alkaloids (nigellicines and nigelledine), and saponins (alpha-hederin) in substantial amounts. Recent pharmacological investigations suggested its potential role, especially for the amelioration of oxidative stress through free radical scavenging activity, the induction of apoptosis to cure various cancer lines, the reduction of blood glucose, and the prevention of complications from diabetes. It regulates hematological and serological aspects and can be effective in dyslipidemia and respiratory disorders. Moreover, its immunopotentiating and immunomodulating role brings balance in the immune system. Evidence is available supporting the utilization of Nigella sativa and its bioactive components in a daily diet for health improvement. This review is intended to focus on the composition of Nigella sativa and to elaborate its possible therapeutic roles as a functional food to prevent an array of maladies.


but what can black cumin seed do to help diabetics?

Here is some compelling literature behind the ingredients in the powerful  drink made from 3 organic non GMOP cold-pressed seeds!

Int J Diabetes Dev Ctries. 2008 Jan;28(1):11-4. doi: 10.4103/0973-3930.41980.

Effect of Nigella sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of insulin resistance syndrome.



The seeds of the Nigella sativa plant have been used to promote health and fight disease for centuries, especially in the Middle East and in Southeast Asia. This plant has been a focus of much research. This clinical study was undertaken to know the adjuvant effect of N. sativa oil on various clinical and biochemical parameters of the insulin resistance syndrome.


This prospective study was conducted at a tertiary health care center in North India. After confirmation of diagnosis, 60 patients who fulfilled the inclusion and exclusion criteria were enrolled in this study. Written informed consent was taken from all the patients enrolled. Approval from the institutional ethical committee was also obtained. The patients were divided into two groups of 30 each. In group I (the standard group), patients were advised tablet atorvastatin 10 mg once a day and tablet metformin 500 mg twice a day for a period of 6 weeks. In group II (the N. sativa group), the patients were advised tablet atorvastatin 10 mg once a day, tablet metformin 500 mg twice a day, and N. sativa oil 2.5 ml twice daily for a period of 6 weeks. Fasting and postprandial blood glucose, fasting lipid profile, and waist circumference were recorded before therapy and after completion of therapy.


The treatment group showed significant (P < 0.05) improvement with reference to total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), and fasting blood glucose (P < 0.05).


N. sativa oil was found to be effective as an add-on therapy in patients of insulin resistance syndrome. N. sativa oil has a significant activity in diabetic and dyslipidemic patients.


Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):344-54.

Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes mellitus is a common chronic disease affecting millions of people world wide. Standard treatment is failing to achieve required correction of blood glucose in many patients. Therefore, there is a need for investigating potential hypoglycemic drugs or herbs to improve glycemic control in diabetic patients. Nigella sativa seeds were used as an adjuvant therapy in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2 added to their anti-diabetic medications. A total of 94 patient were recruited and divided randomly into three dose groups. Capsules containing Nigella sativa were administered orally in a dose of 1, 2 and 3 gm/day for three months. The effect of Nigella sativa on the glycemic control was assessed through measurement of fasting blood glucose (FBG), blood glucose level 2 hours postprandially (2 hPG), and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Serum C-peptide and changes in body weight were also measured. Insulin resistance and beta-cell function were calculated usin the homeostatic model assessment (HOMA2). Nigella sativa at a dose of 2 gm/day caused significant reductions in FBG, 2hPG, and HbA1 without significant change in body weight. Fasting blood glucose was reduced by an average of 45, 62 and 56 mg/dl at 4, 8 and 12 weeks respectively. HbAlC was reduced by 1.52% at the end of the 12 weeks of treatment (P<0.0001). Insulin resistance calculated by HOMA2 was reduced significantly (P<0.01), while B-cell function was increased (P<0.02) at 12 weeks of treatment. The use of Nigella sativa in a dose of 1 gm/day also showed trends in improvement in all the measured parameters but it was not statistically significant from the baseline. However, no further increment in the beneficial response was observed with the 3 gm/day dose. The three doses of Nigella sativa used in the study did not adversely affect either renal functions or hepatic functions of the diabetic patients throughout the study period.


the results of this study indicate that a dose of 2 gm/ day of Nigella sativa might be a beneficial adjuvant to oral hypoglycemic agents in type 2 diabetic patients.

Ultrastruct Pathol. 2014 Feb;38(1):26-33. doi: 10.3109/01913123.2013.830166. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Effects of thymoquinone on STZ-induced diabetic nephropathy: an immunohistochemical study.


Thymoquinone (TQ) is the most abundant and active ingredient of Nigella sativa (NS) seeds. Its hepatic, renal, and cardiac protective effects have been demonstrated in animal models. Streptozotocin (STZ) is an antibiotic that is widely used experimentally as an agent capable of inducing insulin-dependentdiabetes mellitus (IDDM), also known as type I diabetes mellitus (T1DM).


This study was carried out in an attempt to highlight the possible beneficial effects of TQ in STZ-induced diabetes in rats and to determine the predictive value of mesenchymal and epithelial markers in the response of diabetic nephropathy to TQ.


Sixty adult male albino rats were divided in 3 groups: control, diabetic untreated, and diabetic treated with TQ.


Diabetic rats exhibited morphological changes in both renal glomeruli and tubules with immunohistochemical expression of the mesenchymal markers Fsp1, desmin, and MMP-17 and disappearance of the epithelial marker ZO-1 largely in the glomeruli of diabetic kidneys. Treatment with TQ significantly attenuated renal morphological and immunohistochemical changes in STZ-induced diabetic rats.


Thymoquinone has protective effects on experimental diabetic nephropathy. Both mesenchymal and epithelial markers serve as excellent predictors of early kidney damage and indicators of TQ responsiveness in STZ-induced diabetic nephropathy.

Curr Diabetes Rev. 2013 Nov;9(6):499-505.

Antidiabetic oils.

Many studies have demonstrated evidence of the health benefits of natural products. Plant extracts have been tested on a variety of physiological disorders, including diabetes mellitus. Studies have tested aqueous extracts, plant fractions extracts, families of active of compounds, and specific active compounds. In this review, we describe the antidiabetic effects of vegetable oils. Information was collected from ScienceDirect and PubMed databases using the following key words: Diabetes mellitus, Oils, Vegetable oils, Type 1diabetes, type 2 diabetes, antidiabetic effect, antihyperglycemic, antidiabetic oil. We have compiled approximately ten vegetable oils with including experimental studies that have demonstrated benefits ondiabetes mellitus. There are soybean, argan, olive, palm, walnut, black cumin, safflower, Colocynth, Blackseed, Rice bran, Cinnamom, and Rocket oils. For each vegetable oil, we investigated on the plant’s traditional uses, their pharmacological activities and their antidiabetic effects. It seems that many vegetable oils are really interesting and can be used in the improvement of human health, particularly, to prevent or to treat diabetes mellitus complications.

Life Sci. 2009 Dec 16;85(23-26):830-4. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2009.10.021. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Beneficial effects of thymoquinone on hepatic key enzymes in streptozotocin-nicotinamide induced diabetic rats.


The present study was designed to evaluate the antihyperglycemic potential of thymoquinone (TQ), major constituent of Nigella sativa seeds on the activities of key enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism in streptozotocin (STZ)-nicotinamide (NA)-induced diabetic rats.


Diabetes was induced in experimental rats weighing 180-220g, by a single intraperitoneal (i.p) injection of STZ (45mg/kg b.w), 15min after the i.p administration of NA (110mg/kg b.w). Diabetic rats were administered TQ intragastrically at 20, 40, 80mg/kg b.w for 45days. The levels of plasma glucose, insulin, glycated hemoglobin (HbA(1C)) and hemoglobin (Hb) were measured. The activities of hexokinase, glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glucose 6-phosphatase and fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase were assayed in liver homogenates.


Oral administration of TQ for 45days, dose dependently improved the glycemic status in STZ-NA induced diabetic rats. The levels of insulin, Hb increased with significant decrease in glucose and HbA(1C) levels. The altered activities of carbohydrate metabolic enzymes were restored to near normal. No significant changes were noticed in normal rats treated with TQ.


These results show that TQ at 80mg/kg b.w is associated with beneficial changes in hepatic enzyme activities and thereby exerts potential antihyperglycemic effects.


J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 30;121(3):419-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2008.10.040. Epub 2008 Nov 17.

Nigella sativa inhibits intestinal glucose absorption and improves glucose tolerance in rats.


Nigella sativa L. (Ranunculaceae) seeds have been used traditionally for centuries, notably for treating diabetes.


We studied the effects of the crude aqueous extract of Nigella sativa seeds on intestinal glucose absorption in vitro using a short-circuit current technique and in vivo using an oral glucose tolerance test.


The aqueous extract of Nigella sativa (0.1 pg/ml to 100 ng/ml) exerted dose-dependent inhibition of sodium-dependent glucose transport across isolated rat jejunum. Maximal inhibition exceeded 80% and IC50 was close to 10 pg/ml. An oral glucose tolerance test was carried out in rats after the initial dose and after a 6-week treatment of Nigella sativa (2 g/(kg day)), and compared to metformin (300 mg/(kg day)). Chronic Nigella sativa treatment improved glucose tolerance as efficiently as metformin. Nigella sativa and metformin also reduced body weight without any toxic effect.


To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that Nigella sativa directly inhibits the electrogenic intestinal absorption of glucose in vitro. Together with the observed improvement of glucose tolerance and body weight in rats after chronic oral administration in vivo, these effects further validate the traditional use of Nigella sativa seeds against diabetes.

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