Effects of nigella sativa on cardiovascular risk factors
Seyed Mohammadhadi Emamat
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© 2016, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences. All right reserved. Background and purpose: In recent years the role of nutrition and herbal medicine are considered in the control of cardiovascular risk factors. The aim of this review was to evaluate the effect of nigella sativa on glycemic indices, lipid profiles, markers of inflammation, oxidative stress, and anthropometric indices. Materials and methods: An electronic literature search was conducted on websites such as Science direct, Google scholar, SID, Iranmedex, and Scopus using the following keywords: nigella sativa, Timokinon, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, blood glucose, lipid profile, metabolic syndrome, body weight, inflammation, and antioxidant. Published articles (until August 2014) in English and Persian were selected. Results: Nigella sativa in various interventions improved insulin resistance, lowered blood sugar and HbA1c, increased insulin production, and decreased hepatic gluconeogenesis and glucose absorption in the intestine. Nigella sativa also showed improvements in lipid profile. It can improve the inflammatory status (by reducing the inflammatory cytokine and anti-inflammatory increase in the inhibition of NF-KB factor and Nitric oxide) and oxidative stress (by increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes and reducing free radicals, such as Malondialdehyde) in treatment of diabetes. Nigella sativa modifies the metabolic syndrome associated with type 2 diabetes by improving anthropometric parameters. Conclusion: Nigella sativa have a favorable effect on management of cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidemia, inflammatory markers, and oxidative stress.