Beneficial effects of Nigella sativa oil on intestinal damage in necrotizing enterocolitis

J Invest Surg. 2012 Oct;25(5):286-94. doi: 10.3109/08941939.2011.639849. Epub 2012 May 9.


Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the beneficial effects of Nigella sativa oil (NSO) on rats with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

Material and methods: Thirty newborn Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups as NEC, NEC + NSO, and control. NEC was induced by enteral formula feeding, exposure to hypoxia-hyperoxia and cold stress. Pups in the NEC + NSO group were administered NOS at a dose of 2 ml/kg daily by intraperitoneal route from the first day until the end of the study. Proximal colon and ileum were excised for histopathologic, apoptosis (TUNEL) and biochemical evaluation, including xanthine oxidase (XO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), malonaldehyde (MDA), and myeloperoxdase (MPO) activities.

Results: Pups in the NEC + NOS group had better clinical sickness scores and weight gain compared to the NEC group (p < 0.05). In the macroscopic assessment, histopathologic and apoptosis evaluation (TUNEL), severity of bowel damage was significantly lower in the NEC + NOS group compared to the NEC group (p < 0.05). Tissue GSH-Px and SOD levels were significantly preserved in the NEC + NSO group (p < 0.05), whereas, tissue MDA, MPO levels of the NEC + NSO group were significantly lower than those in the NEC group (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: NSO significantly reduced the severity of intestinal damage in NEC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Colon / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / metabolism
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / pathology
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / therapy*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Ileum / drug effects
  • Ileum / pathology
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Nigella sativa*
  • Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Xanthine Oxidase / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Plant Oils
  • Malondialdehyde
  • caraway oil
  • Peroxidase
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Xanthine Oxidase