Daily ingestion of grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta) extract increases whole-body energy expenditure and decreases visceral fat in humans

J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2014;60(1):22-7. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.60.22.


We reported previously that a single ingestion of an alcohol extract of grains of paradise (GP, Aframomum melegueta), a species of the ginger family, increases energy expenditure (EE) through the activation of brown adipose tissue, a site of sympathetically mediated metabolic theromogenesis. The present study aimed to examine a daily ingestion of GP extract on whole-body EE and body fat in humans. Whole-body EE and body fat content were measured before and after daily oral ingestion of GP extract (30 mg/d) for 4 wk in 19 non-obese female volunteers aged 20-22 y in a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Four-week daily ingestion of GP and a placebo decreased and increased slightly the visceral fat area at the umbilicus level, respectively. The GP-induced change was significantly different from that induced by the placebo (p<0.05), and negatively correlated with the initial visceral fat area (r=-0.64, p<0.01). Neither GP nor placebo ingestion affected subcutaneous or total fat. The daily ingestion of GP, but not the placebo, increased whole-body EE (p<0.05). These results suggest that GP extract may be an effective and safe tool for reducing body fat, mainly by preventing visceral fat accumulation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / drug effects*
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / metabolism
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Young Adult
  • Zingiberaceae / chemistry*


  • Plant Extracts