Effect of Tulsi ( Ocimum sanctum Linn.) Supplementation on Metabolic Parameters and Liver Enzymes in Young Overweight and Obese Subjects

Indian J Clin Biochem. 2017 Jul;32(3):357-363. doi: 10.1007/s12291-016-0615-4. Epub 2016 Sep 16.


Ocimum sanctum Linn. (also known as Tulsi) is a sacred Indian plant, the beneficial role of which, in obesity and diabetes is described traditionally. This is a randomized, parallel group, open label pilot study to investigate the effect of O. sanctum on metabolic and biochemical parameters in thirty overweight/obese subjects, divided into two groups A and B. Group A (n = 16) received one 250 mg capsule of Tulsi (O. sanctum) extract twice daily in empty stomach for 8 weeks and group B (n = 14) received no intervention. Statistically significant improvements in the values of serum triglycerides (p = 0.019); low density lipoprotein (p = 0.001); high density lipoprotein (p = 0.001); very low density lipoprotein (p = 0.019); Body Mass Index, BMI (p = 0.005); plasma insulin (p = 0.021) and insulin resistance (p = 0.049) were observed after 8 weeks in the O. sanctum intervention group. The improvement in HDL-C in the intervention group when compared to the control group was also statistically significant (p = 0.037). There was no significant alteration of the liver enzymes SGOT and SGPT in both the intervention (p = 0.141; p = 0.074) and control arms (p = 0.102; p = 0.055) respectively. These observations clearly indicate the beneficial effects of O. sanctum on various biochemical parameters in young overweight/obese subjects.

Keywords: Insulin resistance; Obesity; Ocimum sanctum; Serum lipid.