Green cardamom increases Sirtuin-1 and reduces inflammation in overweight or obese patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial

Nutr Metab (Lond). 2018 Sep 25:15:63. doi: 10.1186/s12986-018-0297-4. eCollection 2018.


Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the hepatic component of metabolic syndrome. Despite the beneficial health effects of cardamom on dyslipidemia, hepatomegaly, and fasting hyperglycemia, no previous human study has been conducted on the efficacy of cardamom in NAFLD. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of green cardamom (GC) on serum Sirtuin-1 (Sirt1), inflammatory factors, and liver enzymes in overweight or obese NAFLD patients.

Methods: The recruitment of subjects was conducted at the polyclinic of the central hospital of National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Tehran. Eighty-seven patients who participated were divided randomly into two groups according to the ultrasonography and eligibility criteria as cardamom (n = 43) or placebo (n = 44). The intervention involves taking two 500 mg capsules three times per day with meals for 3 months. General characteristics, dietary intake and physical activity status, weight and height were determined. In addition, serum Sirt1, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), high sensitive c-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), alanine transaminase (ALT), and aspartate transaminase (AST) were measured. The degree of fatty liver was determined at beginning and end of the study.

Results: In comparison with placebo, GC significantly increased Sirt1 and decreased hs-CRP, TNF-α, IL-6, ALT, and the degree of fatty liver (P < 0.05). The differences in weight, BMI, and AST were not significant (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: GC supplementation could improve some biomarkers related to fatty liver including inflammation, ALT, and Sirt1 in overweight/obese NAFLD patients. Further trials on cardamom's potential are suggested.

Trial registration: Iranian Registry of Clinical Trials, IRCT2015121317254N4. Registered 27/12/2015.

Keywords: Green cardamom; Inflammatory factors; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Overweight or obesity; Sirtuin-1.