The effect of Nigella sativa oil on serum levels of inflammatory markers, liver enzymes, lipid profile, insulin and fasting blood sugar in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver

J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2019 Sep 11;18(2):453-459. doi: 10.1007/s40200-019-00439-6. eCollection 2019 Dec.


Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the metabolic disturbances associated with inflammation. Nigella sativa (NS) seed oil has different chemical compounds including Thymoquinone (TQ), unsaturated fatty acids, and flavonoids. NSs are used as anti-inflammatory and antioxidants in medical sciences. This study aimed to investigate the effect of NS oil on several parameters in serum levels of patients with NAFLD.

Methods: Forty-four patients diagnosed with NAFLD participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Patients were randomly assigned into two groups; one receiving NS oil and the other receiving placebo (paraffin oil), for 8 weeks. Blood samples were taken from the patients at the beginning and the end of the study. Afterwards, liver enzymes (ALT, AST, and GGT), inflammatory markers (Hs-CRP, TNF-α, and IL-6), insulin, lipid profiles (total cholesterol, triglyceride, VLDL, LDL-C, and HDL-C), FBS, and blood pressure were measured.

Results: Consumption of NS seed oil as supplement decreased the FBS level, lipid profiles (TG, TC, LDL, VLDL), liver enzymes (AST and ALT), hs-CRP inflammatory marker, IL-6, TNF-α, while it increased the HDL-C levels, compared to the placebo group (P < 0.05). Receiving NS oil had no significant effect on serum levels of insulin, blood pressure, and GGT in comparison with the beginning of the study (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: NS seed oil supplements may decrease the liver enzymes and lipid profiles in the patients with NAFLD and play a protective role in the liver via reducing the inflammation in this group of patients.

Keywords: Inflammation; Insulin; Liver enzymes; NAFLD; Nigella sativa.