The effect of Nigella sativa on appetite, anthropometric and body composition indices among overweight and obese women: A crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial

Complement Ther Med. 2021 Mar:57:102653. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102653. Epub 2020 Dec 25.


Objectives: Obesity is a global concern which is associated with several complications and disease.

Design: Present study is the first crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial aimed to evaluate the effect of Nigella Sativa (N. sativa) intervention on anthropometric and body composition parameters as well as dietary intake and appetite in a crossover design.

Method: Forty-five healthy women with obesity or overweight were randomized into two groups of intervention and placebo, and the study conducted in two 8-week periods of intervention separated by a 4-week washout period. Anthropometric and body composition indices and dietary intake were measured. Also, appetite sensation was evaluated via a standard visual analog scale (VAS) questionnaire. Pkcross procedure was performed for statistical analysis using STATA. Cohen's d effect size was estimated for all outcomes to determine the magnitude of the effects.

Results: Supplementation with 2000 mg of N. sativa oil found to have a considerable increment in the measures of body mass index (P < 0.001, Cohen's d = 0.5), body weight (P < 0.001, Cohen's d = 0.6) and waist circumference (P = 0.020, Cohen's d = 0.4) with a medium effect size measure, and a significant decrease in body fat mass (P = 0.019, Cohen's d = 0.2), body fat percent (P < 0.001, Cohen's d = 0.2) and visceral fat area (P = 0.011, Cohen's d = 0.2) with a small effect size measure.

Conclusion: The overall improvements in anthropometric and body composition parameters and a significant decrease in appetite represents the beneficial effects of N. sativa supplements in the treatment of obesity. More studies with different dosages, a larger number of participants, and longer intervention duration are recommended to illustrate the exact effects of N. sativa as a complementary therapy for obesity.

Keywords: Anthropometry; Appetite; Body composition; Nigella sativa; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Appetite
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Nigella sativa*
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Overweight / drug therapy