Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is a marker of vascular function. Beneficial cardiometabolic effects of Nigella sativa (N. sativa) have been observed. We evaluated the effect of N. sativa oil on FMD, plasma nitrite, and nitrate (NOx) as nitric oxide (NO) metabolites, and inflammatory markers in subjects with CVD risk factors. Fifty participants were randomly assigned to either the N. sativa (two capsules of 500 mg N. sativa oil) or the placebo group (two capsules of 500 mg mineral oil), for 2 months. The brachial FMD, plasma NOx, vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) were measured. FMD and plasma NOx levels was significantly increased in the N. sativa group compared to the placebo group (changes: 2.97 ± 2.11% vs. 0.71 ± 3.19%, p < 0.001 for FMD and 4.73 ± 7.25 μmol/L vs. 0.99 ± 5.37 μmol/L, p = 0.036 for plasma NOx). However, there was no significant difference in ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 levels between groups. Therefore, N. sativa oil improves vascular NO and FMD in subjects with cardiovascular risk factors. However, more studies are warranted to confirm the beneficial impacts of the N. sativa oil on vascular inflammation.
Keywords: CVD; FMD; Nigella sativa; inflammation; vascular function.
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