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

  • Mohammad RashidmayvanEmail author
  • Majid Mohammadshahi
  • Seyed Saeed Seyedian
  • Mohammad Hossein Haghighizadeh
Research article



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.


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.


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).


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.


Nigella sativa NAFLD Insulin Liver enzymes Inflammation 



Nigella sativa


waist circumference


hip circumference


waist-to-hip ratio


body mass index


Total cholesterol




High density lipoprotein cholesterol


Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol


aspartate aminotransferase


alanine aminotransferase


gammaglutamyl transpeptidase


tumor necrosis factor-a




high sensitivity C-reactive protein.



This article was extracted from the Master’s thesis of Mohammad Rashidmayvan (student at Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences).

Authors’ contributions

All authors participated in the design, study, data acquisition and drafting manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

The financial support of Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences is highly appreciated.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Approved by Institutional Ethical Committee of Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Iran.: IR.AJUMS.REC.1395.695.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Diabetes Research Center, Health Research InstituteAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  2. 2.Hyperlipidemia Research CenterAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  3. 3.Research Institute for Infectious Diseases of the Digestive System, School of MedicineAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran
  4. 4.Department of Health Statistics, School of Public HealthAhvaz Jundishapur University of Medical SciencesAhvazIran

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