Monday, November 3, 2014

Cumin as a Weight Loss Aid

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So how and why did this work? That's certainly a warranted question. As of now, most of you knew cumin probably as a spice and maybe as a digestive aid (Milan. 2008) - not as a fat burner, glucose sensitizer, lipid drug and, if you dig somewhat further in the archives of peer-reviewed scientific journals, even as a nootropic (Bin Sayeed. 2013), right?


Table 1: Cumin seed oil will deliver most of the cholesterol controlling agents in a concentrated form (Ramadan. 2007)
Well, if you take a look at the literature you will learn that Cumin contains more than 100 different chemicals, including essential fatty acids and volatile oils, which have been shown to induce significant decreases in glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride and LDL levels and a significant increase in serum HDL levelsin previous rodent studies (Mohiti. 2011). In that, the lipid reducing effects of cumin could be attributed to (a) its glycoside saponins which inhibit the absorption of dietary cholesterol and increase its fecal excretion by interfering with its enterohepatic circulation and (b) its phytosterol content which will displace cholesterol from intestinal micelles and will thus further reduce the amount of absorbable cholesterol (Hayes. 2002; Ramadan. 2002 & 2007; ). The mechanism by which cumin reduces the blood glucose levels, however, is still not fully understood.

As Zare et al. point out, "the majority of these studies have been done on animals and the published human studies have been conducted on patients suffering from diabetes or hypercholesterolemia," which makes the study at hand that was conducted with healthy (albeit overweight) female subjects all the more important.

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