Caraway Seed and Weight Loss
In new clinical research, scientists have determined that caraway seed extract has the ability to stimulate weight loss.
The researchers, from Malaysia’s University of Malaya and the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, conducted a clinical study using 70 overweight or obese, but otherwise healthy adult women.
The women were randomly split into two groups. The groups were then compared and there were no significant differences between the two groups in their weight or body mass parameters.
One of the groups was given 30 milliliters of caraway seed extract for 90 days, while the other group received a placebo.
No other changes were made either to the diets or exercise activity of the women during the 90 day period.
Before, after and during the 90 days, the women were weighed and measured for body mass index, body weight, percentage of fat and weight to hip measurements. They were also tested for blood cholesterol levels as well as given urine analyses.
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Caraway produces weight loss, lower BMI and reduced body fat
At the end of the twelve weeks, the average weight of the placebo group went from 71.96 kilos to 72.77 kilos, while the group taking the caraway seed extract went from 76.86 kilos down to 75 kilos – an average loss of 2.77 kilos or an average weight loss of over 6 pounds.
This is while the placebo group gained .73 kilos – about 1.6 pounds over the three months.
Body mass index of the caraway group went from 20.69 to 29.85, while the BMI went from 28.45 to 28.50 in the placebo group.
Percentage of body fat went from 35.43 to 34.74 in the caraway group, while it went from 33.82 up to 34.04 in the placebo group.
Percentage of body muscle went up from 31.42 to 31.61 in the caraway group, while it went down from 31.81 to 31.75 in the placebo group.
In addition, the waist circumference of the caraway group went from 96.02 centimeters down to 89.78 centimeters, while the waist circumference of the placebo group went from 91.34 to 91.21 centimeters.
There were no adverse side effects from the caraway seed extract.
The researchers also reviewed other studies to investigate the possible mechanisms fro the weight loss. They concluded that the mechanism relates to the ability of caraway to help curb pathogenic microbes in the gut:
“Lowering weight and fat in the subjects in this study may be related to anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities of caraway caused by some of the constituents in caraway, such as carvacrol (polyphenol) and unsaturated fatty acids. These bioactive compounds may balance gut microflora which help in food digestion and absorption providing intestinal homoeostasis. Gut microflora modulates gene expression in the human body involving the host physiology and metabolism, such as obesity mechanisms. Carvacrol, together with unsaturated fatty acids, inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria, and thus increases the proliferation of gut microflora [probiotics]. In this process, ingredients probably modify gut microflora through activating the expression of some specific genes involved in lipid metabolism inhibiting inflammation and adipogenesis.”
The weight loss effect of curbing pathogenic microorganisms within the gut while promoting probiotic microorganisms.
Caraway seeds have many medicinal properties and nutrients
Caraway seeds (Carum carvi L.) have been used for thousands of years for intestinal difficulties such as stomach aches, flatulence, burping, irritable bowel syndrome and difficult digestion. Caraway extract has been used to as a soothing muscle rub and chest rub during chest colds.
Caraway seed is also a nutrient powerhouse. According to the USDA nutrient database, 100 grams of seed contains 38 grams of fiber, 21 milligrams of vitamin C (35% RDA), 363 IU of vitamin A (12% RDA), .38 milligrams of thiamine (32% RDA), 1351 milligrams of potassium (29% RDA), a whopping 689 milligrams of calcium (69% RDA), .91 milligrams of copper (101% RDA), 258 milligrams of magnesium (64% RDA), 1300 milligrams of manganese (56% RDA) and 5.5 milligrams of zinc (50% RDA). Caraway is also a significant source of selenium.
Part of the medicinal effect of caraway seeds is its phenolic content, including carvone and limonene. In addition, about a third of caraway’s fat content is in the form of petroselinic acid – which has been found to reduce pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid levels.
Mahnaz Kazemipoor, Che Wan Jasimah Bt wan Mohamed Radzi, Majid Hajifaraji, Batoul Sadat Haerian, Mohammad Hossein Mosaddegh, and Geoffrey A. Cordell, “Antiobesity Effect of Caraway Extract on Overweight and Obese Women: A Randomized, Triple-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 928582, 8 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/928582
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