Diet is an essential part of diabetes management. A person with diabetes should know what to eat to prevent blood sugar spikes and thus many health complications. Complications caused by uncontrolled diabetes include heart disease, vision loss, kidney disease, stroke, and hypertension.
Another part of proper diabetes treatment includes regular physical activity, stress management, and proper medications.
So far, we have discussed many foods and drinks and their effect on blood sugar levels. But, today we are focusing on black seed and its connection with diabetes.
Black seeds are rich in alkaloids and essential oils like thymohydroquinone and thymoquinone. These are the reason for black seeds’ great medicinal properties.
Moreover, they have properties as an antibacterial, analgesic, anti-ulcer, anti-fungal, anticholinergic, hypotensive, hepatoprotective, a leukotriene antagonist, an interferon inducer, renoprotection, and insulin sensitization agent.
You can take them as supplements in the form of oil, powder, or capsules. Some people use them in the treatment of many health conditions like liver disease, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatism.
However, you should consult a doctor before considering taking black seed supplements.
The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published an animal study in 2009 which shows black seed extract hinders glucose absorption in the intestines and enhances glucose tolerance.
The same year, the Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology published Healthline which claims crude extracts of Nigella Sativa reduce damage to pancreatic cells responsible for insulin production. And, as researchers believe, this could reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes.
In 2011, the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism confirmed that thymoquinone in black seeds could increase the insulin sensitivity of liver cells. Also, it suggested it could prevent type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
What’s more, black seed extracts have powerful antioxidant properties which help protect the cells in the pancreas against free radical damage.
Even though the side effects of black seeds and their interaction with medication are not entirely clear, some say black seed oil can cause an allergic rash.
Moreover, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center warns intake of high doses of black seed herb caused kidney and liver damage in animals.
So, they believe the same thing might happen in humans as well. Also, black seed supplements may reduce the intracellular concentration of codeine, erythromycin, cyclosporine, and other drugs.
Therefore, it’s best to consult a doctor before considering this supplement for treating or preventing diabetes. Since the FDA doesn’t monitor the black seed supplement sale in the United States, ensure they have been tested for efficacy and safety.
Also, you can look for the USP logo which indicates the supplement was submitted to voluntary safety tests.