Caraway extract shows slimming potential for women

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

The researchers used an aqueous extract from caraway seeds
The researchers used an aqueous extract from caraway seeds

Related tags: Obesity

An aqueous extract of caraway seeds may suppress appetite and help slim waistlines and thighs in physically active women, says a new study.

Data published in Phytotherapy Research​ indicated that 90 days of supplementation with the caraway (Carum carvi​ L.) extract led to significant reductions in waist circumference of 6.2 cm and thigh circumference of 5.4 cm, compared to baseline levels. No significant waist reductions were recorded in the placebo group.

“This study showed that the consumption of 30 mL/day CAE [caraway aqueous extract] may result in reasonable anti-obesity effects,”​ wrote the researchers. “Most likely, this occurs through a combination of four major bioactivities, including anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, together with the appetite-suppressing activity.

“CAE intake appears to control hunger and to reduce standard anthropometric indices and body composition through suppressing appetite and decreasing carbohydrate intake with no loss in muscle mass or other adverse effects.”

Study details

Scientists from the University of Malaya (Malaysia), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (Iran), and Natural Products Inc (USA) recruited 70 aerobically trained, overweight, and obese women to participate in their triple-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study. The women – who were instructed to not change their diet or physical activity – were randomly assigned to receive either the caraway extract or placebo for 90 days.

Results showed that women in the caraway group had significant reductions in both appetite levels and carbohydrate intake compared with the placebo group.

weight diet obesity health fat calories george tsartsianidis
Image © iStockPhoto / George Tsartsianidis

In addition, significant reductions were observed in waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, thigh circumference, and mid-upper arm circumference compared to both baseline levels and placebo. Women in the placebo did experience reductions in thigh circumference and mid-upper arm circumference compared to their own baseline values, but the reductions in the caraway group were significantly greater.

“The appetite-suppressing effect of CAE is in agreement with the previous studies acknowledging caraway oil/aqueous extract to have appetite-regulating activity that might be linked to its carminative properties and soothing effects on gastric contractions,” ​wrote the researchers.

Commenting on the potential bioactives compounds responsible for the effects, the researchers note that caraway seed extracts contain volatile compounds such as limonene, gamma-terpinene, trans-carveol, carvone, thymol, and carvacrol.

“These bioactive compounds present in CAE may be effective, individually or synergistically, in the management of obesity, reducing body size, body weight, body fat, and appetite,” ​they wrote.

“Further studies are suggested to examine the biochemical pathways of anti-obesity and appetite-suppressing properties of the phytochemical constituents present in CAE,” ​they concluded.

Source: Phytotherapy Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1002/ptr.5603
“Slimming and Appetite-Suppressing Effects of Caraway Aqueous Extract as a Natural Therapy in Physically Active Women”
Authors: M. Kazemipoor, et al. 

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