Aim: Nigella sativa seeds contain a high amount of Thymoquinone (TQ), an antioxidant. We therefore hypothesized that Nigella sativa oil would, through the antioxidant properties of TQ ameliorate obesity-induced hyperglycemia and decrease blood pressure and OX-LDL in obese mice.
Methods: Commencing at eight weeks of age, C57B16 male mice were fed a high fat diet (HF) for 20 weeks. Mice were divided into three groups of five animals each as follows: group 1) Lean, group 2) HF diet, group 3) HF diet treated for the last 8 weeks with 3%TQ. Inflammatory biomarkers, antioxidant biomarkers, mitochondrial biogenesis and tissue fat accumulation and hepatic steatosis were determined.
Results: 3% TQ treatment resulted in an increase of oxygen consumption decreased fasting glucose and blood pressure (P<0.05) as compared in obese mice. TQ treatment increased both the quantity of hepatic HO-1, and HO activity in response to 3% TQ. Additionally, mitochondrial Mfn2, PGC1α, insulin receptor phosphorylation in response to TQ while decreased LDL and OX-LDL (P<0.05) and haptic lipid accumulation.
Conclusion: Fundamentally, TQ intervention attenuated the obesity-mediated decrease of oxygen consumption, fasting glucose, improved mitochondrial biogenesis through an increase and in levels of HO-1 that is associated with ablated HF-induced LDL. Our findings indicate a potential clinical role for TQ in the prevention of obesity-related steatosis in metabolic disease.