Cumin, scientific name nigella sativa, protects the colon and fights colitis. We talked about it just a few weeks ago and here a few days ago a research was published that explains the mechanism by which cumin fights inflammation of the colon. This beneficial effect is due to the action of a substance contained in cumin, thymequinone. But let's try to better understand what the study says. The work has been published in the journal Nutrients by a team of scientists from the United Arab Emirates (Venkataraman et al, Nutrients, 2021).
Thymoquinone of cumin is anti-inflammatory
Thymoquinone is a substance contained in cumin. Previous studies have shown that thymoquinone is able to counteract inflammation of the colon. However, until now the mechanism by which this substance is able to soothe colitis was not clear. That is why the UAE researchers have conducted a series of studies to evaluate, through experiments performed in the laboratory, how this substance can act on the intestinal tract.
How thymoquinone fights colitis, the explanation
What has emerged is that thymoquinone fights colitis through several mechanisms. First, it is able to preserve the integrity of the colon. Not only that, thymoquinone reduces the levels of inflammation, even when it is at a high degree. In fact, in the case of colitis, macrophages, which are cells of the immune system, infiltrate the mucous membrane of the colon. Macrophages stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory substances, called cytokines, such as interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, which in turn intensify the inflammatory processes of the colon. Well, thymoquinone enters this process and reduces the release of cytokines and therefore inflammation. Then, the thymoquinone also acts by reducing another substance, NF-kB, which is a set of proteins with a primary role in the inflammatory response. In particular, NK-kB increases the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus determining the development of colitis.
Here is the proof that a substance present in cumin is able to counteract inflammation in the colon.