Sabinsa’s Nigellin black cumin seed extract identified as an immunomodulator in asthma inflammation


Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties are among the most valued in anti-asthma herbal products

Recent research published in Frontiers of Pharmacology identified Nigellin BCS-Amber, Sabinsa’s black cumin (Nigella sativa) seed extract, as being the most effective of the 10 Nigella sativa (NS) extracts used in an in vitro study that suppressed the release of the most active cytokines and identified a prostanoid with inflammatory properties, which may possess a favourable effect in the context of asthmatic conditions.

Researchers evaluated 10 different NS extracts, and top ranked the extract provided by Sabinsa’s parent company and manufacturing arm, Sami Labs. It surpassed the second ranking extract in terms of the active constituent, thymoquinone (TQ), by more than 300%.

Sabinsa’s Nigellin had the highest effects in suppressing the release of cytokines IL-2, IL-6 and PGE2 in T-lymphocytes and also in monocytes hindering the expression on IL-2 and PGE2.

These are among the most active cytokines involved in asthmatic conditions. The investigators noted a positive relationship between the TQ level in the preparations and its inhibitory potency on IL-6 and PGE2.

However, PGE2 does exhibit beneficial bronchodilatory effects in human lung epithelial cells and Sabinsa’s extract showed an enhanced PGE2 expression in A549 human epithelial cells lines, demonstrating an interesting activity behaviour of the maximum-TQ containing Sabinsa’s extract.

The results presented in this paper formed the biochemical basis of a subsequently conducted clinical trial.

Asthma is a debilitating disease afflicting 25 million people in the USA, alone and 334 million globally according to some estimates. It tends to flare up sharply because of external factors such as pollution and allergens.

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Nigella sativa and its preparations have been referenced extensively in traditional healthcare systems ranging from Ayurvedic and Unani to Arabic and Prophetic for prevention and treatment of asthma, making it a candidate for study by modern researchers.

Lack of standardisation has, however, hampered researchers in evaluating the material’s efficacy in the past.

“This emerging antioxidant ingredient has traditionally been used in the management of numerous health conditions, with recent research beginning to validate historically reported benefits,“ remarked Sabinsa founder Dr Muhammed Majeed.

“Sabinsa has a track record of developing and marketing products for supporting human health rooted in traditional knowledge expanded through innovation. In this case we relied upon use of supercritical fluid extraction (SCFE) technology to provide an active solution.”

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Sabinsa’s Nigellin represents patent pending, solvent-free, supercritical fluid extraction (SCFE) black cumin seed extracts, standardised to contain thymoquinone. Nigellin is available as oil (Nigellin BCS-Amber) and defatted black and white powders (Nigellin BCS-Onyx and Nigellin BCS-Pearl, respectively).

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