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Caraway Extract: A Natural Appetite Suppressant?

Commonly found in rye bread and Indian food, caraway seeds may have a role to play in helping shrink thighs and waistlines in active women. Their slimming effect was demonstrated in a controlled trial, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, that included 70 aerobically-trained women who were overweight or obese. The women were assigned to take either 30 mL of a water-based caraway seed extract or a placebo every day for 90 days while maintaining their usual diet and exercise routines. At the beginning and end of the study, researchers measured the women’s caloric and nutrient intake, as well as their waist, thigh, and mid-upper arm circumferences, and their waist-to-hip ratio. Appetite changes were measured using answers to a questionnaire and a “pizza test,” in which the women were instructed to eat as much pizza as they wanted. At the end of the study, researchers found that:

  • The caraway group had statistically significant reductions in appetite levels and carbohydrate intake compared with the placebo group.
  • The caraway group lost an average of 6.2 cm (about 2.5 inches) in waist circumference and 5.4 cm (about 2.2 inches) in thigh circumference during the trial.
  • The placebo group experienced small reductions in waist and thigh circumferences, but they were not statistically significant.

These findings may not come as a surprise to some—caraway has been used for weight loss in traditional herbal medicine. Previous research has also associated it with appetite regulation, possibly because it quiets the gastrointestinal muscle activity that appears to trigger the sensation of hunger. Incorporating caraway seeds into your diet is safe and easy, but if you’re considering adding a caraway extract supplement to your weight loss program, talk with your healthcare practitioner first. In addition, keep in mind that eating lots of fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains over refined grain products, and getting regular exercise are the keys to healthy weight loss.

Source: Phytotherapy Research

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