Research: Caraway may reduce appetite

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Caraway may promote satiety.

Caraway seeds in white spoon

Caraway seeds in a white spoon

Spices can make your food taste better.  If your food tastes better, it might promote satiety.   Caraway seeds have a pungent flavor that comes from the compounds that make it unique.   Caraway is used to flavor bread, rice, and many sausages.  Caraway seeds taste great, but could they weight loss and reduce body weight through increased satiety.  

Following the current obesity epidemic, there is an increasing demand for non-pharmacologic and non-surgical options to assist with weight loss.  The good news is that a new study from 2016 shows promise from caraway seeds[1].  The study indicates that numerous phytoconstituents may assist with reducing body weight through suppressing appetite and reducing food intake.  Caraway is one of the medicinal plants that is traditionally used for weight loss, but to date, there is limited evidence to support the use.  The good news is that this study appears to back the use are caraway.  

In the study, the researchers used caraway extract.  The goal was to investigate the appetite-suppressing effects of the caraway extract on 70 aerobically trained, overweight, and obese women.   The researchers examined the impact in a triple-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study.  Subjects were randomly allocated into placebo and experimental groups and consumed either 30 mL/day of the extract or a placebo.  The subjects did not change their diet or physical activity over 90 days.  Calorie and macronutrient intake and anthropometric indices were measured before and after the intervention.

The researchers found a significant reduction in appetite levels and carbohydrate intake of the experimental group compared with the placebo group.  All of the anthropometric indices were reduced significantly in the extract group when compared with the placebo group. These preliminary outcomes suggest that a dietary caraway extract might be useful in weight management of physically active, adult females, reducing their body size and hunger level.  There is no reason to believe that this finding is limited to only females.  

The bottom line:  Caraway extract appears to be effective at reducing appetite, body fat, and carbohydrate intake.  These findings are promising and deserve to be examined in a larger randomized placebo-controlled study.  Even if further research does not pan out, caraway seeds taste great and would appear to be harmless.  


M. Kazemipoor, S. Hamzah, M. Hajifaraji, C. W. J. B. W. M. Radzi, and G. A. Cordell, “Slimming and Appetite-Suppressing Effects ofCarawayAqueous Extract as a Natural Therapy in Physically Active Women,” Phytother. Res., vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 981–987, Mar. 2016 [Online]. Available: 10.1002/ptr.5603″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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