A new study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Disease shows that sesame seed supplementation can significantly improve clinical signs and symptoms of patients with knee osteoarthritis.
The Medical researchers at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, (Tabriz, Iran) divided patients with knee osteoarthritis into two groups of 25 patients. The first group received standard treatment that involved receiving two 500 mg doses of Tylenol twice a day along with 500 mg of glucosamine once a day and the second group received 40 grams of powdered sesame seeds a day during 2 months of the study along with standard drug therapy.
Study Results Show Pain Relief
The details of the study are very encouraging. Researchers from Iran recruited 50 participants with osteoarthritis of the knee. They divided them into two groups, giving 25 standard drug therapy, which included two 500 mg doses of Tylenol twice a day along with 500 mg of glucosamine once daily. The other group of 25 received 40 grams a day of powdered sesame seeds—equal to about an ounce and a half.
The researchers then observed the groups for two months. A total of 23 patients in the control (Tylenol) group completed the study, and 22 patients in the sesame group finished. The results showed the following:
- Drop in pain: The sesame group experienced the largest drop in pain intensity from 9.5 before treatment to 3.5 after treatment. The control group experienced a drop from 9 before treatment to 7 after.
- Confirmed improvement: Participants completed two other tests—the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) Questionnaire and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test. Both revealed similar results—improvement in both groups, when compared to baseline.
- Three times the relief: In terms of pain relief, the sesame seed group experienced three times the pain relief as the Tylenol group.
6 Health benefits attributed to sesame seeds
- Lower cholesterol: Sesame seeds include sesamin and sesamolin, which are types of lignans, or plant chemicals, linked with lowering cholesterol. In a 2005 study, participants eating 1.5 ounces of ground, toasted sesame seeds along with a low-cholesterol diet reduced total cholesterol by six percent and LDL “bad” cholesterol by nearly 10 percent.
- Protein Sources: Sesame seeds are a good source of protein—100 grams of seeds provides about 18 grams of protein.
- Antioxidant protection: Protective antioxidants thought to help protect the body from disease-causing free radicals.
- Control diabetes: Sesame seed extracts helped to reduce blood sugar levels among participants classified as “pre-diabetic.”
- Lower high blood pressure: American Heart Association’s annual meeting of the Inter-American Society of Hypertension revealed that study participants with high blood pressure who were taking a common blood pressure-lowering drug and still had moderate high blood pressure. The lead author of the study attributed the results to the essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and lignans in the sesame seed oil.
- Cure cancer: Laboratory studies have found that sesamin from sesame seeds can suppress the formation of new blood vessels and the pro-invasion molecules in breast cancer cells.
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