Grains of paradise, Not Only A Spice

Published: admin | Format: 2017-02-27

Grains of paradise(GOP) are native to Africa’s West coast, namely the countries Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo and Nigeria. Most imports stem from Ghana. In the countries of origin, the seeds are used not only to flavour food, but they are also chewed on cold days to warm the body.

GOP could increase energy expenditure and improve fat Loss by activating BAT and reducing adipogenesis via PPARδ pathway. A single-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial on 19 healthy men showed that after 4 weeks the group consuming GOP extract(40mg/day) had a significantly greater increase in energy expenditure, due to increasd BAT activity, than the group not receiving the GOP extract [1]. Daily oral ingestion of GOP extract (30 mg/d) for 4 wk in 19 non-obese female volunteers aged 20-22 y increased whole-body EE (p<0.05), suggestting that GP extract may be an effective and safe tool for reducing body fat, mainly by preventing visceral fat accumulation[2].

GOP extracts and 6-paradol activate thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue, and may open up new avenues for the regulation of weight loss and weight maintenance[3].

6-Shogaol and 6-gingerol, the constituents of GOP extract (also found in ginger) acted as specific PPARδ ligands and stimulated PPARδ-dependent gene expression in cultured human skeletal muscle myotubes, reduced adipogenesis in the same cell line [4].

Other functions:

Ø  Anti-inflammatory activity[5]

Ø  Improve lipid profile[6]

Ø  Lowered blood pressure

Ø  Attenuate hepatotoxicity (chemical-driven liver damage)


1. Veech, R. L., Chance, B., Kashiwaya, Y., Lardy, H. A., and Cahill, G. F. Jr. Ketone bodies, potential therapeutic uses. IUBMB Life 2001,51, 241–247.

2. Sakaguchi, T., Arase, K., & Bray, G. A. Effect of intrahypothalamic hydroxybutyrate on sympathetic firing rate. Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental, 1988, 37, 732-735.

3. Sun, M., Martin, R. J., & Edwards, G. L. ICV beta-hydroxybutyrate: Effects on food intake, body composition, and body weight in rats. Physiology & Behavior, 1997, 61, 433-436.

4. Arase, K., York, D. A., Shargill, N. S., & Bray, G. A. (1987). Effect of cerebroventricular infusions of insulin and beta-hydroxybutyrate on food-intake and thermogenesis in the rat. Clinical Research, 35, A767.

5. John C. Newmana,b, Eric Verdin, Beta-hydroxybutyrate: Much more than a metabolite, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 2014, 106(2):173-81

6. Solem, E. The absolute configuration of β-aminoisobutyric acid formed by degradation of thymine in man. Clinica Chimica Acta. 1974,53, 183–190.


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