Antioxidants are compounds that protect cells from free radical damage. These are molecules with unpaired electrons, which makes them unstable and reactive.
When the level of free radicals in your body becomes too high, oxidative stress occurs. It is related to the occurrence and progression of many chronic diseases, such as certain cancers, heart and neurodegenerative diseases.
Antioxidants can neutralize free radicals, prevent cell damage and control free radical levels.
Nutmeg is rich in antioxidants, including plant pigments such as anthocyanins, essential oils such as phenylpropanoids and terpenes , and phenolic compounds such as protocatechuic acid, ferulic acid and caffeic acid. .
An animal study showed that consumption of nutmeg extract can prevent cell damage in rats treated with isoproterenol, a drug known to cause severe oxidative stress.
Due to the treatment, the rats that did not receive the nutmeg extract experienced significant tissue damage and cell death. In contrast, rats that received nutmeg extract did not experience these effects.
Test tube studies also show that nutmeg extract has a powerful antioxidant effect on free radicals.
Chronic inflammation is associated with many adverse health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Nutmeg is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds called monoterpenes, including acerene, terpineol, and pinene. These may help reduce inflammation in your body and benefit people with inflammation.
More importantly, the various antioxidants found in spices, such as anthocyanins and phenolic compounds, also have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
One study injected mice with an inflammation-producing solution and then gave some nutmeg oil. Inflammation, inflammation-related pain, and joint swelling were significantly reduced in rats consuming this oil.
Nutmeg is considered by inhibiting promoting inflammatory to reduce inflammation enzyme. However, more research is needed to investigate its anti-inflammatory effects on humans.
Some animal studies have shown that nutmeg can enhance libido and sexual performance.
In one study, male rats given a high dose of nutmeg extract (227 mg per pound or 500 mg per kg body weight) had a significant increase in sexual activity and performance time compared with the control group.
A similar study showed that compared with the control group, giving male mice the same high dose of nutmeg extract significantly increased their sexual activity.
Researchers are still not sure exactly how spices enhance sexual desire. Some people speculate that these effects are due to its ability to stimulate the nervous system and its high content of potent plant compounds.
In traditional medicine, such as the Unani medical system used in South Asia, nutmeg is used to treat sexual disorders. However, there is a lack of research on its impact on human sexual health.
Nutmeg has been shown to have antibacterial effects against potentially harmful bacterial strains.
Bacteria like Streptococcus mutans and Aggregating Actinomycetes can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
A test tube study found that nutmeg extract showed a powerful antibacterial effect against these bacteria and other bacteria (including Porphyromonas gingivalis). It is well known that these bacteria can cause tooth decay and gum inflammation.
Nutmeg has also been found to inhibit the growth of harmful strains of E. coli , such as O157, which can cause serious illness and even death in humans.
Although nutmeg obviously has antibacterial properties, more human studies are needed to determine whether it can treat bacterial infections or prevent human oral health problems related to bacteria.
Although research is limited, research suggests that nutmeg may have the following effects:
- May be good for heart health. Animal studies have shown that taking high-dose nutmeg supplements can reduce heart disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels, but human studies are lacking.
- Can boost the mood. Rodent studies have found that nutmeg extract has significant antidepressant effects on mice and rats. Research is needed to determine whether nutmeg extract has the same effect on humans.
- Can improve blood sugar control. A study in rats showed that high-dose nutmeg extract treatment can significantly reduce blood sugar levels and enhance pancreatic function.
However, these health effects have only been tested on animals using high-dose nutmeg extract.
Human studies are needed to determine whether high-dose fragrance supplements are safe and effective for humans.