Although the mechanisms underlying polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) aren’t yet clear, systemic inflammation may be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease. Green cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), a spice rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, appears to have anti-inflammatory properties that may have therapeutic effects in the context of PCOS.

    The study

    In this 4-month randomized controlled trial, 194 women (ages 18–45) with PCOS and obesity took 3 grams of green cardamom powder or placebo while also following a reduced calorie diet.

    The assessed outcomes were anthropometric indices, androgen hormones, and inflammatory markers and their gene expression.

    The results

    In terms of androgenic hormones, green cardamom powder improved participant levels of luteinizing hormone (−47%), androstenedione (−25%), dehydroepiandrosterone (−18%), and follicle-stimulating hormone (+46%).

    In terms of inflammatory markers, compared to placebo, green cardamom powder improved participant levels of interleukin-6 (−38%), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (−24%), and C-reactive protein (−58%) and reduced the gene expression of the latter two markers.

    Anthropometric indices, such as body weight, body fat percentage, and waist circumference, improved in both groups, with no noteworthy differences between groups.

    This Study Summary was published on September 1, 2021.