Study demonstrates synergy between the standardized black seed oil ThymoQuin and vitamin D3


When combined with vitamin D3, ThymoQuin reduced inflammatory biomarkers and upregulated immune response.

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A recent study1 published in the Journal of Food & Nutritional Sciences investigated the immune health-modulating effects of black seed oil and vitamin D3 on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and on mice. MSCs can modulate inflammatory responses and sense different inflammatory signals. Two different black seed oils were used in the study: ThymoQuin (TQ), standardized to 3% thymoquinone and low free fatty acid, from Israel-based TriNutra, and a commercial black seed oil (CBSO) high in free fatty acid content.

In the in vitro portion of the study, MSCs were treated with TQ alone, CBSO alone, vitamin D3 alone, TQ with vitamin D3, and CBSO with vitamin D3 to examine the effects of each on MSC proliferation levels of inflammatory biomarkers, changes in lipid droplet number and size, adipocyte differentiation, mitochondrial biogenesis, and stem cell function. Researchers found that CBSO significantly increased average lipid droplet size when compared to control, while TQ reduced average lipid droplet size, even more so than vitamin D3 alone. The combination of TQ and vitamin D3 showed significant reductions in average lipid droplet size.

While CBSO increased TNF-alpha levels, TQ reduced the expression of the inflammatory cytokine. Overall, TQ reduced the size of large lipid droplets and effectively increased small lipid droplet area, and these effects were enhanced with the addition of vitamin D3. Researchers also observed increased mitochondrial biogenesis and energy metabolism in the presence of TQ, which was only enhanced with vitamin D3.

In the animal protocol, 20 mice were divided into five groups: 1) lean controls, 2) high fat diet (HFD), 3) HFD and treated for eight weeks with TQ, 4) HFD and treated for eight weeks with vitamin D3, and 5) HFD and treated for eight weeks with TQ and vitamin D3. After assessing angiogenesis in mouse liver tissue, researchers found that mice eating a HFD with TQ and vitamin D3 had higher levels of the antibodies ANG-1 and SDF-1, while the HFD diet alone had the lowest levels of those antibodies, demonstrating a influence on the immune system.

“I have long discussed the synergistic properties that are unique to black seed oil standardized to 3% thymoquinone and with very low free fatty acids,” said Morris Zelkha, co-founder and CEO of TriNutra, in a press release. “While previous focus has been mainly on its synergy with omega-3s, we are happy to share the results of ThymoQuin combined with vitamin D3 for improved immune support. Vitamin D3 is commonly recognized as a necessary part of good health, so seeing that we can enhance its effects with ThymoQuin opens a lot of possibilities for new products and further research.”


  1. Yeun K et al. “Beneficial effect of 3% thymoquinone on stem-cell-mediated improvement in immune system and anti-inflammatory function.” Journal of Food & Nutritional Sciences, vol. 3, no. 3 (2021): 63-74
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