Increased plasma lipid profiles are among the most important risk factors of CHD and stroke. Sesame contains considerable amounts of vitamin E, MUFA, fibre and lignans, which are thought to be associated with its plasma lipid-lowering properties. This study aimed to systematically review the evidence and identify the effects of sesame consumption on blood lipid profiles using a meta-analysis of controlled trials. PubMed, CINAHL and Cochrane Library databases were searched (from 1960 to May 2015). A total of ten controlled trials were identified based on the eligibility criteria. Both the Cochrane Collaboration tool and the Rosendal scale were used to assess the risk of bias of the included studies. The meta-analysis results showed that consumption of sesame did not significantly change the concentrations of total blood cholesterol (−0·32 mmol/l; 95 % CI −0·75, 0·11; P=0·14, I
2=96 %), LDL-cholesterol (−0·15 mmol/l; 95 % CI −0·50, 0·19; P=0·39, I
2=96 %) or HDL-cholesterol (0·01 mmol/l; 95 % CI −0·00, 0·02; P=0·16, I
2=0 %). However, a significant reduction was observed in serum TAG levels (−0·24 mmol/l; 95 % CI −0·32, −0·15; P<0·001, I
2=84 %) after consumption of sesame. It was concluded that sesame consumption can significantly reduce blood TAG levels but there is insufficient evidence to support its hypocholesterolaemic effects. Further studies are required to determine the potential effect of sesame consumption on lipid profiles and cardiovascular risk factors.