Fenugreek Common Names - fenugreek, fenugreek seed; Latin Name - Trigonella foenum-graecum
Fenugreek is an erect annual herb with white flowers native to southern Europe and Asia. Fenugreek seeds are hard, yellowish brown and angular, with a side of about 3mm. These seeds may benefit people suffered from various conditions such as wounds, abscesses, arthritis, bronchitis, and digestive problems. In ancient China, herbalists used it for problems of kidney and male reproductive tracts. People may roast the seeds or store them as dried seeds. _____________________________________________________________________________________
FENUGREEK BENEFITS Fenugreek seeds are rich source of trigonelline, lysine and l-tryptophan and they also contain a large about of steroidal saponins and fibers. These two elements are thought to account for many benefits of fenugreek. The steroidal saponins may inhibit cholesterol absorption and synthesis while fiber is thought to help lower sugar levels [2,3]. Studies have shown that fenugreek helped lower cholesterol, blood sugar levels in patients suffered from diabetes. [4-10]. Further, fenugreek has been found to benefit breastfeeding or milk supply. ____________________________________________________________________________________
Scientific Supports for Fenugreek Benefits
Fenugreek benefits people suffered from diabetes
Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1990 Apr;44(4):301-6. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2194788 Clinical Study! The fenugreek diet significantly reduced fasting blood sugar and improved the glucose tolerance test. There was a 54 per cent reduction in 24-h urinary glucose excretion. Serum total cholesterol, LDL and VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides were also significantly reduced. The HDL cholesterol fraction, however, remained unchanged. These results indicate the usefulness of fenugreek seeds in the management of diabetes.
Meta-analysis of the effect of herbal supplement on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Aug 5. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21843614 Review of Clinical Studies The current evidence suggests that supplementation with Ipomoea batatas, Silybum marianum, and Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) may improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetes. _________________________________________________________________________________
Does fenugreek enhance men's libido? Physiological Aspects of Male Libido Enhanced by Standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum Extract and Mineral Formulation. Phytother Res. 2011 Feb 10. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3360. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21312304 The study recruited 60 healthy males aged between 25 and 52, without erectile dysfunction and randomized to an oral dose (two tablets per day) of the active treatment (600 mg Testofen per day) or placebo for 6 weeks. Testofen is a standardized Fenugreek extract and mineral formulation. Testofen had a positive effect on QOL in self-reported satisfaction with muscle strength, energy and well-being but did not have an effect on mood or sleep. Serum prolactin and testosterone levels remained within the reference range. It was concluded that Testofen demonstrated a significant positive effect on physiological aspects of libido and may assist to maintain normal healthy testosterone levels. _________________________________________________________________________________
Fenugreek benefits on heartburn. Anti-heartburn effects of a fenugreek fiber product. Phytother Res. 2011 Jan;25(1):88-91. LInk:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20623611 Clinical: In a pilot study of subjects with frequent heartburn, 2 week intake of a fenugreek fiber product, taken 30 min before two meals/day, diminished heartburn severity. This study suggests that people with certain degrees of heartburn can benefit from a fenugreek fiber product. ___________________________________________________________________________________
Fenugreek effects on gallstone formulation Fenugreek seeds reduce atherogenic diet-induced cholesterol gallstone formation in experimental mice. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2009 Nov;87(11):933-43. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19935901 Cholesterol gallstones was induced by maintaining mice on a lithogenic diet (0.5% cholesterol) for 10 weeks. Fenugreek seed powder was included at 5%, 10%, and 15% of this lithogenic diet. Dietary fenugreek significantly lowered the incidence of cholesterol gallstones in these mice; the incidence was 63%, 40%, and 10% in the 5%, 10%, and 15% fenugreek groups, respectively, compared with 100% in the lithogenic control. The antilithogenic influence of fenugreek is attributable to its hypocholesterolemic effect. Serum cholesterol level was decreased by 26%-31% by dietary fenugreek, while hepatic cholesterol was lowered by 47%-64% in these high cholesterol-fed animals. Biliary cholesterol was 8.73-11.2 mmol/L as a result of dietary fenugreek, compared with 33.6 mmol/L in high-cholesterol feeding without fenugreek.
Fenugreek's estrogenic effects In vitro estrogenic activities of fenugreek Trigonella foenum graecum seeds. Indian J Med Res. 2010 Jun;131:814-9. Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20571172 Earlier reports show that fenugreek seeds provide a mastogenic effect resulting in enhanced breast size. Chloroform extracts of fenugreek seeds stimulated the proliferation of estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer cells, MCF-7 cells, showed binding to ER (IC(50) = 185.6 +/- 32.8 microg/ ml) and acted as an agonist for estrogen receptor mediated transcription via ERE. It also induced the expression of estrogen responsive gene pS2 in MCF-7 cells.
FENUGREEK SIDE EFFECTS Fenugreek side effects may include diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating and urine odor. High doses of fenugreek seeds may further cause nausea. Fenugreek may stimulate uterine, pregnant women should avoid fenugreek. Fenugreek side effects may also include internal bleeding, skin irritation and allergy.
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