Fenugreek Health Benefits
Fenugreek health benefits include an ability to improve libido and sexual function, raise testosterone levels, and perhaps help fight prostate cancer. It has also been suggested that fenugreek can lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels, and that it may be helpful in cardiovascular disease.
Fenugreek is an herb commonly found growing in the Mediterranean area. Its seeds and leaves are a favorite spice for many dishes, but fenugreek health benefits also are of great interest. Because fenugreek has some estrogen-like properties, for example, it may help increase libido.
Fenugreek also contains phytochemicals called saponins and sapogenins, which some credit with raising testosterone levels and improving libido. In a study conducted for a manufacturer of fenugreek supplements, 60 healthy men were randomly assigned to take either 300 mg of fenugreek twice daily or placebo for eight weeks. At the end of the study, men who took fenugreek showed a significant increase in testosterone levels when compared with the placebo group. (Gencor Nutrients 2008)
In another study for the same manufacturer, a combination supplement consisting of fenugreek, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B6 was randomly assigned to 27 males ages 25 to 50. An additional 27 men received a placebo. None of the men had erectile dysfunction and all were in stable relationships and in good health. At the midpoint and end of the six-week trial, men in the treated group reported higher scores on questions concerning libido, sexual function, and sexual performance than did men in the placebo group. (Gencor Nutrients 2009)
So far, only one scientific study has indicated fenugreek health benefits may include being a help in fighting prostate cancer. (Shabbeer 2009) The research was conducted by experts at Johns Hopkins University. The investigators found that fenugreek extract killed prostate, breast, and pancreatic cancer cells but not normal cells. Since the research on fenugreek and prostate cancer cells was done in a petri dish, it’s difficult to determine how much might be effective in fighting cancer.
The recommended dose to lower cholesterol or for diabetes is 5 grams of seeds daily. (Drugs.com) Another way to enjoy fenugreek health benefits is to add a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to food or even swallow them with some water, which are popular ways to fight indigestion and heartburn.
Gencor Nutrients. Clinical study for improvement of male sexual function. 2009
Gencor Nutrients. Effect of Testofen on safety, anabolic activity and factors affecting exercise physiology. 2008
Shabbeer S, Sobolewski M. Anchoori RK, Kachhap S, Davidson N, Carducci MA, Khan SR. Fenugreek: A naturally occurring edible spice as an anticancer agent. Cancer Biol Ther 2009 Feb 18; 8(3).