Fenugreek

(Known as Trigonella foenumgraecum, Fenugreek)

tickHerbal
tickControls carbohydrate
tickControls appetite
tickAids definition & fat loss
tickHerbal
How does it work?
Fenugreek seeds are used as a spice in Asia and Europe. They contain a soluble fiber known as mucilage, which may lower blood sugar and control cholesterol levels by slowing the digestion and absorption of food. Fenugreek may also promote weight loss by suppressing your appetite and making you feel fuller for longer.
Who is it used for?
Its effect on blood sugar control makes fenugreek useful for diabetics, although this should be discussed with a doctor or other suitably qualified health professional. Individuals wanting to lose weight may also benefit from Fenugreeks effect on fat absorption and appetite control.
How does it work?
Several studies show that fenugreek improves blood sugar control in diabetics. The soluble fibre in fenugreek seeds can also reduce the absorption of dietary fat as well as aid appetite control by creating a sensation of "fullness."

In one study, powdered fenugreek seeds were shown to lower blood sugar and insulin levels following a meal in non-insulin dependent diabetics [2]. In a group of insulin-dependent diabetic patients, fenugreek seed powder (100 grams in two equally divided doses with lunch and dinner) was shown to improve blood sugar control over a 10-day period. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides were also lowered, with no change in HDL levels.

The most active compound in fenugreek appears to be 4-hydroxyisoleucine, although other constituents (such as fibre) may also be responsible for its beneficial effects. Animal research also shows that 4-hydroxyisoleucine improves blood sugar control by stimulating insulin secretion [1].
How do I use it?
Defatted fenugreek seed powder is available as raw powder to be added to other foods or liquids and in capsule/tablet form. Consumption of 15-20 grams per day is effective in controlling blood sugar, while higher levels (up to 100 grams) may be needed to effectively suppress appetite for weight loss purposes. If you want to use a Fenugreek supplement, we recommend the Solgar brand

What results can I expect?
Fenugreek may help to improve blood sugar control in patients with diabetes. Like other sources of fibre, fenugreek can aid weight control by reducing dietary fat absorption and making you feel fuller for longer.

What can it be combined with?
If you are taking diabetes medications such as insulin or oral hypoglycemics, fenugreek may enhance their effect, causing excessively low blood sugar. Because of this, its best to seek the advice of a health professional before using it with medications for diabetes.

1. Broca C, Gross R, Petit P, Sauvaire Y, Manteghetti M, Tournier M, Masiello P, Gomis R, Ribes G. (1999). 4-Hydroxyisoleucine: experimental evidence of its insulinotropic and antidiabetic properties. American Journal of Physiology, E277, 617-623
2. Madar Z, Abel R, Samish S, Arad J. (1988). Glucose-lowering effect of fenugreek in non-insulin dependent diabetics. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 42, 51-54
3. Sharma RD, Raghuram TC, Rao NS. (1990). Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 44, 301-306

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