Submitted by Thiruvelan on Wed, 06/20/2012
Fenugreek May Help Lower Cholesterol

Fenugreek’s steroidal saponins are capable of inhibiting cholesterol absorption and synthesis. Trials have shown that fenugreek reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

What is Fenugreek? How does it reduce cholesterol?

What is Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)? Fenugreek seeds are hard, yellowish-brown, angular, and with a side of about three millimeters. Fenugreek is native to India and southern Europe. For centuries, it has grown in India, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. In India and China, it has been in use to treat arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase libido and male potency, cure skin problems (wounds, rashes, and boils), treat a sore throat, and cure acid reflux. It has studied for its cardiovascular benefits.

How does Fenugreek reduce your cholesterol level? Cholesterol reducing property of fenugreek remains unclear, potential mechanisms of action include reduced intestinal cholesterol absorption and increased bile acid production. Liver requires cholesterol to produce more bile acid and the more bile acid produced; then more cholesterol used up.

Fenugreek exhibits hypocholesterolemic, and hypolipidemic activity. Fenugreek's galactomannan fiber and saponin content have believed to be responsible for cholesterol absorption and increase bile acid excretion. Dietary intake of fenugreek normalizes the activity of lipid metabolizing enzymes.

How does fenugreek reduce heart diseases & strokes risk?

Fenugreek has antioxidant property; this is due to the presence of glutathione and beta-carotene in the fenugreek seeds. This antioxidant property prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, this in-turn stop’s inflammation of arteries, and so no plaque formation. Thus, fenugreek's antioxidant property helps to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart diseases. Also, fenugreek reduces the LDL level in the blood, which in turn reduces the risk to heart diseases.

8 Medicinal Uses of Fenugreek

  1. Fenugreek can help to improve your lipid profile; it reduces total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL.
  2. Fenugreek can help in treating diabetes and reduce the blood-glucose level, so it is considering as fenugreek diabetes herb.
  3. Fenugreek seed contains mucilage, which helps to soothing gastrointestinal inflammation by coating a line in the stomach and intestine, effective for heartburn (or acid reflux).
  4. Reduces cardiovascular risk - fenugreek lower cholesterol, blood sugar, enhance gastrointestinal function, and possess anti-inflammatory property thus it lower cardiovascular risk.
  5. Fenugreek is an effective topical treatment for skin problems such as abscesses, burns, boils, eczema, and gout.
  6. The use of fenugreek significantly increased breast milk, among breastfeeding mothers.
  7. Reduces menstrual discomfort - it opens up obstructed menses to make the processes work smoothly and comfortably.
  8. Minimizes menopause symptoms - Fenugreek contains the chemicals similar to the female sex hormone estrogen. Loss of estrogen causes menopausal symptoms, thus eating fenugreek reduces menopausal symptoms.

Recommended fenugreek daily dosage

Fenugreek to help reduces high triglyceride levels; your daily dosage may be closer to 10 to 30 g defatted seed powder each day. If you are taking fenugreek as a tincture, take three to four mL dose, three times each day.

Fenugreek available in different forms

Fenugreek is of different forms; they are raw fenugreek seeds and defatted fenugreek seed powder. Fenugreek supplements are available as tablets, capsules, and tincture.

How do you take fenugreek?

Fenugreek seeds can be chewed well and swallow slowly. Fenugreek seed powder or defatted seed powder can swallow with milk. Fenugreek supplements are available as tablets, capsules, and tincture it is convenient to take.

Bioactive constituents of fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds are a rich source of the polysaccharide galactomannan. They also contain diosgenin, yamogenin, gitogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogens. Other bioactive constituents of fenugreek include mucilage, volatile oils, and alkaloids such as choline and trigonelline.

Scientific Evidence for Fenugreek as natural cholesterol herb

A study with a title “Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes” published in Eur J Clin Nutr. 1990 Apr;44(4):301-6. The result shows total serum cholesterol, LDL and VLDL cholesterol and triglycerides were reducing significantly. The HDL cholesterol fraction, however, remained unchanged.

Possible side effects & medicine interaction of fenugreek

While Fenugreek is considering being safe when used moderately, there have been reports of a few minor side effects. Nausea is one common side effect, while other people have reported gastrointestinal discomfort (diarrhea and gas). It is not recommendable to use Fenugreek use during pregnancy since it has the potential to induce labor.