Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum) Health Benefits and Side Effects

Fenugreeks are plants with spicy favor in their seeds, genus Trigonella, belonging to the family Fabaceae, native to the Middle East. The plant is cultivated worldwide as food sources. In herbal medicine, fenugreeks have been used to reduce cholesterol, promote breast milk supply, enhance stomach function in food absorption and to treat indigestion, delayed labor, common cold, etc.

Health benefits
1. Metabolic disorders
In the investigation of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) and its effect on metabolic disorder found that fenugreek dose-dependently reduced the hepatic triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. Fenugreek also dose-dependently increased the excretion of cholesterol and total bile acids into the feces, according to "Dose-dependent effects, safety and tolerability of fenugreek in diet-induced metabolic disorders in rats" by Muraki E, Hayashi Y, Chiba H, Tsunoda N, Kasono K(1)

2. Diabetes
Fenugreek enhances the stomach function in foods absorption as a result of its effect on carbohydrate metabolism. In a study of "Fenugreek bread: a treatment for diabetes mellitus" by Losso JN, Holliday DL, Finley JW, Martin RJ, Rood JC, Yu Y, Greenway FL.(2) researchers found that fenugreek flour impacts bread quality negatively. The bread maintained fenugreek's functional property of reducing insulin resistance. Acceptable baked products can be prepared with added fenugreek, which will reduce insulin resistance and treat type 2 diabetes.

3. Hypertension
In the research of Fenugreek and its effect on severe complications of diabetes such as obesity and hypertension found that this formulation Om3/terp exhibit attractive properties and can, therefore, be considered for future application in the development of anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive and hypolipidemic foods, according to "Inhibitory potential of omega-3 fatty and fenugreek essential oil on key enzymes of carbohydrate-digestion and hypertension in diabetes rats" by Hamden K, Keskes H, Belhaj S, Mnafgui K, Feki A, Allouche N.(3)

4. Lactation
In the assessment of galactogogues based on herbs and other natural substances (fenugreek, galega and milk thistle) and theirs effect on breast milk production found that doses for galactogogic effect, and recommendation for breastfeeding, according to "Safety and efficacy of galactogogues: substances that induce, maintain and increase breast milk production" by Zuppa AA, Sindico P, Orchi C, Carducci C, Cardiello V, Romagnoli C.(4)

5. Anti cancers
In the demonstration of extract (FE) from the seeds of the plant Trigonella foenum graecum, commonly called fenugreek and its cytotoxic effect found that death of cancer cells occurs despite growth stimulatory pathways being simultaneously upregulated (phosphorylated) by FE. Thus, these studies add another biologically active agent to our armamentarium of naturally occurring agents with therapeutic potential, according to "Fenugreek: a naturally occurring edible spice as an anticancer agent" by Shabbeer S, Sobolewski M, Anchoori RK, Kachhap S, Hidalgo M, Jimeno A, Davidson N, Carducci MA, Khan SR.(5)

6. Colon cancer
In the evaluation of the Fenugreek mechanism of tumor growth inhibition of diosgenin in HT-29 human colon cancer cells found that diosgenin induced apoptosis in HT-29 cells at least in part by inhibition of bcl-2 and by induction of caspase-3 protein expression. On the basis of these findings, the fenugreek constituent diosgenin seems to have potential as a novel colon cancer preventive agent, according to "Diosgenin, a steroid saponin of Trigonella foenum graecum (Fenugreek), inhibits azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci formation in F344 rats and induces apoptosis in HT-29 human colon cancer cells" by Raju J, Patlolla JM, Swamy MV, Rao CV.(6)

7. Breast cancer
In the evaluation of the Chemopreventive activities of Fenugreek seeds as a potential protective effect against 7,12-dimethylbenz(alpha)anthracene (DMBA)-induced breast cancer found that Fenugreek seeds' extract significantly inhibited the DMBA-induced mammary hyperplasia and decreased its incidence. Epidemiological studies also implicate apoptosis as a mechanism that might mediate the Fenugreek's anti-breast cancer protective effects, according to "Chemopreventive activities of Trigonella foenum graecum (Fenugreek) against breast cancer" by Amin A, Alkaabi A, Al-Falasi S, Daoud SA.(7)

8. Male Libido Enhancement
In the evaluation of the effect of Testofen, a standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek) extract and mineral formulation, on male libido (sexual drive, urge or desire) found that 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, according to "Physiological Aspects of Male Libido Enhanced by Standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum Extract and Mineral Formulation" by Steels E, Rao A, Vitetta L.(8)

9. Sperm abnormalities
In the identification the reproductive effect of oral treatment of fenugreek steroids, designated F(steroids), to diabetic rats during 30 days found that F(steroids) administration to surviving diabetic rats significantly decreased the sperm shape abnormality and improved the sperm count. Above all, the potential protective action of reproductive systems was approved by the histological study of testis and epididymis, according to "Potential protective effect on key steroidogenesis and metabolic enzymes and sperm abnormalities by fenugreek steroids in testis and epididymis of surviving diabetic rats" by Hamden K, Jaouadi B, Carreau S, Aouidet A, El-Fazaa S, Gharbi N, Elfeki A.(9)

10. Antioxidants
In the study of total phenolics and antioxidant activities of fenugreek, green tea, black tea, grape seed, ginger, rosemary, gotu kola, and ginkgo extracts found that The total phenolics of the plant extracts, determined by the Folin-Ciocalteu method, ranged from 24.8 to 92.5 mg of chlorogenic acid equivalent/g dry material. The antioxidant activities of methanolic extracts determined by conjugated diene measurement of methyl linoleate were 3.4-86.3%. The antioxidant activity of the extracts using chicken fat by an oxidative stability instrument (4.6-10.2 h of induction time), according to "Total phenolics and antioxidant activities of fenugreek, green tea, black tea, grape seed, ginger, rosemary, gotu kola, and ginkgo extracts, vitamin E, and tert-butylhydroquinone" by Rababah TM, Hettiarachchy NS, Horax R.(10)

11. Hypocholesterolemic and antioxidative effect
In the comparison of the effect of natural diosgenin extracted from fenugreek seeds with the pure standard diosgenin, plus chromium chloride (CrCl3) supplementation on high-cholesterol fed Japanese quails found that the combined diosgenin and CrCl3 supplementation to high-cholesterol fed quails might induce a protective effect by both regulating lipid and antioxidative damage, according to "The hypocholesterolemic and antioxidative effect of dietary diosgenin and chromium chloride supplementation on high-cholesterol fed Japanese quails" by Al-Matubsi HY, Nasrat NA, Oriquat GA, Abu-Samak M, Al-Mzain KA, Salim M.(11)

12. Anti inflammatory effect
In the investigation of diosgenin found in Fenugreek and its inflammatory effects in adipose tissues cause insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, found that t fenugreek ameliorated diabetes by promoting adipocyte differentiation and inhibiting inflammation in adipose tissues, and its effects are mediated by diosgenin. Fenugreek containing diosgenin may be useful for ameliorating the glucose metabolic disorder associated with obesity, according to "Diosgenin present in fenugreek improves glucose metabolism by promoting adipocyte differentiation and inhibiting inflammation in adipose tissues" by Uemura T, Hirai S, Mizoguchi N, Goto T, Lee JY, Taketani K, Nakano Y, Shono J, Hoshino S, Tsuge N, Narukami T, Takahashi N, Kawada T.(12)

13. Cataractogenesis
In the evaluation of the anticataract potential of Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn seeds (fenugreek) in selenite-induced in vitro and in vivo cataract found that a significant restoration in the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (P < 0.01), catalase, (P < 0.01), glutathione peroxidase (P < 0.01), and glutathione-S-transferase (P < 0.01) was observed in the T. foenum-graecum supplemented group as compared to control. In vivo, none of the eyes was found with nuclear cataract in treated group as opposed to 72.5% in the control group, according to "Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek) protects against selenite-induced oxidative stress in experimental cataractogenesis" by Gupta SK, Kalaiselvan V, Srivastava S, Saxena R, Agrawal SS.(13)

14. Etc.

Side Effects
1. Do not use the herb if you are pregnant without approval from the related field specialist
2. It may cause gastrointestinal distress such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating if overdose
3. Prolonged usage may cause skin sensitization and irritation.
4. The herb may interact with certain medication
5. It may cay cause allergic effect to some people including nasal congestion, coughing, wheezing, facial swelling, etc.
6. Etc.

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