Many herbs are touted to be effective ingredients in testosterone-boosting supplements – and one of them is fenugreek. Let’s take a look at the claims about its efficacy in this matter. Based on the following discussions, you can make a smarter decision about getting fenugreek-infused supplements or eating more fenugreek to boost your body’s testosterone production.
What Is Fenugreek?
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual plant belonging to the Fabaceae family. While it’s cultivated worldwide in semiarid conditions, it is most commonly associated with Indian dishes.
Fenugreek has a distinctive sweet smell and great flavor, thus, its popularity in dishes. When used for culinary purposes, fenugreek is used in the following ways:
- As an herb, both the fresh and dried leaves
- As a spice via the seeds
- As a vegetable and garnish, such as the sprouts, fresh leaves, and micro-greens
The seeds, which range in color from yellow to amber, are often used in dishes from the Indian subcontinent. These are used either in their whole or powdered form in the preparation of vegetable dishes, pickles and daals, as well as in spice mixes (e.g., sambar and panch phoron).
Aside from its culinary uses, fenugreek also provides the following nutrients per 100 grams of leaves:
- 49 calories
- 6% carbohydrates
- 4% protein
- Less than 1% fat
- 40% of the daily values (DV) for calcium
The seeds are also rich with nutrients including (per 100 grams):
- 46% DV for protein
- 98% DV for dietary fiber
- 186% DV for iron
Other nutrients include dietary minerals and B vitamins. Fenugreek seeds also contain beneficial chemicals, such as flavonoids (i.e., antioxidants), coumarins, and saponins.
Indeed, the consumption of fenugreek leaves and seeds will provide health benefits, thanks to these nutrients. But emphasis must be made that moderation is the key in enjoying fenugreek’s nutritional benefits.
What Is Fenugreek’s Effect on Testosterone?
Several scientific studies have been conducted regarding the effect of fenugreek on the body’s testosterone production.
- Fenugreek inhibits the action of enzymes responsible for the breakdown of testosterone.
Aromatase and reductases are enzymes that breakdown testosterone into other forms. For example, aromatase transforms testosterone into estradiol during the final steps in estrogen biosynthesis. Reductases are involved in steroid metabolism and, thus testosterone breakdown.
When fenugreek is introduced into the diet, the actions of these enzymes are inhibited. This means that most of the testosterone naturally produced by the body can stay in its original form. The body’s testosterone levels can be maintained, even increased, with regular intake of fenugreek in dishes and supplements.
- Fenugreek has a significant positive effect on male libido.
Testosterone is also closely related to the male libido, which refers to sexual drive and desire. The higher the testosterone levels, the higher the chances for a healthy libido in men, even among women.
In a double blind clinical study, 60 healthy males between the ages of 25 and 52 years without signs of erectile dysfunction were recruited. The group was divided into two – one group was given 600mg of a fenugreek-based dietary supplement while the other group was given a placebo.
After six weeks, the two groups were evaluated based on the benefits experienced by the study participants. The men who consumed the dietary supplement reported a significant increase in their sexual arousal, satisfaction and orgasm. Plus, they also reported increased satisfaction with their physical energy, muscle strength, and overall well-being, without affecting their mood and sleep patterns.
The researchers concluded that fenugreek extract has a significant positive effect on the physiological processes in male libido. The herb may also help in maintaining healthy testosterone levels.
- Fenugreek improves body composition particularly lean muscle mass.
Aside from the aromatase and reductases inhibitor qualities, body fat can also be reduced with regular and proper fenugreek intake. It must be noted that testosterone is responsible for efficient fat-burning and muscle-gaining activities among men. This explains the more muscular physique among men in comparison with women – males have significantly higher levels of testosterone than females.
In another clinical study, 30 trained athletes were recruited to determine the effects of fenugreek extract on them. For eight weeks, they consumed 500 milligrams of fenugreek extract on a daily basis, as well as engaged in muscle training every four days.
After eight weeks, their body composition, muscle strength, and body fat were measured. The participants reported increased muscle strength and lean muscle mass, as well as decreased body fat.
When consumed in recommended amounts, fenugreek has been shown to increase the levels of luteinizing hormone, prolactin, and testosterone in males. The herb has also been shows to improve overall immunity, physical vitality, and mental function.
But before you start consuming fenugreek in its natural state and in supplement form, you have to be careful. Keep in mind that too much of a good thing can be bad for your health, even with herbs like fenugreek.
Experts in testosterone-boosting supplements recommend a 500 milligram per day maximum dose for fenugreek extract and/or powder form. At this point, your body can absorb the nutrients and use it in an optimum manner.
Your body can experience side effects with over-consumption including but not limited to:
- Hypoglycemia, the bnormal decrease in blood sugar level, which can be fatal for diabetics. In fact, if you suspect that you have to you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, you should first consult with your doctor.
Fenugreek can also interfere with the actions of certain medications. If you’re on a medication plan, you should ask your doctor about contraindications with fenugreek, just to be safe. You may or may not also have allergic reactions to fenugreek.
If you’re good to go on fenugreek extract or supplements, then you should also consider stacking it with other dietary vitamins and minerals. You can, for example, combine zinc and magnesium with fenugreek extract since these two minerals also aid in better testosterone production.
You will find plenty of dietary supplements that combine fenugreek extracts with vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts, among other ingredients. These products are usually marketed as testosterone boosters, many of which are actually effective especially when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program.