4 Health Benefits Of Fenugreek For Men
Let’s talk about:
The benefits of Fenugreek - for men:
Men in India have traditionally used this herb to enhance performance, health, and wellbeing.
Fast forward to today:
It’s become a popular (almost expected) ingredient in test booster supplements.
But does it work?
Let’s review the science.
What is Fenugreek?
Tigonella foenum-graecum, aka Fenugreek or Greek Hay, is a herb that’s part of the pea family (Fabaceae). It is most popular in Arabic regions and in India, where it has traditionally been used to enhance aspects of male health.
The most commonly used part of the plant are its seeds, which can be used in cooking as well as in making medicine.
Although known to possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-diabetic properties, today fenugreek is a primary ingredient in many of the best-selling testosterone supplements on the market.
Human Trial #1
Number of Subjects
30 resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to ingest either 500mg of fenugreek or placebo once per day for 8 weeks. Participants were also put on a 4-day/week weight lifting program.
At the end of 8 weeks, the subjects supplementing with fenugreek experienced an average increase of 6.57% in total testosterone and 12.26% increase in bioavailable testosterone levels. The subjects given placebo experienced a 15.3% decrease in total testosterone and 16.7% decrease in bioavailable testosterone.
As for the strength increases, they were statistically insignificant across both groups.
Human Trial #2
Number of Subjects
60 healthy men without ED between the ages of 25 and 52 were given either 600mg of fenugreek or placebo for 6 weeks.
Researchers reported that fenugreek supplementation had an overall positive impact on physiological aspects of libido. Testosterone levels, however, remained the same between both groups.
Human Trial #3
Number of Subjects
45 resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to ingest either 500mg of fenugreek or placebo once per day for 8 weeks. Participants were also put on a 4-day/week periodized resistance-training program.
At the end of 8 weeks, testosterone levels remained relatively the same amongst subjects in both groups.
The subjects receiving fenugreek, however, experienced a 9.42% decrease in DHT levels.
Human Trial #4
Increased lean mass, decreased body fat
Number of Subjects
30 resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to ingest a daily dose of either 500 mg of fenugreek or placebo. For 8 weeks, the subjects were also put on 4-day/week training program.
After 8 weeks, the subjects that received fenugreek experienced greater decreases in body fat percentage (-1.8% vs -0.05%) and greater increases in lean muscle mass (2.4kg vs 1kg) compared to placebo.
Human Trial #5
Number of Subjects
49 resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to ingest either 500mg of fenugreek or placebo over the course of 8 weeks. Subjects were also put on a 4-day/week periodized training program during this time.
Compared to placebo, the fenugreek group lost more body fat (-2.3% vs -0.39%) and gained more strength on their leg press 1-RM (85kg vs 48kg) and bench press 1-RM (9kg vs 4kg).
The fenugreek group experienced a 10% decrease in free testosterone levels. The placebo group, on the other hand, actually experienced a 17% increase in free testosterone.
Other Benefits Of Fenugreek
Fenugreek can help with other areas of your health. Below are 5 proven benefits of fenugreek.
1. Better Digestion
Fenugreek can help with a number of digestive problems.
2. Improved Markers of Cholesterol
Fenugreek has also been shown to benefit those with heart conditions.
In one study, patients suffering from coronary artery disease, fenugreek significantly lowered total cholesterol and triglycerides, without affecting HDL cholesterol (3).
3. Boosts Libido
Human Trial #2 cited above showed improved markers of physiological aspects of libido in men supplementing with 600mg of fenugreek over a course of 6 weeks (4).
Although this finding is not reliable (since its based on self-reports) it’s still interesting to note.
When applied directly to the skin fenugreek can reduce external inflammation (5). This makes it an effective treatment for conditions such as:
Fenugreek applied to the skin can cause irritation, so it’s important that you test with a little bit before going all in.
5. Adds flavour to food
In India, fenugreek is a common ingredient in many spice blends. It is also used to add flavour to curries (6).
Several of the studies cited above report tremendous muscle and strength gains in subjects supplementing with fenugreek. But the important point to note is that both of those studies were funded by Indus Biotech, the company that manufactures Torabolic (a fenugreek supplement).
Sure the studies may be published in reputable scientific journals, but the results should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Also, one human trial showed no differences in muscle and strength amongst placebo and subjects supplementing with fenugreek. So regarding bodybuilding, the results are inconclusive.
Possible Side-Effects of Fenugreek
When taken by mouth, fenugreek can cause stomach irritation in the form of gas, bloating, and diarrhea. When applied to the skin, it can cause irritation.
In people with bleeding disorders, fenugreek can aggravate the problem and cause excessive bleeding.
If you’re on blood-thinning medications, or suffer from any other condition for that matter, consult with a doctor before using fenugreek.
Here’s the full list:
- Upset stomach
- “Maple syrup” odor in urine
- Nasal congestion
- Facial Swelling
- Allergic reactions
- Lower blood sugar in diabetics
Trigonella foenum-graecum, aka Fenugreek, is a herb from India that has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac.
Although Fenugreek is a common ingredient in many best-selling testosterone boosters, the science refutes its ability to have any significant impact on T. Here’s a look at the 3 human trials:
- 500mg of Fenugreek supplementation in resistance-trained men was only enough to increase their bioavailable testosterone levels by 12.26% after 8 weeks of use (1).
- 600mg of Fenugreek supplementation in healthy men (without ED) for 6 weeks improved their physiological aspects of libido without any impact on testosterone (2).
- 500mg of fenugreek supplementation in resistance-trained men had no impact on testosterone levels after 8 weeks of use. They did, however, experience a 9.42% decrease in DHT levels compared to placebo (3).
The above are the only 3 human trials that have been performed with Fenugreek and its interaction with testosterone. For the most part, we can conclude that its impact on testosterone is negligible. Even in the first study, the subjects’ levels increased by a mere 12%. This is nowhere near enough to experience any differences in energy, muscle-building, or quality of life.
In the third study, subjects’ experienced a 9.42% decrease in DHT levels. DHT is an androgen that is derived from testosterone. Basically everywhere in the body - except muscle tissue - the androgenic effect is carried out by DHT. It’s DHT, and not testosterone, that exerts its influence on our brain, skin, and prostate.
The jury is still out on the relationship between Fenugreek and testosterone. Some studies say yes, some neutral, and some show a negative correlation.
It has a relationship with testosterone is inconclusive.
But not all is lost.
If you want to get lean and increase your sex drive, then you will probably want to take a T booster containing fenugreek.
Fenugreek get’s a lot of crap from the bodybuilding community.
It comes down to inconsistencies in the definition of terms.
“Testosterone booster” has become increasingly convoluted over the past few decades. It is now an umbrella term that ambiguously means “male enhancement supplement”
Fenugreek is a male enhancement supplement and a possible testosterone booster.