Type 2 DiabetesFenugreek seeds are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption.Fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down carbohydrate digestion and absorption.1 Animal research suggests that fenugreek may also contain a substance that stimulates insulin production and improves blood sugar control.2[REF] In a controlled trial, incorporating 15 grams of powdered fenugreek seed into a meal eaten by people with type 2 diabetes reduced the rise in blood glucose following the meal.3 Another controlled trial found that taking 2.5 grams of fenugreek twice a day for three months reduced blood sugar levels in people with mild, but not those with severe, type 2 diabetes.4 In a double-blind study, 1 gram per day of an extract of fenugreek seeds for two months improved some measures of blood sugar control and insulin function in people with type 2 diabetes.5
How It Works
Fenugreek seeds contain alkaloids (mainly trigonelline) and protein high in lysine and L-tryptophan. Its steroidal saponins (diosgenin, yamogenin, tigogenin, and neotigogenin) and mucilaginous fiber are thought to account for many of the beneficial effects of fenugreek. The steroidal saponins are thought to inhibit cholesterol absorption and synthesis,6 while the fiber may help lower blood sugar levels.7 One human study found that fenugreek can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels in people with moderate atherosclerosis and non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes.8 Preliminary and double-blind trials have found that fenugreek helps improve blood sugar control in patients with insulin-dependent (type 1) and non-insulin-dependent (type 2) diabetes.9,10,11 Double-blind trials have shown that fenugreek lowers elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood,12,13 This has also been found in a controlled clinical trial with diabetic patients with elevated cholesterol.14 Generally, fenugreek does not lower HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.