Fenugreek and Your Testosterone Levels: Science-Backed Analysis

fenugreek testosterone

Fenugreek – an ancient herb that’s been used in alternative medicine for thousands of years.

Only recently though, it’s become popular as a supplement.

Maybe you haven’t heard of fenugreek before. Or maybe you have.

In either case, now it’s time to delve deeper and discover everything that this medicinal herb has to offer. Including its amazing benefits.

Fenugreek helps suppress inflammation within the body. It also enhances your reproductive health, improving libido and sex drive.

But what’s most surprising, is fenugreek’s effect on your testosterone levels.

Using science as our guide, we’ll look into how this herb affects the male hormone, along with the rest of its benefits, dosage, safety profile, and more.

Fenugreek Overview

You might be wondering: what exactly is fenugreek?

For starters, it’s a plant also known as Trigonella foenum-graecum.

Fenugreek can grow up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall. It produces green leaves and small white flowers. It has pods inside of which you’ll find fenugreek seeds – the part of the plant with the most health benefits. More on that soon…

Fenugreek might be a relatively new trend in the supplement industry, but the herb has been around for thousands of years. Ancient tribes and cultures have used it as a medicine to treat numerous conditions and diseases. [1]

Recently, it became popular for its use as a spice and thickening compound. You may also stumble across fenugreek as an ingredient in certain products – such as shampoos and soaps.

Remember those fenugreek seeds? They are often used in Indian and Asian cuisine due to their rich nutrient content and sweet(kind of) taste.

These seeds are also responsible for many of fenugreek’s health benefits. Which include improved digestion, reduced inflammation, better blood sugar levels, and much, much more.

Where Does It Come From?

Here’s some quick history for you.

The first usage of fenugreek dates back to 1500 B.C.

Egyptians used it for embalming corpses. Romans and Greeks used it as fodder for livestock. In fact, its Latin name, foenum graecum, literally means “Greek hay”.

Fenugreek was also often used by kings during ancient times. One of those kings was Charles the Great (Charlemagne), who used it in his imperial gardens.

This plant grows across Mediterranean regions, in southern Europe, and in some parts of Asia. Especially in India and China.

Will It Improve Your Testosterone Levels?

Onto the main question: can fenugreek raise your T-levels?

So far, many studies support the claim that it indeed boosts the male hormone. Most of the available research concludes that this herb not only increases testosterone, but also libido and sex drive.

Here’s one study for you. Researchers tested two groups of male students, 30 of them in total. They gave 500mg of fenugreek to 15 men, while the other 15 didn’t take anything. Both groups did strength training four times per week.

The results showed that the group who took fenugreek increased their testosterone levels and reduced their body fat, while the non-supplement group actually had reduced T-levels. [2]

Fenugreek Boosts Strength and Muscle Gains, Too

There’s another study that proves just how beneficial fenugreek is for men.

In the study, they tested 49 men who were undergoing resistance training. One group of men ingested a placebo, while the other group took 500mg of fenugreek extract.

The group who took fenugreek extract saw great improvements in their strength and muscle mass. What’s more, their body fat percentage dropped down.

On the other hand, men who took the placebo didn’t experience any benefits.

The researchers concluded that fenugreek supplementation improved overall strength and body composition while keeping T-levels high. And the best of all – there were no reported side effects.

What About Sex Drive?

Another study tested the effects of fenugreek on libido and sexual health.

The researchers gave 600mg of fenugreek extract to 30 men. They took the supplement every day for six weeks.

By the end of the study, most men reported greater strength and enhanced sexual function.

The researchers concluded that fenugreek had a major impact on men’s sexual energy, libido, and stamina. Along with supporting a healthy testosterone production. [3]

To sum it up:

Although the studies on fenugreek are limited, they show us that it has a lot of potential for boosting testosterone, libido, and sex drive in men. It’ll be interesting to hear about its effects as the new research comes out.

Other Core Benefits

Helps You Lose Fat

There’s a strong evidence that supports fenugreek’s ability to help you burn fat. This is mainly due to its ability to improve insulin, which controls where your body stores extra energy.

In one study, participants took fenugreek in the form of supplements. After just four hours of ingestion, their sugar levels dropped down by 13.4%.

The study concluded that men who participated had significantly improved blood sugar and insulin levels. As a result, their overall body composition improved, too. [4, 5]

Improves Workout Performance

I already talked about how fenugreek helps boost strength and muscle growth. But it also helps with exercise performance in general.

Here’s some modern evidence for you.

A study put 47 strength-trained men into two groups. One group took creatine and a placebo supplementation, while the other group took creatine and fenugreek extract. The study lasted for 8 weeks.

At the end of the trial, researchers tested strength, stamina, endurance, and overall anaerobic capacity of these same men. The group who took fenugreek displayed significant improvements in raw strength. Especially in demanding exercises such as leg press.

The fenugreek group also demonstrated improved body composition, along with increased anaerobic capacity.

The other group didn’t experience any notable benefits. [12]

So what can we conclude from this, besides the obvious? The most important thing to know is that fenugreek works extremely well when paired with creatine.

It improves creatine uptake in the blood while reducing carbohydrate cravings, which can be very useful for athletes who are on a cut and want to maintain their strength.

Helps Control Diabetes

One of the most impressive benefits of fenugreek is its ability to control diabetes. It benefits both people who suffer from diabetes type 1 and type 2.

Fenugreek helps non-diabetic individuals as well. Healthy people who supplement with fenugreek show improved carb tolerance, helping them store less fat. [6, 7, 8]

One study stood out when it comes to this. In the study, the researchers gave 50 grams of fenugreek powder to people who suffered from type 1 diabetes.

After just 10 days, their urinary blood sugar clearance improved by 54%. Furthermore, their LDL cholesterol levels also declined. [9]

Suppresses Inflammation

Fenugreek is one of the best natural anti-inflammatory herbs.

It helps to reduce different types of inflammation, including:

  • Bronchitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Kidney Inflammation
  • Cancer
  • Skin infections
  • Tuberculosis

Traditional Chinese medicine uses fenugreek to reduce phlegm build-up. Excess phlegm often leads to inflammation in the body. The herb helps fight this.

Recent research proves the power of fenugreek in fighting inflammation. In fact, it’s so beneficial that many people use it to treat joint problems – including arthritis. [10]

Helps Fight Anorexia

Fenugreek helps nourish and restore the body back to its natural state.

It helps fight off eating disorders such as anorexia by supporting a healthy appetite and feeding behavior.

A research published in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior displayed the effects of fenugreek extract supplementation on eating behavior.

The study determined that chronic supplementation of the herb extract improved appetite and motivation for food. [11]

For treating anorexia, experts suggest taking 250-500mg of fenugreek extract three times per day. However, as with any health condition, be sure to talk to your doctor before performing any kind of treatment on your own.

It Benefits Women, Too

Fenugreek’s benefits on athletic performance and blood sugar don’t just apply to men. Women benefit from it too.

But there’s an additional advantage that females can reap from this herb. This particularly applies to breastfeeding women.

See, this herb is a natural alternative to promoting breast milk production and quality. Breast milk is very important for the development of a newborn child. It’s the best source of nutrition for a child. [13]

However, in some cases, a mother can’t produce enough breast milk for her child. Worse yet, sometimes her breast milk is nutritionally poor, which could create problems when feeding the newborn.

Some people opt for prescription drugs in such cases. However, these aren’t often the safest, or most natural possible solutions. That’s where fenugreek comes in.

Studies have shown it to be a safe and natural alternative for improving breast milk quality and production in mothers. As a result, the baby grows strong and healthy. [13]

Stacking Fenugreek With Other Ingredients

There’s no denying the studies. On its own, fenugreek is a pretty darn effective testosterone booster.

But it gets better.

Pair fenugreek with other T-boosting ingredients, and you have yourself a powerful combo for boosting your manliness.

That said, here are some of the best ingredients you can use with fenugreek:

Best Ingredients For Testosterone

Ashwagandha – It’s another Ayurvedic herb that possesses amazing benefits for your male hormone. Studies suggest that ashwagandha can help boost testosterone both indirectly and directly, through decreasing cortisol levels.

Vitamin D – This is one of those basic nutrients that many of us don’t get enough of. Lack of Vitamin D is commonly linked to low testosterone and there’s a good reason for that. Research shows that this vitamin plays a key role in testosterone production, stimulating your testes to spurt out some extra T in your system.

D-Aspartic Acid – This amino acid can be of great benefit if you suffer from low T. The bad news, however, is that it doesn’t appear to work in athletes and men who already have normal or high testosterone levels.

Zinc – A natural element which signals your body to produce more testosterone. You lose zinc through sweat. Many men are deficient in it due to this fact, which can lead to low T levels.

Oyster – Another great ingredient for boosting the male hormone. It’s packed full of vitamins and minerals which support the production of key anabolic hormones, including testosterone.

Boron – A mineral which suppresses Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin, which is responsible for reducing free testosterone levels. Boron helps release more free testosterone to flow through your blood via its mechanism of blocking the SHBG.

Black Pepper Extract (Bioperine) – Last but not least, Bioperine enhances the delivery of other ingredients in the blood, making them more effective. It does this by improving the metabolism. Along with blocking enzymes that attack other ingredients and molecules.

Nutritional Profile

Remember fenugreek seeds? It turns out they have an extremely rich nutrient profile, in addition to their numerous benefits.

They contain a healthy amount of fiber. This is the reason for its blood sugar benefits – it helps to slow down the release of nutrients, preventing big insulin spikes.

While you probably wouldn’t enjoy eating tons of fenugreek seeds, just one tablespoon will give you bunch of its nutritional goodness.

Here are the nutritional facts (1 tablespoon):

  • 35.5 calories
  • 6.4 grams carbohydrates
  • 2.5 grams protein
  • 0.7 gram fat
  • 2.7 grams fiber
  • 3.7 milligrams iron (20% DV)
  • 0.1 milligram manganese (7% DV)
  • 0.1 milligram copper (6% DV)
  • 21 milligrams magnesium (5% DV)
  • 32.6 milligrams phosphorus (3% DV)
  • 0.1-milligram vitamin B6 (3% DV)

How To Take

How much fenugreek you’ll take depends on a number of factors. First off, you have to ask yourself what form of the herb will you take?

Is it the powder? Or seed extract?

Or perhaps seeds themselves?

Once you’ve established what type of fenugreek you’ll take, it’s time to determine your goal.

For boosting testosterone, experts suggest taking 500mg of fenugreek extract daily. For other benefits, higher dosages are suggested – between 1,000-2,000mg of the extract.

If you’re consuming the powder or whole seeds, take no more than 5 grams per day. 2 or more grams will also be effective.

However, keep in mind that if you’re taking a fenugreek extract supplement, it might be wise to start off slowly. I suggest starting with 500mg at first. Then slowly work your way up to 1,000-2,000mg.

This way you’ll gently introduce a new compound into your body – preventing any side effects.

With or Without a Meal?

You can take fenugreek before or after a meal. Whatever works best for you.

However, since it helps to control blood sugar, it would make sense to ingest it with your biggest meals. This will improve their digestion and nutrient release.

To sum it up:

Take around 500mg of fenugreek extract to boost testosterone. For other benefits, take between 1,000-2,000mg of the extract daily. Make sure to start slow though, work your way up from 500mg to 2,000mg over time. If you’re eating seeds or powder, take between 2-5g per day.

Is It Safe?

Both fenugreek seeds and powder are safe to consume. That is, in normal doses.

Animal studies show that negative side effects appear only after doses which are 50-times higher than the recommended fenugreek dose. [14, 15, 16]

Human research shows similar results. Right now, there aren’t any studies where users reported negative side effects from taking this ingredient.

However, there is one side effect that some people might consider negative. Fenugreek supplementation can reduce appetite in some cases. But this is very rare.

If you have any concerns or questions, always talk to a medical expert before taking any supplement.

Conclusion

Fenugreek is an ancient herb with a wide range of benefits.

It helps treat inflammation in the body, reduces blood sugar, helps control diabetes, and most importantly – boosts testosterone levels.

You can even combine fenugreek with other T-boosting ingredients to boost their effectiveness. Such as ashwagandha, D-Aspartic Acid, vitamin D, boron, and others.

Based on the evidence we have, it’s a safe and reliable nutrient for raising your testosterone and contributing to the overall quality of your life.

References

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[1] Therapeutic applications of fenugreek.

[2] Effects of a purported aromatase and 5α-reductase inhibitor on hormone profiles in college-age men.

[3] Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum extract and mineral formulation.

[4] Hypoglycaemic effect of aqueous extract of the leaves of Trigonella foenum-graecum in healthy volunteers.

[5] Fenugreek bread: a treatment for diabetes mellitus.

[6] Effect of supplementation of traditional medicinal plants on blood glucose in non-insulin-dependent diabetics: a pilot study.

[7] Glucose-lowering effect of fenugreek in non-insulin dependent diabetics.

[8] Effect of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) intake on glycemia: a meta-analysis of clinical trials.

[9] Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and serum lipids in type I diabetes.

[10] Anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects of mucilage of Trigonella foenum graecum (Fenugreek) on adjuvant-induced arthritic rats.

[11] Effects of a fenugreek seed extract on feeding behavior in the rat: metabolic-endocrine correlates.

[12] Effects of Combined Creatine Plus Fenugreek Extract vs. Creatine Plus Carbohydrate Supplementation on Resistance Training Adaptations.

[13] The Effect of Fenugreek Herbal Tea and Palm Dates on Breast Milk Production and Infant Weight.

[14] WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants.

[15] Acute and subchronic toxicity assessment of debitterized fenugreek powder in the mouse and rat.

[16] The effect of Trigonella foenum graecum (fenugreek) crude saponins on Hisex-type chicks.

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