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Potential Health Benefits of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties

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Fenugreek is one of the familiar spices found in human food and has been used extensively for curing numerous disorders. It provides natural food fibers and other nutrients required in the human body. It is used in functional foods, traditional foods, and nutraceuticals as well as in physiological uses such as antidiabetic agent, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, enzymatic pathway, and modifier gastric stimulant. It has a valuable influence on digestion and also has the capability to modify food texture. In modern food technology, it is used as a food stabilizer, adhesive, and emulsifying agent due its fiber, protein, and gum content. Recent pharmocological exploration of the seed extract of this plant discovered anticancer properties. Although it has many potential effects, there are some side effects as well; therefore, there is a greater need to study the pharmacological and toxicological effects of fenugreek to examine its clinical efficacy and safety.
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Chapter 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2524-1.ch011
ABSTRACT
Fenugreek is one of the familiar spices found in human food and has been used extensively for curing
numerous disorders. It provides natural food fibers and other nutrients required in the human body. It
is used in functional foods, traditional foods, and nutraceuticals as well as in physiological uses such as
antidiabetic agent, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, enzymatic pathway,
and modifier gastric stimulant. It has a valuable influence on digestion and also has the capability to
modify food texture. In modern food technology, it is used as a food stabilizer, adhesive, and emulsifying
agent due its fiber, protein, and gum content. Recent pharmocological exploration of the seed extract of
this plant discovered anticancer properties. Although it has many potential effects, there are some side
effects as well; therefore, there is a greater need to study the pharmacological and toxicological effects
of fenugreek to examine its clinical efficacy and safety.
Potential Health Benets
of Fenugreek With Multiple
Pharmacological Properties
Akanksha Srivastava
Nutritionist and freelancer, New Delhi, India
Zoomi Singh
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4638-142X
Centre of Food Technology, University of Allahabad, India
Vandana Verma
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8986-7177
Centre of Food Technology, University of Allahabad, India
Tashi Choedon
Nutritionist and freelancer, New Delhi, India
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
INTRODUCTION
Fenugreek is a prominent herb in the practices of Ayurvedic medicine (The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia
of India). Fenugreek, with a diversity in its forms and modes of use, has elicited its potential health
benefits as a functional food in recent years, which until now has been a part of the traditional system
of curing skin conditions and many other diseases (Basch et al., 2003).
Furthermore, fenugreek seeds are currently used as an antidiabetic agent, antibacterial, antilithogenic,
antiulcer, anthelmintic, immunomodulatory effect, enzymatic pathway modifier, gastric stimulant, hy-
pocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, antiulcer, antifertility, and anti-anorexia agent.
Health benefits involve curing numerous disorders, from thyroid to diabetes. Fenugreek seeds, leaves,
and powder are commonly used as household spices and herbs. The family of Fabaceae includes a number
of important food plants, and Fenugreek (Trigonellafoenum-graecum) is one among them, it was also
named as Trigonella, meaning “little triangle” in Latin language owing to its yellowish-white triangular
flowers (Flammang et al., 2004). It has its origin in Central Asia in 4000 BC (Altuntas et al., 2005).
Earlier in 1500 BC in Egypt, description and health benefits of Fenugreek had been documented in
the Ebers Papyrus (one of the oldest maintained medicinal document) (Betty, 2008).
It is known as Methi (Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, and Urdu), Hulba (Arabic), Moshoseitaro (Greek),
Uluva (Malayalam), Dari (Persian), Shoot (Hebrew), while it is known as hayseed in English.
It is commercially available and grown in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Spain, Nepal, France,
Egypt, Morocco, North Africa, Turkey, Argentina and the Middle East (Flammang et al., 2004, Altuntas
et al., 2005).
For thousands of years, it was one of the ancient conventional medicinal plants cultivated in the Indian
subcontinent, Middle East, Canada, North Africa, Russia, United Kingdom, Mediterranean Europe, US,
Australia, and parts of West Asia (Acharya et al., 2008).
It has various potential pharmacological effects in modern medicine such as antidiabetic, antilipid-
emic, antioxidant, hypocholesterolemic, hepatoprotective, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial,
anticarcinogenic, antiulcer, antilithigenic and neuroprotective effects in both clinical trials in humans
as well as in experimental animals (Neelkanthan et al., 2014).
Fenugreek contains 20-25% protein, 45-50% dietary fiber, 20-25% mucilaginous soluble fiber, 2-5%
steroidal saponins, 6-8% fixed fatty acid, and essential oils.
Breastfeeding is important for a baby’s development, but some mothers suffer to produce an adequate
amount. Initial research suggests that fenugreek was conventionally advised for increasing milk produc-
tion in lactating women (Ghedira et al., 2010; Bukhari et al., 2008; Damanik et al., 2004). The objective
of this chapter is to highlight the key phytochemicals and pharmacological applications of fenugreek
on human health.
Botanical Description of Fenugreek
Fenugreek (Trigonellafoenum-graecum), belongs to the Fabaceae family. Fenugreek is an annual legume,
diploid (2n =16) plant (Ahmad et al., 1999) with no aneuploidy (Petropoulos, 2002; Trease and Evans,
2002; Flammang et al., 2004). The botanical classification of fenugreek has been shown in Table 1.
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
Morphologically, fenugreek is an upright, aromatic annual spice closely similar to clover with cy-
lindrical stem grown up to 30-60 cm long. It has roots that are huge finger-like structures (Basu, 2006;
Mehrafarin et al., 2011; Moradikor and Moradi, 2013). Leaves of fenugreek are pinnate trifoliate, long
stalked compounds having lanceolate, toothed, stipules triangular, oblanceolate to obovate leaflets
(Srinivasan, 2006; Basu, 2006). Its flowers have five petals known as wing, keel and banner. Color of
the ovary is deep green and glaucous, while the pollen grains are circular to oval in shape (Basu, 2006;
Montgomery, 2009; Mehrafarin et al., 2011).
Fenugreek flower exhibits yellowish brown to brownish color and 15 cm long 2–8 pods. Each pod
contains 10–20 seeds per pod; seeds are 5 mm long in size, smooth, hard and vary from dull yellow to
brownish-yellow in color (Altuntas et al., 2005; Moradikor and Moradi, 2013).
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION
Proximate and Mineral Composition
The proximate and mineral composition of fenugreek leaves and seeds was summarized (Table 2). Its
comprised of ash, moisture, crude fat, crude protein, crude fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and carbohydrates.
The crude protein content of fenugreek leaves and seeds ranged between 4.4 – 25.4% respectively
(Montgomery, 2009; Nasri and Tinay, 2007).
Dietary fiber content was 48.0 (Brummer et al., 2003) and crude fiber in fenugreek seeds was 50.0
(Montgomery, 2009).
The serving of 100g of fenugreek contains substantial level of calcium (75 mg), phosphorus (26.7
mg), iron (25.8 mg), magnesium (42 mg), potassium (603mg), manganese (0.9mg), copper (0.9mg) and
other micronutrients with trace amount (Jasass and Jasser, 2012) (Table 2). These are crucial mineral
elements for the daily physiological activities of humans.
Table 1. Botanical classification of Fenugreek
Kingdom Plantae
Sub-kingdom : Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)
Division : Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
Class : Magnoliopsida (Dicotyledons)
Sub class : Rosidae
Order : Fabales
Family : Fabaceae
Genus : Trigonella
Species : T. foenum-graecum
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
Table 2. Proximate, mineral and metabolite content of fenugreek seeds and leaves
Particulars Content Reference
Moisture content
Leaves 86 Sowmya and Rajyalakshmi (1991)
Seeds 7.49 Sowmya and Rajyalakshmi (1991)
Carbohydrates 42.3 El Nasri and El Tinay (2007)
Gum (seeds) 20.9 Kakani et al (2009)
Ash (seeds) 3.38 Sowmya and Rajyalakshmi (1991)
Fiber (seeds) 50.0 Montgomery (2009)
a) Soluble
1)Raw
2)Germinated
21.7
10.3
Muralidhara et al (1999)
Muralidhara et al (1999)
b) Insoluble
1)Raw 26.8 Muralidhara et al (1999)
2)Germinated 23.9 Muralidhara et al (1999)
Fiber (leaves)
Soluble 0.7 Altuntas et al (2005)
Insoluble 4.2 Altuntas et al (2005)
Dietary fiber 48.0Brummer et al (2003)
Fats (seeds) 7.9 El Nasri and El Tinay (2007)
Montgomery (2009)
Fats (leaves) 1.0 Montgomery (2009)
Protein (seeds) 25.4 El Nasri and El Tinay (2007)
Protein (leaves) 4.4 Montgomery (2009)
Mineral contents (mg/100g) of fenugreek seeds
Potassium (K) 603.0±15.0 Al Jasass and Al Jasser, 2012).
Magnesium 42.0 ± 5.0 Al Jasass and Al Jasser, 2012).
Calcium (Ca) 75.0 ± 9.0 Al Jasass and Al Jasser, 2012).
Iron 25.8 ± 1.2 Al Jasass and Al Jasser, 2012).
Copper 0.9 ± 0.1 Al Jasass and Al Jasser, 2012).
Manganese 0.9 ± 0.1 Al Jasass and Al Jasser, 2012).
Zinc 2.4 ± 0.2 Al Jasass and Al Jasser, 2012).
Vitamins (value/100g)
Vitamin C
Seed 12-43 mg
Leela and Shafeekh
(2008)
Srinivasan (2006)
Leaves 52.0 mg Srinivasan (2006)
β carotene
Seed
Leaves
96 µg
2.3 µg
Srinivasan (2006)
Srinivasan (2006)
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
Traditional Uses of Fenugreek
In India, fenugreek has been taken as a medicinal plant since ancient times and is regarded as safe to hu-
man health. In food, fenugreek seeds are added as preservatives in pickles as they are rich in vitamin E.
Also, dried leaves of fenugreek are used for flavoring vegetable dishes, fish, and meat (Yadav et al., 2014).
A traditional remedy to cure fever is an herbal tea made with fenugreek, honey and lemon. Fenu-
greek fiber could be effective for curing constipation and stops the growth of diverticulosis. Fenugreek
has been traditionally used as a remedy for burns, eczema, abscesses, and gout. It induces childbirth
as it stimulates uterine contraction. Sprouted seeds of fenugreek and microgreens are used in salads.
Fenugreek seeds are rich in lysine, 1-tryptophan, and trigonelline, whereas fenugreek leaves are a rich
source of vitamin K (Sinha et al., 2015).
The use of fenugreek plants for curing kidney diseases and other related conditions was recom-
mended by traditional Chinese herbalists. The seeds of fenugreek are nourishing and consumed during
convalescence and aids in weight gain (in anorexia). The soothing effect of fenugreek seeds makes them
significant in healing gastric ulcers and gastritis. In China, the fenugreek seeds are used as a pessary to
cure cervical cancer.
In the Middle East and the Balkans, the aerial part of the fenugreek plant is a traditional therapy for
abdominal cramps. They are best remedy to ease labor pains, but it should only be used for inducing
labor only after in consultation with doctor (Global herbal supplies). Fenugreek effectively cleanses the
blood. The healing and calming action makes a lubricant like protective covering over inflamed areas.
For proper digestion, the slightly bitter taste of the seed is favorable (Kor et al., 2013).
Nutritional Profile
Following are the nutrients per 100 grams of the edible portion of Fenugreek leaves (Gopalan, 1989
and Sharma, 1990)
Toxicological Studies
Along with potential health benefits, fenugreek possesses some mild side-effects, as well. Although it
appears relatively safe at the correct dosage. Therefore, there is extensive research needed to study the
pharmacological and toxicological effects of fenugreek effectively to investigate their clinical efficacy
and safety.
Table 3. Nutrients per 100 grams of the edible portion of Fenugreek leaves
Total energy 49 Kcal
Carbohydrates 6.0g
Protein 4.4g
Fat 0.9g
Calcium 395mg
Phosphorus 51mg
Iron 1.93mg
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
According to a study (Sureshkumar et al., 2018), when wistar rats were supplemented at 250 to 1000
mg/d for 8-12 weeks, no adverse effects or mortality was observed when compared to control group rats.
Saponin-rich standardized extract of fenugreek seeds (FHE) is safe and effective to establish hormonal
balance. One 14-day acute study and another 90-day sub-chronic study assessed oral acute toxicity of
FHE. In 14-day study, 40 rats were divided in four groups in which group I was untreated and remain-
ing groups II, III, IV were administered with FHE at different concentrations at 0.5, 2.0 and 2.5 g per
kg body weight respectively.
In 90 days’ oral toxicity study, 60 rats were split into 6 groups with each group having 5 males and
5 female rats. Group I and II were control and control recovery respectively. Group III, group IV, group
V and group VI received low dose of FHE (250mg/kg), mid dose FHE (500mg/kg), high dose FHE
(1000mg/kg) and high dose recovery (1000 mg/kg) respectively. The amount of dose selected was from
previous studies (Arshadi et al., 2015, Kandhare et al., 2015 and Mowla et al., 2009).
Administration of FHE did not produce any significant changes in food and water consumption, body
weight and hematological or biochemical changes.
Thus, as per the present study, FHE is safe with the no-observed-adverse-effect level in an animal
study (in rats) with the administration of 1000mg per kg body weight per day and can be studied in hu-
mans. But, more extensive studies with a large number of animals on genotoxicity study and reproductive
toxicity using more number of strains in GLP (good laboratory practices)-certified laboratories would
contribute to more reliable facts on fenugreek extracts.
Moreover, no hematological or biochemical changes were observed when post-menopausal women
were supplemented at 1g/d for 12 weeks (Begum et al., 2016).
Biologically Active Compounds
Fenugreek comprises (Table 5) a fairly high amount of alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, and antioxidants.
Fenugreek endosperm has 35% alkaloids, primarily trigonelline (Jani et al., 2009). Fenugreek seeds
contain 100mg/g flavonoids (Naidu et al., 2011). Such compounds are referred to as biologically active
constituent as these have pharmacological effects on the human body when consumed. Their consump-
tion should be recommended in daily diet to manage diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia and cancer
because they exhibit hypoglycemic, anti-carcinogenic, antilipedemic and cholagogic properties (Meghwal
and Goswami, 2012). However, alkaloids and volatile oils are the two key components that result in
bitter taste and bad odor, and may then be removed before use.
Recent findings on the effects of Trigonella in different diseases are reported in this review study
(Table 5) within both experimental and clinical studies. Overview of the pharmaceutical effects of
Fenugreek (Figure 1).
Antioxidant Activity
Oxidative stress is one of the major health problems in humans, for which several therapies are utilized
and where medicinal plants offer a favorable alternative. Fenugreek contains phenolic and flavonoid
compounds that aid in improving its antioxidant capacity (Dixit et al., 2005).
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
It has a beneficial effect on the liver and pancreas; antioxidant properties are associated with health
benefits of natural products. Such properties are studied with germinated fenugreek seeds which are
perceived to be more beneficial than un-germinated seeds because with germination the bioavailability
of different components of fenugreek increases (Balch, 2003). Pulse radiolysis and the deoxyribose sys-
tem demonstrated The OH scavenging activity of the seed extract. The fenugreek seeds extract contains
antioxidants and protects cellular structures from oxidative damage. An aqueous methanolic extract of
fenugreek was analyzed for its antiradical and in vitro antioxidant action in varied model systems. The
results obtained by different methods present some important factors associated with the antioxidant
activity of fenugreek seeds (Kaviarasan et al., 2007).
Table 4. Pharmacological and therapeutic benefits of fenugreek as recurrently reported
Disease/Disorders Description Reference
Anemia Prevents red blood cell oxidation Kaviarasan et al., 2007
Aging Antioxidants reduces cell
death and aging Kaviarasan et al., 2007
Cancer Polyphenolic compounds from seed possess
anti-carcinogenic activities Mohamed et al., 2015
Diabetes
4-hydroxyisoleucin (amino acid) stimulates
insulin production thereby control blood
sugar level. Polyphenolic compounds
exhibit anti-diabetic effects. Curative
effects of fenugreek seed powder is a
potential neuropathic medicine in diabetes
Kaviarasan et al., 2007 and Nanjundan et
al., 2009
Hypercholesterolemia Anti-oxidants from seeds control high
blood cholesterol Srinivasan, 2006
Immunodeficiency
Natural anti-oxidants help to strengthen
immune system immunomodulatory and
immune stimulatory effects
Kaviarasan et al., 2004
Indigestion and flatulence Fenugreek has been used as laxative. It
stimulates appetite
Sauvare et al. (2000)
Petit et al. (1993)
Inflammation Reduces swelling and pain Kaviarasan et al., 2007
Kidney disorders
Protects functional and histopathological
abnormalities of kidney in diabetic
patients. Reduces catalase (CAT) and
superoxide dismutase (SOD0 activity in
hypercholesterolemia patients. Inhibit
accumulation of oxidized DNA to prevent
kidney injuries
Xue et al., 2011
Others
Respiratory disorders, bacterial infection,
epilepsy, gout, chronic cough, paralysis,
dropsy, piles, heavy metal toxicity, liver
disorders and arthritis
Nanjundan et al., 2009, Xue et al., 2011,
Kaviarasan et al., 2007
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
Anti Diabetic Activity
Sauvaire et al. (1998) reported that fenugreek seeds contain a free unnatural amino acid, 4-hydroxyiso-
leucine, which increases glucose-induced insulin release in pancreatic islet cells of humans and rats.
In another study, fenugreek stimulates tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor and enhances
glucose uptake into cells (Kumar et al., 2005).
Presence of steroids in fenugreek has been studied to minimize blood glucose levels when supple-
mented to diabetic rats (Hamden et al., 2010).
In STZ-induced diabetic rats, fenugreek seed mucilage has beneficial effects on intestinal and renal
disaccharide activity by enhancing the reduction in maltase activity in diabetes (Kumar et al., 2005).
Lipid Lowering Activity
Fenugreek seeds lower serum triglycerides, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
owing to hypolipidemic effect of fenugreek.
Table 5. Biologically active constituents of fenugreek and their classifications
Chemical group Compound References
Alkaloids Trigonelline, choline, carpaine
Lee et al. (2005)
Kaviarasan
et al. (2007)
Rababah et al.
(2011)
Amino
Acids
Lysine, histidine,
4-hydroxyisoleucine, tryptophan,
tyrosine, cystine, arginine
Gupta et al.
(2001)
Ruby et al.
(2005)
El Nasri and El
Tinay (2007)
Coumarins Methyl coumarin, trigocumarin,
trimethylcoumarin
Raju et al.
(2001)
Flavonoids
Naringenin, lilyn, kaempferol,
vecenin-1, tricin 7-O-D
glucopyranoside, saponaretin,
isovitexin, isoorientin. Orientin,
vitexin, luteolin, quercetin
Blumenthal
et al. (2000)
Sauvare et al.
(2000)
Meghwal and
Goswami (2012)
Saponins
Fenugrin, foenugracin, glycoside,
yamogenin, trigonoesides,
smilagenin, gitogenin,
sarsasapogenin, yuccagenin,
hederagin, diosgenin, tigonenin,
neotigogenin
Gupta et al.
(2001)
Others
Vitamin A, folic acid, ascorbic acid,
thiamin, riboflavin, biotin, nicotinic
acid, gum
Hamden et al.
(2010)
Chatterjee et al.
(2010)
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
Dietary fibre (galactomannan) in fenugreek seeds is a polysaccharide that consists of a mannose
backbone with galactose side chains, form a viscous gel in the intestine and inhibit lipid and glucose
absorption (Hannan et al., 2007).
Anti-Tryiodothyronine Activity
The effects of fenugreek seed extract on the variations in serum thyroid hormone concentrations were
reported in adult male mice and rats. Three enzymes viz., catalase (CAT), hepatic lipid per oxidation (LPO)
and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were examined. As per the findings, fenugreek seed extract induced
inhibition in T3 to T4 conversion is not peroxidation-mediated and hindrance in superoxide dismutase
(SOD) could be the consequence of a decrease in the protein anabolic hormone, T3 (Panda et al., 1999).
Figure 1. Overview of pharmaceutical effects of Fenugreek
146
Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
Fibrinogen and Fibrinolytic Activity
In a placebo controlled trial the effect of fenugreek was analyzed on blood sugar, platelet aggregation,
blood lipids, fibrinogen and fibrinolytic activity. Fenugreek does not show any effect on fibrinogen,
platelet aggregation and fibrinolytic activity when administered for 3 months in dose of 2.5 gram twice
daily (Bordia et al., 1997).
Anti-Carcinogenic Activity
Trigonellafoenum-graecum, possess anti-carcinogenic activity. Hibasami et al. (2003) reported that
fenugreek-derived compound protodioscin exhibited a growth inhibitory action against HL-60 cells by
inducing apoptotic changes. Amin et al. 2005 also showed that fenugreek seed extracts significantly
inhibited7, 12-dimethylbenz (a) anthracene-induced mammary hyperplasia and decreased its incidence
in rats and reported that anti-breast cancer-protective effects of fenugreek due to augmenting apoptosis.
Moreover, Verma et al., 2010 reported that alcoholic whole plant extracts of fenugreek indicated in
vitro cytotoxicity in averse to various human cancer cell lines namely IMR-32, aneuroblastoma cell line,
and HT29, which is a cancer cell line.
Growth inhibitory effects on breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancer cell lines are shown after the
treatment with fenugreek extract, but primary prostate or immortalized prostate cells remained unaf-
fected (Shabbeer et al., 2009). The potentiality of Trigonellato inhibit cancer cell growth is attributed to
induce cell death, in spite of simultaneous up-regulation of growth stimulatory pathways within normal
cells. Diosgenin, a steroid saponin obtained from Trigonella, was reported to preventazoxymethane
(AOM)-induced aberrant crypt foci formation, a preneoplastic-colonic lesions in F344 rats and also
induces caspase-3protein expression and inhibits bcl-2, making it potential as a colon cancer preventive
element (Raju et al., 2004).
Antifungal and Antibacterial Effect
The antifungal and antibacterial effect of fenugreek is recently popular. In a study reported by (Haouala
et al., 2008) aqueous extract from different parts of fenugreek plant in various solvents include petroleum
ether, methanol, ethyl acetate fractions of the aerial parts and determined their action against fungal
strains such as Fusarium graminearum, Rhizoctoniasolani, Pythium aphaniderma-tum, Botrytis cinerea,
and Alternaria sp.
The presence of antifungal properties in all parts of the fenugreek is also reported, and the magnitudes
of effect differ with species of fungus and plant parts. It could be propounded that fenugreek is a prime
source of biologically active compounds beneficial for unfolding better and novel antifungal drugs.
Many studies described the beneficial effect of extracts derived from fenugreek against Helicobacter
pylori (Mahony et al., 2005; Randhir et al., 2004; Randhir and Shetty, 2007). In a study, honey samples
with the highest antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and
Escherichia coli have more pollen from fenugreek compared to other plants (Mercan et al., 2007). The
nematicidal activity was seen in the methanol soluble fraction of fenugreek extract and resulted in sig-
nificant mortality of Meloidogyne javanica larvae, showing its prospective application against nematodes
(Zia et al., 2001).
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
In a report by (Laroubi et al., 2007) reported the prophylaxis effect of fenugreek seeds on renal stone
formation in rats. Use of fenugreek in curing patients with calcic-urolithiasis is also effective. (Chauhan
et al., 2010) studied anti-inflammatory prospects of fenugreek.
Application Food Industries
It is used as spice (seeds), an herb (fresh or dried leaves), vegetable (fresh leaves) and also as a condi-
ment in artificial flavoring of maple syrup or in the production of steroid and other hormones for the
pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and functional food industries (Zandi et al., 2015). The widespread applica-
tion of fenugreek in the food industry is due to the presence of dietary fiber because its galactomannan
composition possesses emulsifying and stabilizing properties.
Supplementation of flour with a percentage of 8% and 10% of fenugreek dietary fiber has been used
in the preparation of baked goods such as pizza, muffins bread, and cakes. Incorporation of fenugreek
to flour makes it available in producing functional foods that may be widely acceptable to consumers
observing western diets (Roberts, 2011).
SOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Fenugreek is a well explored plant/herb by medical science for its contribution towards human health.
Although it is a small part, it is of various benefits as a medicinal plant.
An extensive genomic and agronomic characterization/clustering is needed to discover the poten-
tial genes which could further assist in breeding programs along with targeted mutation and genetic
advancement for abiotic stress tolerance. Moreover, fenugreek as a fodder crop and green manuring,
and for soil, reclamation must be investigated and encouraged, particularly in arid agricultural systems
(Ahmad et al., 2016).
Future Research Directions
Fenugreek has been shown to possess hypoglycemic potential but data is not sufficient to recommend
its applicability in diabetes in the deprivation of careful supervision. Therefore, further research in this
area may hold promise in this regard. A huge gap is still existing, particularly in biotechnologically
facilitated breeding (Ahmad et al., 2016).
CONCLUSION
In recent years, several research studies have been done to explore the functional and medicinal proper-
ties of fenugreek seeds. The major medicinal properties of fenugreek include Antidiabetic, antioxidant,
hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic, anticarcinogenic, activities. Fenugreek is a promising dietary
supplement with versatile properties and several research studies have reported its beneficial effects. It
contains vitamins such as thiamin, ribofavin, niacin, folic acid, vitamin A, C and minerals as Potassium,
Calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Iron, etc. On the basis of these health benefits, fenugreek can be recom-
mended in our day-to-day diet and considered as functional food when incorporated in foods.
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Potential Health Benets of Fenugreek With Multiple Pharmacological Properties
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... Fenugreek helps in cholesterol reduction [4]. This may be due to high content of fiber [5,6]. ...
... However, in this study, there is only increment in number with no significance increase. This small increment can be due to high content fiber in fenugreek [5,6] which may further increase with increasing its percentage which is not economical and also sensorially may not acceptable. For instance, in this study, the injera with 5% fengreek was less preferred by panelists due to its bitterness that may be caused by tannins and other polyphenol compounds. ...
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Injera is most commonly consumed food in Ethiopia. Traditionally, injera can be made from tef and other cereals. This study was conducted to determine the effect of fenugreek (raw, roasted and germinated) incorporation (1%, 3% and 5%) on nutritional composition, sensory quality and keeping quality of tef injera. Protein content was determined by Kjeldal method. Moisture and ash content were determined with oven and Furnace, respectively. Untrained but experienced panelists were used in sensory analysis. Days of storage was recorded and compared with control injera for shelf life determination. The result showed that injera enriched with 5% raw and roasted fenugreek had the highest crude protein contents and crude fiber compared with control (100% tef flour). Injera made with 5% raw fenugreek had less mold growth, which had recorded significantly the highest shelf life (five days). Sensory evaluation (appearance, taste, aroma, texture and overall acceptability) indicated that of all injera incorporated with 1% to 5% of fenugreek flour were more preferable than the control sample except the 5% raw fenugreek which was not preferred due to its bitterness taste. Furthermore, injera made with 5% raw fenugreek incorporation level showed lower taste perception due to its bitterness. From this study, it can be concluded that 1 to 5% of roasted and malted and 1 to 3% of raw fenugreek incorporation could significantly increases sensory acceptability of injera with improvement of some nutritional contents without any change on the Iron content.
... Several studies were performed to evaluate the pharmacological and therapeutic benefits of fenugreek in treating different conditions like diabetes, dyslipidemia, indigestion and flatulence, inflammation, aging and cancer with variable results and mechanisms [7]. ...
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Background Anabolic steroids (AS) are commonly abused by body builders and athletes aiming to increase their strength and muscle mass but unfortunately, the long-term use of AS may lead to serious side effects. Nandrolone Decanoate is one of the Class II anabolic androgenic steroids which quickly spread globally and used clinically and illicitly. Our research was directed to assess the toxic effects of anabolic steroids on cardiac and skeletal muscles in male albino rats and to evaluate the potential ameliorative effects of fenugreek seeds extract and silymarin. Methods Our research was done on 120 male albino rats that were allocated into 6 groups; group I: Served as a control group, group II: Received the anabolic steroid Nandrolone Decanoate, group III: Received silymarin orally, group IV: Received fenugreek seeds extract orally, group (V): Received the anabolic steroid Nandrolone Decanoate and silymarin and group (VI): Received the anabolic steroid Nandrolone Decanoate and fenugreek seeds extract. By the end of the study, rats were sacrificed, and blood samples were collected for biochemical analysis and autopsy samples for histopathological examination. Results The anabolic steroids toxic effects on rats showed a significant decrease in serum High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) level and increase in cholesterol, triglycerides, and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels. There was a significant elevation in cardiac troponin I level. As regards to histopathological examination of the cardiac and skeletal muscles, the study showed marked degenerative changes and necrosis. Both silymarin and fenugreek seeds extract provided a protective effect on the biochemical and histopathological changes. The antioxidant effects of silymarin and fenugreek seeds extract were evaluated on the heart, skeletal muscles and showed that, the tissue levels of Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Catalase and reduced glutathione (GSH) decreased in AS treated rats compared to the control group. On the other hand, the tissue Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were elevated. Conclusions Anabolic steroids have a toxic effect on the cardiac and skeletal muscles of albino rats with improvement by treatment with fenugreek seeds extract and silymarin.
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... Studies have also affirmed the nutraceutical and physiological properties of fenugreek which support the potential applications of fenugreek in developing numerous functional food products and pharmaceutical products. [6] As fenugreek is rich in several phytochemicals, alkaloids, carbohydrates, steroidal saponins, amino acids and minerals are present in fenugreek, it can be used for nutritional, nutraceutical, medicinal and therapeutic purposes. [3] Fenugreek has been extensively used as a flavour enhancer in several traditional cuisines. ...
... Studies have also affirmed the nutraceutical and physiological properties of fenugreek which support the potential applications of fenugreek in developing numerous functional food products and pharmaceutical products. [6] As fenugreek is rich in several phytochemicals, alkaloids, carbohydrates, steroidal saponins, amino acids and minerals are present in fenugreek, it can be used for nutritional, nutraceutical, medicinal and therapeutic purposes. [3] Fenugreek has been extensively used as a flavour enhancer in several traditional cuisines. ...
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Current lifestyle, eating habits, stress, environmental factors and intensive use of synthetic chemicals in food processing and agriculture have radically increased the progression of several human diseases. Globally, researchers have been looking for natural therapeutic substances that can be used to treat or delay the onset of these lifestyle-related disorders. Numerous types of medicinal plants have shown the potential to be frequently used in the therapeutics due to the presence of several bioactive compounds. Among these, fenugreek is an important herb which has been recognized as an imperative medicinal plant by various scientists around the world. This herb has been widely reported as beneficial against numerous diseases such as cancer, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes and inflammation. Due to its medicinal value, the extracts/powders from different parts of fenugreek have been effectively utilized in food and pharmaceutical industries. Accordingly, the present review is an attempt to highlight the important nutritional benefits and curative applications of fenugreek as an effectual therapeutic agent against different diseases. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-gracum L.) is cultivated worldwide as a semi-arid crop. Its seeds and leaves are used as ingredients in food as well as in medicinal applications such as antibacterial, anticancer, antiulcer, antioxidant, hypoglycaemic, and antidiabetic agents (Murlidhar & Goswami, 2012;Srivastava et al., 2020). Major fenugreek producing countries are Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Spain, and Turkey. ...
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A large number of medicinal plants are being used today to bring about traditional cure of inflammatory conditions, yet many of them need to be properly investigated and scientifically validated for the same. Potential active constituents from Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fenugreek) have been isolated and purified. A comprehensive overview of the phytochemical analysis of the seed extract and the literature survey carried out for the antiinflammatory potential and the other medicinal properties of fenugreek seeds.
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