Fenugreek bread: a treatment for diabetes mellitus

J Med Food. 2009 Oct;12(5):1046-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0199.


Use of fenugreek, a food with demonstrated efficacy in lowering blood sugar, is limited by its bitter taste and strong flavor. A bread incorporating fenugreek using a proprietary process was tested for its taste acceptability and its effect on carbohydrate metabolism. We developed a fenugreek bread formula that was produced in a commercial bakery by incorporating fenugreek flour into a standard wheat bread formula. Whole wheat bread was prepared by the same formula in the same bakery using wheat flour. Eight diet-controlled diabetic subjects were served two slices (56 g) and 5% fenugreek. Blood glucose and insulin were tested periodically over a 4-hour period after consumption. The tests were run on two occasions 1 week apart, once with the fenugreek bread and once with regular bread. The study was double-blind, and the order was randomized and balanced. Fenugreek and whole wheat bread samples were evaluated for sensory attributes and nutrient composition. There was no statistically significant difference in proximate composition, color, firmness, texture, and flavor intensity between the fenugreek and wheat bread (P > .05). The area under the curve for glucose and insulin was lower in the fenugreek condition, but only reached significance with insulin (P < .05). The fenugreek-containing bread was indistinguishable from the whole wheat bread control. Normally, fenugreek flour impacts bread quality negatively. The bread maintained fenugreek's functional property of reducing insulin resistance. Acceptable baked products can be prepared with added fenugreek, which will reduce insulin resistance and treat type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Bread*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diet
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Flour
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Insulin Resistance*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Trigonella
  • Triticum


  • Blood Glucose
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Plant Extracts
  • fenugreek seed meal