The potential of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) as a functional food and nutraceutical and its effects on glycemia and lipidemia

J Med Food. 2011 Dec;14(12):1485-9. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2011.0002. Epub 2011 Aug 23.


Dietary fiber from fenugreek blunts glucose and cholesterol after a meal and regulates the production of cholesterol in the liver. The mechanisms for these effects have not been fully elucidated. Fenugreek seeds contain 45.4% dietary fiber (32% insoluble and 13.3% soluble), and the gum is composed of galactose and mannose. The latter compounds are associated with reduced glycemia and cholesterolemia. Fenugreek's hypoglycemic effect has been especially documented in humans and animals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, this dietary fiber has potential for widespread use in the food industry because its galactomannan composition has emulsifying and stabilizing properties. Flour supplemented with 8%-10% fenugreek dietary fiber has been used in the production of baked goods such as bread, pizza, muffins, and cakes. This application to flour allows for the production of functional foods that may be widely acceptable to consumers observing western diets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects*
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Functional Food*
  • Galactose / analogs & derivatives
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Mannans / administration & dosage
  • Models, Animal
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Trigonella


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Mannans
  • Plant Extracts
  • galactomannan
  • fenugreek seed meal
  • Galactose