Beneficial effects of fenugreek glycoside supplementation in male subjects during resistance training: A randomized controlled pilot study

J Sport Health Sci. 2016 Jun;5(2):176-182. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2014.09.005. Epub 2015 Mar 7.


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the glycoside fraction of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seeds (Fenu-FG) on physiological parameters related to muscle anabolism, androgenic hormones, and body fat in healthy male subjects during an 8-week resistance training program using a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled design.

Methods: Sixty healthy male subjects were randomized to ingest capsules of Fenu-FG (1 capsule of 300 mg, twice per day) or the matching placebo at a 1:1 ratio. The subjects participated in a supervised 4-day per week resistance-training program for 8 weeks. The outcome measurements were recorded at recruitment (baseline) and at the end of the treatment (8 weeks). The efficacy outcome included serum testosterone (total and free) levels, muscle strength and repetitions to failure, metabolic markers for anabolic activity (serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen), and % body fat. The standard safety measurements such as adverse events monitoring, vital signs, hematology, biochemistry, and urinalysis were performed.

Results: Fenu-FG supplementation demonstrated significant anabolic and androgenic activity as compared with the placebo. Fenu-FG treated subjects showed significant improvements in body fat without a reduction in muscle strength or repetitions to failure. The Fenu-FG supplementation was found to be safe and well-tolerated.

Conclusion: Fenu-FG supplementation showed beneficial effects in male subjects during resistance training without any clinical side effects.

Keywords: Anabolic; Androgenic; Fenugreek seeds; Glycosides; Randomized controlled study; Resistance training.