Effects of a fenugreek seed extract on feeding behaviour in the rat: metabolic-endocrine correlates

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1993 Jun;45(2):369-74. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(93)90253-p.


Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum graecum L.) are assumed to have restorative and nutritive properties. The present work was designed to investigate the effects of a fenugreek seed extract on feeding behaviour. Experiments were performed to determine food consumption and motivation to eat as well as metabolic-endocrine changes in chronically treated animals. Male Wistar rats were given the seed extract orally (10 and 100 mg/day per 300 g body weight), mixed together with food, and control animals were monitored in parallel. The results show that chronic oral administration of the fenugreek extract significantly increases food intake and the motivation to eat. The treatment, however, does not prevent the anorexia nor the decreased motivation to eat induced by d-fenfluramine (2 mg/kg, IP). An increase in plasma insulin and a decrease in total cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL)-low-density lipoprotein (LDL) total cholesterol were also observed. In conclusion, chronic administration of a fenugreek seed extract enhances food consumption and motivation to eat in rats and also induces hyperinsulinemia as well as hypocholesterolemia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anorexia / chemically induced
  • Anorexia / drug therapy
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Drinking / drug effects
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Fabaceae
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects*
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Seeds
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Insulin
  • Plant Extracts
  • Cholesterol