Does Fenugreek Increase Testosterone?

Sally Painter
Reviewed by Terri Forehand RN
Fenugreek tea and seeds

Recent studies have revealed that the herb fenugreek increases testosterone. Some of the first fenugreek studies on how the herb affects male hormones examined the herb as a testosterone enhancing supplement and later as a body building supplement.

Does Fenugreek Increase Testosterone?

Not many studies have been conducted to determine if fenugreek actually increases male testosterone. A few have been published over the last years that answer this question with, "Yes!" Fenugreek has shown to increase testosterone levels. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a leguminous, annual plant found in India, Asia and Middle Eastern regions. The leaves and seeds of fenugreek are formulated to an extract or powder form for therapeutic application.

Two-Part Study Concludes Fenugreek Increases Testosterone Levels

The study "The Efficacy of Fenugreek Supplementation on Men's Health," published on ClinicalTrials.gov by Jacksonville University examined research on herbal supplement and fenugreek and if these improved men's health with a focus on increasing testosterone levels. The group discovered very little research had been done with no studies about fenugreek supplements and men's health. The study was conducted over 12 weeks in 2017 and results were published on May 18, 2018.

First Test Results

The group conducted research on the effect of men taking fenugreek supplements. The test group were healthy men between the ages of 43 and 70. "The researchers found that both total serum testosterone and free testosterone increased compared to placebo after 12 weeks of active treatment."

Second Fenugreek Test

The researchers conducted another study, this time the participants were males between the ages of 25 to 45 years old. The study revealed that fenugreek serves to preserve men's health as they age. It was demonstrated that the aging process in men improved with testosterone levels remaining normal.

Impact of Fenugreek Studies

Both studies are significant in the verifying of what ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic Practitioners have claimed for centuries. If you've been considering fenugreek as a possible supplement, the results of both test should be encouraging. More studies are needed to examine long-term effects and other possible value fenugreek may have for men's health.

Fenugreek vs Steroids

Fenugreek has been touted as an herbal aid within the bodybuilding community. In addition to increasing testosterone levels, fenugreek has been recognized as an HGH (Human Growth Hormone) releaser. One of the noted benefits of taking fenugreek supplements is an increase in bone muscle.

Fenugreek Healthier Choice

Men interested in building muscle mass have turned to fenugreek supplements. Its safe usage makes it a very valuable supplement in contrast to the dangerous steroids that are often taken by those in training.

Study Reveals Increased Muscle Strength

According to a study originally published in 2015 and republished in 2016 by the National Health Institutes, fenugreek is beneficial for increasing muscle strength. The study examined fenugreek seeds of a proprietary (Fenu-FG) supplement to a volunteer group of 60 men.

Fenugreek Study for Body Building

The study consisted of a supervised four-day week of resistance training over a period of eight weeks. At the end of the study, researchers concluded, "Fenu-FG [fenugreek] supplementation demonstrated significant anabolic and androgenic activity as compared with the placebo."

Significant Physical Improvements

The men taking the fenugreek supplements had significant improvements in their physical appearance and health. The researchers noted, "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."

Contradictory Matters

Every person's biochemistry is unique, though this doesn't necessarily translate to dissimilar. Fenugreek may react quite differently within the systems of different individuals. What is interesting regarding the hormonal effects of fenugreek is that the herb is sometimes considered by some to be a cousin to DHEA (hormone dehydroepiandrosterone), and to others, a strong phytoestrogen. So far, none of the handful of studies have reported any estrogen levels in the male participants.

Claims of Enlarged Breasts

Fenugreek is known to contain hormonal precursors. Should it act as a phytoestrogen, it could cause remarkably estrogen-like effects within the body. It is used for lactating women to increase their production of milk; however, non-lactating women have claimed to use fenugreek for breast enlargement. Some male fenugreek users have also reported breast enlargement. Estrogenically enlarged breasts are not exactly an effect to which most bodybuilders aspire; however, none of the studies so far have reported breast enlargement effects. Breast enlargement is largely an anecdotal side effect and so far, not considered one of the more common effects of the herb.

Conservative Usage

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the medicinal uses of fenugreek include soothing skin inflammations, a possible blood sugar-lowering effect in diabetics, and the ability to stimulate and increase lactation. Fenugreek has been researched and proven to exhibit positive results in these situations.

Recommended Dosage of Fenugreek

Before you set out to add fenugreek to your health regime, you should check with your doctor or health practitioner to determine if it is safe for you to use and what dosage. The recommended dosage used in the fenugreek studies for body builders was 500 mg/daily of the fenugreek extract used for the study.

Possible Side Effects from Fenugreek

As with any new foodstuff or supplement introduced into your diet, you should be watchful of any possible side effects. In the studies conducted so far on the side effects of fenugreek, none were reported by the participants. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition published the body building study and stated a few of the participants experienced minor gastrointestinal discomfort or a mild stomach ache.

Does Fenugreek Increase Testosterone? Yes!

The few studies conducted on the effect of fenugreek on the production of testosterone, all conclude that the herb does increase the male hormone. The one thing to keep in mind whenever using any herb is to maintain a healthy balance and never overdose.

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Does Fenugreek Increase Testosterone?