“Our systematic review and meta-analysis suggest that fenugreek seeds may contribute to better glycemic control in persons with diabetes mellitus with a similar magnitude of effect as intensive lifestyle or other pharmaceutical treatment added to standard treatment,” wrote the authors from the National University of Singapore, McMaster University (Canada), and Harvard University.
“Fenugreek is widely available at low cost and generally accepted in resource poor countries such as India and China where a large proportion of persons with diabetes in the world reside. Therefore, fenugreek may be a promising complementary option for the clinical management of diabetes.”
Commenting on the potential active components of fenugreek behind the benefits, the researchers said that some studies indicate that the acute effects may be mainly due to the gum fraction. However, other studies have indicated a potential role of compounds in fenugreek to inhibit enzymatic digestion and the absorption of glucose from the gut, while there is also the potential for an amino acid derivative called 4-hydroxyisoleucine to stimulate glucose-dependent insulin.