A natural anti-oxidant of the body - Alpha Lipoic Acid
Fenugreek alternatively known as Greek Hay and Fenigreek, is a leguminous herb that is widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is also used as fodder in many parts of the world. The medicinal properties of fenugreek were first recognized in countries like Greece, Italy and Egypt. The seeds of fenugreek are rich in protein, potassium, vitamin C and other active elements such as saponins, lysine, L-tryptophan, diosgenin, tigogenin and 4-hydroxy leucine.
Fenugreek can provide relief from a large number of problems like digestive problems, gout, erectile dysfunction and eczema. Above all, it has numerous properties that help it to fight diabetes and bring down blood sugar. Extensive research has been conducted to study the efficacy of fenugreek in treatment of diabetes.
Mechanism of Action of Fenugreek
Fenugreek lowers the blood sugar levels in multiple ways. These seeds are rich in soluble fibers like galactomannan. This fiber gives a feeling of satiety. It also slows down the process of digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. 4-Hydroxy leucine found in these seeds stimulates insulin secretion by pancreatic cells and lowers absorption of glucose in intestines (Kamakhya Kumar et al).
Some of the animal studies have proved that fenugreek seed extracts can slow down the action of enzymes that help in the digestion of carbohydrates thus reducing the gastrointestinal absorption of glucose. Thus fenugreek seeds are highly efficient in lowering the post-prandial glucose levels. The in vitro studies have shown that these seeds can also stimulate the glucose uptake in peripheral tissues. The utilization of glucose lowers its levels in blood (Neelakantan, et al).
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with chronic hyperglycemia. Prolonged hyperglycemia leads to long-term dysfunction and failure of different organs and increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. These patients exhibit insulin resistance and relative insulin deficiency. These patients do not need insulin treatment during the initial stages. Fenugreek seeds increase the number of insulin receptors and thus help in overcoming the insulin resistance (Ríos et al).
Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) is expressed in many tissues and controls energy homeostasis in these tissues. GLP-1 analogs bind with these receptors and enhance the insulin secretion. An active compound called N55 was isolated from these seeds which enhances the GLP-1 binding by 40 fold. This binding enhances the insulin secretion and lowers the blood glucose levels.
Evidences that Suggest the Anti-Diabetic Properties of Fenugreek
According to the study conducted by Neelakantan in 2004, almost 10 different clinical trials were conducted to study the efficacy of fenugreek on diabetic patients. Most of the studies suggest a significant reduction in the fasting blood glucose levels and post-prandial glucose levels (Neelakantan, et al).
Fenfuro is a novel substance detected in fenugreek seed extract. A multi-center, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, study was conducted for a period of 3 months to study the efficacy of Fenfuro (500 mg), in 154, type 2 diabetes patients. Fenfuro caused significant reduction in both fasting plasma and post-prandial blood sugar levels. Fenfuro proved to be safe and efficient in alleviating the symptoms of T2D in humans (Bagchi D, et al).
In another study, a single dose of 25 g of fenugreek seeds, 5 g of gum isolate or 150 g of leaves were given to a group of healthy subjects. The results showed that, the rise in plasma glucose after a dose of glucose or meal was prevented, in those people who consumed fenugreek seeds.
Use Fenugreek and Reduce Your Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
Fenugreek seeds are a single solution to several problems. The extract of fenugreek seeds can treat diabetes without any side effects. It is also effective in pre-diabetes condition as it slows down the progression of the disease. There is no doubt that fenugreek is an attractive option when one wants to overcome diabetes through natural options. So consume fenugreek and stay away from diabetes.
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