Monday, November 1, 2010

Fenugreek Supplement Increases Upper- and Lower-Body Strength and Body composition

Fenugreek is an ingredient in several recently released dietary supplements, most claim to increase testosterone, something a recent study (Poole. 2010) on the effect of supplementation with a commercially available 500mg fenugreek supplement does not substantiate.
Table 1: Within and between group hormonal changes from baseline (T1) through week 8 (T3)
If you have a look at table 1, you will see that other than advertised there was not only no raise in testosterone, but a decline!

It is all the more remarkable that the intervention produced significant increases in upper- and lower-body strength and body composition in the subjects, who took part in a supervised 4-day per week periodized resistance-training program split into two upper and two lower extremity workouts per week for a total of 8-weeks:
Significant group x time interaction effects were observed among groups in changes in body fat (FEN: -2.3 +/- 1.4%BF; PL: -0.39 +/- 1.6 %BF, p < 0.001), leg press 1-RM (FEN: 84.6 +/- 36.2 kg; PL: 48 +/- 29.5 kg, p < 0.001), and bench press 1-RM (FEN: 9.1 +/- 6.9 kg; PL: 4.3 +/-5.6 kg, p = 0.01). No significant interactions was observed among groups for Wingate power analysis (p = 0.95) or muscular endurance on bench press (p = 0.87) or leg press (p = 0.61). In addition, there were no changes among groups in any clinical safety data including lipid panel, liver function, kidney function, and/or CBC panel (p > 0.05).
Obviously, the ergogenic effects of fenugreek are not mediated by hormonal changes. Also, the scientists refrain from any speculation which leaves us without answer to the question for the underlying mechanism of action.