Fenugreek, the old-day strongman’s herb for high testosterone?
Fenugreek has been used for a long time to regain physical and sexual strength. In India, ground fenugreek seeds mixed with jaggery (unrefined sugar) are recommended for females after childbirth for their anabolic effects to develop and strengthen muscles (R).
In both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, fenugreek leaves and seeds have long been known for their therapeutic efficacy in diabetes, muscle building and wrestling.
Fenugreek has been shown to increase testosterone, improve muscle strength and size, help with fat loss and protect the liver against toxins, such as alcohol (R).
Let’s start with testosterone.
Hans here! I increased my testosterone to 1254ng/dl and have been maintaining high T naturally. I’ve turned myself into an Alpha Energy Male.
An Alpha Energy Male with high energy, fast recovery, high sex drive, and confidence.
This is why I research obsessively, experiment and write, and have been doing so for the past decade.
Hope you enjoy and join me on this journey.
Why do we want to be an alpha energy male?
Being an alpha energy male is synonymous with possessing both high testosterone levels and abundant energy. Consequently, the question arises: what exactly is the significance of having elevated testosterone and energy levels?
Because high T and energy make us feel incredible and powerups our motivation, drive, confidence, and sexual function.
A life without high T and energy isn’t a life worth living.
Fenugreek increases Testosterone
There are quite a few different Fenugreek extracts out there, so let’s discuss each one individually.
Grecunin (Fenugreek extract) on testosterone
500mg Fenugreek (standardized for Grecunin) increased testosterone by 97ng/dl after 8 weeks of a training cycle, whereas it decreased 21ng/dl in the placebo group (R). Fenugreek also increased free testosterone by 12.3% (from 1476 to 1573ng/dl), whereas the placebo group had a 14.3% decrease.
Testofen (Fenugreek extract) on testosterone
600 mg daily of a specialized fenugreek seed extract, Testofen®, increased testosterone by 12.2% (355 to 398ng/dl) and free testosterone by 9.5% in 120 overweight older men that were obese, aged between 43 and 70 years. In contrast, the placebo group had a 6.1% and 9.1% decrease in total and free testosterone respectively after 12 weeks (R).
Another study found that 600mg of Testofen didn’t alter testosterone levels after 6 weeks (R).
Testofen doesn’t seem to be potent at increasing T. 👎
Furosap (Fenugreek extract 20% protodioscin) on testosterone
There are 3 studies that show that this extract could increase T. 1 study I couldn’t find the exact numbers on, so let’s look at the other 2.
In this 2017 study, Furosap increased free testosterone levels by 46%, while increasing total testosterone by only 30ng/dl (R). Sperm count massively increased from 49 to 88.3 million/ml and abnormal sperm morphology decreased from 39.4 to 15.4%.
In this 2018 study, Furosap supplementation caused a significant increase in the mean lean mass and fat-free mass compared to the placebo group. Increased T from 546 to 670ng/dl (a 124ng/dl increase) (R). Not bad.👍
Furosap supplementation also increases mood and mental alertness, sperm profile, morphology and motility, libido, and sexual health.
Fenugreek glycoside on testosterone
This 2016 study showed that 600mg Fenugreek glycoside supplementation increased total testosterone by 48ng/dl and free testosterone by 17.53ng/dl (98.7%) (R).
Torabolictm on testosterone
Additionally, 500mg of Fenugreek (Torabolictm Trigonella Foenum-Graecum) (standardized for 70% TRIGIMANNOSE)(Indus Biotech, India) didn’t increase testosterone (R). Free T decreased from 40 to 36 and DHT decreased from 1263 to 1144.
Quite a bad finding for a product with a cool name. 😁
IND9 on testosterone
1 dose of 600mg Fenugreek extract (IND9) increased total and free testosterone by 28% and 37.5% respectively after 10 hours (R).
Fenugreek and Lespedeza cuneata
400mg of this mix daily increased total testosterone from 430 to 490ng/dl and free testosterone from 7.7 to 8.8pg/ml (R).
- a decrease in low testosterone symptoms
- better and more frequent erections
- feeling stress resiliency
Fenugreek extracts testosterone summary
Compiling all of the studies, the average increase in testosterone was 67ng/dl. Some got as low as a 31ng/dl increase and others a 124ng/dl increase on average.
Also, some people are more likely to be responders and non-responders. Someone might get a 0 increase whereas another might get a 500ng/dl increase from the same supplement.
Fenugreek on DHT
Fenugreek is reported be to a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (in vitro), but human studies have not found that to be the case.
500mg Torabolictm decreased DHT from 1263 to 1144, which is most likely because free testosterone decreased from 40 to 36 and not actually because it inhibits 5AR (R).
500mg Fenugreek (standardized for Grecunin) for 8 weeks didn’t significantly alter free testosterone or DHT (R).
These are the only 2 studies that I could find that looked at Fenugreek and DHT.
However, a high protodioscin and diosgenin extract might be able to boost DHT.
Diosgenin and yamogenin are the most steroidal sapogenins of fenugreek seed extract. Diosgenin is shown as an important precursor for synthesizing steroidal hormones such as testosterone (R). Feeding animals diosgenin can significantly increase muscle DHT levels.
Giving sprint athletes just 2g of Dioscorea esculenta (a yam rich in diosgenin; 2g contains roughly 20mg diosgenin) was able to significantly increase serum DHEA, free testosterone and DHT.
Protodioscin is a steroidal saponin phytochemical found in some plant species, including Fenugreek and Tribulus Terrestris. Protodioscin protodioscin-like components also have anabolic and androgenic effects (R).
This study using protodioscin-rich Tribulus Terrestris found a significant increase in DHEA and DHT and a reduction in prolactin over 12 weeks (R).
So likely Furosap, rich in protodioscin, will have the best effect on DHT. You can always combine Fenugreek and Tribulus for the best impact.
Fenugreek on prolactin and milk production
Fenugreek doesn’t increase prolactin. The way it helps to increase milk production (in lactating mothers) is by increasing insulin, IGF-1 and oxytocin (R).
Fenugreek will likely help to lower prolactin that’s been elevated by stress since it restores dopamine levels that have been reduced by chronic stress.
Fenugreek on exercise performance
In male rats, galactomannan supplementation (isolated from fenugreek seeds) was equally as effective in increasing the weight of the levator ani muscle as that of testosterone injections (R).
Another compound in Fenugreek, diosgenin, increases overall weight and muscle growth in rats when compared to control subjects.
4-hydroxyisoleucine improves insulin sensitivity and enhances glucose uptake into muscle. This can help to improve exercise performance and recovery.
Four randomized controlled studies observed that fenugreek supplementation had significantly improved muscle strength, repetitions to failure (muscle endurance), submaximal performance index, lean body mass, and reduced body fat (R).
Fenugreek with creatine supplementation improved creatine uptake without the necessity of high carbohydrate intake. Hence, fenugreek extracts can be a helpful natural supplement and ergogenic aid for athletes (R).
Fenugreek on sexual function and erections
Even though Fenugreek might not be the best at boosting testosterone, it seems to be quite effective at boosting sexual function.
Testofen more than doubled weekly erections and sexual frequency (R).
This will make you feel better about your life (hopefully). The average weekly erection for 43 to 75-year-old men is once a week.🤯— Hans Amato || testosterone optimization (@HansAmato) August 3, 2023
With Fenugreek supplementation, it increased to 2-3 times.
Average sexual frequency was 1-2 per month which increased to once a week.🚀 pic.twitter.com/uHrwX25nwk
Another Testofen study found dramatically improved libido, sexual thoughts, sexual behavior and orgasm pleasure (R).
Anti-depressant effect of Fenugreek
Fenugreek has strong anti-depressant, anti-anxiety and mood-uplifting effects (R). It can also help to prevent negative neurotransmitter changes induced by stress (it restores cortisol, dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin to pre-stress levels).
Chronic stress increases cortisol and lowers dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. Fenugreek helps to reverse those changes (R).
Fenugreek seems to inhibit MOA-A and B almost equally, leading to an equal increase in dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin (R).
Fenugreek has been used for a long time to enhance mood and physical capacity.
Although it doesn’t increase testosterone by a whole lot, it might still be a worthwhile supplement for mood, exercise, stress resiliency, aphrodisiac and so on.
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>1000ng/dl Testosterone: My Step-by-Step Guide on How I Do It Naturally!