Fenugreek and PCOS
A key feature of PCOS is reduced insulin sensitivity which in short means that cells develop a reduced ability to respond to insulin.
Insulin helps cells to take up glucose and it is very important that cells remain sensitive to insulin to work efficiently.
As a result of reduced insulin sensitivity glucose levels may become elevated and insulin levels may increase as the body tries to send more insulin to cells to encourage them to take up more glucose.
Excessive insulin can have an adverse effect on PCOS, so it is important to restore cell sensitivity to insulin so less insulin needs to be produced.
A 2015 study (1) followed fifty premenopausal women (18-45 years) who had been diagnosed with PCOS as they took a fenugreek extract extract (Furocyst, 2, 500 mg capsules daily) which contains approximately 40% furostanolic saponins, the active part of the herb.
Fenugreek was taken for a period of 90 days and at the beginning and the end of the study period measurements were taken to record ovarian volume - which tends to be elevated in women with PCOS - and the number of cysts present upon the ovaries.
The study was able to determine that just three months treatment with fenugreek was linked with reduced ovarian volume and a reduction in the number of ovarian cysts.
Ovarian volume and the number of cystes decreased significantly at the end of the treatment period; approximately 46% of treated women cyst size was reduced, while in 36% of women ovarian cysts disappeared altogether.
Also, in 71% of treated women regular menstrual cycles resumed at the end of the study and 12% of the women subsequently conceived.
Overall, it was determined that 94% of women patients benefitted from taking fenugreek extract and the treatment was not associated with any safety issues. The study concluded:
'Furocyst caused significant decrease in both ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts.'
'Furocyst was efficacious in ameliorating the symptoms of PCOS.'
If you are looking for natural treatments for PCOS, ask your physician about trying fenugreek extract.
This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to diagnose or to give medical advice for which you should consult a licensed physician.
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(1) Int J Med Sci. 2015 Oct 3;12(10):825-31. doi: 10.7150/ijms.13024. eCollection 2015.
Efficacy of a Novel Fenugreek Seed Extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum, Furocyst) in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Swaroop A1, Jaipuriar AS2, Gupta SK3, Bagchi M1, Kumar P4, Preuss HG5, Bagchi D6.
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