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European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 66, Issue 5, pp 449–455 | Cite as

A fenugreek seed extract selectively reduces spontaneous fat intake in overweight subjects

  • Hugues ChevassusEmail author
  • Jean-Baptiste Gaillard
  • Anne Farret
  • Françoise Costa
  • Isabelle Gabillaud
  • Emilie Mas
  • Anne-Marie Dupuy
  • Françoise Michel
  • Caroline Cantié
  • Eric Renard
  • Florence Galtier
  • Pierre Petit
Clinical Trial

Abstract

Purpose

Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) have long been used as a herbal medicine for treating metabolic and nutritive dysfunctions. They have been shown to modulate feeding behaviour in animals. We have recently observed a selective decrease in fat consumption in healthy normal weight volunteers treated with a hydro-alcoholic seed extract. However, strong clinical data on the effects of fenugreek seeds on energy intake are lacking, especially in overweight individuals. The aim of our study was to investigate the effects of a repeated administration of a fenugreek seed extract on the eating behaviour of overweight subjects.

Methods

Thirty-nine healthy overweight male volunteers completed a 6-week double-blind randomized placebo-controlled parallel trial of a fixed dose of a fenugreek seed extract. Main endpoints were energy intake (dietary records and meal test), weight, fasting and post-absorptive glucose and insulin, appetite/satiety scores and oxidative parameters.

Results

Daily fat consumption, expressed as the ratio fat reported energy intake/total energy expenditure (fat-REI/TEE), was significantly decreased in our overweight subjects administered the fenugreek seed extract relative to those receiving the placebo (fat-REI/TEE 0.26 ± 0.02 vs. 0.30 ± 0.01, respectively; P = 0.032). We also observed a significant decrease in the insulin/glucose ratio in subjects treated with fenugreek seed extract relative to the placebo group (0.89 ± 0.09 vs. 1.06 ± 0.10 mUI mmol−1, respectively; P = 0.044). No significant effect was observed on weight, appetite/satiety scores or oxidative parameters.

Conclusion

The repeated administration of a fenugreek seed extract slightly but significantly decreased dietary fat consumption in healthy overweight subjects in this short-term study.

Keywords

Eating behaviour Energy intake Fat Fenugreek seed Overweight subjects Human 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was sponsored by the University Hospital of Montpellier (UF7698) with the financial support of French Ministry of Health (PHRC régional 2001) and Laboratoires Legras (Cachan, France). We specially thank B Bories-Azeau (administrative assistant) for her extensive work concerning volunteers recruitment and study management. This study was also successfully carried out thanks to the expert scientific, medical, technical and logistic assistance of JL Allaz, AM Barbanel, R Blanc, A Bonardet, A Cadène, JP Cristol, M Escoffier, J Foppolo, P Jonquet, C Montaudié, A Mouraret, C Piat, MC Picot, G Pouly, AM Puech-Cathala, I Roch-Torreilles, MH Rocolle and H Tsiambakaïna.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hugues Chevassus
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
    Email author
  • Jean-Baptiste Gaillard
    • 3
  • Anne Farret
    • 1
    • 2
  • Françoise Costa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Isabelle Gabillaud
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emilie Mas
    • 3
  • Anne-Marie Dupuy
    • 3
  • Françoise Michel
    • 3
  • Caroline Cantié
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eric Renard
    • 4
    • 5
  • Florence Galtier
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Pierre Petit
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre d’Investigation CliniqueCentre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire (CHRU) de MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.INSERM, CIC 0001MontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de BiochimieCHRU MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  4. 4.Service des Maladies EndocriniennesCHRU MontpellierMontpellierFrance
  5. 5.Centre de Pharmacologie et Innovation dans le DiabèteUniversité Montpellier I and CNRS UMR 5232MontpellierFrance
  6. 6.Centre d’Investigation Clinique INSERM-CHRUHôpital Saint-EloiMontpellier Cedex 5France

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