The new whey protein? Vitafoods Asia speaker reveals why fenugreek seed is a promising sports nutrition ingredient

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fenugreek seed is a herb to watch ©Getty Images
Fenugreek seed is a herb to watch ©Getty Images

Related tags: Sports nutrition, Protein, Testosterone, Fitness, Whey protein, fenugreek seed, India, Canada, Australia

Fenugreek seed’s androgenic effect, which increases testosterone levels in males, makes it a promising nutritional ingredient for fitness supplement, according to a speaker at the forthcoming Vitafoods Asia exhibition in Singapore.

Dr Dilip Ghosh, director at Nutriconnect, will be presenting about fenugreek’s potential during his talk 'Sports and fitness nutrition: tailoring diets for improved performance​' ​on September 26.

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia​, Dr Ghosh said fenugreek seed could tap into the demand for plant-based alternatives.

We see atrend in the demand for natural supplements. We noticed people are getting bored of whey protein and similar substances. Although they are from natural dairy sources, people are still concerned with trans-fat and allergy issues.”

He noted that whey protein have already been in the market for five to 10 years, and that plant proteins were currently a hot topic.

If we can successfully introduce fenugreek protein products, either in supplements, cookies, or different formats, it will be a real game changer​.”

Testosterone boosting in athletes

Nutriconnect currently has one fenugreek seed extract product for athletes, andropique.

Andropique is a testosterone booster which can enhance bio-available and free-testosterone, which he said was aimed at athletes in performance and endurance exercise. It is taken before exercise.

In a clinical study in India, 16 male volunteers were given a single dose of 600mg of andropique and they found a significant increase in total (113.5 vs 27.5ng/l), and bioavailable (62.4 vs 19.5ng/dl) testosterone levels after 10 hours.

In another eight-week clinical study in USA, 30 resistance-trained male volunteers were given 500mg of andropique daily. The intervention group experienced a significant reduction in body fat by 1.8% compared to 0.5% in the placebo group.

Total and bioavailable testosterone levels also significantly increased in the intervention group (6.6%, 12.25%), compared to the placebo group which decreased by 13.3% and 14.32% respectively.

Andropique is approved in Canada and India for sale in pharmacies, and will be available in Australia in the next three months, where it is a listed medicine in TGA Australia. It is GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), halal and Kosher certified.

Andropique have only been tested in male subjects and its effects on women need to be assessed and analysed.

Other applications

Traditionally, fenugreek seed were used as a flavouring agent in culinary, as well as medicinal use for diabetes and hyperlipidaemia from as early as 4000 BC.

It is grown mainly in India, Egypt and Middle Eastern countries.

Other applications of fenugreek seed include diabetes management (slow down absorption of sugar in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulate insulin release, lowering blood sugar in diabetic patients), and anti-anxiety/anti-depressant-like effects (increase serotonin turnover in the brain).

Vitafoods Asia​ will take place in Singapore between September 25 and 26 at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre at Marina Bay Sands.  

Dr. Ghosh is also publishing his latest book, Natural Medicines: Clinical Efficacy, Safety and Quality in August 2019.

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