Fenugreek and Testosterone: The Seeds Increase Testosterone but they Work via Inhibiting DHT
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant which seeds are commonly used as a spice in Indian cuisine.
And it’s not that big of a surprise that about 80% of the Fenugreek on the market comes from India, the home of Ayurveda.
Recently however, fenugreek powders and extracts have made their way to the shelves of bodybuilding supplement stores, which was only a matter of time as few recent studies had shown that the seeds of the plant were able to increase testosterone levels, strength output, and even growth hormone levels.
What more could you ask for right?
What are the Fenugreek Testosterone Benefits?
I have to admit that I was pretty pumped up when I heard of all the possible fenugreek benefits for men, and that it has the ability to increase strength output in human trials.
…And I was even more interested in the compound when this rat study found out that it might also have a mechanism of action that elevates growth hormone levels.
So I jumped into the hyped up fenugreek bandwagon and ended up buying some pure fenugreek powder.
However I still have more than half of the powder bag left, and I’m not going to use it anymore.
What? Why not? I thought it increased testosterone levels?
Answer: It does increase testosterone levels (very marginally). However it seems to work via inhibiting the conversion from testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a more potent androgen that has 3-10 times the strength of testosterone.
In other words, it seems to block the 5-alpha reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone into DHT.
And while some men see this as a positive quality (DHT is blamed for hair loss), I really don’t want to lower my DHT levels…
DHT is 3-10 times as strong as testosterone is, and most medical experts believe that it’s the principal androgen behind the development of genitals, male sexual function, body hair, beard growth, and muscle growth.
Actually most of the benefits of testosterone come from the fact that high testosterone often leads to high DHT levels, as there wouldn’t be any DHT without T.
And that’s the problem I have with fenugreek. A benefit of fenugreek is that it does increase serum testosterone levels, but only because the testosterone can’t convert into DHT. And that’s really not how I want to increase my natural testosterone levels.
Thus, why I’ve stopped the use of fenugreek completely.
Conclusion on Fenugreek
Even though fenugreek is still hyped up in the bodybuilding world, I no longer use it (even though I mistakenly ended up buying a bunch of it, before finding out the actual mechanism of action on its purported testosterone boost).
I simply don’t want to increase my testosterone levels via blocking its conversion to DHT. I want to do it by stimulating the natural production of testosterone, which then stimulates the natural production of DHT.
Bottom line on Fenugreek and Testosterone:
To get the maximum benefits out of your natural testosterone, you should make sure that the androgen naturally converts into dihydrotestosterone (a more potent form). Fenugreek works by inhibiting this conversion, which leaves more testosterone to your blood serum as it can’t convert. And that’s not a good thing. You want to increase that DHT, not the other way around.