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?

The fenugreek testosterone benefits are deceivingI 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.

(Here’s a fenugreek testosterone study that shows how fenugreek increased testosterone, but also decreased dihydrotestosterone).

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.

Fenugreek and Testosterone: The Seeds Increase Testosterone but they Work via Inhibiting DHT was last modified: March 27th, 2017 by Ali Kuoppala
Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala

Ali Kuoppala is the founder of Anabolic Men, and an Independent Researcher that has been credited with organizing the findings that have helped thousands of men reach hormonal balance.
Ali Kuoppala
  • anonymous

    Thanks for sharing these details on Fenugreek. Ayurveda is driven by the belief that Food is Medicine. And by including Fenugreek in small portions on an extremely regular basis, one’s body will be well regulated.

    One thing to remember with Ayurveda though is that it is about gradually and regularly taking care of the body and without harming the body in any way – not about instant results. So, fenugreek will lead to overall improvements but one should not think of it as a steroid like remedy!

    • Yeah, that’s why I cycle all herbal compounds and even take breaks from them.

  • ilias

    how much fenugreek did you take

  • Nungiver

    I recall regularly taking 15 grams of the seed soften in hot water and working the night shift with a penis behaving like I was 40 years younger.

    • pete g

      so that would be a very good thing, right? are you agreeing with this article then, or not?

  • Adam

    I have had non-existent libido several times on fenugreek. But this last
    time was the worst. It is almost classic symptoms of the guys who were
    injured by finasteride (Propecia).

    Morning erections, gone. Random erections, never. I had difficulty
    getting aroused. I just plain had no interest in sex. Maintaining an
    erection was difficult because I just couldn’t keep myself interested.
    And I felt no desire to self service in the off time.

    I started to become more emotional. I lost my alpha feeling. My muscle
    tissue became softer and I couldn’t get a pump worth a damn while
    working out. Another thing that was really pronounced that I had never
    felt before was a lack of interest in working out. I would get to the
    gym and no matter what I did beforehand or how focused I tried to be, I
    had an insatiable desire to leave early. None of my lifts felt good. I
    had no mental encouragement. It was awful.

    And in the weeks, or month or more after ceasing, I was still feeling
    this. I’m finally starting to normalize, but with assistance.

    The fmen’s health supplement industry pisses me off. Every product, even multivitamins, have either saw palmetto
    or pumpkin seed in them under the guise of “prostate support.” Are these
    motherfuckers stupid, because it’s elevated estrogen that’s causing the
    epidemic of prostatic hyperplasia, not DHT!

    I’m sick and tired of the war on DHT from supplement companies that
    either don’t know the real science or are trying to appeal to common
    misnomers in marketing.

    Screw Testofen. I will never take this crap ever again.

  • Nivan Mal

    This idiot must have taken in elephant doses..

    • Adam

      Nope. If you’re sensitive to 5-AR inhibition, it doesn’t take more than a therapeutic dose to trigger the side effects. I had all of them. No sex drive, brain fog, lack of motivation, no gym pumps anymore — you name it, I had it. All on a recommended daily dose.

      Some people can take this supplement and some can’t. I’m one of the ones who can’t.

  • Huge Peleu

    Dude, check the study again, it didn’t do anything to DHT, lowered T and got the estrogen up slightly

  • Drjay318

    Hi, how are you? I liked your review. I wanted to ask you if you have heard or made any reviews on the testosterone booster called “testofuel”?

  • Patrick Hendry

    Jesus, how much were you taking?! I take 1000 mg a day maximum and I feel fantastic. No erection problems what so ever, in fact they have become more powerful than ever, orgasms have become insane, my sex drive has sky rocketed, and my energy levels are through the roof. I honestly think you were taking far too much.

    • Daniel-san

      Just out of curiosity: how old are you? I’m 55 and was thinking maybe age would be a factor in dosage amount?

  • Orion Antares

    Could this actually be useful to some men to reduce the amount of DHT being synthesized and keep more of it as T?

  • Matt

    Too much DHT causes male pattern baldness. It shrinks hair folicles. It’s all about balance with the hormones. More isn’t necessarily better in this case. More testosterone doesn’t always equate to being more masculine either. If you feel like a bitch then you are one. Pills powders and potions wont cure that.

  • Matt

    If you really want “the beast” to return leave fenugreek alone. Get yourself some raw or gelatinized black maca. It’ll make your balls hang like shot puts

  • Koi Nahin

    I am not sure how accurate are effects of using herbals since they are rarely studied in modern scientific labs nor modern science shows any interest in them (probably since modern science considers using chemicals as modern vs considering herbals as primitive or ancient).
    If T to DHT happens the way you put it then most of the professional body builders and champions should be clean bald!
    There is something missing in understanding/explaining the relation between T, DHT and body-building.

  • Shoeb Hasan Mahmood

    Thanks. I needed to treat BPH. and bph is best treated with 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. so it seems fenugreek seed is the real natural thing to treat BPH or any kind of prostate enlargement. Thanks a ton. I just figured the relationship through you article.

    • Enrique Palatza

      Yes, if effective, I would rather supplement with fenogreek than take Finasteride/Proscar/Propecia.

  • Adam

    Yes, recovered, but not without a really comprehensive herbal recovery program and time. I used Cistanche, Royal Jelly, Pine Pollen Tincture, Tongkat Ali (the good stuff, from Super Man Herbs), Shilajit and 50% icariin to get myself back on track. It was a nightmare, but I’m happy to report I’m back to normal.

  • jameskatt

    DHT does not increase muscle growth. Only Testosterone does. So this article is incorrect.

  • kind of strange DHT can make you bald

    • Enrique Palatza

      It clogs your hair follicles and shortens the hair follicles cycle, eventually making it totally dormant. Good news is, some guys follicles are just genetically able to power through the DHT. Also, some men are just not genetically able to convert free testosterone to DHT. I hate those guys. 😉

  • Enrique Palatza

    DHT is pretty much nothing but a nuisance (hair loss & not beneficial toward muscle-building) if your post-puberty. I’d rather have the free testosterone. Thanks though.