Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition For Dummies
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Studies have shown some improvements in blood glucose control, and even reduced bad LDL cholesterol, among subjects with diabetes who were given fenugreek extracts. Fenugreek is a plant whose seeds provide a characteristic maple-like flavor to Indian cuisine, but its leaves are edible as well, and can be eaten as salad greens, or dried for use as an herb.

Fenugreek has long been used as an herbal medication as well, said to improve milk production in nursing mothers, ease stomach upset, cure baldness, and increase libido (sexual interest) in men.

Fenugreek has also been used for many years as a natural remedy for lowering blood glucose levels — but is it effective?

All in all, studies involving fenugreek have been very small, often over a short time frame, and not well controlled, however. There is a possibility that fenugreek, which is rich in fiber and contains several alkaloids, can work to slow the absorption of carbohydrates, possibly making blood glucose levels easier to manage. Also, some have proposed that an amino acid in fenugreek may stimulate insulin production.

Fenugreek is a delicious addition to food and may have some mildly beneficial impact on blood glucose control.

Fenugreek is not a treatment for diabetes, however, and the danger with such a notion could come from declining to seek appropriate medical care on the assumption that this herb will effectively manage blood glucose, and prevent the complications of hyperglycemia, over the long term.

About This Article

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Toby Smithson, RDN, CDE, has managed her own diabetes for more than 40 years, and founded DiabetesEveryDay.com to share her insights into diabetes self-management. Alan Rubin, MD, is the author of several successful diabetes books, including Diabetes For Dummies and Diabetes Cookbook For Dummies.

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