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Fenugreek and GH

The fenugreek plant is an herb that has been used for centuries in
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ancient medicine and cooking in western Asia, southern Europe and Mediterranean countries. Fenugreek has garnered great interest from bodybuilders as it naturally contains a high concentration of steroidal compounds called furostanolic saponins, the most studied being protodioscin. Several studies have shown that these compounds retain bioavailability when ingested and increase the release of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and luteinizing hormone (LH) from the adrenal glands and pituitary gland respectively. Increased release of these hormones provides great anabolic benefits, as LH signals the testes to increase testosterone production and DHEA is a direct precursor to testosterone production.

Interestingly, a study conducted a few years ago shows that that fenugreek seeds are not only anabolic hormone boosters, but also potent growth hormone (GH) secretagogues. In this study the authors chemically isolated 8 steroidal compounds from fenugreek seeds and then tested them individually to assess their impact on GH release from rat pituitary cells. Of the 8 compounds tested they found that fenugreek saponin I and dioscin resulted in the greatest increase in GH release (1250% and 1770% of control respectively).

Shim SH, Lee EJ, Kim JS, Kang SS, Ha H, Lee HY, Kim C, Lee JH, Son KH. Rat growth-hormone release stimulators from fenugreek seeds. Chem Biodivers. 2008 Sep;5(9):1753-61.