Effect of fenugreek supplementation on blood lipids and body weight: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Moein Askarpour, Farkhondeh Alami, Marilyn S Campbell, Kamesh Venkatakrishnan, Amir Hadi, Ehsan Ghaedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Fenugreek is a traditional herbal medicine that has been used for centuries to treat hyperglycemia, muscle spasms, gastritis, constipation, edema, and other metabolic disorders. Recently, lipid-lowering effects of fenugreek have been identified.

AIM OF THE STUDY: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine and clarify the impact of fenugreek supplementation on anthropometric indices and serum lipid levels.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched PubMed, Scopus, ISI Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar from inception to June 2019 using relevant keywords. All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effects of fenugreek on anthropometric indices and plasma lipids in adults were included. A random-effects model was used for quantitative data synthesis. A sensitivity analysis was conducted using the leave-one-out method.

RESULTS: A meta-analysis of 12 RCTs (14 arms) with 560 participants suggested a significant decrease in plasma concentrations of total cholesterol (WMD = -9.371 mg/dL; 95% CI: -15.419, -3.323, p = 0.002), triglycerides (WMD = -13.776 mg/dL; 95% CI: -26.636, -0.916, p = 0.036), and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (WMD = -6.590 mg/Dl; 95% CI: -13.042, -0.137, p = 0.045), as well as an increase in plasma high density lipoprotein cholesterol (WMD = 3.501 mg/dL; 95% CI: 1.309, 5.692, p = 0.002), while body weight (WMD = 0.223 kg; 95% CI: -0.509, 0.955, p = 0.551) and body mass index (WMD = 0.091 kg/m2; 95% CI: -0.244, 0.426, p = 0.596) were not altered.

CONCLUSION: Fenugreek supplementation improved lipid parameters in adults. However, to confirm these results, more studies, particularly among hyperlipidemic patients, are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112538
JournalJournal of Ethnopharmacology
StatePublished - May 10 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Body Weight/drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias/drug therapy
  • Hypolipidemic Agents/isolation & purification
  • Lipids/blood
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Trigonella/chemistry


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