- Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
- Male Libido
Re: Fenugreek Extract Formulation Enhances Male Libido
E, Rao A, Vitetta L. Physiological aspects of male libido enhanced by
standardized Trigonella foenum-graecum
extract and mineral formulation. Phytother
Res. 2011; [epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/ptr.3360.
the Global Study of Sexual Attitude and Behaviours of 27,500 men and women in
30 countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand,
18% of men reported low libido or lack of interest in sexual activity, low
sexual drive, or lack of urge or desire.1 Low libido can be caused
by psychological issues, physical conditions, or combinations of other factors.
Some medications, such as diuretics, antidepressants, and statins can
contribute to this problem. Estrogen/testosterone ratios influence libido;
estrogen therapy inhibits libido in women, and androgen therapy has a positive
effect on libido in both men and women. Recently, interest has increased in
herbal medicines used traditionally to improve sexual function and performance.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
is rich in steroidal saponins that can serve as sex hormone precursors.
Fenugreek seed extract has exhibited estrogenic activity, binding to estrogen
receptors and inducing the expression of estrogen-responsive genes. These
authors, from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, conducted a study to evaluate
the effects of a formulation containing the Testofen brand of fenugreek extract
(Gencor Pacific Ltd.; Anaheim, California) combined with magnesium, zinc, and
pyridoxine on healthy males with low libido but without sexual dysfunction.
were recruited through local media advertising and clinical trial databases.
All were healthy heterosexual males aged 25 to 52 years interested in
increasing libido who were not experiencing sexual dysfunction. They were in a
stable sexual relationship, sexually active for at least 6 months and
anticipating a stable sexual relationship for the following 8 weeks.
baseline, a case history was taken on the 60 consenting participants. Each
underwent a brief medical assessment and had blood samples drawn for a full
blood count (FBC), prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and testosterone and
participants were assigned randomly to 2 groups of 30. The active treatment
product was an herbal formulation tablet containing 300 mg of Testofen brand
fenugreek extract powder, 17 mg magnesium, 15 mg elemental zinc, and 5 mg
pyridoxine, as well as pharmaceutical grade excipients. The placebo product
contained 50 mg rice bran and the same pharmaceutical grade excipients.
primary outcome was treatment efficacy determined by using the Derogatis
Interview for Sexual Functioning-Self Report (DISF-SR) (males), a set of 21
questions in 4 domains: sexual cognition/fantasy, sexual arousal, sexual
behavior/experiences, and orgasm. All participants completed the questionnaires
at the start of the trial (baseline) and at weeks 3 and 6. A secondary outcome
was quality of life (QOL) assessed by using a 5-point satisfaction scale at
baseline and at 6 weeks. The scale rated the participants' satisfaction with
libido, performance, muscle strength, energy, stamina, mood, and sleep.
serum testosterone, and serum prolactin were measured again at 6 weeks. Of the
60 recruited participants, 54 completed the study (27 in each group). Average
age (41.3 years) and body mass index were similar in the 2 groups.
authors report that statistically significant increases were seen in total
DISF-SR scores in the Testofen group at both 3 weeks (67.59 to 75.67;
P<0.01) and 6 weeks (67.59 to 82.48; P<0.01). A statistically significant
decrease in total DISF-SR score was seen in the placebo group at week 6 (72.93
to 66.81; P<0.01). Regarding subscores of the DISF-SR, at week 3,
statistically significant changes were seen in sexual arousal, sexual behavior,
and orgasm in the Testofen group. At week 6, statistically significant
increases were seen in all 4 domains of the DISF-SR in the Testofen group. No
statistically significant changes were reported for the placebo group in any of
the domains throughout the study.
QOL, most of the Testofen group participants reported improved libido (81.5%),
recovery time (66.7%), and quality of sexual performance (63%). Also, most of
the Testofen group participants reported improved general energy (81.5%) and
well-being (55.6%). Overall, little change in mood and sleep was reported in
either group. The placebo group participants reported no improvement in any of
the QOL factors.
prolactin and testosterone levels remained within normal reference range for all
participants in both groups. No adverse events were reported during the trial.
authors cite several unpublished studies supporting fenugreek's role in
balancing hormones and supporting libido in healthy males. They conclude that
in this study fenugreek extract powder was efficacious in enhancing male libido
in healthy adult males with normal testosterone, prolactin, and PSA levels.
Positive changes in the physiological aspects of libido (particularly, sexual
arousal and orgasm) as well as improved QOL (well-being, muscle strength, and
energy) were reported by participants in the Testofen group.
1Brock G, Laumann E,
Glasser DB, et al. 2003. Prevalence of sexual dysfunction among mature men and
women in USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Program and Abstracts from the American Urological Association 98th
Annual Meeting. Abstract. American Urological Association: Chicago, IL;