Antidiabetic effects of subfractions from fenugreek seeds in diabetic dogs.


We have previously shown that the antidiabetic property of fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum graecum L.) is associated with the defatted seed material which is rich in fibers, saponins, and proteins. In the present work this defatted preparation was divided into two subfractions: subfraction "a" which contains the testa and endosperm and is rich in fibers (79.6%); and subfraction "b" which contains the cotyledons and axes and is rich in saponins (7.2%) and proteins (52.8%). We investigated the effects of each subfraction on hyperglycemia and the levels of pancreatic hormones when chronically administered to alloxan-diabetic dogs. Each subfraction was studied separately and was given to the dogs per os (mixed with the two daily meals), in addition to the insulin treatment (which was kept the same throughout the experiment) for a period of 21 days. The addition of subfraction "a" to insulin treatment resulted in a clear decrease of hyperglycemia and glycosuria accompanied by a reduction of the high plasma glucagon and somatostatin levels in diabetic dogs. The treatment also decreased the hyperglycemic response to the oral glucose tolerance test. In contrast the chronic administration of subfraction "b" had no effect on hyperglycemia or on the levels of pancreatic hormones in diabetic dogs. Our results show that the antidiabetic properties of fenugreek seeds are contained in the testa and endosperm. Although this subfraction is rich in fibers (high viscosity; 115 cP), it is not possible to exclude the existence of one or more unknown active pharmacological compounds in this subfraction of the seed.

Cite this paper

@article{Ribes1986AntidiabeticEO, title={Antidiabetic effects of subfractions from fenugreek seeds in diabetic dogs.}, author={G{\'e}rard Ribes and Yves Sauvaire and Christopher da Costa and J. C. Baccou and Marie-Madeleine Loubati{\`e}res-Mariani}, journal={Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine}, year={1986}, volume={182 2}, pages={159-66} }