Better together: Research suggests combining fenugreek seeds and garlic for better heart health
04/12/2019 // Michelle Simmons // Views

Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, which is why the importance of keeping the heart healthy has always been emphasized. Studies have shown that keeping your cholesterol level at bay can lower your risk of having a heart attack. One way of reducing your cholesterol level is by taking cholesterol-lowering herbs, such as fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum) and garlic (Allium sativum). A new study suggests that combining these two herbs can keep your heart healthy and even prevent heart attacks.

For the current study, researchers at CSIR – Central Food Technological Research Institute in India examined the cardioprotective effect the combination of fenugreek seeds and garlic in rats. To elevate the rats' cholesterol levels, they put the rats on a high-cholesterol diet for eight weeks. At the same time, they treated rats with 10 percent of fenugreek, 2 percent of garlic, or a combination of the two herbs.

After eight weeks, the researchers induced a heart attack in rats with isoproterenol. The administration of isoproterenol increased lipid peroxides and reduced antioxidant molecules in the blood and heart of the rats. However, these were countered with the pretreatment with fenugreek seeds, garlic, and the combination of both. The combination of fenugreek seeds and garlic exhibited the greatest effect and effectively countered heart attack. In addition, this combination also suppressed oxidative stress in the development of cardiovascular disease, which can be attributed to their antioxidant properties.


The findings of this study, which were published in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness, suggest that consuming a combination of fenugreek seeds and garlic helps lower your risk of heart disease, including heart attack.

Earlier studies have shown that consumption of foods high in soluble fiber, such as fenugreek seeds, can help in controlling high cholesterol levels. Fenugreek seeds have also been shown to regulate cholesterol levels and improve blood pressure. On the other hand, garlic has also been shown to exhibit cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects.

Combining cholesterol-lowering foods provides more protection

It appears that putting or consuming cholesterol-lowering foods together is more effective in reducing cholesterol levels compared to when these foods are eaten alone. In another study, a team of Canadian researchers found that people who ate a combination of known cholesterol-lowering foods for six months effectively reduced their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol compared to those who followed a therapeutic low-saturated fat diet. (Related: Cholesterol-lowering foods most effective when combined: U of T study (press release).)

Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the study looked at the effect of combining cholesterol-lowering foods in reducing LDL cholesterol. The research team enrolled 345 participants with high blood cholesterol and divided them into three groups. One group received dietary advice on a low-saturated fat therapeutic diet in two clinic visits over six months, while two other groups received dietary advice on diet that emphasized the consumption of plant sterols, soy protein, fibers, and nuts in two and seven clinic visits over six months. All participants kept a seven-day diet diary.

The results showed that participants who consumed a combination of plant sterols, soy protein, fibers, and nuts had higher reductions in their LDL cholesterol -- about 13 to 14 percent -- compared to those who followed a low-saturated fat diet, which was three percent. In addition, their high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol were maintained. The research team concluded that advising people to adhere to a healthful, low-fat diet that also includes fiber, plant sterols, soy protein, and nuts, for at least six months can help lower their cholesterol levels.

Read more news stories and studies on keeping the heart healthy through dietary interventions by going to

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