Mechanism Of Diabetes Control
Fenu Fibre has a high content of soluble fiber (galactomannan with galactose and mannose in the ratio of 1:1.02). Form the current understanding of functional foods fiber plays an important role by its property of non-digestibility and viscosity. It is demonstrated that viscosity plays an important role in digestion of starch and absorption of glocose from intestine to blood.
This particular type of soluble fiber becomes highly viscous when mixed with water and lines the walls of the stomach.
It reduces the absorption of glucose from intestine to blood and ensures that your normal insulin production is sufficient for glucose absorption into the cells. Since the amount of glucose in blood is fairly constant and spread over a long duration, the insulin produced by the body ensures constant absorption of glucose into the cells. Constant and reduced blood glucose is the aim of diabetes treatment.
There is another interesting observation about Fenu Fibre. There is a popular myth that higher insulin dosages are required to control higher blood glucose levels. This in turn has led to the prescription of higher insulin levels leading to insulin resistant diabetes. This however does not bear evidence in the research findings involving Fenugreek. Interestingly studies indicate that insulin level does not go up but actually comes down with the use of fenugreek powder!!
As the insulin acts on its receptor for eliciting its action, quantitative analysis of the receptor showed that there is a significant increase (up-regulation) of insulin receptors in the cells by 7-15 times(observed in the RBC & monocytes in humans). This is in tune with the well-known inverse relationship of receptor ligand interaction in molecular endocrinology. This increased receptor quantity significantly contributes to the lowering of glucose in the plasma. This is in spite of the reduced presence of insulin. Thus the interplay of increased receptor and lower ligand contributes to the hypoglycemic effect.
Mechanism Of Cholesterol Reduction
Due to the viscous nature of Fenu Fibre, hydrophobic compounds like cholesterol do not enter the blood. This viscous nature of the fiber ensures that there is a lowered rate of absorption of exogenously taken fat.
Cholesterol biosynthesis and de-gradation studies using soluble fiber showed that there is a significant formation of bile acids and neutral sterols. For subjects that consumed Fenu Fibre these pigments were excreted in the fecal matter. The faecal quantity was also higher. Removal of bile & neutral sterols is the mechanism by which plasma cholesterol gets lowered. Thus exogenous cholesterol absorption is prevented and endogenous gets lowered. Thus exogenous cholesterol absorption is prevented and endogenous cholesterol is broken down much faster.
Mechanism Of Tri-Glyceride Reduction
As in the case of Cholesterol reduction, triglycerides reduction also occurs due to the hydrophobic and hydrophilic interaction of fat (hydrophobic) and the viscous fiber which is hydrophilic. This leads to the lowered absorption of exogenous tri-glycerides taken through diet.