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Ethiop J Health Sci. 2018 Nov;28(6):787-794. doi: 10.4314/ejhs.v28i6.14.

Beneficial Role of Hydro-alcoholic Seed Extract of Trigonella foenum graecum on Bone Structure and Strength in Menopause Induced Osteopenia.

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Department of Anatomy, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Manipal.
Department of Anatomy, Ras Al Khaimah College of Medical Sciences, RAK Medical & Health Science University, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.
Department of Human and Clinical Anatomy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman.
Department of Pharmacognosy, Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka.



The current strategies to prevent and treat menopausal osteoporosis are hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, the long-term use of hormone replacement therapy is limited due to its side-effects. Alternately, use of phytoestrogens has been implicated. Trigonella foenum graecum (TFG) seeds are rich in phytoestrogen and known traditional medicine to treat menopause induced hyperlipidemia. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the role of dietary TFG seed extract on bone structure and mechanical properties in ovariectomized rats.


Twenty four female Wistar rats were randomly allocated into four groups; 1) control, 2) ovariectomized, 3) ovariectomized + TFG seed extract and 4) ovariectomized + 17β-estradiol. TFG seed extract/17β-estradiol was administered for 30 days, 14 days after ovariectomy. After the treatment, right femora were collected to measure the length and biomechanical properties, and left femora were gathered to study the micro architectural changes while tibia were collected to measure the dry weight.


Maximum flexor load to break femur bone was significantly low in ovariectomized rats in comparison with control rats (P<0.05). Supplementation with TFG significantly improved the maximum flexor load (P<0.05) and tibia dry weight (P<0.01) compared to ovariectomized untreated rats. TFG administration also significantly preserved the trabecular (P<0.01) and cortical bone (P<0.05) thickness compared to ovariectomized rats.


This study found that dietary intake of TFG seeds can improve the bone structure and biomechanical properties in ovariectomized rats indicating that TFG may be an alternative treatment strategy to prevent the menopause induced osteopenia.


Bone; Menopause; Osteoporosis; Phytoestrogen; Trigonella foenum graecum

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