Fenugreek, Reishi and Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a lipid substance found in our bodies and is crucial for building cell membranes, hormone production, and synthesizing vitamin D. However, elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood, particularly LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins), often associated with modern lifestyles and imbalanced diets, can increase the risk of cardiovascular disorders such as atherosclerosis, leading to plaque buildup in the arteries. [1]

Cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide, and effective cholesterol management is essential in reducing this risk. Besides prescribed medications, there are also natural remedies that can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Let’s explore the benefits of Fenugreek and Reishi in this context:

Fenugreek, an herb scientifically known as Trigonella foenum-graecum, has been used for centuries in various medicinal traditions for its beneficial properties. Among its many applications, Fenugreek is known for its potential in helping to lower cholesterol levels due to its content of soluble fibers and saponins. Its ability to positively influence lipid metabolism makes it a studied natural remedy to promote cholesterol management and cardiovascular health.

In a study, 114 patients with type 2 diabetes and altered cholesterol and triglyceride levels were recruited to evaluate the activity of Fenugreek on these parameters and the overall condition of these patients. [3]

Specifically, the patients were randomized into two groups: the ‘treatment’ and ‘placebo’ groups.

The first group received 25 mg of Fenugreek powder per day for 30 days, while the second group received a placebo for the same duration. It’s important to note that neither the patients nor the physicians were aware of the treatment assigned to each participant in the study.

The above-mentioned parameters were assessed at the beginning of the study (baseline) and after the 30-day treatment period.

In the graphs in Figure 1, you can observe the changes in the parameters under study following the treatment.

We can observe that at the start of the treatment, there was no difference between the two groups for all the reported parameters: triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol.

After 30 days, we notice a significant reduction in triglycerides for the patients treated with Fenugreek and a slight reduction for the placebo group [A].

Similarly, LDL cholesterol, or ‘bad’ cholesterol, decreases more noticeably in the treated group compared to the placebo [C].

Finally, HDL cholesterol, or ‘good’ cholesterol, which is often reduced in patients with type 2 diabetes or those with ‘metabolic syndrome,’ increases more significantly in the treated group than in the placebo group [B]. The increase in this parameter represents a benefit for these patients. [3]

Figure 1. Effect of treatment with Fenugreek 25 (mg) per day for 30 days and placebo in a group of patients with type two diabetes on: total triglycerides (A), HDL (B), and LDL cholesterol (C).

The study highlights Fenugreek’s ability to notably reduce triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels while increasing HDL cholesterol quantities in patients with type 2 diabetes and significantly altered lipid parameters.

On the other hand, Reishi, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, is a medicinal fungus known for its healing properties. Numerous studies have highlighted its potential in positively influencing blood cholesterol levels. The bioactive substances present in Reishi, such as triterpenes and polysaccharides, have been associated with the ability to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, thereby contributing to cardiovascular health promotion. [4]

A review, examining studies on animal models, highlighted Reishi’s ability to reduce blood pressure and blood glucose, and to positively modulate the lipid profile, particularly by reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL cholesterol. [4]

Several clinical studies have also been conducted to support these effects, and although less pronounced compared to animal model studies, they have demonstrated some of the aforementioned effects. [5]

In conclusion, it can be affirmed that both Fenugreek and Reishi, due to their bioactive components, can positively impact cardiovascular health by normalizing lipid profiles and blood glucose levels. 

Moreover, combining products containing both could leverage the functional and biochemical synergy among their components, potentially enhancing their effectiveness in managing cardiovascular health.


  1. Luo J, Yang H, Song BL. Mechanisms and regulation of cholesterol homeostasis. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2020 Apr;21(4):225-245. doi: 10.1038/s41580-019-0190-7. Epub 2019 Dec 17. PMID: 31848472.
  1. Geberemeskel GA, Debebe YG, Nguse NA. Antidiabetic Effect of Fenugreek Seed Powder Solution (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) on Hyperlipidemia in Diabetic Patients. J Diabetes Res. 2019 Sep 5;2019:8507453. doi: 10.1155/2019/8507453. PMID: 31583253; PMCID: PMC6748210.
  1. Ekiz, E.; Oz, E.; Abd El-Aty, A.M.; Proestos, C.; Brennan, C.; Zeng, M.; Tomasevic, I.; Elobeid, T.; Çadırcı, K.; Bayrak, M.; et al. Exploring the Potential Medicinal Benefits of Ganoderma lucidum: From Metabolic Disorders to Coronavirus Infections. Foods 202312, 1512.
  1. Klupp NL, Kiat H, Bensoussan A, Steiner GZ, Chang DH. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial of Ganoderma lucidum for the treatment of cardiovascular risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 11;6:29540. doi: 10.1038/srep29540. PMID: 27511742; PMCID: PMC4980683.

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