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Improving the biological properties of the fenugreek galactomannan (Trogonella foenum graecum L.)

William DAKAM student laureate

°1980 Cameroon
Licentiate in Biochemistry, Université de Douala, Cameroon, 2002

Amélioration des propriétés biologiques du galactomannane de fenugrec (Trogonella foenum graecum L.)

The study carried out by Mr W. Dakam fits into the framework of the twofold research into the valorization and validation of natural resources in relation to public health. Fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum graecum L., Fabaceae) are known for their cholesterol-reducing and lipid-reducing properties, among other things.
The aim of the study (for his DEA dissertation) is to analyse the enhanced effect of the fenugreek galactomannan by adding third constituents like sodium hydrogenocarbonate and albumin. These are shown to be able to increase the physiological effects by maximizing the cholesterol-reducing action or by increasing the ability to reduce body weight. The soluble fibres, of the type found in fenugreek seeds, and proteins can act together to improve the lipid profile and reduce the complications of diabetes.
Mr Dakam concludes his paper by demonstrating the synergetic effects, the methods of action of which will be the subject of further studies, in particular with other types of proteins and other salts.
The experiments, using force-fed rats, were carried out using various investigations both biological and biochemical such as the levels of HDL and LDL cholesterol and plasma triglycerides. The validity of the results has also been examined using variance analysis.
The paper by Mr William Dakam is highly relevant to development work as it addresses an aspect of the fight against obesity – once a problem limited to wealthy countries but now also a public-health issue in developing countries – and as such is an initial step towards the use of natural resources at a reasonable cost, backed up by research. This fits into the framework of research into effective products to combat obesity – via a better formulation – with improved local vegetable fibres.

Report: Professor Emeritus Paul Van Brandt, School of Pharmacy, University Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium