Effect of aqueous extract of Allium sativum (Garlic) on fertility in male Wistar rats
Background: Allium sativum (Garlic) is widely used as a food flavour and it has antimicrobial medicinal purposes. It has other beneficial effects such as improving the cardiovascular and immune systems. The likely effect of garlic on the testicular functions remains controversial.
Objective: To investigate the effects of fresh garlic on the fertility of male Wistar rats by quantitative determination of testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and Luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, as well as the sperm properties.
Methods: The aqueous extracts of garlic were administered to the animals through the oral route. Thirty-five male rats were categorized into seven groups, with five rats each distributed as follows: high-dose, medium-dose, low-dose that were administered 750, 500, and 250 mg/kg body weight dosages of the aqueous extracts, respectively. Others were the control group, which received no extract, and the recovery groups received the same doses of the extract. The recovery groups were left for additional twenty-one days without receiving the extract.
Results: The results showed an increase in testosterone levels at medium to high-doses of the extract including sustained high levels in recovery groups. Also, there were increases in sperm motility and sperm viability.
Conclusions: These findings suggest garlic may play beneficial roles in the reproductive functions of male Wistar rats. The mechanisms for these effects may involve the interplay of many currently unknown factors.
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