Effect of chronic treatment with three varieties of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on reproductive parameters and DNA quantification in adult male rats.

Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
Andrologia (Impact Factor: 1.17). 09/2007; 39(4):151-8. DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2007.00783.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate the chronic effect of different varieties of Lepidium meyenii (Red Maca, Yellow Maca and Black Maca). Male rats were treated by gavage with aqueous extract of each variety of maca equivalent to 1 g hypocotyl kg(-1) body weight (BW) for 84 days. At the end of the treatment, daily sperm production (DSP), epididymal sperm count (ESC) and sperm count in vas deferens (SCVD) were assessed. In addition, testis DNA quantification was also determined. Any toxic effect was assessed in liver and spleen by histological studies. The results indicate that Yellow Maca and Black Maca improved ESC and that three varieties of maca increased the SCVD without affecting DSP. Moreover, testis DNA levels were not affected by treatment with any of the three varieties of maca. Histological picture of the liver in animals treated with the three varieties of maca was similar to that observed in controls. In conclusion, Yellow and Black Maca increased epididymal sperm count after 84 days of treatment without affecting DSP. Maca seems to act as a modulator of sperm count at the reproductive tract level.

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    ABSTRACT: Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a tuber root plant of the Brassicaceae family that grows on Andes mountain’s high altitude steps. Its tuber roots have rich nutrition contents and bioactive compounds as sterols, glucosinolates, alkaloids, alkamides (macaene, macamides), saponin and tanin. Beside of its traditional usage, the studies in recent years presented its capabilities that are energizer, aphrodisiac, improving reproduction, hormonal balancing, improving homeostasis, antioksidant, anticarcinogen and antistress. When Maca was used as a dietary additive at the many researches in humans and animals, no toxic effect was determined. Further studies are required to identify the compounds of Maca, their chemical structures, the mechanism of action and to use of Maca as a safe and natural feed additive in animal nutrition.
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    ABSTRACT: Maca (Lepidium meyenii Walpers) hypocotyls are reported to have a favorable biological activity in man. The presumed bioactive constituents seem to vary among maca hypocotyl color types, but the residual variation is large. This study tested the hypothesis that, apart from color types, environmental factors have a distinct influence on the concentration of characteristic secondary metabolites in maca. In a field experiment at 4100 m altitude (Peru), maca of four hypocotyl color types was evaluated at two sites with different soil types. At each site, experimental areas were either never cultivated or cultivated with maca 2 to 3 yr ago followed by a fallow period. Applying four color replicates per site and area resulted in 64 plots (100 plants plot(-1)). Especially, color type largely influenced concentrations of macaene, macamides, beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and glucosinolates. Site (also clearly affecting growth yield) was weaker in effect on these metabolites but still significantly influenced concentrations of some constituents, while the effect of cultivation history was widely absent. Macaene, macamides, and beta-sitosterol were negatively correlated with glucosinolates. This shows that environmental conditions and color type have to be considered in producing maca with high concentrations of distinct bioactive metabolites.
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    ABSTRACT: Aim of the studyThe effect of Black maca (Lepidium meyenii) and Turraeanthus africanus on fertility and estrogenic activity in female mice was investigated.Materials and methodsThirty female mice were treated daily with extracts of Black maca plus T. africanus (BM+TA), T. africanus alone (TA) or vehicle (control) at dose 1 g/kg BW for 30 days.ResultsThe length of the estrous cycle inside the group of (BM+TA)-treated mice significantly (p < 0.001) shorten (4.08 ± 0.06 days) when compared to control (4.53 ± 0.05). On the proestrous stage, the oestradiol level for animals treated with TA (27.3 ± 0.5 pg/ml) and (BM+TA) (36.0 ± 0.9 pg/ml) significantly increased when compared to control (24.0 ± 0.4 pg/ml), while in the estrous stage only the estradiol level of (BM+TA) treated animal (28 ± 2 pg/ml) significantly increased (p < 0.01). The uterine weight of ovariectomized of TA-treated animals was higher (p < 0.05) than those observed in controls while no change in the (BM+TA) group was observed. The weight of uterus of non pregnant mice of both treated TA and (BM+TA) extract significantly increased (p < 0.001) in the proestrous and estrus stage when compared to control.The number of fetuses in the uterus after (BM+TA) treatment (14.66 ± 0.25) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than the TA treated alone (13.60 ± 0.45) and the control (9.5 ± 1.10) one at day 15 of pregnancy.No significant difference between groups (p > 0.05) was observed for the two treatments concerning the Fertility index.ConclusionsTA can affect the number of embryo implantation and the uterine weight. This effect increased in association with BM. BM could regulate estrous cycle.
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