Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men

Acupuncture-Pregnancy-402
Shukla K et al, eCAM, Vol 7 (2010), Issue 1, Pages 137-144 Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
This study examined 120 men attending an infertility clinic, and after measurement of cortisol levels and completion of the State Anxiety Inventory test, half of them were found to be suffering significant stress. The men who were stressed had lower sperm counts and motility and reduced seminal plasma glutathione. Also antioxidant levels (ascorbic acid and superoxide dismutase) were reduced. Using a chinese herb (Li Dou) over 3 months improved sperm count and motility in this group of men and at the same time the levels of ascorbic acid, SOD, glutathione were restored and the men felt less stressed. They concluded that this herb not only reactivates the anti-oxidant defense system of infertile men but it also helps in the management of stress. These authors have also found similar beneficial effects on semen with another herb which is used to manage stress - Withania Somnifera.

 

Abstract

The present investigation was undertaken to assess the role of Mucuna pruriens in infertile men who were under psychological stress.

Study included 60 subjects who were undergoing infertility screening and were found to be suffering from psychological stress, assessed on the basis of a questionnaire and elevated serum cortisol levels.

Age-matched 60 healthy men having normal semen parameters and who had previously initiated at least one pregnancy were included as controls.

Infertile subjects were administered with M. pruriens seed powder (5 g day−1) orally. For carrying out morphological and biochemical analysis, semen samples were collected twice, first before starting treatment and second after 3 months of treatment.

The results demonstrated decreased sperm count and motility in subjects who were under psychological stress. Moreover, serum cortisol and seminal plasma lipid peroxide levels were also found elevated along with decreased seminal plasma glutathione (GSH) and ascorbic acid contents and reduced superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activity. Treatment with M. pruriens significantly ameliorated psychological stress and seminal plasma lipid peroxide levels along with improved sperm count and motility. Treatment also restored the levels of SOD, catalase, GSH and ascorbic acid in seminal plasma of infertile men. On the basis of results of the present study, it may be concluded that M. pruriens not only reactivates the anti-oxidant defense system of infertile men but it also helps in the management of stress and improves semen quality.