Effect of alcoholic extract of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on testicular function in male rats

Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec;5(4):349-52.


Aim: To evaluate the effect of the alcoholic extract of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on the spermatogenesis in male rats.

Methods: In Holtzman rats, Maca alcoholic extract (5 %) was given by oral route at doses of 48 mg/day or 96 mg/day for 7 days, 14 days and 21 days. Testicular function was assessed by measurements of lengths of different stages of seminiferous epithelia and by epididymal sperm count.

Results: Ethanolic extract of Maca increased the length of stages IX-XI of seminiferous epithelium at treatment day 7, day 14 and day 21. Progression of spermatogenesis was evident only after day 21 when lengths of stages XII-XIV of seminiferous epithelium were increased; at day 7 and day 14, no important change in spermatogenesis was observed. Epididymal sperm count was increased with 48 mg/day at all times. With 96 mg/day an increase in sperm count was observed at day 7, but it was reduced at day 14 and day 21 of treatment. Serum testosterone levels were not affected.

Conclusion: The alcoholic extract of Maca activates onset ant progression of spermatogenesis at 48 mg/day or 96 mg/day in rats.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epididymis / cytology
  • Ethanol*
  • Lepidium / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Seminiferous Epithelium / anatomy & histology
  • Seminiferous Epithelium / drug effects
  • Sperm Count
  • Spermatogenesis / drug effects
  • Testis / drug effects*
  • Testis / physiology*
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Plant Extracts
  • Ethanol
  • Testosterone