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.