Aim: to investigate the effects of crude garlic on adult male rat reproductive functions.
Methods: Thirty male rats were divided into five groups: group 1 (untreated) and groups 2, 3, 4 and 5 were fed for 30 days with 5%, 10%, 15% and 30% crude garlic, respectively. Testes and accessory organs were weighed and some markers were assessed. Light and electron microscopy observations were also performed.
Results: A significant decrease was observed in the body weight of groups 4 (14%; P < 0.01) and 5 (20%; P < 0.01); of the prostate weight in group 5 (29.1%; P < 0.05) and of seminal vesicle weight in groups 3 (14.4%; P < 0.01), 4 (18.3%; P < 0.01) and 5 (27.3%; P < 0.01). In contrast, testis and epididymis weights were unchanged. In epididymis tissue, the alpha glucosidase activity and the spermatozoa density were unchanged. The treatment resulted in a significant decrease in testosterone serum levels in groups 3 (77.3%; P < 0.01), 4 (77.3%; P < 0.01) and 5 (90.9%; P < 0.01), associated with a significant increase in LH serum levels (P < 0.01). Testicular histology showed a dose-dependent increase in the percentage of empty seminiferous tubules. Moreover, testicular function was affected; a significant decrease in phosphatase acid activity (P < 0.01) and testosterone (P < 0.05) contents were observed.
Conclusion: Crude garlic consumption during 1 month reduced testosterone secretion and altered spermatogenesis at 10%, 15% and 30% doses.