Background: The leaves of Psidium guajava Linn. (guava) contain several natural antioxidants. We therefore designed the present study to evaluate the effect of ethanol extract of guava leaves on gossypol-associated sperm toxicity in Wistar rats.
Methods: Animal groups 1, 2, and 3 (n=6 each) were treated orally with crude cottonseed oil to provide 14 mg/kg/d of free gossypol for 53 d. Besides, groups 1 and 2 rats were supplemented orally with 250 mg/kg/d and 500 mg/kg/d respectively of guava leaf extract (GLE) for the same period. Group 4 animals (control, n=6) received normal saline.
Results: No significant difference (P>0.05) occurred in the sperm count of group 1 rats compared to control. In animal group 2, significant increase (P<0.05) in sperm count occurred, as opposed to group 3 animals, where this parameter decreased significantly (P<0.05). Besides, mean values of 78 %, 82 %, 30 %, and 65 % respectively were obtained for sperm motility in animal groups 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that ethanol extract of guava leaves possesses beneficial effect on gossypol-associated sperm toxicity, and may therefore enhance male fertility, possibly owing to its rich constituents of natural antioxidants.