Lepidium meyenii (maca) is a plant that grows exclusively above 4000 m in the Peruvian central Andes. Red maca (RM) extract significantly reduced prostate size in rats with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) induced by testosterone enanthate (TE). Zinc is an important regulator of prostate function. This study aimed to determine the effect of RM on prostate zinc levels in rats with BPH induced by TE. Also, the study attempted to determine the best marker for the effect of RM on sex accessory glands. Rats treated with RM extract from day 1 to day 14 reversed the effect of TE administration on prostate weight and zinc levels. However, RM administered from day 7 to day 14 did not reduce the effect of TE on all studied variables. Finasteride (FN) reduced prostate, seminal vesicle and preputial gland weights in rats treated with TE. Although RM and FN reduced prostate zinc levels, the greatest effect was observed in TE-treated rats with RM from day 1 to day 14. In addition, prostate weight and zinc levels showed the higher diagnosis values than preputial and seminal vesicle weights. In conclusion, RM administered from day 1 to day 14 reduced prostate size and zinc levels in rats where prostatic hyperplasia was induced with TE. Also, this experimental model could be used as accurately assay to determine the effect of maca obtained under different conditions and/or the effect of different products based on maca.
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