Background: This study explored the effects of Cocos nucifera L. water (CW) on the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG) and fertility in Wistar rats.
Methods: Adult male and female Wistar rats were treated orally as follows; Study 1: Group 1: control (distilled water), group 2: 20 ml/kg corn oil (danazol vehicle), group 3: 20 ml/kg CW, group 4: 40 ml/kg CW, group 5: danazol, group 6: danazol + 20 ml/kg CW and group 7: danazol + 40 ml/kg CW. 200 mg/ kg danazol was administered. Serum levels of LH, FSH, estradiol and testosterone; gonadal weights and sperm indices were assessed. Study 2: Group 1: control (distilled water), group 2: 20 ml/kg CW, group 3: 40 ml/kg CW for 6 and 2 weeks prior to mating in male and female rats respectively.
Results: Significant (p < 0.05) increases in estradiol concentration were observed in groups 3, 4, 6 and 7. Significant reductions in LH, FSH, estradiol and testosterone levels were observed in group 5 which were ameliorated in groups 6 and 7. Males showed significant increases in sperm count and motility in groups 3, 4, 6 and 7, and reductions in these variables along with viability in group 5. CW pre-treatment increased fecundity index and proportion of female pups from dams, while the pups from sires showed higher birth weights.
Conclusions: CW acts on the HPG to positively influence reproductive function in both males and females and may aid in maternal preconception sex selection of female offspring.