Background: Lead poisoning has been an old but perpetual public health problem in developing countries. Lead has an adverse effect on fertility, and this study aimed to examine the effect of consuming green tea extract (GTE) on fertility parameters in rats exposed to lead.
Materials and methods: In this experimental study, 70 rats have been classified, as it is described later, into 4 groups of 10 and were studied over 2 months. Group 1: Normal diet and tap water; Group 2: 10 mg/kg intraperitoneal lead acetate weekly over 8 weeks; Group 3: Lead acetate + 100 mg/kg green tea, Group 4: Extract green tea. Distal epididymal sperm samples were collected to assess the sperm counts, motility, and morphology. Testicular tissue and blood level of testosterone were also studies. Data were analyzed by SPSS-17 software using ANOVA and independent t-test with a significant level of 0.05.
Results: The rats exposed to lead acetate had the lowest weight, and green tea had the highest weight. Green tea consumption in rats exposed to lead, reduced the effect of lead and the difference in mean body weight in these rats, compared to other groups, was minimized (P < 0.05). The group exposed to lead acetate had the highest sperm abnormalities, and the lowest sperm abnormalities were observed in groups taking green tea.
Conclusion: Consumption of green tea can reduce the adverse effects of lead, and also can effectively prevent fertility reduction.
Keywords: Detoxification; green tea; lead acetate.