Shilajit is claimed as a Vajikarak (aphrodisiac) and used for the treatment of male infertility by traditional healers of the Indian subcontinent. Therefore, the present investigation was designed to assess the effectiveness of Shilajit for treatment of male infertility resulting from exposure to perilous chemicals. Effect of daily oral administration (p.o.) of Shilajit (50 mg, 100 mg and 200 mg/Kg BW) was investigated for a single spermatogenic cycle (35 days) in cadmium-induced (2 mg/Kg BW, p.o. for 35 days) infertile adult (12-14 week) swiss male mice. Shilajit treatment increased weights of reproductive organs, testicular daily sperm production, activities of testicular Δ5 3β-HSD and 17 β-HSD enzymes and serum level of testosterone. Histopathological evaluation of testis revealed that Shilajit restored spermatogenesis as reflected by a gradual augmentation in germ cell layers with increased doses of Shilajit compared to cadmium-treated mice. Further, Shilajit treatment reverted back the adverse effects of cadmium on motility and concentration of spermatozoa. Secretory activities of the epididymis and seminal vesicle and libido, fertility and the number of litters per female were also improved by Shilajit in cadmium-treated mice. Results thus suggest the potent androgenic nature of Shilajit and its role in fertility improvement against cadmium-induced infertility.
Keywords: Shilajit; aphrodisiac; fertility; sperm dynamics; spermatogenesis.
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