Garlic and Bitter Apple's Impact on Male Fertility in Diabetes

Greg Howard
7th April, 2024

Garlic and Bitter Apple's Impact on Male Fertility in Diabetes

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study at Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman shows diabetic rats have increased testicular oxidative stress and inflammation
  • Treatment with garlic and C. colocynthis reduced harmful indicators in diabetic rats
  • Combined therapy with both plants was more effective, even at lower doses
Diabetes Mellitus, a chronic condition characterized by high blood sugar levels, is known to impact various body systems, including male reproductive health. It has been previously established that diabetes can disrupt sexual function and fertility in men. One study found that diabetic men had increased levels of a protein called RAGE and higher sperm DNA fragmentation, suggesting a link between diabetes and reproductive issues[2]. Another comprehensive review highlighted the detrimental effects of hyperglycemia on male fertility, with potential causes including DNA damage and oxidative stress, among others[3]. Furthermore, research has shown that oxidative stress, a condition where harmful molecules called free radicals damage cells, plays a significant role in diabetes-induced testicular cell death, and that certain compounds may help protect against this damage[4]. In light of these findings, a recent study conducted by researchers at Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman has explored the potential of using natural antioxidants to mitigate the reproductive complications associated with diabetes[1]. The study focused on two medicinal plants, Garlic (Allium sativum L) and Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad, which have been noted for their antidiabetic and antioxidant properties. The research team divided thirty-five male Wistar rats into five groups to test the effects of these plants on diabetic reproductive complications. The groups included a control group, a diabetic group without treatment, and three diabetic groups treated with different combinations of garlic and C. colocynthis. The study spanned 30 days, during which the researchers observed various indicators of reproductive health in the rats. The results were telling. In the diabetic rats, there was a marked increase in oxidative stress and inflammation in the testis, as evidenced by the elevated presence of AGEs, and an increase in the activity of certain genes and proteins that promote cell death, such as caspase-3, RAGE, NOX-4, and nuclear factor kappa B. These findings align with prior studies that have linked these factors to diabetes-related reproductive dysfunction[2][3][4]. However, when treated with garlic and C. colocynthis, either alone or in combination, the diabetic rats showed significant improvements. Notably, the combination therapy, even at half the original doses, was remarkably effective in reducing these harmful indicators. The combination treatment seemed to synergize the beneficial effects of both plants, leading to a more profound improvement in testicular health compared to when each plant was used alone. This study offers a promising avenue for managing diabetes-related reproductive issues using natural substances. It suggests that lower doses of garlic and C. colocynthis, when used together, can still offer substantial benefits, which is advantageous for minimizing potential side effects from long-term use of these medicinal plants. This approach could be particularly useful for individuals looking for alternative or complementary treatments to conventional diabetes therapies. The significance of this research lies in its potential to provide a more natural and possibly safer way to address a specific complication of diabetes, thereby improving the quality of life for affected men. While more research, particularly clinical trials in humans, is needed to fully understand the implications and optimize the treatment, the study from Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman represents a step forward in the quest to mitigate the reproductive challenges posed by diabetes.



Main Study

1) Effects of garlic (Allium sativum L) and Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad individually and in combination on male reproductive damage due to diabetes: suppression of the AGEs/RAGE/Nox-4 signaling pathway.

Published 5th April, 2024

Related Studies

2) Increased receptor for advanced glycation end products in spermatozoa of diabetic men and its association with sperm nuclear DNA fragmentation.

3) Diabetes-induced hyperglycemia impairs male reproductive function: a systematic review.

4) Sulforaphane reduction of testicular apoptotic cell death in diabetic mice is associated with the upregulation of Nrf2 expression and function.

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