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Asian J Androl. 2003 Dec;5(4):349-52.

Effect of alcoholic extract of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on testicular function in male rats.

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Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Instituto de Investigaciones de la Altura, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Postal Office 1843, Lima, Peru.



To evaluate the effect of the alcoholic extract of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on the spermatogenesis in male rats.


In Holtzman rats, Maca alcoholic extract (5 %) was given by oral route at doses of 48 mg/day or 96 mg/day for 7 days, 14 days and 21 days. Testicular function was assessed by measurements of lengths of different stages of seminiferous epithelia and by epididymal sperm count.


Ethanolic extract of Maca increased the length of stages IX-XI of seminiferous epithelium at treatment day 7, day 14 and day 21. Progression of spermatogenesis was evident only after day 21 when lengths of stages XII-XIV of seminiferous epithelium were increased; at day 7 and day 14, no important change in spermatogenesis was observed. Epididymal sperm count was increased with 48 mg/day at all times. With 96 mg/day an increase in sperm count was observed at day 7, but it was reduced at day 14 and day 21 of treatment. Serum testosterone levels were not affected.


The alcoholic extract of Maca activates onset ant progression of spermatogenesis at 48 mg/day or 96 mg/day in rats.

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