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Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Dec;46(12):3604-11. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Sep 12.

Protective roles of onion and garlic extracts on cadmium-induced changes in sperm characteristics and testicular oxidative damage in rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.


Cadmium (Cd) is known to exert gonadotoxic and spermiotoxic effects. The present study was performed to assess the possible protective roles of onion (Allium cepa Linn) and garlic (Allium sativum Linn) extracts on Cd-induced testicular damage and spermiotoxicity. The control group received double distilled water; Cd group received Cd (1.5mg/100g BW/day) orally; extract-treated groups were pre-treated with varied doses of onion and/or garlic extract (0.5ml and 1.0ml/100g BW/day) orally for one week and then simultaneously challenged with Cd (1.5mg/100g BW/day) for additional three weeks. Testicular tissue oxidant/antioxidant status and sperm characteristics were determined. Cd caused a marked (p<0.001) rise in testicular lipid peroxidation (LPO) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) levels whereas glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels were decreased. Cd intoxication significantly (p<0.001) decreased epididymal sperm concentration and sperm progress motility, increased percent total sperm abnormalities and live/dead count. Both extracts successfully attenuated these adverse effects of Cd. Onion extract offers a dose-dependent protection. Our study demonstrated that aqueous extracts of onion and garlic could proffer a measure of protection against Cd-induced testicular oxidative damage and spermiotoxicity by possibly reducing lipid peroxidation and increasing the antioxidant defence mechanism in rats.

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