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J Diet Suppl. 2018 Jul 4;15(4):398-409. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2017.1349233. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Attenuation of Sulfite-Induced Testicular Injury in Rats by Zingiber officinale Roscoe.

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a Department of Physiology , Islamic Azad University , Arsanjan Branch, Shiraz , Iran.


Sulfite salts, including sodium metabisulfte, are widely used as preservatives in foods and pharmaceutical agents. Previous studies suggest that oxidative stress may be an important mediator of testicular injury. The present study was designed to elucidate the effect of exposure to sodium metabisulfite by gavage without or with Zingiber officinale (ginger) extract on the rat testes. Thirty-two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into control, ginger-treated (500 mg/kg/day), sodium metabisulfite- (SMB-) treated (260 mg/kg/day), and SMB + ginger- (SZ-) treated groups. After 28 days, the rats were anesthetized by ether and, after laparotomy, blood was collected from the heart to determine testosterone level by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Then left testes and cauda epididymis of all animals were removed for histological examination and sperm analysis, and right testes were removed for assessing lipid peroxidation (indexed by malondialdehyde [MDA]) and antioxidant enzymes. The results showed that spermatogenesis, epididymal morphometry, and sperm parameters were affected by SMB. There was a significant increase in MDA level and a significant reduction in the activities of glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), and catalase (CAT) in the SMB-treated rats compared to the control. Ginger treatment of SMB-exposed rats significantly increased testosterone level and the number of different spermatogenic cells. The level of MDA reversed to the control levels and the activities of GPx and GR were significantly increased when SMB was coadministered with ginger extract. It is concluded that coadministration of ginger, through its antioxidant and androgenic properties, exerts a protective effect against SMB-induced testicular oxidative stress.


Epididymis; Zingiber officinale; oxidative stress; sulfite; testis

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