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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 7 (2010), Issue 1, Pages 137-144
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem171
Original Article

Mucuna pruriens Reduces Stress and Improves the Quality of Semen in Infertile Men

1Department of Biochemistry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow 226003, India
2Department of Obstetric & Gynaecology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow 226003, India
3Department of Urology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow 226003, India
4Department of Psychiatry, King George's Medical University, Lucknow 226003, India

Received 3 April 2007; Accepted 28 October 2007

Copyright © 2010 Kamla Kant Shukla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The present investigation was undertaken to assess the role of Mucuna pruriens in infertile men who were under psychological stress. Study included 60 subjects who were undergoing infertility screening and were found to be suffering from psychological stress, assessed on the basis of a questionnaire and elevated serum cortisol levels. Age-matched 60 healthy men having normal semen parameters and who had previously initiated at least one pregnancy were included as controls. Infertile subjects were administered with M. pruriens seed powder (5 g day−1) orally. For carrying out morphological and biochemical analysis, semen samples were collected twice, first before starting treatment and second after 3 months of treatment. The results demonstrated decreased sperm count and motility in subjects who were under psychological stress. Moreover, serum cortisol and seminal plasma lipid peroxide levels were also found elevated along with decreased seminal plasma glutathione (GSH) and ascorbic acid contents and reduced superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activity. Treatment with M. pruriens significantly ameliorated psychological stress and seminal plasma lipid peroxide levels along with improved sperm count and motility. Treatment also restored the levels of SOD, catalase, GSH and ascorbic acid in seminal plasma of infertile men. On the basis of results of the present study, it may be concluded that M. pruriens not only reactivates the anti-oxidant defense system of infertile men but it also helps in the management of stress and improves semen quality.