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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 324369, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/324369
Research Article

Effect of Lepidium meyenii Walp. on Semen Parameters and Serum Hormone Levels in Healthy Adult Men: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study

1Department of Crop Sciences and Agroforestry, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Czech Republic
2Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 1st Medical Faculty, Charles University, Apolinarska 18, 128 51 Prague 2, Czech Republic
3Department of Agroecology and Biometeorology, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamycka 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Czech Republic
4Department of Science, University of Basilicata, Viale dell’Ateneo Lucano 10, 85100 Potenza, Italy

Received 4 May 2015; Revised 30 July 2015; Accepted 6 August 2015

Academic Editor: Cheorl-Ho Kim

Copyright © 2015 Ingrid Melnikovova 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

Background/Aims. Products of Lepidium meyenii Walp. (maca) are touted worldwide as an alimentary supplement to enhance fertility and restore hormonal balance. Enhancing properties of maca on semen parameters in animals were previously reported by various authors, but we present to the best of our knowledge the first double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot trial in men. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of maca on semen parameters and serum hormone levels in healthy adult men. Methods. A group of 20 volunteers aged 20–40 years was supplied by milled hypocotyl of maca or placebo (1.75 g/day) for 12 weeks. Negative controls of semen were compared to the samples after 6 and 12 weeks of maca administration; negative blood controls were compared to the samples after 12 weeks of treatment. Results. Sperm concentration and motility showed rising trends compared to placebo even though levels of hormones did not change significantly after 12 weeks of trial. Conclusion. Our results indicate that maca possesses fertility enhancing properties in men. As long as men prefer to use alimentary supplement to enhance fertility rather than prescribed medication or any medical intervention, it is worth continuing to assess its possible benefits.