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The Ameliorative Impact of Cichorium intybus L. Distillate on Reproductive Parameters in Male Mice.

BACKGROUND: Cichorium intybus L. (Kasni) distillate is widely used in Eastern countries as a safe herbal drink to improve male fertility. However, the potential effects on fertility parameters and possible adverse effects have not been studied experimentally. The current study aims to evaluate the impact of Cichorium intybus L. distillate (CD) on male mice fertility.

METHODS: In the present study (Shiraz, Iran), 30 male mice (30-35 g) were divided into three groups. 10 mice received distilled water (DW) for five weeks as the control group. Another 10 mice, named group CD1/2, received chicory distillate of 1/2 dilution, and the other 10 mice received chicory distillate of CD1/4 dilution as CD1/4 group, ad libitum for three weeks, and they received DW for two weeks afterward. Experimental mice were sacrificed on day 35, and sperm analysis and sera collection were performed for further investigation of FSH, LH, testosterone, and some liver and kidney function parameters. We used the left testis for stereological analysis, and the right one was excised to investigate the expression of the androgen receptor gene. For statistical analysis using SPSS 18.0, mean±SD values were analyzed by one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Dunnett's analysis as post hoc to compare between groups. In stereological investigations, the Kruskal-Wallis method was used for pairwise comparisons to compare groups. The P value was considered statistically significant at P<0.05.

RESULTS: Treatment with CD1/2 resulted in the elevation of serum FSH (P=0.002), LH (P=0.009), testosterone (P=0.034), seminiferous tubule epithelium volume (P=0.029) and length (P=0.028), and Leydig cells number (P=0.009) in comparison with the control group. Administrating CD1/2 (P=0.038) and CD1/4 (P=0.013) significantly increased sperm count compared to the control group.

CONCLUSION: The results revealed that using chicory distillate can improve hormone levels and sperm count in male mice.

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