Background: Andropause, a prevalent pathology of men, results from an imbalance in steroid hormone concentrations that often is associated with aging, and reduces the quality of life of the sufferer. This study investigates the usefulness of a diet containing 15% Telfairia occidentalis seeds in the inhibition of the induction of experimental andropause. Materials and Methods: Twenty male rats were divided into four equal groups. Rats in the test group received dihydrotestosterone and estradiol valerate (ratio 10:1) subcutaneously every other day for 28 days and were placed on the test diet. Those in control I received the hormones, but not the test diet. Rats in controls II and III received olive oil (vehicle) and were placed on the test diet and normal diet, respectively. Testes weights and relative weights, serum testosterone concentrations, and testosterone concentration per gram of testicular tissue were measured or determined in all rats using standard protocols. Data were analyzed and differences between means separated using one-way analysis of variance. Results: Rats in the test group had slightly larger mean relative testes weights compared to those in control I, though both were significantly (P<0.001) smaller than the values obtained in controls II and III, respectively. Rats in the test group had significantly higher (P=0.034) serum testosterone concentrations relative to the control I group 6.9(0.3) ng/ml vs. 4.7(0.1) ng/ml, while the testosterone relative to testes weight values (ng/ml/g) of the test group was 16.8(3.4), and for controls I, II, and III the values were 12.3(1.4), 5.5(0.4), and 4.6(0.7), respectively. The differences between the test and control groups were all significant (P=0.04 in control I, and <0.001 in controls II and III). Conclusion: The test diet resulted in a modest reduction of biochemical castration and an improvement in secretory capacity of the testes of the test rats, relative to the control group that received the hormones but was placed on a normal diet. T. occidentalis seeds-incorporated diet may be useful in inhibiting the induction of experimental andropause.
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