Health  

How nuts boost libido, sperm count, motility

African walnuts

Several studies have indicated general decline in quantity and quality of human sperm, attributed to pollution, smoking, and trends toward a western-style diet.

But recent findings suggest that regular consumption of local nuts such as African walnut, groundnut (peanut), Tigernut and Cashew nut can not only boost sperm quality and quantity but improve sex drive in men and women. CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes.

A study presented last week Wednesday by Dr. Albert Salas-Huetos from the Human Nutrition Unit of the Universitat Rovira Virgil in Reus, Spain, has confirmed that the inclusion of nuts in a regular diet significantly improves the quality and function of human sperm.

The results of the randomised trial which measured conventional semen parameters and molecular changes over a 14-week study period “support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality” and reflect a research need for further male-specific dietary recommendations.

In this study subjects randomised to the nut group had significant improvements in their sperm count, vitality, motility and morphology (shape); these were consistent with improvements found in other recent studies with diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants (example vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc), and folate. Nuts are dense foods containing many of these nutrients and other phytochemicals.

The study was a 14-week randomised clinical trial in which 119 healthy young men aged 18-35 were allocated to either their usual western-style diet supplemented with 60 grams/day of mixed almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts, or their usual western-style diet without nuts.

Meanwhile, according to research, men with gum disease – periodontisis –are more than twice as likely to have difficulty getting an erection.

Experts say the link works both ways and having either gum disease or erectile dysfunction makes men more likely to develop the other.

In the first study to be done on European men, scientists at the University of Granada in Spain, say both conditions are linked to the same protein made in the liver.

The scientists’ findings were published in the Journal of Periodontology.

Gum disease is also thought to be linked to heart disease and the researchers suggest it may affect small blood vessels in the penis first, then larger arteries later.

And the study suggests gum disease is a bigger factor in erectile dysfunction than either diabetes or heart disease.

African walnuts boost sperm quality

The results of a local study indicate that the seeds of African walnut (Tetracarpidium conophorum) can enhance the production of reproductive hormones and may be used in the formulation of useful fertility drugs.

The study titled Sperm Quality and Hormone Profile of Male Albino Rats FED with Seeds of African Walnut (Tetracarpidium conophorum, Mull) was published in Annual Research & Review in Biology.

The researchers from the Department of Genetcis and Biotecnology, University of Calabar, investigated the effects of Tetracarpidium conophorum seeds on the hormone and sperm profile of male albino rats.

Forty eight albino rats of about twelve weeks weighing between 130-180g each were divided into four groups (A, B, C and D) with twelve rats in each group.

The test extract was obtained from the seeds and incorporated into the feed of the rats.

Group A served as the control (without test substance) while groups B, C and D were fed with of 4, 8 and 12g/kg body weight (BW) of the test substance for the period of 63 days.

According to the study, respectively the results obtained from hormonal analysis showed that there are significant difference in the serum level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) of the rats between the different treatment groups while the serum levels of testosterone and estradiol were not significant.

The researchers concluded: “Results of semen quality showed that there are significant differences in the sperm count, sperm morphology, sperm viability and semen pH among rats between the different groups.

Sperm motility and organ weights (testes and epididymides) were not significantly affected.

The results indicate that the seeds of T. conophorum can enhance the production of reproductive hormones and may be used in the formulation of useful fertility drugs.”

Groundnuts improve sperm parameters

A recent study has demonstrated how regular consumption of groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) could be used to improve male sex hormone and good cholesterol.

The study established the effect of consuming groundnut on serum testosterone level and lipid profile in male rats.

The study published in Tanzania Medical Journal is titled “The Effect of Consuming Groundnuts on Serum Testosterone Levels and Lipid Profile in Male Rats.”

Thirty two Wistar male rats aged eight to 10 weeks were randomly divided into four groups of eight rats each: groups II, III and IV were fed diet containing 25 per cent, 50 per cent and 75 per cent groundnuts, respectively.

Group I, which served as control was fed on normal commercial rat feed.

At the end of twenty days blood was withdrawn, and sera harvested.

Total testosterone radioimmunoassay and biochemical analysis were done. Statistical analysis was performed using STATA.

Student`s t-test and Wilcoxon rank-sum test were used to compare testosterone and lipids levels between groups, and level of significance was fixed at p=0.05.

The results showed rats fed on 25 per cent groundnuts showed insignificant difference in mean lipids and testosterone.

The 75 per cent groundnuts fed rats had significantly lower total cholesterol, higher high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and higher testosterone, an insignificantly higher low density lipoprotein-cholesterol plus a higher level of triglycerides while 50 per cent groundnut fed rats had significantly higher levels of the parameters compared to the control except for low density lipoprotein-cholesterol.

The researchers concluded: “The results showed that groundnuts significantly increased testosterone accompanied with increased high density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels when fed on rat feed containing 50 per cent and 75 per cent groundnuts.

This suggests that groundnuts may be a potential solution to age related decline in testosterone production.”

Cashewnut seed oil increases libido in men

Cashew is botanically called Anacardium occidentale and belongs to the plant family Anacardiceae.

Results of a recent study published in Phytopharmacology revealed that the seed oil of Anacardium occidentale increased the sexual libido and potency of male albino rats, and have provided scientific evidence to support the acclaimed role of the plant’s seed as an aphrodisiac in traditional medicine.

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