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Data that supports infertile-hypogonadal men to benefit from from ‘herbal supplements’ is still very controversial.  Recently, two herbal treatments have undergone studies to prove their benefits to men suffering from hypogonadism.

Mucuna Pruriens, also known as “velvet bean,” was seen to affect testosterone levels, sperm quality, and pituitary prolactin secretion.  An increase in seminal quality following a three-month ingestion of Mucuna Prurienswas seen, which is thought to be secondary to correcting the hypothalamic-pituitary-testes.  Additionally, an increase in testosterone levels was seen in infertile men.  It’s still unsure if this increase in testosterone occurs in fertile and otherwise healthy men.  After ingestion of this supplement or intake of ‘LDOPA’ (direct precursor to dopamine; found in high amounts in Mucuna Pruiens)  was sought to decrease prolactin.

 Ashwagandha, also known as “Indian Ginseng”, has been described as an aphrodisiac, used to treat male sexual dysfunction and infertility.  A prospective studywas conducted to assess the effect of Ashwagandha root on semen variables, oxidative biomarkers, and hormone levels among infertile.  Men with infertility and abnormalities in their semen variables (defined by low sperm count & motility) were given ashwagandha root for three months.  The results demonstrated that ashwagandha root increased testosterone, while decreasing prolactin among infertile men. Complementing these findings, ashwagandha treatment resulted in a significant increase in sperm count, concentration, and motility among infertile men.

These findings suggest that Ashwaghanda and Mucuna Pruriens are effective for restoring sex hormones in infertile men and help with male reproductive health.  Given the prevalence of hypogonadism and the desire for improved fertility among men having difficulty conceiving, a holistic approach may seem appealing but is recommended by Dr. Bellman to be cautious of any ‘Herbal Remedies’!

For an appointment or consultation with Dr. Gary Bellman, please contact the office or call 818-912-1899