Summary of: "Echinacoside Increases Sperm Quantity in Rats by Targeting the Hypothalamic Androgen Receptor" (Nature, 2018)

The full text article can be found at the link below:

"Echinacoside Increases Sperm Quantity in Rats by Targeting the Hypothalamic Androgen Receptor" (Nature, 2018)

Summary as follows:

Cistanche tubulosa extract has been found to have positive effects on reproductive health in mice, and human cell culture and docking studies. Specifically, it has been shown to increase LH, Testosterone levels, and improve sperm quantity and quality (motility + viability). ECH, one of the main compounds found in Cistanche tubulosa, has been identified as the primary component responsible for these effects. Interestingly, it was found that ECH was distributed at a much higher concentration to the hypothalamus compared to the testes, suggesting an indirect effect on the testes.

The research suggests that ECH may play a role in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis negative feedback. The study demonstrated that ECH increased the secretion of LH in encephalon + pituitary and production of testosterone in testis and mRNA levels of LHr and Gnrhr in encephalon + pituitary. The findings indicate that ECH affects HPG axis negative feedback to promote LH secretion.

The study also demonstrated that ECH can directly bind to the AR, inhibiting AR translocation from the cytoplasm into nuclei in the hypothalamus. This suggests that a reduction in AR-T interactions in the brain results in increased LH secretion and a promotion of testosterone synthesis and secretion.

According to the study, BPA treatment significantly decreased sperm count by 26.5% and sperm motility by 39.2%. However, ECH administration prevented the decrease in sperm count and sperm motility by 35.5% and 30.1%, respectively. BPA administration also resulted in a significant decrease in LH and T secretion, and ECH considerably increased the levels of LH and T by 24.1% and 18.3%, respectively compared to BPA treatment alone.

Overall, the research suggests that Cistanche tubulosa extract containing ECH may be a valuable supplement for improving testosterone synthesis and reproductive health. Do note this is animal research not yet replicated in a human trial.

Significant figures:

RELEASE: 18th May 2023. 

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