Sea Cucumber Stichopus japonicus Hydrolysate Alleviates Late-onset-hypogonadism in Aged SD Rats

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Objective: We assessed the andropause (=male climacteric syndrome)-relief effects of the sea cucumber (Stichopus japonicus) samples in an in vivo animal model using aged male SD rats (24 weeks old). Methods: During the experimental period, G1 (control group) received saline, and G2, G3, and G4 were administered 250 mg/kg of sea cucumber hot water extract, sea cucumber fermented by Cordycepe mili-taris, and hydrolysate of sea cucumber, daily by oral gavage, respectively. After 4 weeks, the effects of male menopause and aging on vascular health were assessed by measuring the total cholesterol (TC), tri-glyceride (TG), high density lipoprotein-c (HDL-c), and low density lipoprotein-c (LDL-c) in the serum. Testosterone levels, the most important indicator in male menopause, were measured in the blood. Aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels were also measured in order to evaluate liver toxicity.

Results: No animal deaths were observed due to the administration of the test substance during the experimental period. There were no significant differences observed in the body weight, TC, TG, LDL-c, AST, and ALT levels in all 4 groups. In the G2 and G4 groups, the HDL-c level was significantly increased as compared to the other groups. Testosterone levels were significantly increased in the G4 group compared to the other groups.

Conclusion: Therefore, the hydrolysate of sea cucumber, at a moderate dose (ca. 2400 mg/day), could be used as a health functional food material or pharmaceutical material to alleviate symptoms of male andro-pause without any adverse effects.

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Author information

Correspondence to Myoung Seok Kim or Jae-Suk Choi.

Ethics declarations

All experimental procedures were performed in accordance with the rules established by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency Guide for the Care and Use of Committee of National Development Institute of Korean Medicine (NIKOM-2017-20, Jangheung-gun, Jeollanam-do, Korea).

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Conflict of Interest

No competing financial interests exist. Jong-Min Lim declares that he has no conflicts of interest. Young Dae Kim declares that he has no conflicts of interest. Young Suk Kim declares that she has no conflicts of interest. Hyung-Rae Cho declares that he has no conflicts of interest. Kwang Ho Lee declares that he has no conflicts of interest. Il Joo Yoon declares that he has no conflicts of interest. Myoung Seok Kim declares that he has no conflicts of interest. Jae-Suk Choi declares that he has no conflicts of interest.

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Lim, J., Kim, Y.D., Kim, Y.S. et al. Sea Cucumber Stichopus japonicus Hydrolysate Alleviates Late-onset-hypogonadism in Aged SD Rats. Toxicol. Environ. Health Sci. 11, 312–319 (2019) doi:10.1007/s13530-019-0418-0

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  • Andropause
  • Sea cucumber
  • Stichopus japonicus
  • Late-onset-hypogonadism
  • Aged rats