Improvement of testosterone deficiency by fermented Momordica charantia extracts in aging male rats

Abstract

This study evaluated the efficacy of Momordica charantia (MC; bitter melon) extracts against andropause symptoms. We fermented MC with Lactobacillus plantarum and verified the ability of the fermented MC extracts (FMEs) to control testosterone deficiency by using aging male rats as an animal model of andropause. FME administration considerably increased total and free testosterone levels, muscle mass, forced swimming time, and total and motile sperm counts in aging male rats. In contrast, sex hormone-binding globulin, retroperitoneal fat, serum cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were significantly reduced in the treated groups compared to the non-treated control aging male rats. Furthermore, we observed that FME enhanced the expression of testosterone biosynthesis-related genes but reduced the expression of testosterone degradation-related genes in a mouse Leydig cell line. These results suggest that FME has effective pharmacological activities that increase and restore free testosterone levels and that FME may be employed as a promising natural product for alleviating testosterone deficiency syndrome.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the members of the Biomedical Research Institute at Jungwon University for their care and assistance in the animal experiment. This work was supported by a Jungwon University Research Grant (2019-009).

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Correspondence to Young Geol Yoon.

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Lee, K.S., Kim, H.P., Park, H.J. et al. Improvement of testosterone deficiency by fermented Momordica charantia extracts in aging male rats. Food Sci Biotechnol 30, 443–454 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-020-00872-x

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Keywords

  • Andropause
  • Male climacteric syndrome
  • Momordica charantia
  • Testosterone deficiency
  • Lactic acid bacteria
  • Fermentation