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MAR-APR 2018

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Page 27 of 80 7 Ashwagandha's Role in Male Fer� lity THEORY: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera Dunal) has been tradi� onally used in Ayurvedic medicine as an aphrodisiac to help treat male sexual dysfunc� on and infer� lity. Studies have supported its ability to increase testosterone levels in humans, and experimental studies have shown ashwagandha could induce spermatogenesis in rats. However, research on its ability to improve low sperm concentra� on in humans, as well as the safety of supplementa� on, was lacking. Could treatment with a full-spectrum root extract of ashwagandha posi� vely impact spermatogenesis and address oligospermia? PARAMETERS: The 90-day pilot study, conducted at fi ve infer� lity centers in Mumbai, India, involved 46 male pa� ents between 22 and 40 years of age with oligospermia (sperm count < 20 million/mL semen). All men had a history of regular intercourse with a healthy partner with no apparent female infer� lity. The men were randomized to treatment with a full-spectrum root extract of ashwagandha (as KSM-66 Ashwagandha from Ixoreal Biomed), receiving 225 mg per dose, three � mes daily, or placebo capsules thrice daily. Semen parameters and serum hormone levels were es� mated at the end of treatment. Source: Ambiye VR et al. "Clinical Evalua� on of the Spermatogenic Ac� vity of the Root Extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Oligospermic Males: A Pilot Study." Evid Based Complement Altern Med. 2013. DOI: 10.1155/2013/571420 IMPACT: Men and women equally share the burden of human infer� lity, although the e� ology is unknown in up to half of infer� le males. The most prevalent cause of reduced male fer� lity, however, is oligospermia. 1 Further, men with sexual dysfunc� on o� en turn to alterna� ve therapies, leading to a need for ingredients that have been shown to be safe and effi cacious. The use of ashwagandha, with its posi� ve eff ects on stress and mental health, in addi� on to addressing core issues related to male infer� lity, could have a signifi cantly benefi cial impact on couples facing infer� lity. 1. Biswas TK et al. Andrologia. 2010;42(1):48-56. Source: Infographic brought to you by OUTCOME: At the end of the 90-day treatment, men receiving ashwagandha had a: Researchers concluded: "The outcomes of the present study provide evidence for the safety, effi cacy, and tolerability of therapy with Ashwagandha root extract." 167 % increase in sperm count 53 % increase in semen volume 57 % increase in sperm mo� lity All of the improvements were sta� s� cally signifi cant, compared to minimal improvement in any parameter for the placebo group. Nearly 70% of the ashwagandha group reported the therapy was "excellent" compared to 12% of the placebo group. 17 % increase in serum testosterone levels CH 3 CH 3 OH O

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