The effect of consuming groundnut (Arachis Hypogaea) on serum testosterone levels and lipid profile in male rats
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Introduction: Groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea) have been used by people for nutritional, medicinal, and recreational purposes. Researchers have reported groundnuts being rich in nutrients such as zinc, monounsaturated fats and vitamins A, B, C, and E that have effect of enhancing reproductive functions in males. Production of testosterone the principal male reproductive hormone has been found to gradually decrease with age, beginning in the 35 ± 5 years of age in most men and is associated with decreased sexual performance. This problem can be improved by nutrients and biochemical factors in the diet. There is limited documentation to support studies that specifically investigated the effect of groundnuts consumption on reproductive function Main objective: The main objective of this study was to establish the effect of consuming groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) on serum testosterone level and lipid profile in male rats. Methods: An experimental control study was done involving 32 male rats aged 8-10 weeks. The animals were randomly divided into four groups of eight rats each: groups II, III and IV were fed diet containing 25%, 50% and & 75% groundnuts respectively for twenty days while group I served as a control and was fed on normal commercial rat feed for twenty days. At the end of twenty days, 2mls of blood (from each rat) was withdrawn, and sera harvested. Total testosterone RIA was done and lipid profile was assayed by auto-analysis machine. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS. Statistically significant differences were tested by one way ANOVA and Student`s t-test, and level of significance was fixed at p< 0.05 Results: Compared to the control, rats fed on different percentages of groundnut showed different levels of serum lipids and testosterone. The rats fed on 25% groundnuts showed insignificant decrease in mean TC, LDL-C, HDL-C and increase in TG and testosterone P > 0.05. The 75% groundnut-fed rats had significantly lower TC, higher HDL-C and higher testosterone P < 0.05 and insignificantly lower LDL-C and higher TG P > 0.05 while 50% groundnut fed rats had significantly higher levels of TC, HDLC, TG and testosterone P < 0.05 with insignificant lower LDL-C P > 0.05 compared to the control. . Apart from TC which decreased at 25% and 75% groundnuts, the HDL-C, TG and Testosterone tended to increase as more groundnuts were added to the feeds. Conclusion: Adding groundnuts to rat diet significantly affect lipid profile and testosterone at 50% and 75% with TC, HDL-C, TG and testosterone significantly increased at 50 and significant decrease in TC and increase in HDL-C and testosterone at 75% groundnut. These results show that groundnut consumption is associated with increase in serum testosterone accompanied with significant increase in HDL-C in male rats. This suggests that groundnuts may be a potential solution to age-related decline in testosterone production. The results also, support earlier studies on the effect of groundnut oil on the rat serum lipid profile. Recommendation: Further studies should be done to confirm the long term effect of consuming groundnut in rats and its effect on lipid profile and testosterone in human.