Effects of red palm oil and rooibos on sperm motility parameters in streptozotocininduced diabetic rats
Background: Diabetes mellitus characterized by hyperglycaemia could affect sperm quality as a result of increased oxidative stress. This study
was performed to investigate the effects of red palm oil (RPO), aqueous rooibos tea extracts (RTE) as well as their combination (RPO + RTE) on
sperm motility parameters in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
Materials and Methods: Diabetes was induced by a single administration of streptozotocin (50 mg/kg) and the rats were treated with red palm oil (2 ml/day) and / or aqueous rooibos tea extract (2%) for 7 weeks. Sperm motility parameters were measured using Computer Assisted Sperm
Results: Hyperglycaemia negatively affected the sperm progressive motility significantly at p<0.05. There was a significant decrease (p<0.05) in sperm linearity (LIN) in the diabetic group when compared with the normal control group. RPO supplemented diabetic rats exhibited increased progressive sperm motility, sperm linearity (LIN) and wobble (WOB). Significant decreases (p<0.05) in straight line velocity (VSL) and average path velocity (VAP) of the sperms were observed in all the diabetic groups when compared to the control group. Significant (p<0.05) elevated levels of WOB and LIN were observed following RTE treatment and co- administration with RPO respectively.
Conclusion: The present study suggests that red palm oil and / or rooibos administration exhibited no adverse effects on sperm motility parameters but rather showed some beneficial effects.
Key words: Red palm oil, Rooibos, Sperm, Rats, Streptozotocin, Diabetes mellitus