Dandelion-based testosterone therapy?
No, this is not an April Fool's Day prank. Animal Cells and Systems isn't into pranks. In this respected scientific journal, Korean researchers at Chung-Ang University published an in vitro-study in which dandelion extracts increase the production of testosterone by Leydig cells in the testes.
The researchers made their extracts themselves. They extracted the active substances from dried dandelions with water, evaporated the water and used the powder that remained for their experiments. A prominent component of the dandelion extract was cichoric acid, analyzes showed.
The Koreans experimented with TM3 cells in petris dishes. TM3 cells originally came from the testes of a mouse.
The administration of the dandelion extract increased the concentration of testosterone. Remarkably, the lowest concentration of 1 microgram extract per milliliter gave just as good results as the higher concentrations.
Above you see how dandelion increased the production of testosterone. Dandelion activates the StAR protein, which allows the cells to absorb cholesterol. That cholesterol is the raw material of testosterone. At the same time, dandelion increases the activity of the enzymes CYP17A1 and CYP11A1, which are involved in the biosynthesis of testosterone.
Dandelion did not damage the testes cells.
"Preventing the age-dependent decrease in testosterone production in Leydig cells may provide a variety of benefits, which are clinically significant for improving libido and sexual function, fertility, bone density, muscle mass, and quality of life of aging men", the Koreans write.
"However, direct injection of artificial testosterone or oral testosterone administration can simultaneously induce many side effects, including prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, and cardiovascular events."
"Dandelion extract may be used as an alternative medicine for the treatment of diseases characterized by insufficient testosterone, such as male infertility, hypogonadism, and late-onset hypogonadism. Further studies are required to establish the clinical efficacy of dandelion extract."
More coming soon.
Anim Cells Syst (Seoul). 2018;22(6):407-14.
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