Curcumin influences semen quality parameters and reverses the di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP)-induced testicular damage in mice.
Pharmacol Rep. 2014 Oct ;66(5):782-7. Epub 2014 Apr 30. PMID: 25149981
BACKGROUND: Curcumin is a phytochemical derived from rhizome of turmeric Curcuma longa, present in the curry spice. Recently, it has attracted the attention of researchers and clinicians as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent with a potential use in therapy of many diseases with an inflammatory component. Interestingly, curcumin despite its very low bioavailability showed protective activity against many organ lesions.
METHODS: In the present study we investigated the effects of curcumin treatment on mice semen quality parameters in vitro and on semen and testicular damage induced by di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate in vivo.
RESULTS: The study demonstrated protective effects of low concentrations (1-50μM) of curcumin on mouse sperm motility in vitro and on DEHP-induced damage of seminiferous tubules in testes and its ability to diminish the decrease in sperm motility in vivo. In contrast, curcumin used in high concentration (100 μM) decreased sperm motility and viability in vitro.
CONCLUSION: The effects of curcumin were dependent on its concentration. In male germ cells in vivo the protective effect was seen despite the low bioavailability of curcumin. In contrast, high, unattainable in the organism, concentration of curcumin had a cytotoxic effect on male reproductive cells in vitro. Curcumin also had a protective effect against the harmful impact of DEHP on the male reproductive system.