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Volume 9, Issue 2 (March 2007) 9, 245–251; 10.1111/j.1745-7262.2007.00228.x

Effect of two different extracts of red maca in male rats with testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia

Gustavo F Gonzales, Vanessa Vasquez, Daniella Rodriguez, Carmen Maldonado, Juliet Mormontoy, Jimmy Portella, Monica Pajuelo, León Villegas and Manuel Gasco

1.Biological and Physiological Sciences, Cayetano Heredia University, Lima 100, Peru
2.High Altitude Institute Research, Cayetano Heredia University, Lima 100, Peru
3.Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Cayetano Heredia University, Lima 100, Peru
4.Quality Control Center, Cayetano Heredia University, Lima 100, Peru
5.Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cayetano Heredia University, Lima 100, Peru

Correspondence: Dr. Gustavo F Gonzales, Honorio Delgado 430, Lima 31, Peru. Fax: +00-511-482-1195. E-mail: iiad@upch.edu.pe

Received 20 April 2006; Accepted 30 July 2006.


Aim: To determine the effect of two different extracts of red maca in male rats.

Methods: Prostatic hyperplasia was induced in male rats with testosterone enanthate (TE). The study comprised six groups: one control group (group 1), one group treated with TE (group 2), two groups treated with TE and aqueous extract of red maca (groups 3 and 4), one group treated with hydroalcoholic extract of red maca (group 5) and one group treated with finasteride (0.1 mg, group 6). Differences in the aqueous extract dependent on the length of time of boiling, whether for 2 or 3 hours, for groups 3 and 4 was assessed. Extracts of red maca contained 0.1 mg of benzylglucosinolate. Thereafter, a dose-response effect of different doses of benzylglucosinolates (0.02-0.08 mg) in red maca extracts was assessed.

Results: Prostate weight was similar in rats treated with freeze-dried aqueous extract of red maca prepared after 2 and 3 hours of boiling. Freeze-dried aqueous extract of red maca, hydroalcoholic extract of red maca and finasteride reduced prostate weight in rats with prostatic hyperplasia. No difference was observed between the data obtained from aqueous extract or hydroalcoholic extract of red maca. A dose dependent reduction of prostate weight was observed with the increase of the dose of benzylglucosinolates in red maca extracts.

Conclusion: The present study showed that hydroalcoholic or aqueous extract of red maca containing 0.1 mg of benzylglucosinolate can reduce prostate size in male rats in which prostatic hyperplasia had been induced by TE.

Keywords: red maca, Lepidium meyenii, freeze-dried aqueous extract, hydroalcoholic extract, prostatic hyperplasia, prostate weight, benzyl glucosinolates

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