An evaluation of the effect of ethanolic root extract of zingiber officinale (Ginger) on the morphology of the reproductive system of male wistar rats.

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Ginger has been shown to have a positive effect on the weight of the male reproductive organs, and to possess antidiabetic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticholestereolemic, anticancerous, antiemetic, anti-rhinoviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-insecticidal properties. As a result, dietary patterns in Africa especially Ghana are characterized by a high consumption of ginger. However there is very little information on the effects of ginger on the morphology of the male reproductive system. Therefore the present study was designed to investigate the effects of ginger on the structure of the testes, epididymis and semen parameters of the male rat using quantitative and qualitative methods. Forty-eight male wistar rats were divided into four groups designated as control, A, B and C and administered daily by gavage with 1 ml distilled water, 100 mg/kg, 300 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg of ethanolic ginger extract respectively for 30 days. Results of the present study show that there was an increase in body weight, testicular and epididymal weight in the extract-treated rats in a dose dependent manner which was not statistically significant. Both the control and extract-treated male rats showed normal morphology of the testes. However, in the extract-treated animals, there was a considerable increase in the proportion of interstitial tissues and seminiferous tubules. There was a strong positive correlation between volume fraction of the seminiferous tubules and sperm count. In addition, there was a strong positive correlation between sperm count, body weight, epididymal and testicular weight in the extract-treated animals. Ethanolic ginger extract caused a significant (p = 0.001) increase in sperm count, motility, viability and morphology. Therefore, ginger extract may be potentially useful in the management of male infertility especially those with low sperm count.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Human Anatomy and Cell Biology in the Department of Anatomy, School of Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, 2016.