Garlic has been used as a home remedy for treating erectile dysfunction and promoting male fertility for years. Though now many medicines are available for improving erectile dysfunction, they all come with certain side effects so garlic is still used commonly to improve fertility as it has no side effects and this practice has been backed by research.
What Is Garlic?
Garlic is a species of bulbous plant and is closely related to our common onion. It is a perennial flowering plant that grows out of a bulb. Garlic plant has a tall stem that grows almost up to 3 feet. The plant produces flowers and is mainly of purple colour. It is native to Asia and Iran and is now widely consumed all over the world. China is the top supplier of garlic now.
Garlic For Men: 3 Ways Garlic Helps Men:
1. Increases Nitric Oxide Levels
Nitric oxide increases blood flow which helps treat erectile dysfunction and garlic extract has been shown to increase nitric oxide production. In a study, aortic rings of rats were contracted and then were tested with garlic extract and other drugs. Garlic extract induced concentration dependent vasorelaxation by stimulating nitric oxide production.
2. Improves Male Fertility
Fertility in men mainly depends on the quality, motility and morphology of the sperms. Meta-analysis of studies related to garlic and male fertility showed that garlic improved fertility by increasing testosterone levels and also by helping improving sperm production. This is because garlic contains phytoestrogens which has a direct effect on estrogen which is the precursor to testosterone production.
3. Fights Of Free Radicals
Garlic is rich in antioxidants which can fight of free radicals. Free radicals causes lot of problems to male fertility, it disturbs hormonal balance that regulates male reproductive functions, disrupts testicular cells and spermatozoa leading to male infertility. Antioxidants has been proven to improve fertility and garlic is rich in antioxidants.
Clinical Studies Done On Rats Relating To Garlic & Fertility
1. Reduces Testicular Oxidative Stress
In a study, 36 rats were divided into 6 groups. Some groups were made diabetic and they were all given garlic water extract for 5 weeks. The testosterone levels, oxidative stress parameters in testis tissues, serum glucose levels, body weight and sperm count were all measured. After 5 weeks, garlic treated diabetic rats experienced reduced glucose levels and oxidative stress along with increased testosterone levels and sperm quality.
2. S – Allyl Cysteine
S- allyl cysteine, a bioactive compound derived from garlic helps with erectile dysfunction. In a study done for four weeks on diabetic rats who were given either insulin or S- allyl cysteine, rats who were given s-allyl cysteine restored erectile function by preventing reactive oxygen species (free radicals) compared to rats who were treated with insulin.
3. Garlic Supplementation With High Protein Diet
In a study, rats were given diets of different protein levels with or without garlic powder. Rats that were given high protein diet along with garlic powder experienced increased testosterone and decreased plasma corticosterone compared to the group that were fed only high protein diet.