Effect of honey on testicular functions in rats exposed to cigarette smoke
Mohamed Mahaneem, Siti Amrah Sulaiman, Hasnan Jaafar, Kuttulebbai Nainamohamed Salam Sirajudeen, Zul Izhar Mohd Ismail and Mohammed Nazrul Islam
Honey is traditionally consumed by the local Malaysian population as a nutrient, as well as for the enhancement of fertility. The decline inmale reproductive health and fertility in the last 30 years has been linked to environmental toxicants including cigarette smoke (CS). In human and experimental studies, CS exposure has been associated with decreased plasma testosterone level, lower sperm count and increased percentage of abnormal sperm. The aim of this study, therefore, was to determine the possible protective role of honey against the toxic effects of CS on testicular functions in rats. Thirty-two adult Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 4 groups (8 rats per group) i.e. control group, honey-treated group (H), cigarette smoke-exposed group (CS) and honey-treated plus CS-exposed group (H+CS). Rats in control and CS groups received oral administration of distilled water daily while rats in H and H+CS groups received honey (1.2 g/kg body weight) orally by gavage daily. Rats in CS and H+CS groups were also exposed to CS for 8 min (3 times/day). After 13 weeks of treatment, each rat was sacrificed for reproductive parameters analysis. Rats in CS group had significantly lower sperm count, daily sperm production, percentage of motile sperm and testosterone level as well as a higher percentage of abnormal sperm compared to control and H groups. However, supplementation of honey significantly improved all these parameters in H+CS group. Administration of honey significantly attenuated the toxic effects of CS on spermatogenesis and testosterone level in rats. This study suggests that honey might have a protective effect against CS-induced impaired testicular functions in rats.