Preliminary study on the effect of sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum) molasses on steroidogenesis in testicular cell cultures
Pool, Edmund John
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Blackstrap molasses has been used for centuries in the preparation of food products and have also been used to treat numerous ailments such as high blood pressure, arthritis, ulcers, dermatitits, eczema, constipation, colitis, varicose veins and many other health problems. Reports suggest that blackstrap molasses may have endocrine disruptive effects in cattle. The present study investigated the effect of sugar cane (Saccharum officinarium) molasses on steroidogenesis in testis cell culture. Testis cell cultures were incubated with various concentrations of molasses. Luteinizing hormone was used to stimulate the production of testosterone in the testes cell culture. Supernatants of the testes cell cultures were then assayed for testosterone, oestradiol and cytotoxicity using commercially available kits. Results showed that low concentrations (12 - 50 ug/ml) of molasses increase testosterone secretion relative to control cultures (P < 0.05). None of the molasses concentrations tested were cytotoxic. This study has shown that molasses stimulate testosterone production. Therefore, molasses may potentially be used as a diet supplement to increase testosterone levels.