Investigation into the Predominant Pathway by which Ashwagandha Increases Testosterone

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Authors
Held, Benjamin
Romney, Kaiden
Advisor
Sheafor, Brandon
Editor
Date of Issue
2023-04-28
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Title
Investigation into the Predominant Pathway by which Ashwagandha Increases Testosterone
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Presentation
Description
Abstract
Ashwagandha is an herb native to Asia and Africa that has received much attention in recent years for its “heal-all” abilities. Advocates of the root claim that it relieves stress and anxiety, lowers blood sugar, increases muscle performance, boosts sexual hormones, improves focus and memory, increases heart health, and may even have clinical applications in cancer treatment. Although a fair amount of research has been performed on the effects of ashwagandha, little is known about the mechanism by which it boosts testosterone and subsequently increases muscular performance. The object of this experiment is to determine whether or not luteinizing hormone (LH) is the predominant pathway by which testosterone is increased. Ashwagandha may promote the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus, which in turn promotes the release of LH from the pituitary gland to stimulate testosterone production. To test this, three experimental groups of frogs will be given one of the following treatments: 1.) control (no chemical exposure), 2.) exposure to GnRH, 3.) exposure to ashwagandha extract. At the end of the treatment period, all frogs will be evaluated for LH and testosterone concentrations in plasma and urine. If ashwagandha does increase testosterone primarily through the LH pathway, then the concentration ratio of LH to testosterone should be equivalent between the GnRH treatment group and the ashwagandha treatment group. If an equivalent ratio is not detected, more research will be required to determine by which alternative physiological pathway ashwagandha increases testosterone.
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Semester
Spring
Department
Biology