The Impact Of Shiitake Mushroom (Higher Basidiomycetes) On Сopulatory Behaviour Of Mammals: Social Vole Microtus Socialis

T. Zorenko, PhD, Associative Professor, I. Motmillere, Master of Science, N. Matjushkova, Doctor of Science, Associative Professor Faculty of Biology University of Latvia University of Latvia, Jelgava’s str. 1, Riga, LV-1586 Е-mail: zorenkot@lanet.lv

Abstract

In recent years, voles (Rodentia, Cricetidae) are often used in various biological studies, which because of their behavioural and physiological characteristics represent a convenient laboratory object. The results of the experiments indicate a high aphrodisiac activity of shiitake mushrooms. A three-week diet supplemented with an aqueous extract of shiitake led not only to the restoration of sexual motivation in males with initially decreased libido, but also to an increase in the number of ejaculations 1.5 times, and the total duration of mating 1.8 times (19.4 min). A control diet was supplemented with wheat bran (Control-1) or an extract of oyster mushroom (Control-2). It restored the attraction to the female and mating, but did not change the mating parameters; moreover, in Control-2 (oyster mushroom), the parameters were lower than in the average species norm. In males with a initially normal sexual motivation, the aphrodisiac effect of the aqueous extract of shiitake was even more significant. Not only statistically significantly increased mating parameters, such as the number of ejaculations and the total duration of mating, but also the number of thrusts that determine increased genital stimulation, which is important for more successful fertilization of the female and obtaining a greater number of offspring. Oyster extract also caused an increase in the number of ejaculations, although significantly less than in males that received shiitake extract. In addition, it did not affect other parameters of mating. The mechanism of action of mushrooms on the sexual activity of animals has not yet been established. Various hypotheses of this influence are discussed. We assume that many of the components of fungi such as lentinan, Zn, carnitine and etc. have an cumulative effect, causing an improvement in the activity of the males, as well as the quality their sperms (density and motility of the spermatozoa). As a result, increase the vitality and energy of the organism i.e. libido.

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