Scientists prepare birth control pills for men based on nettle

Researchers at Monash University in Australia have isolated a substance from the root and leaves of nettle stinging nettle that can significantly reduce male fertility. The results of scientific work are published in the journal PLOS One.

Photo: Craig Walton / Shutterstock

Scientists have repeatedly tried to create birth control pills for men. However, all hormone-based drugs were less effective than female contraceptives.

The botanical component of nettle dioica has been shown to block P2X1 purine receptor proteins responsible for sperm motility, according to a study. However, this effect is not 100% guaranteed, since nettle extract does not affect the function of the α1A-adrenergic receptor protein, which is also responsible for the activity of spermatozoa.

An experiment on laboratory mice showed that with the introduction of an extract of dioica nettle, the activity of the genitourinary system is reduced by 53%. Thus, the mice continued to mate, but less frequently produced offspring.

Biologists believe that the plant extract in the future will form the basis of the first oral contraceptives for men. According to the researchers, nettle does not affect the safety of sperm. This means that the substance is harmless to potency. To date, scientists are developing a drug that reduces fertility to more stable and significant indicators.

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