Nutmeg and drumstick seeds are commonly consumed medicinal seeds used as functional foods and could serve as an alternative therapy for the management of erectile dysfunction (ED). Now, scientists in exploring an alternative remedy for the management of erectile dysfunction say the seed of nutmeg is more effective than drumstick.

The scientists had evaluated the effects of nutmeg and drumstick seed (Moringa oleifera) extracts on critical enzymes (PDE 5, arginase, AChE, and ACE) associated with erectile dysfunction (ED) and metal induced oxidative damage in rat’s penile tissues. In the study, nutmeg exhibited stronger inhibitory effects compared to drumstick seed. Its constituents of chemical compounds as ellagic acid, rutin, quercitrin, quercetin and kaempferol were also higher than those in drumstick.

This 2017 study, in the Journal of Food Biochemistry, involved Veronica O. Odubanjo, Tosin A. Olasehinde; Sunday I. Oyeleye; Ganiyu Oboh and Aline A. Boligon, indicated that the highest inhibitory effect was obtained at the highest concentration of 400 µg/mL for nutmeg and drumstick extracts with percentage inhibition of 65.1 per cent and 88.9 per cent, respectively.

For the study, the extracts from the seeds of nutmeg and drumstick were screened for their inhibitory activities on critical enzymes (PDE 5, arginase, AChE, and ACE) associated with erectile dysfunction in albino rats under laboratory conditions. Erectile dysfunction is an important indicator of poor health, which reduces the quality of life. Its prevalence is rising and it is estimated to affect about 300 million men by 2025. Moreover, the prevalence of erectile dysfunction in men increases with age. But medicines used for its treatment have been reported to pose several side effects to men.

Spices have been widely used in Nigeria for food seasoning with numerous health benefits. Nutmeg is commonly used as a spice in various dishes and cuisine. It is used in the treatment of dysentery, asthma, rheumatism, muscle spasm and fungal infections.

Nutmeg is known to have effective appetite enhancement properties and has been used for its therapeutic effects on various digestion-related disorders, including diarrhoea. It is also used in the treatment of certain type of cancers. Nutmeg has been found to prohibit further growth of tumours by inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels carrying blood and other nutrients to the tumour.

Previously, scientists had indicated that 50 per cent ethanolic extract from the seed of nutmeg improved sexual function via an increase in libido and potency, which was associated with its nervous stimulatory effect. It is a potent aphrodisiac due to its nervous stimulating properties which enhance libido, improve penile erection, increase ejaculation latency/time, and intensify sexual activity in a sustained manner.

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