Effects of Artemisia afra and Artemisia absinthium on fertility of male mice exposed to increased ambient temperatures for 24 hours
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Males exposed to elevated temperatures display a decrease in reproductive performance resulting in decreased profit for producers. The use of herbs to alleviate the effects of heat in tropical countries has been documented for centuries. Male mice were used as a model for boars to determine if Artemisia absinthium maintains reproductive performance similar to that of control males for males exposed to heat stress, and to determine the mechanism(s) through which Artemisia afra and Artemisia absinthium decrease the negative effects on reproduction caused by heat stress. Males exposed to heat stress exhibited increased body temperatures and fluid intake, and decreased fertility, however, males with access to the herbs remained at similar levels as control males for the number of implantations and percentage pre- and post-implantation conceptus survival. The use of the herbs tested has the potential to decrease the negative effects of heat stress on fertility and warrants further investigation.