(PRWEB) June 02, 2012
Testosterone is an essential sex hormone in men. Historically, testosterone levels rise when boys enter puberty, remain high through adulthood, and begin to decline when men enter their mid to late 40s. But over the past 50 years, weve seen a drastic change in testosterone levels in men. Scientists have observed that otherwise healthy young men in their mid 30s are now showing markedly lower levels of testosterone then men of the same age a generation ago. In fact, an average 35 year old man now has testosterone levels that are 20% lower than his father had at the same age. Numerous studies have been conducted to discover the reasons for this decline, and the findings show a strong link between lower testosterone levels, and an increase in exposure to environmental pollutants.
The average American is exposed to an array of different chemicals on a daily basis. The consequence of this exposure is that unnatural elements are finding their way into the human body, where they impede normal biological development and disrupt hormone levels. Several chemicals have been identified as being pollutants that affect testosterone levels in men.
Chlorpyrifos, for instance, is currently present in the urine of 90% of men. This compound is regularly found in agricultural pesticides, which means many men encounter chlorpyrifos through their diet. Carbyl is another chemical shown to alter testosterone levels. This substance has been found in the urine of 75% of men, and is a popular ingredient in pesticides and gardening products. Studies of phthalates have shown this chemical to cause numerous problems for humans, including a drop in testosterone levels. Phthalates are extremely common, and can be found in a wide range of everyday products, including soap, shampoo, plastic bottles, detergents, plastic food containers, and pesticides.
In addition to direct exposure to environmental pollutants, men face exposure to pollutants diluted in water sources, as well. A wide range of pharmaceutical, industrial, and agricultural waste has been found in American water, including water that has already been processed at water treatment plants. Levels of estrogen (as a by-product of contraceptive pills that have been excreted through female urine), and chemicals that mimic estrogen, are of particular concern. Scientists are now linking estrogen exposure to testosterone decline in younger men. Male wildlife, such as fish, is already showing signs of feminization; and there is a real concern that men will display even greater effects over time.
Further studies have found strong evidence that supports a link between declining testosterone levels and the preservatives used to lengthen the shelf life of personal care items and food products. Compounds such a parabens, which are found in 90% of all personal care items, contain synthetic estrogens that cant be readily broken down by the body. The result is that synthetic estrogens are stored in the fat cells of men, thus disrupting testosterone levels in the blood.
Food packaging is another source of concern when it comes to testosterone levels. The lining of canned food containers is commonly made with bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has been directly linked to lowering testosterone levels, as well as a host of other male reproductive problems (including poor sperm quality and decreased motility). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called for additional studies to be conducted on the ill effects of BPA. In the meantime, however, the substance continues to be present in numerous products.
Low testosterone is no small matter when it comes to men and their health. To be healthy and feel good, men need testosterone.
While there are limits to how much we can control our environment, the good news is that men can exercise some control over their testosterone levels—in spite of modern day pollutants.
For more information, contact reNEW MAN
Conniff, Richard. Testosterone Under Attack. MensHealth.com. August 2, 2007. http://www.menshealth.com/health/testosterone-under-attack?fullpage=true
Meeker JD, AM Calafat and R Hauser. 2008. Urinary metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate are associated with decreased steroid hormone levels in adult men. Journal of Andrology doi:10.2164/jandrol.108.006403.
Travison, TG, AB Araujo, AB ODonnell, V Kupelian, JB McKinlay. 2007. A population-level decline in serum testosterone levels in American men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 92:196202.
Declining Male Fertility Linked To Water Pollution. Science Daily. January 18, 2009.
High BPA Levels May Hurt Sperm Quality. WebMD.com http://men.webmd.com/news/20101027/high-bpa-levels-may-hurt-sperm-quality
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