Household chemicals can affect male fertility

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By Dr. Victor Dumaguing

To Your Health

Friday, May 30, 2014


CHEMICALS found in common household products such as toothpaste, soaps and plastic toys have direct impact on human sperm production, which could help explain the rising levels of male infertility or sterility.

The latest research, published in The EMBO Journal carried out with the Center of Advanced European studies and Research in Bonn Germany found that 30 out of 96 common household chemicals had a direct effect on the "catsper protein", which controls the ability of the sperm to swim upstream into the Fallopian tube where the ovem or mature egg of the woman is found. Moreover, the catsper protein also is responsible for eventually penetrating the membrane of the ovum in order to fertilize it into a zygote - the beginning of a new life.

The study was part of wider research into the so-called "endocrine-disrupting chemicals" that for several years have been suspected to affect male fertility.

Our dear readers are reminded of a much-earlier finding of a Japanese scientist who warned that many years from now, there may no longer be a new generation of humans because the quantity and quality of sperm cells have significantly decreased and deteriorated.

In some cases, these chemicals are thought to mimic or copy the effects of the female hormone estrogen, and in other cases, these chemicals act as "anti-androgens” - the male sex hormone testosterone - thereby interfering with normal spermatogenesis - the formation of mature healthy sperm cells in the testes of males.

A world-renowned scientist, Professor Niels Skakkebaek of the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark has pioneered the scientific research and investigation of rising male infertility. In 1991, he produced the first evidence showing that human sperm counts had fallen by nearly 50 percent in the last 50 years- an alarming statistics that could, if the trend continues casts a fall of doom on humankind.

Other chemicals found in sunscreen, detergents have been found to directly sabotage the human sperm swimming behavior by prematurely causing the release of enzymes that would otherwise help the sperm cell swim and later on penetrate the egg, to affect successful fertilization.

As Steve Connor, Science editor of the London Independence Newspaper emphasized, "these findings open our eyes to the cause and effect relationship of chemicals and male infertility so that it will allow governments all over the world to regulate or ban or impose restrictions on the amount and use of these common household chemicals."
Next Week: Should You Take those Food Supplements?

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 31, 2014.

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