“I’m too tired to finish”
In one of the first human studies of its kind, researchers have found that urinary concentrations of the controversial chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA, may be related to decreased sperm quality and sperm concentration.
However, the researchers are quick to point out that these results are preliminary and more study is needed. Several studies have documented adverse effects of BPA on semen in rodents, but none are known to have reported similar relationships in humans.
BPA is a common chemical that’s stirred much controversy in the media lately over its safety. Critics say that BPA mimics the body’s own hormones and may lead to negative health effects. BPA is most commonly used to make plastics and epoxy resins used in food and beverage cans, and people are exposed primarily through diet, although other routes are possible. More than 6 billion pounds of BPA are produced annually.
“Much of the focus for BPA is on the exposures in utero or in early life, which is of course extremely important, but this suggests exposure may also be a concern for adults,” Meeker said. “Research should focus on impacts of exposure throughout multiple life stages…”
John Meeker and Russ Hauser recruited 190 men through a fertility clinic. All gave spot urine samples and sperm samples the same day. Subsequently, 78 of the men gave one or two additional urine samples a month apart. Researchers detected BPA in 89 percent of the urine samples…
“We found that if we compare somebody in the top quartile of exposure with the lowest quartile of exposure, sperm concentration was on average about 23 percent lower in men with the highest BPA,” Meeker said.
Results also suggested a 10 percent increase in sperm DNA damage.
So, all those guys sucking down Gatorade from 2-liter bottles on the sidelines of college football games – are limiting the ability of our species to reproduce?
No matter how hard they try?