About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Chemicals Suspected to Damage Sperm: Study

by Bidita Debnath on May 13, 2014 at 9:39 PM
 Chemicals Suspected to Damage Sperm: Study

Danish and German scientists said that they had identified dozens of chemicals, including some used in hygiene and consumer products, that interfere with male fertility by damaging sperm.

Writing in the journal EMBO Reports, the team said a third of 96 compounds they tested using a new technique had an adverse effect on sperm.


The chemicals included 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC), which is an ultraviolet filter used in some sunscreens, and the anti-bacterial agent Triclosan, used in some kinds of toothpaste, they said.

Outside commentators praised the research but noted it was only carried out on sperm in a lab, a context far removed from the more complex environment of the human body.

Health watchdogs are keeping a close eye on the so-called "endocrine disruptor chemicals", hundreds of which are present in food products, textiles, hygiene products, toys, cosmetics and plastic bottles.

But there were previously no tests that could decisively demonstrate the suspected side-effects on sperm. The researchers said this problem has now been solved.

"Our study provides scientific evidence to assist forming international rules and practices," said Timo Struenker of the Centre of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, the former West Germany capital, who led the study.

It suggested that exposure to the chemicals increases calcium levels in sperm, altering their swimming behaviour and hampering its ability to penetrate the egg's protective coat.

"For the first time, we have shown a direct link between exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals from industrial products and adverse effects on human sperm functions," said Niels Skakkebaek of Copenhagen University Hospital.

In a commentary carried by Britain's Science Media Centre, Colin Berry, a professor of pathology at Queen Mary University of London cautioned against extrapolating results for humans from only lab-dish tests.

Lab rodents should be the next step for experiments to validate the findings, he said.

Another expert, Allan Pacey of the University of Sheffield, said men were exposed to "relatively few chemicals or lifestyle factors" that affected their semen quality.

The strongest evidence to back the case against endocrine disruptors would come from a widespread study conducted among the population, he said.

EMBO Reports is published by the European Molecular Biology Organisation.

Source: AFP
Font : A-A+



Latest Research News

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks: Link to Traumatic Brain Injury and Dementia?
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks are detected in approximately 1-3% of adults who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.
Astrocyte Activation Through Optogenetics: A New Hope in the Fight Against Alzheimer's
The optogenetic activation of hippocampal astrocytes can be viewed as a novel therapeutic avenue for addressing Alzheimer's disease.
Link Between Cholesterol and Inflammation in Alzheimer's Disease Identified
In Alzheimer's disease condition, the control and adjustment of ABCA7 levels in response to inflammation and the decrease in the availability of cholesterol.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Atopic Dermatitis Share Common Links
Atopic dermatitis (AD) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can lead to alterations in the microbiome, and disruptions in the skin and gut barrier.
Vitiligo-Associated Autoimmunity Linked to Lower Health Risks
Gaining insights into mortality risks among vitiligo patients will enhance patient counseling, healthcare monitoring, and overall patient management strategies.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot

Chemicals Suspected to Damage Sperm: Study Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests