Exposure to This Chemical Linked to Low Testosterone
According to a recent animal trial in the Journal of Biomedical Research, low doses of bisphenol A (BPA) may cause reduced testosterone production. After two weeks of regular oral BPA administration, adult male rats were found to have significantly lower sperm counts than controls. The BPA also appeared to reduce the production of important sex hormones, such as FSH.
Rat models are not directly transferrable to understanding the effects BPA may have on human sperm production and sex hormone regulation. The link between oral BPA intake and reduced sperm count, serum testosterone, and FSH levels in rats may not be found to the same extent in human men, even at proportionate doses. Furthermore, the exact mechanism connecting oral ingestion of BPA and its effect in rats is not perfectly understood.
Many animal trials do offer insight to the potential effects of chemicals or other substances on the human body. However, there are some trials in animals that have previously led scientists astray, particularly in pharmaceutical trials and disease studies.
Different biological responses and mechanisms for processing chemicals, food substances, and medications can make it difficult to interpret some results from animal models. Regardless, this study may further public resistance to BPA consumption by offering another potential negative side effect of the chemical.
Low testosterone and its bedfellows
Low serum testosterone, one of the effects of BPA consumption found in the rat models, is also frequently found in adult male humans. Some estimate that up to 40% of middle-aged and older men experience low serum testosterone levels. As many men age, serum levels dip in a normal way that would compare to menopause in women.
According to Healthline, in other men, testosterone levels dip even further, causing symptoms such as fatigue, mood swings, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and a variety of other problems.For men suffering from true and persistent low testosterone levels (or “low T”) or hypogonadism, testosterone therapy often helps return testosterone levels to normal. In the animal trial on BPA, however, testosterone therapy only effectively treated a portion of the rats’ low serum testosterone and related problems. If the results of the study translate to humans, BPA exposure may be a new area for urologists to investigate in men with low testosterone not responding to typical treatment.
Katie BrindAmour is a Certified Health Education Specialist and passionate health and wellness freelance writer. She enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, searching for the perfect wine and chocolate combination, and spending time with friends. She has a Masters in Biology and is currently pursuing her PhD in Health Services Management and Policy. She also enjoys blogging for Women’s Healthcare Topics and Healthline Networks.
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