Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Reduced testosterone tied to endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure

Date:
August 14, 2014
Source:
Endocrine Society
Summary:
Men, women and children exposed to high levels of phthalates -- endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in plastics and some personal care products -– tended to have reduced levels of testosterone in their blood compared to those with lower chemical exposure, according to a new study.

Phthalates are commonly found in plastics and personal care products. Researchers found evidence of reduced levels of circulating testosterone with increased phthalate exposure. "This may have important public health implications, since low testosterone levels in young boys can negatively impact reproductive development, and in middle age can impair sexual function, libido, energy, cognitive function and bone health in men and women," one researcher said.
Credit: Olga Lyubkin / Fotolia

Men, women and children exposed to high levels of phthalates -- endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in plastics and some personal care products -- tended to have reduced levels of testosterone in their blood compared to those with lower chemical exposure, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Related Articles


Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men. It contributes to a variety of functions in both sexes, including physical growth and strength, brain function, bone density and cardiovascular health. In the last 50 years, research has identified a trend of declining testosterone in men and a rise in related health conditions, including reduced semen quality in men and genital malformations in newborn boys.

Animal and cellular studies have found that some phthalates block the effects of testosterone on the body's organs and tissues. Researchers set out to examine whether these chemicals, which are widely used in flexible PVC plastics and personal care products, had a similar effect in humans.

"We found evidence reduced levels of circulating testosterone were associated with increased phthalate exposure in several key populations, including boys ages 6-12, and men and women ages 40-60," said one of the study's authors, John D. Meeker, MS, ScD, of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, MI. "This may have important public health implications, since low testosterone levels in young boys can negatively impact reproductive development, and in middle age can impair sexual function, libido, energy, cognitive function and bone health in men and women."

The cross-sectional study examined phthalate exposure and testosterone levels in 2,208 people who participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2011-2012. Researchers analyzed urine samples to measure concentrations of 13 substances left after the body metabolizes phthalates. Each participant's testosterone level was measured using a blood sample.

Researchers found an inverse relationship between phthalate exposure and testosterone levels at various life stages. In women ages 40-60, for example, increased phthalate concentrations were associated with a 10.8 to 24 percent decline in testosterone levels. Among boys ages 6-12, increased concentrations of metabolites of a phthalate called di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP, was linked to a 24 to 34.1 percent drop in testosterone levels.

"While the study's cross-sectional design limit the conclusions we can draw, our results support the hypothesis that environmental exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as phthalates could be contributing to the trend of declining testosterone and related disorders," Meeker said. "With mounting evidence for adverse health effects, individuals and policymakers alike may want to take steps to limit human exposure to the degree possible."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. John D. Meeker, Kelly K. Ferguson. Urinary Phthalate Metabolites Are Associated With Decreased Serum Testosterone in Men, Women, and Children From NHANES 2011–2012. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2014; jc.2014-2555 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2014-2555

Cite This Page:

Endocrine Society. "Reduced testosterone tied to endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814191528.htm>.
Endocrine Society. (2014, August 14). Reduced testosterone tied to endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814191528.htm
Endocrine Society. "Reduced testosterone tied to endocrine-disrupting chemical exposure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140814191528.htm (accessed November 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

UN Says It Will Scale Up Its Ebola Response

AFP (Nov. 20, 2014) UN Resident Coordinator David McLachlan-Karr and WHO representative in the country Daniel Kertesz updated the media on the UN Ebola response on Wednesday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Obesity Costs Almost As Much As War And Terrorism

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) The newest estimate of the cost of obesity is pretty jarring — $2 trillion. But how did researchers get to that number? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

Ebola Crisis Affecting US Adoptions

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) The Sanborn family had hoped they'd be able to bring home their 5-year-old adopted son from Liberia by now. But Ebola has forced them to wait. The boy is just one of thousands of orphans in West Africa who've been impacted by the deadly virus. (Nov. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins