Chemicals used in common soaps make men infertile

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(NaturalNews) For the first time, a new study has causally linked the hidden toxicity of laboratory-created chemicals in the environment and in common household items to adverse effects on the male reproductive system, especially human sperm. Ironically, these chemicals were determined to be safe by standard toxicology tests.

The most recent study was part of a larger study on "endocrine-disrupting" chemicals which explored the connection between low sperm counts and epidemic levels of male infertility.

Earlier, in 1991, Professor Niels Skakkebaek of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark presented the first scientific evidence documenting that "human sperm counts had fallen by nearly 50 per cent in less than 50 years -- low sperm counts are a major cause of male infertility."

Chemical mechanisms of infertility, product sources, and how to avoid them

The recent study, headed by Timo Strunker with the Centre of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany, and published in EMBO reports, found that the chemicals act in two different ways.

In some cases, the chemicals interfere with the male reproductive system by mimicking female sex hormones or estrogen, while in other cases they act as "anti-androgens."

Androgens are a broad term used to describe male hormones. Sun screens, detergents and plastics were found to directly obstruct the ability of sperm to release critical enzymes. The sperm were forced by the disrupting chemicals to release the enzymes prior to reaching the egg, thus rendering the sperm infertile.

Additionally, the study revealed an "entourage or cocktail effect" which increased the potency of all the chemical disruptors combined and also amplified each individual chemical.

Head researcher Timo Strunker explained, "In human body fluids, one does not find one of a few particular chemicals, but rather complex chemical cocktails with many different endocrine-disrupting chemicals at very low concentrations. We tried to mimic this situation in our experiments."

"When mixed together the cocktail, despite the extremely low concentration of its ingredients, evoked large and sizeable responses in sperm. Thus, in complex mixtures [the chemicals] co-operate to interfere with sperm function. This has not been shown before," Strunker added.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that chemical exposure levels necessary to create adverse biological reactions were consistent with the same low levels of those chemicals routinely found in the human body.

These chemicals are either ingested by people on a daily basis via contaminated food or beverages or are absorbed through the skin via conventional sunscreens, soaps, lotions and other personal care products.

Unquestionably, the study demonstrates that low-dose chemical exposures via personal lifestyle choices and daily living habits, as well as ubiquitous environmental chemical exposure, deleteriously affect the male reproductive system.

Future studies will be required to confirm if low fertility rates prevalent in modern societies are directly connected to the study's findings.

Remember, whatever is rubbed onto your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. Your skin is actually your largest organ. All your personal care products should be organic and non-toxic, including all detergents and cleaning products. Reduce your exposure to plastics as well as canned foods and all commercially processed mainstream foods.

Eat an organic, nutrient-dense, whole-foods diet. Homemade meals from scratch not only taste better but give the home cook maximum control over the type and quality of ingredients used, the cooking methods utilized and a full spectrum of nutritional options, as well as greater control over the food budget. Sorry, you must minimize going out to eat.

Don't automatically assume just because a personal care product is on the shelf of a popular "health" food store that it won't contain toxic chemicals. You might be amazed to discover that many of the "healthier," pricier brands in these stores contain many of the same toxic ingredients found in conventional products!

To check toxic ingredient levels in your hygienic, personal care and cosmetic products, visit Skin Deep at the Environmental Working Group's website.

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