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Healthy Living: New study suggests link between Ibuprofen and male infertility

It’s one of the most popular over-the-counter pain relievers in the America and a new study suggests if you’re a man taking it on a regular basis, you could become infertile.

Male infertility is a problem that affects roughly 7 percent of American men. A study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found regular Ibuprofen use has a negative impact on the testicles of young men.

Advil and Motrin are two brand names for Ibuprofen. When taken in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition called Hypogonadism, which can lead to infertility, erectile dysfunction, depression and loss of bone and muscle mass. It’s most commonly seen in smokers and the elderly, but the new research suggests it can affect young men too.

For the study, researchers recruited 31 healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35. Fourteen of the men too two 600 milligram doses of Ibuprofen per day for six weeks — an amount consistent with what many athletes take to manage aches and pains — while the remaining 17 took placebo pills.

Both groups of men submitted to blood tests and hormonal analysis throughout the study. After 14 days of Ibuprofen use, the researches observed higher blood levels of luteinizing hormone, which regulates the production of testosterone and other hormones. After 44 days, levels were even higher.

Next, the researchers tested the direct effect of Ibuprofen on testicles using samples that had been taken from organ donors. When exposed to levels of Ibuprofen similar to that which would be taken orally, the testicle samples produced less testosterone after just 24 hours.

KUSI was joined by Dr. Tung-Chin Hseih, a urologist as UC San Diego, with more about the study and it’s implications for men who take the popular over-the-counter pain reliever.

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