Declining sperm counts and doubling rates of testicular cancer could be a ticking time bomb for the human race, a leading scientist claims.
Sperm counts have halved in the western world over the past four decades, which, alongside rising testicular tumours, could be behind plummeting fertility rates and couples’ increasing dependency on In Vitro fertilization (IVF), according to Prof. Niels Skakkebaek from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Hormone-disrupting pesticides sprayed onto everyday food may be too blamed as the changes are occurring too rapidly for genetics to be at fault, he adds. Skakkebaek said: “Alterations in our genome cannot explain the observations as changes have occurred over just a couple of generations.
“Modern lifestyles are associated with increased exposure to various endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as pesticides that may be harmful to humans even though exposure to individual chemicals is low.”
Skakkebaek said: “What could be causing such disturbing trends? The short answer is that we do not know. “However, data suggesting that the incidence of testicular cancer has more than doubled in recent decades leaves little doubt that we should look into environmental causes, including lifestyle effects.
“Alterations in our genome cannot explain the observations as changes have occurred over just a couple of generations. “Environmental exposures can come through food, water, skin, and work and home environments.”
He said: “Both wildlife research and experimental studies suggest that modern lifestyles are associated with increased exposure to various endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as pesticides that together may be harmful to wildlife and humans even though exposure to individual chemicals is low.
“However, little has been done to explore their potential effects on semen quality and testicular cancer.” Skakkebaek’s comments appear in the British Medical Journal.
Also, a new research revealed that women who consume sugary drinks while having IVF cut their chances of conceiving.
Drinking more than one sugary beverage a day reduces a woman’s chance of having a live birth after IVF by 16 percent, a Harvard University, United States (U.S.), study found.
Having just one sugary drink a day lowers the chance of successful IVF by 12 percent, the research adds. Sugary drinks also reduce the number and maturity of a woman’s ovarian cells, as well as lowering the amount of high-quality embryos, the study found.
The findings were published in the journal Fertility and Sterility. Previous research suggests sugar stimulates the release of stress hormones that affect the health of the reproductive system. Eggs and embryos may also fail to thrive in high blood glucose environments.
Source: The Guardian Newspaper