Jan 092018
 

Ibuprofen has a negative impact on the testicles of young men, a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. When taking ibuprofen in doses commonly used by athletes, a small sample of young men developed a hormonal condition that typically begins, if at all, during middle age. This condition is linked to reduced fertility.

ibuprofen infertility

Ibuprofen linked to male infertility (public domain)

Testicles not only produce sperm, they secrete testosterone, the primary male hormone. Ibuprofen, along with aspirin and paracetamol, are “anti-androgenic” drugs, meaning they disrupt male hormones.
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, ibuprofen is often taken by athletes, including Olympians and professional soccer players for example, before an event to prevent pain. Are there health consequences for the athletes who routinely use this NSAID?

The researchers recruited 31 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Of these, 14 were given a daily dosage of ibuprofen that many professional and amateur athletes take: 600 milligrams twice a day. (This 1200-mg-per-day dose is the maximum limit as directed by the labels of generic ibuprofen products.) The remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.

For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormones — which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone — became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased, a sign of dysfunctional testicles.

This hormonal imbalance produced compensated hypogonadism, a condition associated with impaired fertility, depression and increased risk for cardiovascular events, including heart failure and stroke.

For the small group of young study participants who used ibuprofen for only a short time, “it is sure that these effects are reversible,” researchers said. However, it’s unknown whether the health effects of long-term ibuprofen use are reversible.
Source: CNN