1 Food packaging and cosmetics
The German Research Association recently released a press release stating that the decrease in global male sperm count over the past few decades may be related to a chemical substance called phthalates.
Phthalates are a type of chemical that can have a softening effect. It is widely used in hundreds of products such as toys, food packaging, vinyl flooring, wallpaper, cleaner, lubricant, nail polish, hair spray, soap and shampoo. Research has shown that phthalates can disrupt the endocrine system, leading to a decrease in male sperm count, decreased motility, abnormal morphology, and in severe cases, testicular cancer, making them the "culprit" for male reproductive problems.
Among cosmetics, nail polish has the highest phthalate content. It can enter the body through the female respiratory system and skin, endangering the reproductive system of male babies they will have in the future.
Phthalates can also enter the human body through food and water packaged in plastic containers, such as canned food coatings, recyclable milk, and mineral water bottles. Research shows that foods with higher fat content in canned foods are more likely to be contaminated, such as pork, anchovy, sardine, etc. Fetuses, infants, and adolescent children are the most sensitive to it, and their health is also the most vulnerable.
In order to reduce the harm of phthalates to human body, it is better not to use foam plastic containers to soak instant noodles, and not to use plastic containers containing PVC to heat food in the microwave oven. The correct approach is to heat food in heat-resistant glass or ceramic containers.
2 Automobile exhaust
Car exhaust contains a large amount of harmful substances, such as sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, etc. Long term exposure to these substances in the human body can cause cumulative damage, not only affecting reproductive health, but also potentially increasing the incidence of diseases such as tumors.
The most serious issue is that the dioxins contained in car exhaust are extremely strong environmental endocrine disrupting substances, which can cause changes in the morphology of men's testes, reduce the number of sperm, and reduce their ability to produce sperm.
3 cigarettes and alcohol
Smoking has always been a major threat to physical health, and its impact on semen is equally significant. Foreign studies have shown for a long time that compared to non-smokers, smokers have significantly reduced all major indicators of semen quality, increased sperm deformity rate, and increased the number of white blood cells in semen. Nicotine and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produced in tobacco can cause testicular atrophy and changes in sperm morphology.
Alcohol has a direct impact on the human liver and male testes. Research has found that patients with chronic alcoholism may experience testicular atrophy, leading to a decrease in semen quality. Therefore, men must avoid frequent excessive drinking.
Estrogen can have a significant impact on the male reproductive system, including affecting the levels of androgens and triggering
Changes in testicular tissue structure can cause testicular cancer, reduce the number of sperm in semen, cause male breast development, and lead to endocrine disorders. Short term use of estrogen containing drugs by men does not have a significant impact on the reproductive system, but long-term exposure to estrogen containing substances in daily life can cause significant harm to reproductive health. For example, some men casually use female cosmetics during skincare. Some of these cosmetics specifically developed for women contain certain amounts of estrogen, which can cause damage to male reproductive health and cause hypogonadism.
5 Trace Elements
The trace elements related to male fertility mainly include zinc, selenium, copper, calcium, and magnesium. Zinc is an important element in the reproductive system. Zinc deficiency will affect the development of male reproductive organs and secondary sexual characteristics in adolescence, reduce sperm activity, weaken the immune function of the body, and make men prone to prostatitis, epididymitis and other infectious diseases. The lack of selenium can increase the concentration of peroxides in the body, causing damage to the male reproductive system and testes. Therefore, men should eat more foods with high levels of zinc and selenium, such as milk, corn, black rice, black beans, etc.
High temperature can cause damage to the testes, but there is still debate in the academic community about how high the temperature is and how long it is exposed to this temperature to have an impact on the testes. In animal experiments, placing male animals at 38.5 ° C for 55 minutes resulted in a decrease in their fertility. In real life, men should try to avoid staying in high-temperature environments for too long, such as taking a sauna or soaking in hot water.
Drugs such as anticancer drugs, hormones, and antibiotics can damage male gonadal function, causing a decrease in sperm quantity and quality, or affecting the endocrine function of the gonads, leading to sexual dysfunction. The impact of drugs on male fertility is influenced by factors such as the type, dosage, course of treatment, and age of the patient. The larger the dosage, longer the course of treatment, and the younger the patient's age, the more severe the damage to reproductive function and the longer it takes to restore reproductive function.
At present, there is a proliferation of sexual health products in society, some of which contain sex hormones or similar components, which may affect the normal spermatogenic function of the testes. Unmarried and childless individuals should be extra careful when choosing.
With the development of modernization, the impact of urban noise on health has become more prominent. Noise belongs to a type of environmental pollution. In recent years, some experts have proposed the "environmental hormone" theory, pointing out that there are chemicals in the environment that can affect the endocrine function of the human body like hormones, and noise is one of them. It can cause endocrine disorders in the human body, leading to abnormalities in semen and sperm. Long term noise pollution can cause male infertility; For women, it can lead to miscarriage and fetal malformations.
Radiation has a clear impact on human health. High doses of radiation can cause changes in testicular tissue structure, increase sperm deformity rate, and reduce important indicators such as sperm quantity and sperm density. However, there is currently no definitive research on whether low doses of radiation can cause infertility. There is great controversy in the academic community over whether the electronic devices we use daily, such as mobile phones and computers, can cause infertility. Therefore, men should try to reduce their exposure to radiation sources as much as possible, but there is no need to be overly nervous.
There are many people who use drugs in our country, and some drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, have an impact on semen quality. Cannabis can reduce testosterone levels in the blood and sperm density, leading to the development of male mammary glands; Cocaine can cause a decrease in sperm density.
The quality of sperm is a major issue related to human survival and reproduction. For the above factors, on the one hand, we should take high vigilance, pay attention to and avoid them in a timely manner; On the other hand, we also need to call on all forces in society to improve our living environment. Otherwise, as American scholar Theo Colburn said in his book 'Our Stolen Future':
Infertility may become a widespread epidemic, and future men may completely lose their fertility
(Intern Editor: Cai Junyi)