• 17 NOV 06
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    #590: Don’t blame it all on cell phones

    The weblog version of this message is at:

    #590: Don’t blame it all on cell phones

    Previous message #577: reported on a study that found an apparent connection between heavy mobile use and reduction in sperm counts. “Researchers found those men who used a phone for four hours or more a day had fewer sperm and those they had moved less well and were of poorer quality.” See:

    #577: BBC News: Heavy mobile use ‘damages sperm’

    Now another study comes along that perhaps puts that sperm-cell phone study in perspective. Now there is an observation of reduced testosterone levels, caused by unknown facters. Bad news guys – perhaps females will have to find other ways of procreating when the virile male goes the way of the DoDo bird. Should we blame all this on cell phones or point the finger at a far more likely suspect: prolonged exposure to the endocrine mimicking chemicals such as bisphenol-A.

    While cell phone use is relatively recent we all have been getting low-dose levels of these chemicals since sucking on that first dummy.

    Check out http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/nature/disrupt/vomsaal.html

    Don Maisch

    Men”s testosterone levels dropping, study says

    Nov. 4, 2006
    Special to World Science

    The past two decades have seen a “substantial” and unexplained decrease in American men”s testosterone levels, a study has found.

    Testosterone is a potent “male” hormone produced chiefly by the testes, and chiefly responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. The substance also strengthens muscle tone and bone mass, and pro-motes good health in men.

    The down-ward trend seems to be “due to some undocumented historical or contemporary influence, health-related or environmental,” wrote researchers with the New England Re-search Institutes in Watertown, Mass., in the study.

    The findings appear in the early on-line edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

    Average levels of the hormone dropped by 1 per-cent a year, the researchers reported. While a man”s testosterone level typically falls steadily with age, the investigators found what they argued was a faster de-cline than could be attributed to aging alone.

    They suggested that rising obesity rates and de-cline in smoking might partially explain the findings, since both factors are associated with lower testosterone levels. But these trends accounted for only a small percentage of the drop, they added.

    The researchers said the study population was relatively limited, consisting of 1,532 men from the greater Boston area, and thus the results need to be con-firmed by follow-up research.

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