Small study suggests ibuprofen alters testosterone metabolism


While it is important to note that this was a small study and more research is clearly called for, the fact that ibuprofen is so widely and casually used by so many men makes it a point of concern, particularly for those who intend to start a family. The scientist tested aspirin, Tylenol and ibuprofen.

The study involved 31 men (ages 18 to 35) who were randomly assigned to take ibuprofen (two doses of 600 mg each) or a placebo every day for six weeks.

Clinically, this condition is called "compensated hypogonadism"-"hypogonadism" because the body probably isn't producing testosterone at the appropriate rate, and "compensated" because other hormones have kicked in and gotten testosterone levels to increase. "The decrease in the free testosterone/LH ratio resulted primarily from the increased LH levels, revealing that testicular responsiveness to gonadotropins likely declined during the ibuprofen exposure", the authors write.

This condition is prevalent in elderly men and is associated with reproductive and physical disorders.

Luteinizing hormones are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone.

Researchers told CNN that, while these effects were reversible, they were unsure of whether there were long-term health effects associated with the prolonged use of ibuprofen.

A new study suggests that some men who regularly take the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen could be doing serious damage to their testicles, or at least the stuff stored inside them, CNN reported Tuesday. "Based on these data, I personally would be very reluctant to take ibuprofen for longer than the 10 days normally indicated on the packet". After 44 days, levels were even higher.

The new study isn't the first to suggest that ibuprofen has downsides.

As a fun added bonus, previous research has found a link between low testosterone levels and premature death.

The finding comes after repeated warnings from other researchers that ibuprofen can raise the risk of heart attacks in the general population and cause medical problems for pregnant women and their babies, including a more than doubling of the risk of miscarriage.

Compensated hypogonadism can lead to fertility issues, muscle wastage, and erectile dysfunction. But researchers are concerned about long-term use among athletes.



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