Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Medical Xpress report
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study, which involved giving the drug to volunteers and monitoring their hormones and sperm production.

To learn more about the possible impacts of the popular anti-inflammation Ibuprofen on when taken for long periods of time, the researchers asked 31 men between the ages of 18 and 35 to take 600 milligrams (three tablets) a day of the drug for six weeks. Other volunteers were given a placebo. Over the course of the study, the volunteers were tested to see what impact the drug had on their bodies.

The researchers report that just two weeks into the study, they found that all of the volunteers had an increase in luteinizing hormones, which the male body uses to regulate the production of testosterone. The increase indicated that the drug was causing problems in certain cells in the testicles, preventing them from producing testosterone, which is, of course, needed to produce sperm cells. They further report that the change caused the to respond by producing more of another hormone, which forced the body to produce more testosterone. The net result was that overall testosterone levels remained constant, but the body was overstressing to compensate for the detrimental impact of the Ibuprofen—a state called compensated hypogonadism.

The researchers note that while compensated hypogonadism can cause a temporary reduction in the production of , reducing fertility, it is generally not cause for alarm. What is more of a concern, they note, is using the drug for longer periods of time. It has not been proven yet, but the researchers suspect such use, as is seen with some professional athletes or others with chronic pain issues, might lead to a condition called overt primary hypogonadism, in which the symptoms become worse—sufferers report a reduction in libido, muscle mass and changes in mood. Additional studies are required, they note, to find out if this is, indeed, the case.

Explore further: Restoring testosterone rather than replacing it helps safeguard a man's fertility

More information: David Møbjerg Kristensen et al. Ibuprofen alters human testicular physiology to produce a state of compensated hypogonadism, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1715035115

Abstract
Concern has been raised over increased male reproductive disorders in the Western world, and the disruption of male endocrinology has been suggested to play a central role. Several studies have shown that mild analgesics exposure during fetal life is associated with antiandrogenic effects and congenital malformations, but the effects on the adult man remain largely unknown. Through a clinical trial with young men exposed to ibuprofen, we show that the analgesic resulted in the clinical condition named "compensated hypogonadism," a condition prevalent among elderly men and associated with reproductive and physical disorders. In the men, luteinizing hormone (LH) and ibuprofen plasma levels were positively correlated, and the testosterone/LH ratio decreased. Using adult testis explants exposed or not exposed to ibuprofen, we demonstrate that the endocrine capabilities from testicular Leydig and Sertoli cells, including testosterone production, were suppressed through transcriptional repression. This effect was also observed in a human steroidogenic cell line. Our data demonstrate that ibuprofen alters the endocrine system via selective transcriptional repression in the human testes, thereby inducing compensated hypogonadism.

Related Stories

Restoring testosterone rather than replacing it helps safeguard a man's fertility

October 27, 2015
Restoring testosterone production in men may be as effective as replacing it, without compromising their fertility. Two phase III clinical trials show that a drug that restores the body's natural production of testosterone ...

Male birth control gel to go into trials

December 22, 2017
A team at the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has announced that it will be putting a contraception gel it has developed into trials starting this April. The trials will involve more than 400 couples ...

Testosterone undecanoate improves sexual function in men with type 2 diabetes

May 6, 2016
In a recent placebo-controlled study, long acting testosterone undecanoate (an ester of testosterone) improved erectile function, intercourse satisfaction, and sexual desire scores in type 2 diabetic men with severe hypogonadism, ...

Cell phone use may reduce male fertility

May 19, 2011
Men who have been diagnosed with poor sperm quality and who are trying to have children should limit their cell phone use. Researchers have found that while cell phone use appears to increase the level of testosterone circulating ...

Letrozole is a promising new treatment of male infertility, researcher says

March 6, 2015
A letrozole pill once a week restored fertility in obese, infertile men and led to their partners giving birth to two full-term, healthy babies, according to a new study from Canada. The results will be presented Thursday ...

A stem cell strategy for boosting testosterone levels tested in rodents

December 22, 2016
Male hypogonadism is a condition that diminishes testosterone levels in approximately 30% of older men, but currently available therapies can produce serious side effects. In a study published December 22 in Stem Cell Reports, ...

Recommended for you

Early postpartum opioids linked with persistent usage

December 14, 2018
Vanderbilt researchers have published findings indicating that regardless of whether a woman delivers a child by cesarean section or by vaginal birth, if they fill prescriptions for opioid pain medications early in the postpartum ...

Early physical therapy can reduce risk, amount of long-term opioid use, study finds

December 14, 2018
Patients who underwent physical therapy soon after being diagnosed with pain in the shoulder, neck, low back or knee were approximately 7 to 16 percent less likely to use opioids in the subsequent months, according to a new ...

Shortcut strategy for screening compounds with clinical potentials for drug development

December 4, 2018
Developing a new drug often takes years and costs hundreds of millions of dollars. A shortcut has now been reported in a study led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU), which can potentially reduce the time and costs of ...

Drug wholesalers drove fentanyl's deadly rise, report concludes

December 4, 2018
Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid implicated in nearly 29,000 overdose deaths in the United States last year, most likely spread because of heroin and prescription pill shortages, and also because it was cheaper for drug ...

Global review reports on administration of children's antibiotics

December 4, 2018
Researchers analyzing the sales of oral antibiotics for children in 70 high- and middle-income countries found that consumption varies widely from country to country with little correlation between countries' wealth and the ...

Opioid prescriptions from dentists linked to youth addiction risk

December 3, 2018
Teens and young adults who receive their initial opioid prescriptions from their dentists or oral surgeons are at increased risk for opioid addiction in the following year, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine ...

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Nik_2213
not rated yet Jan 09, 2018
For many injured athletes, perhaps a signal to 'time out', rest and wait for recovery. For non-athletes, I'm so sorry; yet another miserable side-effect...
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Jan 09, 2018
Ah. Yet another way they have been neutering us and slowing the population growth rate.

By any means possible.

Bloody hell.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Jan 10, 2018
Perhaps barakn thinks this is fake news

"CNN) Sperm counts of men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are plunging, according to a new analysis published Tuesday.

"Among these men there has been a 52% decline in sperm concentration and a 59% decline in total sperm count over a nearly 40-year period ending in 2011, the analysis, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, said.

"No significant declines were seen in sperm counts of men living in South America, Asia and Africa..."

-Just the mechanism for creating space in western countries for 3rd world immigrants and refugees.

The world is all demographics. Sheep herding. It's why we're still here.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.