Role of environmental estrogens in the deterioration of male factor fertility.

Men who regularly consume fish contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and phthalate esters (PEs) are more likely to become infertile than those who eat plant-based diets.

Fishes are rich sources of environmental estrogens (xenoestrogens), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and phthalate esters (PEs). This study evaluated the effect of increased dietary exposure to environmental estrogens on male fertility. Researchers examined the diets of 21 infertile men and 32 fertile men. The serum concentrations of PCB and PE and the ejaculate volume, fertilizing capacity, and total motile sperm count of all the participants in this study were also measured.

Researchers discovered that infertile men with low ejaculate volume, fertilizing capacity, and total motile sperm count had higher circulating levels of PCB and PE than fertile men. Compared to rural vegetarians, urban vegetarians, and rural fish eaters, urban fish eaters had the highest concentrations of PCB and PE in their plasma. The results of this study provide evidence that increased dietary ingestion of fish from water bodies with high PCB and PE levels may reduce male fertility.

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