Anna Hunt, Staff Writer
A team of Danish and French researchers have found that ibuprofen may be one of the culprits responsible for male infertility. The study showed that daily intake of the drug creates a hormonal condition associated with impaired fertility, depression and increased risk of cardiovascular events.
New Research Raises Ibuprofen Safety Concerns
Ibuprofen is one of the most common over-the-counter pain relief medicines. The medical industry categorizes it as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs). Because the drug is readily available without a prescription, most people think its safe. As well, with OTC drugs there is typically no medical professional to raise attention to the potential side-effects of the drug.
Scientific research has already implicated ibuprofen as having some negative effects on our health. Now, this new clinical study has found that ibuprofen may be one of the causes of male infertility. The research team writes:
Using a unique combination of a randomized, controlled clinical trial and ex vivo and in vitro approaches, we report a univocal depression of important aspects of testicular function, including testosterone production, after use of over-the-counter ibuprofen.
The study shows that ibuprofen use results in selective transcriptional repression of endocrine cells in the human testis. This repression results in the elevation of the stimulatory pituitary hormones, resulting in a state of compensated hypogonadism, a disorder associated with adverse reproductive and physical health disorders.
Side Effects of Ibuprofen May Include Risk of Male Infertility
Bernard Jégou, director of the Institute of Research in Environmental and Occupational Health in France, was one of the authors of the study. In an interview with CNN, he explained the research process:
The research team recruited 31 male volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35. Of these, 14 were given a daily dosage of ibuprofen that many professional and amateur athletes take: 600 milligrams twice a day, explained Jégou. (This 1200-mg-per-day dose is the maximum limit as directed by the labels of generic ibuprofen products.) The remaining 17 volunteers were given a placebo.
For the men taking ibuprofen, within 14 days, their luteinizing hormones — which are secreted by the pituitary gland and stimulate the testicles to produce testosterone — became coordinated with the level of ibuprofen circulating in their blood. At the same time, the ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormones decreased, a sign of dysfunctional testicles.
Jégou does believe that for patients taking ibuprofen for a short-term, the effects are reversible. The researchers do not yet know if the same is the case for long-term ibuprofen users.
Anti-inflammatory Foods for Pain
There are many foods that offer strong anit-inflammatory properties. Below are three of my favorites that help me fight off pain and tension. These three foods could potentially help reduce inflammation and pain in your body.
Mint, aside from being great for digestion, works wonders for relieving inflammation. A cup of mint tea may be as effective as an aspirin for pain relief, according to scientists. Mint is also cooling, and works great topically for bruises, swelling or sprains. Many people like to use peppermint essential oil to alleviate pain from sprains, bruises and muscle tension.
Turmeric is an ancient Ayurvedic medicine. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, reduces inflammation by hunting down free oxygen radicals in the body. For ages, Ayurvedic doctors have used it as a remedy for inflammatory conditions such as all types of arthritis. You can benefit from turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties by eating it or applying it topically.
Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory. It contains compounds called gingerols that offer free-radical protection and inhibit nitric oxide production (which normally form damaging free radicals that trigger the inflammatory response). In a study conducted on patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, those received ginger extract reported significantly less knee pain when standing, when compared to patients receiving a placebo. You can drink ginger in a tea made from fresh ginger root. You could also apply ginger root topically by grating a 2-4 inch root and wrapping it tightly in a cheese cloth.
Read more articles by Anna Hunt.
About the Author
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation. She’s also the co-editor at Waking Times, where she writes about optimal health and wellness. Anna spent 6 years in Costa Rica as a teacher of Hatha and therapeutic yoga. She now teaches at Asheville Yoga Center and is pursuing her Yoga Therapy certification. During her free time, you’ll find her on the mat or in the kitchen, creating new kid-friendly superfood recipes.
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