Two major studies reveal devastating effect of PFAS and food additives on male and female sexual health: From sperm damage to smaller testicles, early menopause and ovary cysts
Oh dear! Another meta-analysis. A meta-analysis is only as good as the studies fed into it and there are a number of problems with that. A big problem is selection bias -- using only those studies with conclusions that suit you. I have seen a meta-analysis that omitted around 100 "inconvenient" articles. It was in an area that I know particularly well
That mostly arises when a popular hypothesis is under examination. The analysts are very lenient at using studies that confirm the popular idea but very sniffy about including studies that contradict the same theory.
And the hypothesis here is just such a fashionable one. It just seems so obvious. How can a pervasive industrial chemical that we all consume one way or another NOT be bad? People have been trying for decades to prove that PFAS and BPA are bad for you. But the data is unco-operative. No effect or a barely significant effect is the normal finding. Pesky!
And, knowing the literature, I am sure that the confirmatory studies that they fed into this analysis were ones with marginal magnitude. Such studies rarely survive exact duplication and really should at best be regarded as disconfirming the hypothesis. In summary, PFAS and BPA can NOT be shown as bad for you. Sorry about that
In recent years concerns about the contaminants in our foods and everyday products have made headlines due to their links to cancers.
But a growing body of research suggests the microscopic molecules also have a devastating effect on fertility and may be contributing to America's 'baby bust'.
In two new reviews of scientific literature, researchers from across the globe looked at the impact of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on male and female reproductive health.
They found these substances can cause infertility, genital malformations, lower sperm count and quality, early menopause and an increased risk of breast and testicular cancers.
EDCs include PFAS but also pesticides, phenols, a group of chemicals found in toys and dental products; phthalates, a group of chemicals in food packaging; parabens, a group of chemicals used as food preservatives; and triclosan, an antimicrobial agent used in soaps and hand sanitizers.
Some primary sources of PFAS and other contaminants include plastic food containers, makeup, cleaning sprays, medications, contaminated food and pollution of water and air.
Researchers from Vietnam, India, New Zealand and the United States reviewed more than 300 sources of information, including previous experimental studies and data from national and international health monitoring databases, as well as animal studies.
In the review of the impact on women, the team looked at studies that had analyzed levels of and exposure to contaminants and tested and evaluated placenta, urine, blood, hormone levels and tissues.
Researchers found exposure to Bisphenol A, or BPA, can lead to a decline in the development and quality of eggs and an increased risk of implantation failure, when fertilized eggs do not implant in the uterine lining correctly, frequently resulting in pregnancy loss.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a leading contributor to infertility, and a risk factor for endometrial cancer and diabetes, has also been linked to BPA exposure.
BPA is a type of plastic used to make plastic dinnerware, car parts, toys, beverage containers and CDs.
Exposure to phthalates, compounds in soaps, shampoos, lubricating oils and plastic packaging, was associated with a reduced probability of pregnancy and lower-quality eggs.
Additional impacts in women seen in the previous studies, include early menopause, an increased risk of breast cancer, endometriosis, which can lead to infertility, and metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
These harmful substances can also result in longer menstrual cycles and early onset of puberty, which has been linked to depression, substance abuse, sexual assault and adult breast cancer.
The EDC group of PFAS has been linked to a reduction in a mother's lactation period, the timeframe that a woman produces breast milk, and researchers found a type of pesticide led to shortened menstrual cycles, which can affect reproduction.
During pregnancy, exposure to EDCs has been linked to maternal obesity, high blood pressure and preeclampsia, a life-threatening blood pressure condition.
Studies have also shown mixed results on EDC exposure and preterm birth.
Based on their results, researchers strongly advocate for eating organic food and avoiding plastics and canned foods and beverages.
Data also supports avoiding fast food, following a vegetarian diet, changing personal care products and reducing dust.
Using stainless steel or glass bottles and containers, as well as cardboard wrapping instead of plastic packaging and avoiding plastic utensils and non-stick cookware will also help reduce exposure to contaminants.