Why do so many men suffer erectile dysfunction? A common over-the-counter drug is now suspected …
(Joe Difazio, International Business Times) Researchers have discovered that men who take high doses of ibuprofen over a period of months may face an increased risk of a number of health problems including fertility issues, erectile dysfunction, fatigue and muscle loss.
The research was published online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Doctors in Copenhagen found that healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35 who took 600mg of ibuprofen twice daily developed a condition called compensated hypogonadism.
Men started to develop the condition after around two weeks. The condition is normally only seen in older men and smokers, according to the Guardian.
The ibuprofen affected the production of hormones such as testosterone. Doctors say the condition was mild and temporary, but fear that if used for longer periods the ibuprofen could have an even more adverse effect.
“Our immediate concern is for the fertility of men who use these drugs for a long time,” David Møbjerg Kristensen, one of the study’s authors, told the Guardian.
“These compounds are good painkillers, but a certain amount of people in society use them without thinking of them as proper medicines.”
Scientists conducted the study on 31 men and on cells and parts of human testes in a lab over six weeks. The researchers said that ibuprofen lowered the men’s natural level of testosterone and that the pituitary gland had to kick up production of another hormone to increase testosterone. The condition resulted from the pituitary gland being overworked.
“In the living body the pituitary gland kicks in to compensate for this, but the brain is pushing more to get the same amount of testosterone,” said Kristensen. “If you go on and stress the pituitary gland over the long term, this state could become permanent and you develop a more serious condition.”
The researchers said normal short-term use of ibuprofen shouldn’t pose a risk.
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