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Maybe it's all his mom's fault?

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Thursday, March 29, 2007 | 0 comments

Beef diet 'damages sons' sperm'

Growth promoters are banned in Europe
Scientists have produced evidence to suggest that Europe was right to ban the beef industry from using growth promoters to increase yield.

A US study has linked use of the chemicals to damage to human sperm.

The University of Rochester found men whose mothers ate a lot of beef during pregnancy had lower sperm counts.

The Human Reproduction study found they were three times more likely to have a sperm count so low they could be classified as sub-fertile.

The use of growth promoting chemicals was banned in Europe in 1988.

But although the US banned the use of some growth promoters in 1979, others, such as the sex hormones testosterone and progesterone, are still in use in the beef industry.

The Rochester team examined sperm counts among US men born between 1949 and 1983.

They found those whose mothers ate more than seven beef meals a week had an average sperm concentration of 43.1 million sperm per millilitre of seminal fluid.

In contrast, the sons of mothers who ate less beef had an average of 56.9 million sperm.

Fertility threshold

Among sons of mothers who ate a lot of beef, 17.7% had a sperm concentration below the World Health Organization sub-fertility threshold of 20 million sperm per millilitre of seminal fluid. The figure for the sons of lower beef consumers was 5.7%.

Lead researcher Professor Shanna Swan said the findings suggested that exposure to growth promoters contained in the beef eaten by the boys' mothers was to blame.

However, she admitted the research team had no specific data on which chemicals the meat contained, and conceded other possible causes, such as exposure to pesticides, or lifestyle factors could not be ruled out.

She said: "Theoretically, the foetus and young children are particularly sensitive to exposure to sex steroids.

"Therefore, the consumption of residues of steroids in meat by pregnant women and young children is of particular concern."

Professor Swan said to pin down the role of growth promoters the study would have to be repeated in men born in Europe after 1988.

Full article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6496977.stm





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Catherine

About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost that precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted that there will be no more babies in our house.

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