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Sci Total Environ. 2018 Apr 15;621:201-209. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.256. Epub 2017 Nov 24.

Urinary concentrations of parabens and reproductive parameters in young men.

Author information

1
Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Murcia School of Medicine, Murcia, Spain.
2
Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Murcia School of Medicine, Murcia, Spain; Health Research Methodology Group, Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia (IMIB-Arrixaca), El Palmar, Murcia, Spain; CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain. Electronic address: jaime.mendiola@um.es.
3
CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain; Instituto de Investigación Biosanitaria (ibs. GRANADA), Hospitales Universitarios de Granada, Departamento de Radiología y Medicina Física, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.
4
Department of Growth and Reproduction, International Center for Research and Research Training in Endocrine Disruption of Male Reproduction and Child Health (EDMaRC), Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
5
Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.
6
Division of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Murcia School of Medicine, Murcia, Spain; Health Research Methodology Group, Biomedical Research Institute of Murcia (IMIB-Arrixaca), El Palmar, Murcia, Spain; CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain; Department of Preventive Medicine, "Virgen de la Arrixaca" University Clinical Hospital, El Palmar, Murcia, Spain.

Abstract

Parabens are a group of alkyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid that are commonly added to personal care products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and beverage and food processing as antimicrobial preservatives. Parabens have been reported to show estrogenic effects and affect male reproduction function in animal models, but human epidemiologic studies are still scarce. The objective of this study was to examine associations between urinary concentrations of parabens and semen quality and reproductive hormone levels. This was a cross-sectional study with 215 young university students (18-23years old) recruited between 2010 and 2011 in Southern Spain (Murcia Region). All men provided a urine, blood and semen sample on a single day. Urinary paraben concentrations (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben) were measured by dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Semen quality was evaluated by measuring volume, sperm concentration, total sperm count (TSC), motility and morphology following WHO guidelines. Serum samples were analyzed for reproductive hormones, including follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone, inhibin B and estradiol using immunoassays. Associations between urinary concentrations of parabens and semen quality parameters and reproductive hormone levels were examined using linear regression, adjusting for potential covariates. Ninety-four percent of the men had detectable urinary concentrations of parabens. After taking into account important covariates, urinary concentrations of parabens or their molar sum were not significantly associated with any semen parameters or any of the reproductive hormone levels. Relative to men in the lowest quartile of sum of urinary paraben concentrations, the adjusted difference (95% CI) of TSC (millions) for men in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quartiles were 4.1% (-37.1;45.3), -1.6% (-41.9;38.8), and -9.8% (-52.5;32.8), respectively (P-trend=0.55). Our results suggest that, in young men, urinary parabens may not adversely impact reproductive function, but further research is warranted to confirm these findings in other male populations.

KEYWORDS:

Endocrine disruptors; Parabens; Reproductive hormones; Semen quality

PMID:
29179076
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.256
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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