07-03-29 univrochester_hormones_final

29 March 2007
For Immediate Release
For further information contact:
028 9042 7949 or 07836 790444 / 07836 790444 US RESEARCH LINKS MALE FERTILITY WITH CATTLE GROWTH HORMONES
Pregnant women who ate a lot of beef in the past may have given birth to sons diagnosed with low sperm count in later life, according to US research into male fertility. Researchers from New York’s University of Rochester found that men whose mothers ate more beef were three times more likely to have a sperm count so low they could be classified That may have been because the US permitted animals destined for human consumption to be given growth-promoting hormones, including the sex hormones, testosterone and Most growth promoters were banned in the US in 1979, but six steroids or hormones still remain in use. The use of growth promoters was subject to a total, EU-wide ban in 1988. The study, which was published yesterday [28 March 2007] in the US journal Human Reproduction, tested sperm counts amongst 387 US men born between 1949 and 1983. It says men 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. However, sons of mothers who ate less beef had an average sperm count 30 per cent higher, The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines say that men with a sperm count below 20 million sperm per millilitre of seminal fluid are classed as sub-fertile. The Rochester team found that 17.7 per cent of sons of high beef consuming mothers had a sperm concentration below the WHO sub-fertility. The figure for the sons of mothers who ate 29 March 2007
For Immediate Release
Jenny Hall, Origin‘s Scientific Director, says there has long been concern about the potential impact of hormones and steroids entering the food chain: “Scientists have long been concerned that hormones and steroids, including those used as animal growth promoters, could have an effect on human development and “We also know that a foetus in the womb is particularly sensitive to chemicals introduced into the mothers’ bloodstream. “So it is perfectly possible that residual steroids in beef consumed by the mother could transfer to the foetus and this could impact on the later-life fertility of male However, Jenny Hall warns that the Rochester research was by no means conclusive: “The Rochester team found a correlation between high beef consumption amongst pregnant women and lower sperm counts amongst their sons. “However, researchers could not pinpoint hormones or steroids, as distinct from pesticides or other environmental chemicals, as the direct cause. “The research also relied on women’s recollection of how much beef they ate, almost 60 years ago, and that leaves scope for faulty recollection. Other lifestyle factors associated with increased beef consumption may also have contributed to the results. “In addition, all 387 men in the study were able to conceive a child without medical assistance, so although sperm counts were low in some cases, none of the men were “Nevertheless, this is valuable and adds to the body of knowledge about infertility But much more work needs to be done to determine the causes of both male and female infertility and whether the consumption of hormones, steroids and other chemicals may have a direct impact on fertility levels.” There has been growing speculation as to factors that might contribute to infertility. In June 2005, the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology said the rates of IVF treatment typically used to help male infertility had risen sharply. In October 2006, a team from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio USA presented a paper to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in New Orleans, suggesting that heavy mobile phone use might contribute to male infertility. And in February this year, Harvard researchers said that a diet rich on low-fat dairy food might make it harder for some women to conceive, 29 March 2007
For Immediate Release

1. Origin Fertility Care is licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for the provision of a full range of fertility treatment including In-vitro fertilisation, ICSI, gamete donation and for gamete and embryo storage. 2. Read the research findings at: www.urmc.rochester.edu/pr/news/story.cfm?id=1416 3. The Rochester researchers invited 387 men born between 1949 and 1983 to ask their mothers to complete a questionnaire about their prenatal diet. During this time it would have been difficult for the mothers to avoid hormone residues in beef products, as numerous chemical additives were commonly used. 4. Anabolic hormones continue to be legal in the United States and elsewhere, although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has defined an “acceptable daily intake” for each of the six hormones commonly used in cattle. In 1979 the FDA did withdraw approval of the use of diethylstilbestrol (DES), the first synthetic hormone, in cattle. 5. The six growth promoters which remain legal in use in the US are: Natural steroids:
Synthetic hormones:
6. Hormonal growth promoters were subject to a total EU ban in 1988 and the UK government runs a system of surveillance for residues of such substances in UK cattle to monitor compliance with the ban. 7. The EU has a total ban on the importation of meat from hormonally-treated animals.

Source: http://rtians.co.uk/~origin1/ExistingSite_HTML/fs/doc/news/ofc-university-rochester-hormones-290307.pdf

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