On a global basis, men's testosterone levels are declining. While lifestyle variables can have an impact on both testosterone levels and sperm health, research suggests that there is something considerably more significant at work.
Over the last 100 years, much has changed in the field of health and wellness, with numerous notable improvements in diagnosis and treatment.
We're all trying to make adjustments to prevent disease and promote wellness as we learn more about how nutrition and lifestyle can both positively and negatively affect our health. As a result of these changes, life expectancy is changing as well, slowly but steadily increasing. The gender disparity, on the other hand, has remained unchanged.
Men's Health Around the World Is in A State of Emergency
According to the 2019 Who Report, there isn't a single country in the globe where men outlive women. In the United States, women live around 5 years longer than men on average, and roughly 7 years longer globally.
The paper claims that differences in attitudes toward healthcare between men and women contribute to the disparity in life expectancy between the sexes. The long-held concept that males should be strong and self-reliant (and slow to display emotion) is killing them and doing so years before their female counterparts around the world. Although this association isn't clearly tied to testosterone concerns, it does reveal troubling information about the health disparity between men and women.
Most significantly, it exposes the antiquated belief that males are unable to seek care for personal health difficulties such as infertility and testosterone shortage. Both of which are in the worst shape they have ever been in.
The Contemporary Issues Surrounding an Age-Old Subject
Because testosterone has been erroneously seen as the chemical symbol of masculinity for millennia, it's unsurprising that talking about a lack of it is frowned upon. These notions are well ingrained, and sadly, they are extremely harmful to modern males. It's having a bad impact on hormonal health, with testosterone levels dropping in each generation around the world.
The Downward Trend in Testosterone Levels Is Unmistakable
Men's testosterone levels have declined by at least 20% in the previous 20 years, according to study, with an increasing number of younger men suffering from low testosterone.
This isn't a new phenomenon. In 1987-89, 70-year-old males had an average testosterone level over 100 points greater than 55-year-old men in 2002-04. As a result, the average testosterone level of a 22-year-old male today is nearly equivalent to that of a 67-year-old man in 2000. As a result, your testosterone levels are likely to be half of your father's and unquestionably lower than your grandfather's.
With this in mind, since testosterone levels naturally fall with age, these figures should have remained stable throughout time. However, we know they aren't. Not at all. The bad trend appears to be worsening, and it is affecting men at younger ages than ever before.
Testosterone Is Essential for Men's Health
• Increased sex drive
• Improved mood
• Memory function
• Muscle growth
• Increased strength
• Increased endurance
• Bone mass density maintenance
• Red blood cell production
• Sperm production
• Erectile function
• Prostate growth
• Hair growth
• Collagen growth
Men, like women, see a drop in hormone levels as they age. However, data suggests that men's behavioral and health changes, rather than aging, are more responsible for large reductions in testosterone levels throughout time. Obesity and drugs, in particular, are the most direct contributors.
Decreased Testosterone Levels and The Environment
Male hormones are also being disrupted by external contaminants.
Chemicals in our surroundings (including parabens and phthalates) alter our hormonal balance, wreaking havoc on our reproductive systems on a daily basis. Hormone or endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are what they're termed.
Plasticizing chemicals, or phthalates, are a class of compounds that are added to basic plastic material to give it certain properties. Plastic polymers gain flexibility, pliability, and elasticity from these compounds. Phthalates are very prone to leaching since they are not coupled to a polymer matrix, which is concerning given that they account for over 70% of the US plasticizer industry. Phthalates are consumed more than three million metric tons per year around the world.
The spread of phthalates has been helped by ecological variables such as marine and air currents, as well as migratory species. They've been found in soils, surface water, as pollutants in indoor air and in the atmosphere, mammalian tissue, and various aquatic species.
Researchers from the University of Michigan looked at testosterone levels and exposure to phthalates in over 2,200 persons who took part in the 2011-12 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
According to a study published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, phthalates can be found in flexible PVC plastics and many personal care items.
Reduced levels of circulating testosterone were linked to higher phthalate exposure in a number of major populations, including boys aged 6 to 12 and men and women aged 40 to 60.
Higher levels of phthalates were linked to a decrease in testosterone levels of 11 percent to 24 percent in women aged 40 to 60, and a loss of 24 percent to 34 percent in boys aged 6 to 12. Even though there was a link between phthalates and reduced testosterone levels, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Low testosterone levels in young males can have a severe impact on reproductive development, and low testosterone levels in middle age can impair sexual function, desire, energy, cognitive function, and bone health in men and women.
According to the researchers, there has been a reduction in men's testosterone levels over the last 50 years, as well as an increase in related health issues such as diminished semen quality in men and genital malformations in newborn boys.
The findings support the theory that endocrine-disrupting chemicals like phthalates, which are found in the environment, may be contributing to the decline in testosterone and related diseases.
They undoubtedly contribute to testosterone levels dropping at a rate of 10% every decade. This drop has coincided with a decline in sperm health, which has followed a similar downward trend, with dire forecasts for the next generation.
Sperm counts in the West fell by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011, according to a 2017 study. The researchers concluded that testosterone and sperm health are serious public health concerns and should be addressed as such.
Individuals and policymakers may desire to take steps to restrict human exposure to the extent practicable, given accumulating evidence of negative health effects.