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Phthalate esters and Testicular Atrophy

A while back, researchers took a group of rats and fed them a chemical called di-2-ethylhexyl -phthalate esters-, (DEHP), for 90 days straight.

DHEP is a plasticizer or phthalate, with several different types of plastics to increase flexibility, transparency and longevity.

These chemicals can also be found in the enteric coatings on prescription medications and over the counter supplements, inside cosmetics, where they are used as lubricants and emulsifiers; and in plastic food and beverage containers.

And this is just a partial list.

This stuff is used in the manufacture of so many different products; it’s almost impossible to avoid, which explains why  95 percent of us have detectable levels of phthalate esters in our urine.

So now that we’ve established that your body is very likely dealing with this stuff, lets go back and take a look at the rat;, and see what happened to them after dining on this man made toxin daily for 3 months.

Seminiferous Tubular Atrophy is a condition where the small seminiferous tubes inside your testicles shrivel up and shrink in size.

And since these tubes are involved in the production of sperm; it’s no big surprise that these rats were afflicted with reduced semen volume, compared to the controls, who weren’t eating DEHP.

This occurred because spermatid levels (immature sperm cells that develop into mature spermatozoa) dropped drastically after the rats were given this chemical agent.

And remember, the word spermatogenesis means the birth of sperm…

And for high levels of sperm to be born, you need high functioning seminiferous tubules, and plenty of immature sperm cells; otherwise it’s not going to happen.

Look at it like this…

Seminiferous tubules are your sperm factories and spermatids are the raw goods your body uses to make it, and plasticizers like DEHB reduce the output of both.

In another trial…

When exposing male rats to phthalate esters in the womb; they develope their own set of problems.

Testicular cancer risk increased; semen quality and quantity declined and the testicles failed to drop down normally in the ball sack (undescended testicles).

Birth defects to the opening of the urethra on the underside of the penis also increased; a medical condition that goes by the name of Hypospadias.

Phthalate esters In Human Males

Now if these rat studies aren’t convincing enough for you; our final report takes a look at this chemicals impact on human male infants.

This human study is titled: Phthalate esters and Baby Boys: Potential Disruption of Human Genital Development

In this trial, the research team gathered physical data on 134 boys between the ages of 2–36 months; to investigate what pre and post-natal phthalate exposure did to these children.

The investigation find that the boys with the highest exposure where much more likely to be afflicted with an unusually short AGI, which is the measurement between the anus and the penis.

And the boys born with this deformity had testicles that were much less likely to drop down into the scrotal sack normally.

There was no followup on the infants born with these birth defects; but I’m certain the scientists will uncover more problems as these boys hit puberty and reached sexual maturity.

Now combine all the info we just discussed…

With the fact that new data continues to pour in demonstrating that these plasticizers act as potent endocrine disruptors in adult males; and you’ll understand why it’s important that you take steps to avoid these chemical agents.

You overall health, your sexual fitness and your testicles depend on it.


  • Testicular Atrophy Produced By Phthalate Esters
  • Arch Toxicol Suppl. 1980;4:452-5.
  • Mechanism Of Testicular Atrophy Induced By Di-n-butyl Phthalate In Rats
  • Biol Pharm Bull. 1994 Dec;17(12):1609-12
  • Phthalates and Baby Boys: Potential Disruption of Human Genital Development
  • Environ Health Perspect. Aug 2005; 113(8): A542

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