Association with Reproductive Hormones and Semen Quality
BACKGROUND: Few human studies have examined bisphenol A (BPA) exposure in relation to semen quality and reproductive hormones in men, and results are divergent. OBJECTIVES: We examined associations between urinary BPA concentration and reproductive hormones, as well as semen quality, in young men from the general population. METHODS: Our study population consisted of 308 young men from the general population. Urinary BPA concentration was measured by isotope dilution TurboFlow-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. We used multiple linear regression analysis to estimate associations between BPA concentration and reproductive hormones and semen quality, adjusting for confounding factors. RESULTS: We found that 98% of the men had detectable urinary levels of BPA. Median (5th-95th percentiles) BPA concentration was 3.25 ng/mL (0.59-14.89 ng/mL). Men with BPA concentrations above the lowest quartile had higher concentrations of serum testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, and free testosterone compared with the lowest quartile (p trend ≤ 0.02). Men in the highest quartile of BPA excretion had on average 18% higher total testosterone (95% CI: 8, 28%), 22% higher LH (95% CI: 6, 39%), and 13% higher estradiol (95% CI: 4, 24%) compared with lowest quartile. Men in the highest quartile of BPA also had significantly lower percentage progressive motile spermatozoa compared with men in the lowest quartile (-6.7 percentage points, 95% CI: -11.76, -1.63). BPA was not associated with other semen parameters. Adjusting for dietary patterns did not influence the results. CONCLUSIONS: The pattern of associations between BPA and reproductive hormones could indicate an antiandrogenic or antiestrogenic effect, or both, of BPA on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal hormone feedback system, possibly through a competitive inhibition at the receptor level. However, additional research is needed to confirm our findings and to further test the suggested potential mechanisms.
Environmental Health Perspectives, 2014, Vol 122, Issue 5, p. 478-484