Testosterone – Is Your Bottled Water Responsible?

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Thanks to a slick ad campaign that would make Mad Men’s Don Draper green with envy, a lot of men who believe they are suffering from “Low T” (whether or not they actually are) are risking serious health consequences in order to “T it up.” 

This is a multi-billion dollar industry, so there has been a lot of financial incentive to get as many guys as possible on the “Big T” bandwagon. As a result, testosterone is being prescribed to men who have no actual medical need. To be sure, there are some men (and women as well) who can benefit from testosterone replacement therapy, but the fact is that the treatment is being over-prescribed.

Reputable professionals in the medical community have stated that while reduced testosterone levels over time is completely natural (it is similar to menopause in women, except that it happens gradually starting around age 30), there are lifestyle choices – such as exercise, proper nutrition and adequate water intake – that can help maintain testosterone production well into middle age and beyond. 

A study published in the August 2014 issue of Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports that giving up bottled water and sports drinks may also help. According to the article, chemical compounds found in these plastic bottles (known as phthalates) may exacerbate the natural reduction in testosterone.  Conducted at the University of Michigan, the authors found that, while there was no absolute proof of “cause and effect,” there was a definite correlation between phthalates and reduced testosterone levels across the board. The correlation was stronger in young boys, who showed a drop in testosterone of up to 34%. 

The researchers noted that over the past century, men have been suffering a significant decline in testosterone levels, which in turn have led to such conditions as low sperm count and even genital defects in male newborns. 

While not conclusive, the study strongly suggests a connection between the chemical exposure and endocrine conditions such as reduced testosterone. In addition to maintaining healthy weight, reducing stress and staying active, boosting one’s testosterone levels may be as simple as giving up plastic bottles