A worrying trend has been observed in the developed world for the last several decades, male fertility is decreasing. A recent publication from researchers at the University of Lyon, Saint Etienne and Keele claims that they have identified a source of this decline. The study suggests high levels of aluminium are a cause of reduced male fertility.
High levels of aluminium have been considered a danger to health for years due to its oxidative and mutagenic properties. Many animal studies have shown a link between high levels of aluminium and reduced sperm count. However this study is ground-breaking as it is the first to comprehensively show a link between aluminium and the health of human sperm. The study measured semen samples from 62 men and found a significant link between high aluminium concentration and reduced sperm count.
Thanks to a westernised life style many humans are exposed to high levels of aluminium. Aluminium is found in a huge variety of things from the preservatives in your ready meal, the antiperspirant you wear daily and the polluted air you breathe. Reducing your exposure is tricky as there are so many possible sources.
It is hoped that the revelations from this study will lead to the undertaking of a much larger one. The expectation is that this will facilitate a greater amount of regulation on aluminium levels and hopefully help reverse the decline in male fertility.
Paper- J.P. Klein, M. Mold, L. Mery, M. Cottier, C. Exley. Aluminium content of human semen: implications for semen quality. Reproductive Toxicology, 2014