Urinary paracetamol levels may contribute to male infertility
The research, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), shows that paracetamol, called acetaminophen, is a non-prescription fever reducer and pain reliever. This substance is also a compound that the body produces when it breaks down aniline, which is a chemical in pesticides, rubber and coloring agents. Aniline is found in cosmetics, food and clothing.
“At this point, our findings need to be corroborated by future research, and there is no cause for alarm,” Dr. Melissa Smarr, the study’s first author and postdoctoral fellow in the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy ShriverNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said.
Higher levels of paracetamol may come from medications. Health experts also believe that the levels may also be from environmental exposures to aniline, or a combination of medications and environmental factors.
Between 2005 and 2009, the study involved 501 couples from four different counties in Michigan as well as 12 different counties in Texas. Results from these couples may change the levels of paracetamol that the FDA has labeled as acceptable for human consumption and health.
The study is available in Human Reproduction online.