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Hormones in the Environment Can Cause Male Infertility - Research Paper Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Hormones in the Environment Can Cause Male Infertility Hormones in the environment, commonly known as ‘environmental hormones’ or endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), can be defined as compounds that interfere by mimicking, blocking, or altering hormones and their signaling systems in the body, but are exogenous…
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Hormones in the Environment Can Cause Male Infertility
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Download file to see previous pages Other substances are generated as a byproduct during manufacturing or are breakdown of chemicals. These compounds can have morphological and physiological effects in the body. In general, health effects associated with EDCs include a range of reproductive problems (reduced fertility, male and female reproductive tract abnormalities, and skewed male/female sex ratios, loss of fetus, menstrual problems); changes in hormone levels; early puberty; brain and behavior problems; impaired immune functions; and various cancers. EDCs not only affect adults but are particularly potent when exposure occurs during fetal and early postnatal development. An environmental endocrine or hormone disruptor is an exogenous agent that interferes with the synthesis, secretion, transport, binding, action, or elimination of natural hormones in the body that are responsible for the maintenance of homeostasis, reproduction, development, and/or behavior. They enter your body through ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. These compounds mimic, enhance (an agonist), or inhibit (an antagonist) the action of hormones. The number of known endocrine disruptors is large and continuously increasing, and includes both naturally occurring and synthetic substances. Some, called phytochemicals, reside in fungus and plants, including mold, clover, whole grains, soybeans and other legumes, and many fruits and vegetables. Human activities release other naturally occurring EDCs: the heavy metals lead, mercury, and cadmium. Chemically, environmental hormones such as polychlorinated dibenzop- dioxins (PCDDs), 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-ethane (DDT), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are composed of an aromatic system substituted with chlorine at various positions. They are potently toxic in biological systems, and teratogenic to animals. Moreover, it has been reported that the chemicals 2,2-bis(p-ydroxyphenyl)propane (bisphenol A, BPA) and diethyl stilbestrol (DES) mimic natural hormones, and may disrupt the endocrine systems in animals and humans (Kobayashi et al. 680). Common EDCs having estrogenic activity can come from house hold material like solvents and adhesives such as those found in nail polish, paint remover, and glues; emulsifiers & waxes found in soaps and cosmetics, dry cleaning chemicals, nearly all plastics, (also phthalates, synthetic compounds that add flexibility to plastics, such as the plastic tubes and bags used in storing and delivering IV fluids to patients, and the rubbery toys children play with), meat from livestock fed estrogenic drugs to fatten them up, surfactants such as nonoxonyl (spermicides) found in many condoms and diaphragm gels, and petrochemically based scented products & perfumes. Synthetic chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, polychiorinated biphenyls (PCBs), plasticizers, and surfactant breakdown products are known to have estrogenic activity. Currently, four major classes of environmental hormones that interact directly with steroid hormone receptors are known: environmental estrogens, environmental antiestrogens, environmental antiprogestins, and environmental antiandrogens. Physiologically dioxin acts as antiestrogenic; carbamate insecticides as antiprogestigenic; and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, linuron, vinclozolin, and p,p’-DDE as antiandrogenic (Cheek and McLachlan 9). The hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis is a critical part in the development and regulation of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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