A COCKTAIL of chemicals in your body could be lowering your sperm count, experts have discovered.
Two chemicals – which can be found in dairy products, meat and shellfish may be damaging your fertility.
Medics at Brunel University London found that bisphenols and dioxins were present at ‘astonishing levels’, up to 100 times those considered safe.
The first chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA) is one often found in plastic food containers – like those you have ready meals in and in plastic bottles.
It is also present in milk and tinned foods as it can seep in from the packaging.
It was this chemical which was responsible for the highest risk in patients.
Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause issues to the immune system – and can interfere with hormones.
Prof Andreas Kortenkamp told The Guardian that his team were ‘astonished by the magnitude of the hazard index’.
Previous reports by experts in Jerusalem found that over the last 40 years, sperm counts have been declining.
Other issues such as erectile dysfunction and penis malformation have also increased – with chemicals that disrupt hormones being a key avenue medics are investigating.
Writing in the journal, Environment International, the experts looked at nine chemicals in urine samples of 100 Danish men aged between 18 and 30.
The samples were then analysed to detect the different chemicals in urine.
Every participant had been exposed to a combination of unsafe ingredients.
The researchers added: “In view of the multitude of chemicals humans are exposed to, these constraints almost certainly mean that we have underestimated mixture risks.
“We’re not saying chemicals are the only factor.
“Nutritional epidemiologists say eating lots of fatty food – cheese, butter, cheap fats, lots of fatty meat – is not good for semen quality.”
They ranked the chemicals, with BPA and dioxins being the biggest drivers or risk, followed by paracetamol and phthalates.
A study previously found that phthalates were in popular foods at some of your favourite chains.
These chemicals are used to make plastics soft and were found in 80 per cent of the samples collected.
The chemical is linked to a range of health problems including issues in the endocrine system which is a series of glands that produces and secretes hormones in the body, a previous study found.
Phthalates are also linked to fertility and reproductive issues, with one 2020 study having found that the chemical may ‘induce alterations in puberty, the development of testicular dysgenesis syndrome, cancer, and fertility disorders in both males and females’.
Another study, published earlier this year also called for ‘critical’ policy reforms on the chemicals after it found that it raises the risk of attention, behavioural and learning disorders in kids.