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Could muscle building supplements cause testicular cancer?

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
First study links creatine, protein muscle building supplements to testicular cancer

Men taking muscle building supplements may be increasing their risk of testicular cancer by as much as sixty-fivepercent finds a new study. Authors for the first of a kind study say billions of dollars are spent annually on supplements that contain creatine or androstenedione.


Senior Tong Zhang Zheng, MB, ScD, a professor of epidemiology at Brown University School of Public Health who led the study while at Yale University told Medscape in an interview that no one knows why testicular cancer is on the rise, especially among younger men.

Natural ingredients in muscle building supplements may act like hormones

Zhang and his study co-authors write it may be natural ingredients in the supplements that act like artificial hormones or other hidden ingredients responsible for the increase risk of cancer of the testicles found in the study.

For their investigation the researchers interviewed 356 men diagnosed with testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC) that is the most common form of solid cancer among men age 15 to 39. As a control, 513 men without testicular cancer were also included in the study.

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See: Five common cancers that affect young people

The men were questioned about cancer risk factors including smoking, testicular or groin injury, exercise, family history and use and duration of muscle building supplements. Twenty percent of the men with cancer reported using either pills or powders containing creatine, protein or androstenedione.

The study authors concluded: "Considering the magnitude of the association and the observed dose-response trends, MBS use may be an important and modifiable exposure that could have important scientific and clinical importance for preventing TGCC development if this association is confirmed by future studies."

Men who began using muscle building powders or pills before age 25 were found to have the highest risk for testicular cancer. The risk of developing the disease was substantially higher among men using supplements containing creatine and proteins.

It should be noted that more research is needed to understand the cause of testicular cancer and whether muscle building supplements are a definite risk for the disease. The research is the first to explore the link between muscle-building supplements (MBSs) and testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC) risk and is published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons



The percentage of people allergic to dairy protein are a lot higher than generally assumed. And if it isn't the dairy in whey, there are a whole host of other ingredients including additives such as vegetable gums, thickeners, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and indigestible fiber (inulin), some of which commonly cause symptoms like bloating, gas, nausea and diarrhoea. It is well established that during an allergic response the brain turns off digestion and turns on the immune system. (See 'Fight or flight") This leads to nutritional deficiencies and depleted immunity, which could lead to ill health and diseases like cancer. Why testicular cancer? Cow's milk (regular and 'organic') has 59 active hormones, predominantly female lactating hormones meant to start the flow of milk, enlarge the udder, and so on and scores of allergens, fat and cholesterol. Cows’ milk has measurable quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins (up to 200 times the safe levels), up to 52 powerful antibiotics (perhaps 53, with LS-50), blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses. (Cow's milk can have traces of anything the cow ate... including such things as radioactive fallout from nuke testing ... (the 50's strontium-90 problem). The link between cancer and dietary hormones - estrogen in particular - has been a source of great concern among scientists, but it has not been widely studied or discussed. The potential for risk is large. "Among the routes of human exposure to estrogens, we are mostly concerned about cow's milk, which contains considerable amounts of female sex hormones," Dairy accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of estrogens consumed. (Ganmaa Davaasambuu Ph.D) Some of the other hormones found in dairy products apart from estrogen, are; Progesterone, an endogenous steroid hormone involved in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and embryogenesis of humans and other species. Prolactin, enabling female mammals to produce milk, Melatonin, a sleep regulator. Oxytocin, a mammalian neurohypophysial hormone. and 50 more, including; Hypothalamic hormones such as gonadotropin, this secretion at the onset of puberty triggers sexual development, Gastrointestinal peptides, as well as bovine growth hormones. GHRH stimulates cells in the anterior lobe of the pituitary to secrete growth hormone. Corticotropin-releasing hormone acts on cells in the anterior lobe of the pituitary to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) It is also synthesized by the placenta to determine the duration of pregnancy. (Wikipedia)
Hi Hans! You forgot BPA! :)
Hi Katthleen. So sorry! Please forgive!
:) You're so thorough! Forgiven though.
Nice to talk to you again, Kathleen. Hope you are well? I have been too busy over the last year+ but it is nice to be able to comment again.
You too Hans! Busy is good! Thanks for commenting. :)