Could muscle building supplements cause 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.
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.
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