Does Sunscreen Disrupt Sperm Function? Fertility Study Links Some Ingredients To Impaired Sperm Function

sunscreen on the beach

The research of a new fertility study suggests sunscreen may reduce the chances of a man fathering a child. According to Headlines & Global News, Danish researchers have discovered certain ingredients in both European and American sunscreens may disrupt sperm function.

After performing tests on 29 of the different 31 ultraviolet filters legally allowed to be in U.S. and European sunscreens, researchers of the University of Copenhagen discovered certain chemicals in the ingredients were disrupting the calcium signaling of the sperm cells. The researchers went on to note certain ingredients appeared to mimic the effects of female hormone progesterone.

“These results are of concern and might explain in part why unexplained infertility is so prevalent.”

Dr. Niels Skakkebaek, the lead researcher of the study and a professor at the University of Copenhagen, wonders if these findings could help some men who have previously been diagnosed with unexplained infertility.

The purpose of the UV filters is to limit the amount of UV rays from the sun that get absorbed into a person’s skin. Some of the chemical filters are absorbed so quickly they are found in both blood and urine samples. According to Science Daily, these chemical UV filters are found in 95 percent of urine samples in Denmark, the United States, and several other countries.

Researchers of the study explain the sunscreen is able to disrupt sperm function because it is absorbed through the skin and into the rest of the body. During the study, the ultraviolet filter chemicals were discovered in almost all samples of urine and blood the researchers collected.

“The researchers found that 13, or 45 percent, of the 29 UV filters tested induced calcium ion influxes in the sperm cells, thus interfering with normal sperm cell function. This effect began at very low doses of the chemicals, below the levels of some UV filters found in people after whole-body application of sunscreens.”

Dr. Niels Skakkebaek also confirmed 9 of the 13 UV chemical filters appeared to activate a CatSper channel to induce a calcium ion influx. These nine filters appeared to mimic the effect of progesterone, disrupt the endocrine system and impact sperm motility.

“Our study suggests that regulatory agencies should have a closer look at the effects of UV filters on fertility before approval.”

Dr. Niels Skakkebaek believes more research needs to be done to determine whether or not the ability of some of the ingredients in sunscreen to disrupt sperm function is something men should be concerned about.

According to SunWarrior, sunscreen is harsh on the skin and body whether you are a man or a woman. In addition to the ability to disrupt sperm function, some ingredients of sunscreen have been known to promote cancer growth, as well. Fortunately, instead of sunscreen, there are more natural alternatives you can utilize to shield your skin from the harmful UV rays without resorting to the equally harmful UV filters.

SunWarrior goes on to report red raspberry seed oil, wheat germ oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, and carrot seed oil are all effective alternatives to sunscreen. In addition to protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, most of these oils double as an effective moisturizer, as well. It is extremely common for people to use Aloe Vera to soothe a sunburn. However, Aloe Vera doubles as an effective sunscreen alternative that will not disrupt sperm function or promote the growth of cancer.

In addition to applying sunscreen alternatives to your skin, changing your diet can aid in protecting you from the sun as well. Foods that are rich in antioxidants and healthy fats will protect your skin from damage. This does include UV/sun damage.

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