Exposure to TCDD, the most toxic dioxin in the herbicide Agent Orange, may disrupt the male reproductive system in a number of ways, says a study of 2 000 US Air Force veterans who served in the Vietnam War.
Researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Centre in Dallas found evidence that TCDD may lower testosterone levels and limit the growth of the prostate gland. The study appears in the November issue of the journal Environmental Health.
"Until now, we did not have very good evidence whether or not dioxins affect the human reproductive system," urologist and lead author Dr Amit Gupta said in a statement. "Now we know that there is a link between dioxins and the human prostate leading us to speculate that dioxins might be decreasing growth of the prostate in humans like they do in animals."
The study found that veterans exposed to TCDD had lower rates of an enlarged prostate disorder called benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).
"It may be construed that a decrease in the risk of BPH is not a harmful effect, but the larger picture is that dioxins are affecting the normal growth and development of the reproductive system. Moreover, several effective treatments are available for BPH and thus reduction of BPH by a toxic compound is not a desirable effect," Gupta said. – (HealthDayNews)
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