Chemicals Found In Food Have A Negative Effect On Human And Dog Fertility

First Posted: Aug 11, 2016 06:01 AM EDT

A new study has discovered that contaminants in the environment and chemicals in food are not good for dogs' fertility. The study may also be able to help solve the puzzling decline in the quality of human semen.

According to Mail Online, experts are connecting the chemicals found in pet food because it was found that it has a negative effect on sperm in a number of commercially available pet foods. Researchers studied the quality of sperm in a group of stud dogs for over 26 years and had found that it had fallen significantly. They believe the results of the study can give answers to the significant decline in the quality of human semen, something scientists have always debated on.

"This is the first time that such a decline in male fertility has been reported in the dogs and we believe this is due to environmental contaminants, some of which we have detected in dog food and in the sperm and testes of the animals themselves," said Richard Lea from Nottingham University in the UK.

Hindustan Times reported Lea adding, "While further research is needed to conclusively demonstrate a link, the dog may indeed be a sentinel for humans - it shares the same environment, exhibits the same range of diseases, many with the same frequency and responds in a similar way to therapies."

The study was centered on five dog breeds such as Border Collie, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, curly coat retriever, and German shepherd. Semen collected from about 42 to 97 dogs for each of the five breed had estimated the percentage of healthy sperm. Semen was collected from the dogs and analyzed to determine the percentage of sperm that showed a normal forward progressive movement and that appeared normal under a microscope (morphology).

It was found that between the years 1988 and 1998, the sperm motility (the healthy sperm movement) has declined by 2.5 percent. Furthermore, researchers found that from 2002 to 2014, it continuously decreased by 1.2 percent a year, reported. Researchers also found that the male pups produced from the stud dogs with declining semen quality, had an increased incidence of cryptorchidism, a condition in which the testes of pups fail to correctly descend into the scrotum.

Sperm collected from the same breeding group of dogs, as well as testes recovered from dogs having routine castration, were said to have environmental contaminants where the level of concentration is high enough to disrupt sperm motility and viability when tested. The same chemicals that disrupted sperm quality, were also found in a variety of commercially available dog foods, including brands specifically sold for puppies, researchers said.

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