Here’s some interesting news for those of you who take ibuprofen regularly.
A small cohort of 31 healthy young men who took 600mg of ibuprofen twice a day for six weeks developed “compensated hypogonadism” (their testicle shrunk). Ibuprofen was found to have interfered with their testosterone production and their gonads were overworked in the process of trying to compensate.
Normally only seen in elderly men, compensated hypogonadism, has implications for fertility. The good news is that the effects were found to be reversible, provided that ibuprofen use is discontinued.
In the latest research, scientists looked at the impact of ibuprofen on 31 healthy young men over six weeks and performed further tests on cells and pieces of human testes in the lab. Ibuprofen lowered testosterone production in the tissues, but levels of the hormone remained the same in the men. This is because the pituitary gland at the base of the brain had ramped up levels of another hormone that drives the production of extra testosterone.
“In the living body the pituitary gland kicks in to compensate for this, but the brain is pushing more to get the same amount of testosterone,” Kristensen said. “If you go on and stress the pituitary gland over the long term, this state could become permanent and you develop a more serious condition.” Details of the study are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Ibuprofen alters human testicular physiology to produce a state of compensated hypogonadism [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]