The researchers determined that young men given ibuprofen developed compensated hypogonadism, a condition that occurs when males have normal levels of testosterone, but higher levels of luteinizing hormone (LH), a substance that stimulates the production of testosterone.
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Men who dream of starting a family may want to pass on the ibuprofen the next time they have a headache.
In March this year Jiři Dvořák, Fifa's former chief medical officer, warned of an "alarming trend" among elite football players to "abuse" legal painkillers such as ibuprofen.
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The new study is a continuation of research that first began with pregnant women, Jégou told CNN, in which the researchers examined the health effects when a mother-to-be took one of three mild pain relievers found in medicine chests around the globe: aspirin, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand name Tylenol) and ibuprofen. Some of the subjects in the study took two doses of over-the-counter ibuprofen every day, while the others were given placebos.
This condition is prevalent in elderly men and is associated with reproductive and physical disorders. "The risk is greater than the benefit". Testosterone production, however, did not increase concurrently, resulting in a lower ratio of testosterone to luteinizing hormone - a sign of hypogonadism, according to the paper. "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".
Separate experiments in the study using human testicular tissue in a lab dish also suggested that ibuprofen could affect testosterone production. "Based on these data, I personally would be very reluctant to take ibuprofen for longer than the 10 days normally indicated on the packet".
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