Or:Scots have the best sperm in Europe, says study
Scottish men are the most sexually potent in Europe, according to a new study of sperm quality.
The research found Edinburgh men's sperm quality is 15% higher than that of the continent's traditional lovers from Paris.
Men from Turku in Finland came second, those from Copenhagen in Denmark came third while the male inhabitants of Paris came fourth.
The study into regional differences - the first of its kind - follows concern about falling levels of sperm quality.
Causes are thought to range from smoking to pesticides on food and in the air, to sitting down for long periods - which affects long-distance lorry drivers in particular.
Scientists looked at samples from more than 1,000 30-year-old men who'd lived in the target cities for most of their lives.
Those from Edinburgh had the highest proportion of motile sperm, which successfully reaches the egg. English men weren't included in the survey.
Dr Stewart Irvine of the Centre for Reproductive Biology at Edinburgh, said: "Some regional differences were quite wide. We'll now need to find out what is causing this."
The findings are reported in the current issue of Oxford University's Human Reproduction magazine.
or:One thousand Scottish men are being approached to answer one of the most vexing questions of the past decade: are sperm counts declining? A variety of studies have suggested sperm counts are dropping, and that pollution may be to blame. So the Scottish health service is enlisting a thousand men, chosen at random. Each man will be asked to contribute semen and mail it to a central facility for the sperm counts. The counts will then be compared for different locations throughout the country, looking for any link between pollution and lower sperm counts. The key to this trial is a special preservative. It'll keep the sperm alive for 48 hours – long enough for them to survive their trip through the postal system. It also brings a whole new meaning to the term "male order".
New Studies: Scotland
The researchers in Scotland completed their study in response to
criticism of Carlsen's 1992 historical analysis of 62 sperm-count
studies, showing a 50% reduction in 50 years. They had records
for 3729 semen donors born between 1940 and 1969 and they
examined these by statistical techniques chosen to avoid the
(controversial) criticisms that had been leveled at Carlsen's
work. They found an apparent decline in sperm count from 128
million per cc (in men born in the 1940s) to 75 million in men
born in the late 1960s, a 41% loss. "Thus we do not accept that
the evidence for a fall in sperm concentrations is unconvincing,"
Several researchers have noted that the decline in sperm quality
(count, motility and normal shape) coincides with an increasing
incidence of abnormalities of the male genital tract, including
testicular cancer and cryptorchidism (undescended testicles) in
various countries. Such abnormalities have doubled in
frequency during the past 30 years in many parts of the world.
In Scotland, for example, testicular cancer has doubled since
1960 and is striking a younger population (ages 15 to 44) every
year. The cause of these increasing abnormalities remains a
One clue that may tie all the threads of evidence together is the
record of what happened to the sons of women who were given a
synthetic hormone, diethylstilbestrol (DES), during the 1950s and
1960s. About a million American women were given DES as a
"morning after" pill to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy.
Their sons have shown an increase in genital tract abnormalities,
AND reduced sperm count.
There is confirming data from animal experiments as well.
Pregnant female rats given a single, very low, dose of dioxin on
the 15th day of gestation, produce male offspring that have
genital tract abnormalities (particularly undescended testicles)
and that have a low sperm count after they mature. Dioxin
does much of its toxic work by acting as an estrogen-like hormone.
Thus, although it remains a hypothesis that estrogen-mimicking
chemicals are causing the observed changes in the male
reproductive tract, it is a hypothesis that is being taken very
seriously by a large number of scientists world-wide; they are
working aggressively to confirm its truth or falsehood.
It is, after all, an important matter for the future of the human
species. The reported sperm loss appears to be occurring
world-wide. The report in February in the NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF
MEDICINE ends this way: "The significant decline in the
concentration of sperm during the past 20 years in the Paris area
may be related to an interaction of the age of the [sperm] donors
and the chronologic period [in which they are living] that in
turn could implicate factors affecting all the inhabitants of an
area, such as the water supply or environmental pollution."
You gotta feel sorry for the scots!!!