#119 Endocrine Disruptors and Fertility with Dr Shanna Swan PhD

“For our children and grandchildren” was the dedication at the start of my next guests book, Countdown, by Dr Shanna Swan, and since reading the book I now understand why. Because a man today has only half the number of sperm his grandfather had. Essentially a 50% drop in sperm counts over the past four decades. But, as you will hear, this isn’t just affecting male fertility.

Dr Shanna H. Swan, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading environmental and reproductive epidemiologists. She is Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City where is also a member of the Transdisciplinary Center on Early Environmental Exposures and the Mindich Child Health and Development Institute.

After reading a controversial paper reporting the decline in sperm quality in 1992 by Carlsen and colleagues, and being part of a group tasked with ratifying the results, Dr Swan has gone on to further study this dramatic decline in sperm count around the world.

And for over twenty years, Dr. Swan and her colleagues have been studying the impact of environmental chemicals and pharmaceuticals on reproductive tract development and neurodevelopment. Her July 2017 paper “Temporal Trends in Sperm Count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis” ranked #26 among all referenced scientific papers published in 2017 worldwide and shook the world with media outlets declaring “Who is killing our sperm”.

Today’s podcast is controversial and unpopular, but I can’t hide away from this subject matter for fear of scare-mongering because it’s one that could actually affect me personally. I’m yet to have children myself and the data is frankly scary. And if there are pragmatic decisions to make at an individual level, such as reducing exposure to plastics, petrochemicals and pesticides then I’m lucky to be in a position to actually do something about it and I’ll share that with you the listener as well.

Today you’ll learn about

  • The 1% effect
  • The rise in testicular cancer, miscarriages, infertility as well as the reduction in sperm count and testosterone
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals and their lack of regulation
  • Body Burden
  • Whether phthalate or BPA free actually mean anything?
  • What is the threshold for these chemicals and cumulative impact?
  • The impact on menopause, erectile dysfunction, virility 
  • What do we need to be talking about and campaigning for


Find out more about the book at thedoctorskitchen.com/podcasts, plus links to the studies and books mentioned in the show and sign up to the newsletter for a free 7 day meal plan.

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