Muscle-Building Supplements Linked to Testicular Cancer

Muscle-Building Supplements Linked to Testicular Cancer

Men who use muscle-building supplements (MBSs) that contain creatine or androstenedione may have up to 65% increased risk of developing testicular cancer, according to a case-control study in British Journal of Cancer, published online March 31, 2015. Abstract.  Senior author Tong Zhang Zheng, MB, ScD, led the study at Yale University.

This risk was highest among those men who began using MBSs before age 25, who used various kinds of MBSs, or who used them for a long duration.

Testicular germ cell cancer (TGCC) is the most common solid cancer in men aged 15 to 39 years. The incidence of TGCC has risen in recent decades, climbing from 3.7 of 100,000 in 1975 to 5.9 of 100,000.

The case-control study included 356 men diagnosed with TGCC between 2006 and 2010 and 513 men without testicular cancer. In addition to other physical and life-event questions, the interviewers used product labels to assess major ingredients, including creatine, protein, androstenedione.

Analysis suggested that using MBSs containing creatine and proteins had a very significantly increased risk for TGCC (OR = 2.55;) The risk was also elevated for men who had taken ANY MBSs (OR = 1.65) particularly when using them before age 25  (OR = 2.21). The most serious risk elevation was in those who had used two more types of MDSs (OR = 2.77). The strengths of these associations remained significant even after adjusting for major confounders.

The authors report no relevant financial relationships. This posting was adapted from an April 15, 2015 article by Veronica Hackethal, MD

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