Bodybuilding supplements have been around a long time, but they are now more popular than ever. A variety of supplements are widely available for men (and women!) looking to boost muscle mass and strength.
Many of these supplements contain either creatine or androstenedione, two elements that are now under scrutiny for a possible link to testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer used to be quite rare, but there has been a dramatic rise in cases over the past few decades. Testicular Germ Cell Cancer (TGGC) is the most common solid tumor in med ages 18-39, and its prevalence is increasing. It isn’t increasing because of detection, it’s actually increasing in prevalence.
Also increasing over the same time period is use of muscle building supplements (MBSs) in men. MBSs represent a BILLION dollar industry now.
A new study published in the British Journal of Cancer found a 65% increased risk of developing testicular cancer in men who had a history of using supplements containing creatine or androstenedione. 65%!
These odds rose even higher among men who started using MBSs before age 25, in those who had used 2 or more different types of supplements, and in those who had used MBSs for 36 months or longer.
To look at it another way, of the participants who developed TGGC, 20% had a history of this supplement use.
Lance Armstrong had testicular cancer and look what’s come out about his steroid use. Coincidence? Likely not! A disproportionate number of young, healthy and fit men are developing testicular cancer. Thankfully TGGC is treatable and is associated with low mortality rates.
This is yet another RED FLAG that our supplement use in this country is out of control. Supplements need to be tested for safety! I understand why men in particular want increased muscle mass, so do many women. But is it worth risking our health to boost our workouts with dangerous chemicals?
Just because it’s sold in a health food store doesn’t mean anything anymore. Why should we be our own guinea pigs?