If it turns out that your son’s testosterone is low, the biggest concern is to find out why. In boys, testosterone is produced in the testicles (hence the similar names), and an abnormality could affect levels. A number of genetic conditions and prescription medications can lower testosterone. And then there’s antibacterial soap. Yep, soap.
In 2016, the Food and Drug Administration banned an antibacterial/antimicrobial chemical called triclosan, which, according to Dr. Stephen Giorgianni, an adviser to Mens Health Network, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, was an ingredient in a wide variety of personal care products, including soap, shampoo, dishwashing liquids, deodorants and even some toothpastes.
“The problem with triclosan is that, chemically, it looks like testosterone and functions as a sort of Trojan horse,” says Giorgianni. “When the faux-testosterone gets into the bloodstream, our body thinks it’s the real thing and stops producing natural testosterone. As a result, the boy or man can develop a true decline in testosterone levels and start showing symptoms.”
However, despite the FDA ban, triclosan may still be used in consumer products, including toys, bedding, fabrics and other products that aren’t regulated by the FDA. While it’s not clear whether the levels of triclosan in those products are OK, the safest thing to do if you see it on the ingredient panel is to buy something else.
Bottom line? Have your son see his pediatrician, and do more research on low testosterone at https://www.menshealthnetwork.org.
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Armin Brott is the author of “Blueprint for Men’s Health,” “Your Head: An Owner’s Manual,” and many other works on men’s health. Visit him at HealthyMenToday.com or send questions or comments to email@example.com.