Skolarczyk J., Budzyński M., Pekar J., Małecka-Massalska T., Skórzyńska-Dziduszko K.
Cadmium is a metal which was discovered in 1817. Because it is easily absorbed and accumulated in living organisms, a high concentration of this chemical element in water, air and soil poses a risk to people and the environment. Cadmium is also used in industry. It is not degraded and has a long half-life. The objective of our study was to search several databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and Medline) to find papers relating to the impact of cadmium on male infertility (in both animals and humans). The main sources of cadmium for humans are occupational exposure and food. The major sources of cadmium in the human diet are grains, fish, vegetables and fruit contaminated with this metal. Another important source of cadmium is cigarette smoke, which in some cases may be the main source of exposure. Daily cadmium intake from food by adults in different countries ranges from 11 to 200 micrograms. In Poland, daily intake of this element is 11-30 μg. The tolerable weekly intake of cadmium, which takes into account safety conditions and the degree of environmental pollution by cadmium, is set at 2.5 μg kg-1 body weight/week. Cadmium in the human organism can cause various health consequences, including morphological changes in the reproductive organs. Morphological changes induced by cadmium include necrosis of the seminal tubules and interstitial edema, which leads to decreased testosterone synthesis and impaired spermatogenesis. Cadmium is also a recognized carcinogen, which is mutagenic and genotoxic. Cadmium in animal cells can also cause dysfunction of some metabolic pathways, which can lead to carcinogenesis. The increasingly recognized impairment of fertility in men can be attributed to growing environmental exposure to this chemical element.
Skolarczyk J., Budzyński M., Pekar J., Małecka-Massalska T., Skórzyńska-Dziduszko K. 2018. The impact of cadmium on male infertility. J. Elem., 23(1): 35 - 44. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2017.22.2.1320
cadmium, spermatogenesis, infertility