How the Gut Microbiome affects the Brain and Mind (video)

The gut microbiota is a huge topic and has some very significant implications for health and nutrition.

Especially considering the Gut Microbiome is the big topic in health and science recently, you may know that not all microbes are bad. While there are pathogenic microbes like these just mentioned, at all times there are 500 to 1000 different species of bacteria in the human body. And the importance of their function is becoming more apparent as we learn new things about them.

However, it’s hard to picture how tiny microbes in our gut contribute to our day to day cognition and brain function. In the case of rocky mountain spotted fever it may not be surprising that the introduction of a deadly pathogen could induce drastic changes in a person’s mental state. However, the relationship between the microbes normally residing in the gut and how our brain operates becomes apparent when we take them out.

Related: How To Heal Your Gut

A 2012 paper by Dr. Derrick MacFabe describes what happens when rats are injected with something called Propionic Acid or PPA. The PPA injection provoked peculiar changes in the rats’ brains like neuroinflammation, increased oxidative stress, and glutathione depletion. The rats also displayed abnormal movements, repetitive interests, cognitive deficits, and impaired social interactions. Basically, the results of this injection were very similar to autism spectrum disorders. And, PPA is a fermentation product of bacteria, namely Desulfovibrio, Bacteroidetes and Clostridia. It was found that patients with autism have many more species of the clostridium bacteria and have high levels of PPA in their feces.

Several reports from parents say that their children were developing normally until they received antibiotics for upper respiratory or ear infections. It’s estimated that in one third of patients, autism doesn’t show up until around 18 to 24 months. According to Dr.

Sydney Finegold , antibiotics wipe out or suppress several organisms in the gut, but Clostridia is one of the ones that persists.

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All You Need To Know About Turmeric

Turmeric has in recent years become very popular among those who care about good health, with recent research showing that there are many benefits from its use in the treatment of different health conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. It was often called Indian saffron because of that same deep yellow-orange color and, throughout its long history, has been used as a spice, healing remedy, and textile dye.

You can use turmeric in cooking on a regular basis for its health benefits or you can take it as a supplement.

Things to Remember When Using a Turmeric Supplement

  • It should be 95% pure curcumin extract at around 50mg a tablet.
  • It should also have a natural enteric coating, so the benefit is not lost by the time it reaches the upper intestine in your stomach.
  • Turmeric is not easily absorbed on its own but with the right combination, you really start to see the benefits. It can be mixed with piperine, green tea, or ginkgo biloba extract. A few grains of black pepper or one twentieth to one-quarter of a teaspoon can boost turmeric’s absorption by up to 2000%. One way to take the black pepper is with some good fat.
  • You need some healthy fat with your turmeric anyway. This is because turmeric is fat-soluble. Coconut oil, ghee, or extra virgin olive oil enable the curcumin to be directly absorbed into the bloodstream, through the lymphatic system while bypassing the liver. The less curcumin that is exposed to the enzymes and remains in a free form, the longer it stays in the body doing its good work.
  • Finally, heat is an important component for improving absorption by increasing turmeric’s bio-availability. It is harder to include heat if you take your dose as a supplement but easier to do so if you use turmeric in your cooking. Your health can benefit If you pop in a quarter to half a teaspoon of turmeric every time you cook something in your pan, added to a little warm healthy fat.
Related: How to Optimize Curcumin Absorption – With Golden Milk Tea Recipe

The Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric can help treat a wide variety of conditions including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual problems, blood in the urine, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.

It is an effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, provides relief for rheumatoid arthritis, help for cystic fibrosis sufferers, and is thought to inhibit cancer cell growth and metastases.

Related: Garlic – The Most Amazing Herb On The Planet

But that is not all…

Here is a long list of twenty other suggested health benefits

  1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
  2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
  3. Turmeric prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice while turmeric has also shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
  4. It may prevent melanoma and even cause existing melanoma cells to self-destruct.
  5. The spice reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
  6. Turmeric is a natural liver de-toxifier.
  7. It may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloid plaque build-up in the brain.
  8. Using turmeric may prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
  9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
  10. The curcumin component in turmeric provides one of the best natural painkillers, helping to block pain while fighting inflammation. Turmeric is a useful arthritis fighter, canceling the neurotransmitters from being sent to the brain.
  11. As well as reducing pain, inflammation and stiffness in rheumatoid and oosteoarthritis it also treats bursitis. Turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory properties.
  12. It may aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
  13. Turmeric has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
  14. If pain and discomfort in the joints are a problem for you, consider taking turmeric internally and applying H-Arthritis therapy externally.
  15. It boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel while reducing the drug’s side effects.
  16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
  17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
  18. Turmeric has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.
  19. The root speeds up wound healing and assists in re-modelling of damaged skin.
  20. Turmeric could even help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Whatever condition or set of symptoms you are experiencing, it is always wise to get a medical diagnosis.

A Word of Warning

This spice should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor first as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

 

 




Common and Unexpected Causes of Candida Overgrowth

There are more microbial cells than human cells in our bodies. Collectively the microbes are called the microbiome. Many different kinds of bacterial and non-bacterial organisms make up this microbiome. We breathe in and swallow some of them, but most are produced in our gut based on the foods we eat. Most of these microbes are in our gut, but they also reside almost everywhere else in the body. Our gut supplies our body with these microbes. In other words, even a healthy gut leaks. Beneficial microbes crowd out pathogens and help keep infections from setting in all over the body. A gut teeming with pathogenic activity supplies the body with pathogens. It’s imperative that the gut houses a diverse, healthy microbiome for the body’s immune system to function properly.

Candida resides in a healthy human gut, in the yeast form. A healthy gut colony will keep this yeast in check. In an unhealthy gut, yeast is allowed to flourish. It converts into its fungal form, grows filamentous, burrows into the gut lining, and then deposits yeast spores into the bloodstream. This also causes the gut to become “leaky”, which is to say it’s much more porous than it is supposed to be, and consequently, undigested proteins and pathogens leak into the bloodstream. This causes an immune response. If we didn’t live in such an antibacterial world with such an incredible abundance of sugars, candida would not thrive like this, but it is a tremendously versatile and opportunistic pathogen when left unchecked.

If candida is allowed to take over the gut and form its own biofilm, it becomes incredibly difficult to kill. The spores produced are nearly impossible to kill. For more on this, check Why is Candida So Hard To Kill. It’s freaky what these microbes can do!

Inflammation

An abundance of candida in the body is known to cause chronic inflammation, but what’s less common knowledge is the feedback loop this creates.

Pathogens feed off of sugars, starches, and fats (lipids). Our cells are made up of sugars, starches, and fats. Some pathogens prefer one over the other. For instance, Lyme bacteria want starches, and candida loves sugars.

Pathogens flourish in a damaged body and the presence of these pathogens causes more inflammation. When cells die, they also trigger an inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation also causes more cellular damage, leading to more cellular die-off. A chronically inflamed body is a damaged body with a lot of damaged and decaying cells that are feeding pathogens creating a positive feedback loop.

Related: Best Supplements To Kill Candida and Everything Else You Ever Wanted To Know About Fungal Infections

Alcohol

Alcohol kills beneficial bacteria in the gut. It can kill fungi too, but candida spores are virtually indestructible and its biofilm can protect the microbe from alcohol as well. In other words, you’re disrupting your beneficial bacteria which allows candida to flourish. Alcohol can also raise your blood sugar which can feed candida and other pathogens through the body.

Alcohol also damages cells.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics kill bacteria, leaving fungal infections to flourish. Some antibiotics also kill fungi including candida, but nothing adequately kills fungal spores. And even if something did, they’ll be back faster than a healthy bacterial ecosystem could develop to curtail the candida and other pathogens.

Vaccines

Research has shown us that some vaccines will disrupt the gut’s microbiota. In addition to that, one’s gut microbiota affects how the host interacts with vaccines. A less healthy bacterial colony in the gut is more likely to lead to an immune response with inflammation throughout the body, which in turn can also, eventually disrupt the gut microbiota. Intestinal injuries caused by the rotavirus vaccine have been added to the government compensation program for adverse events. With the recent findings of how vaccines are more likely to cause damage with an undeveloped gut microbiome, scientists are very interested in how gut bacteria and vaccinations interact. We should see a lot more scientific discoveries about this issue in the near future.

Amalgam Fillings

When dental amalgam fillings are in the mouth, tiny particles break free and mercury vapor is released, inhaled, and swallowed. Incidentally, the mercury release is 50 times higher for those who have mercury fillings capped with gold. For a multitude of reasons, the body can’t get rid of mercury easily.

Mercury suppresses the immune system and creates an environment that is not friendly for beneficial bacteria, but candida doesn’t mind it. In fact, candida and many other fungi love toxic heavy metals and actually thrive with mercury present.

Mercury fed Candida become more and more virulent and eventually penetrates the intestinal walls and invades the cells. These fungal microorganisms become quite at home in the cell, and can easily be considered a principle characteristic of cancer.” – Dr. Mark Sircus

Antiacids

Many people are under the mistaken impression that all disease needs acidity to thrive. This is not true. It depends on the disease. Candida likes alkalinity. The presence of candida can help to make the body very acidic, but the areas where fungal candida thrives will be less acidic. Antacids raise the PH (less acidic) of the entire digestive tract. This can cause candida to infect the stomach, which is normally far too acidic for it.

All Pharmaceuticals

Virtually all pharmaceuticals, from vaccines to Aspirin, have toxic properties which cause cellular damage that pathogens including candida will feed off of.

Smoking

Sugar is added to tobacco products. We’re not sure if inhaling the smoke from burning sugar can feed Candida or other pathogens, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it does. Regardless, the toxicity of tobacco products causes other problems that promote Candida overgrowth (and other pathogenic activity).

Smoking adds a plethora of toxic heavy metals into the body, and yeast, as mentioned above, likes toxic heavy metals. Smoking and the use of other tobacco products also affect liver function.

Every time you light a cigarette, nicotine triggers the liver to dump a large amount of glycogen into the blood stream. The blood sugar level is brought up too high, so the body calls on the pancreas to bring it back down.” – Cynthia Perkins, Holstic Help

Smoking affects the entire body, not just the liver and lungs. Smoking damages cells and causes inflammation and constriction everywhere. It also inflames and constricts the intestinal tract (if you smoke, you may notice the need to have a bowel movement after smoking). Some confuse this with “relaxing the bowels” but the truth is there is less room for digestion and so the stool is evacuated before digestion is complete. Smoking also causes rectal discharge. And smoking constricts and inflames the kidneys as well, which has the opposite effect compared to the intestinal tract. Kidneys process fluid at a slower rate and fluids can become rancid and infectious.

Juicing

Juicing has lots of benefits, but that carrot, beet, apple juice can do more harm than good for some people with an abundance of Candida in their gut. Juicing removes the fiber and other nutrients from the fruits and vegetables, and these nutrients are needed to feed a healthy gut microbiome. What’s left are sugars. If you’re just juicing kale, turmeric, lemons, collards, and garlic, or something like that, feel free to keep on juicing. But if you’re sweetening your juices with sweet fruits or carrots or beets, it doesn’t take much to make candida happy.

Fruit

We’re not saying that fruit is bad, but anyone who is suffering from an over-abundance of candida needs to lay off the fruit (not including lemons, limes, cranberries, granny smith apples, and other non-sweet fruits). Fruit is much sweeter than it used to be. Even on an all-natural, unrefined, raw food diet, we have way more access to sugar than our paleolithic ancestors did. Google wild bananas and check out what watermelon used to look like. Not only was fruit seasonal and harder to come by, but it was also much more fibrous and mealy, and much less “fruity.”

Condiments

Many condiments including salad dressings, mustards, ketchup, and hot sauces have sweeteners in them. Even without sweeteners, they are typically refined and processed with the addition of too many unnecessary ingredients. Read the ingredient labels. Better yet, make your own condiments, and use more herbs and better cooking methods to add flavor to your meals.

Organic Junk Food

Refind and processed foods fed pathogens including candida. Let’s take chips for instance. Chips often have sugar in them, including the organic varieties, but even those sugar-free brown rice and bean chips can still feed candida. Brown rice is ok for most people who aren’t very ill. When digesting brown rice, provided the gut has enough bacterial activity to do the job properly, fiber-loving gut microbes get to eat and proliferate first, before the sugar and starch molecules are exposed. But if you grind brown rice into a flour to make chips or pasta with it, you’re exposing the sugars and starches. The digestive process is altered. This is why it’s better to eat, cook with, and chew your own whole foods. Looking at those same chips as an example, the bean flour used is laden with enzyme inhibitors (unless the corporation making the food soaked and sprouted those beans properly, which is doubtful!) Enzyme inhibitors disrupt healthy gut microbiome, inhibit nutrient assimilation, and damage the digestive system. Similar examples exist for almost every single pre-packaged, processed food item in your organic health-food store.

Conclusion

When you’re chronically ill, forget the store-bought cereal, boxed nut milk, nut butters, chips, “healthy” chocolates, and food bars. To build up healthy bacterial colonies in the gut, you a variety of need whole foods. Nothing helps to grow a healthy microbiome like huge, diverse salads. Check out this article, Detox Cheap and Easy Without Fasting for a recipe for gut-healing salads and be sure to read How To Heal Your Gut.

Fungal Supplement Stack – Knock Out Yeast, Candida, Mold, Fungus

The first three should be plenty for most people, but for really prominent fungal issues or for impatient people with a bigger budget I’d recommend all of these:

Sources:



GMO Potatoes Are Here – How To Avoid Them

The genetically modified Innate potato was approved by the USDA in 2014. The “Innate” potato is a group of potato varieties that have had the same genetic alterations applied using a new form of genetic engineering known as RNA interference (RNAi). Five different potato varieties have been transformed, including the Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank, and Atlantic potatoes. Simplot also has two proprietary varieties. Simplot has designed the potato to reduce spotting, browning, and bruising by lowering certain enzymes and to reduce the amount of asparagine, a naturally occurring chemical that converts to acrylamide under heat, which is believed to be a cancer-causing carcinogen.

Simplot has also received approval for two other genetically modified (GMO) potato varieties which are resistant to late blight, the disease that caused the Irish potato famine. They also last longer in storage. As far as we know, the only GMO potatoes being sold for consumption are under the label “White Russet.” The Non-GMO Project is now classifying the Russet potato as “high risk.”

The potato has been added to the High-Risk list of the Non-GMO Project Standard because a GMO potato variety is now “widely commercially available” in the United States. To determine when a crop needs to be moved from the Monitored-Risk list to the High-Risk list, the Project uses an established set of criteria related to the likelihood of GMO contamination in the conventional and non-GMO supply chain. As a result of today’s move, products made with potato will now be subject to extra scrutiny before they can become Non-GMO Project Verified.” – The Non-GMO Project

Recommended: How To Heal Your Gut

How To Avoid the White Russet GMO Potato

For starters, avoid any potatoes labeled as “White Russet.” For now, in the produce section, they are being sold in  a bag labeled “White Russet Potatoes.” If history has taught us anything, contamination is likely to be an issue soon, so it may be best to avoid russet potatoes altogether unless they are organic or of the red russet variety. Another option is to check for spots. From the outside, these genetically modified potatoes look similar to their russet non-GMO counterpart except the White Russet should not have any of the common spottings you would see on a russet potato. If peeled or cut in half, a non-GMO Russet potato will begin to develop browning and dark spots within a minute or two. See the video below:

Related: How To Avoid GMO Apples

An easy way to avoid GMO potatoes is to make sure they are organic. This also ensures that your potatoes won’t be grown with as many pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. Irradiation techniques are also not allowed with organic crops either.

Avoid processed foods with potato ingredients like frozen dinners with potatoes, powdered potatoes, canned soups with potatoes, and potato chips, unless the foods are labeled non-GMO. Of course, we also recommend avoiding processed foods, but if you must, buy organic or at least non-GMO.

Avoid russet potatoes when eating out unless you can get assurances that the potatoes used are non-GMO. We also recommend eating more sweet potatoes and growing your own potatoes. Also, check out How to Avoid GMOs in 2018 – And Everything Else You Should Know About Genetic Engineering.




Artificial Sweeteners Can Harm Gut Bacteria and May Lead To Diabetes, Obesity, and Cardiovascular Disease

U.S. consumption of artificial sweeteners has risen substantially in the last 20 years. Soda likely comes to mind, but aspartame and sucralose are being put into more and more products from bread to toothpaste. As more studies are being done, artificial sweeteners seem to be connected to more and more negative health consequences. That’s probably because they’re poison.

Artificial Sweeteners May Harm Gut Bacteria

Ariel Kushmaro is a professor of microbial biotechnology at Ben-Gurion University. He told Business Insider, “My recommendation is to not use artificial sweeteners.” Kushmaro and his team performed a study with common artificial sweeteners and E. coli bacteria. Don’t confuse this bacteria with the kind that makes us sick; E. coli is a beneficial bacteria in healthy human intestines.

Factory farming is how we get the “superbug” variety of E. coli. The “superbug” variety of E. Coli can happen when a cow is fed a very acidic, glyphosate-heavy grain diet while being pumped full of antibiotics. Whatever doesn’t kill you…

Researchers exposed the E. coli to six artificial sweeteners including aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet), sucralose (Splenda), and saccharin (Sweet’N Low). They also subjected the bacteria to various protein powders and flavoring packets that use artificial sweeteners.

After dosing the E. coli bacteria with artificial sweeteners ‘hundreds of times,’ Kushmaro concluded the sweeteners had a toxic, stressing effect, making it difficult for gut microbes to grow and reproduce. The researchers think that a couple of artificially sweetened sodas or coffees a day could be enough to have an influence on gut health —and could even make it tougher for the body to process regular sugar and other carbohydrates.” – Business Insider

Obviously, we need more testing. Fortunately, Kushmaro plans to run more of these kinds of experiments to see how artificial sweeteners alter the human gut microbiome.

Related: How To Heal Your Gut

Artificial Sweeteners Won’t Reduce Appetite, or Satisfy Sugar Cravings

Sugar-sweetened foods trigger hormones throughout the body and chemicals in the brain that leaves us feeling satisfied after eating. The phenomenon, how it works, is similar to what happens with addiction to drugs. The satisfaction is short-lived, but it’s there. But artificial sweeteners don’t provide the sugar, or any calories for that matter, so scientists say the “food reward” system is never activated. This is probably why artificial sweeteners are shown to increase appetite, and sugar cravings as well.

Some researchers believe that artificial sweeteners do not satisfy our biological sugar cravings in the same manner as sugar, and could therefore lead to increased food intake. However, the evidence is mixed.” – Healthline

Related: Healthy Sugar Alternative and More

Artificial Sweeteners May Promote Obesity

In addition to promoting overeating, there are other mechanisms with which artificial sweeteners may promote weight gain. Sweet taste receptors are found not just in the mouth, but also in the bladder, the lungs, and our bones. Recent research looked at how artificial sweeteners affect our cells that make up our fat stores.

The new research, results of which were presented at ENDO 2018, the 100th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in Chicago, looks at the effect that artificial sweeteners have on the cells that make up our fat stores. These cells have a glucose transporter (a protein that helps glucose get into a cell) called GLUT4 on their surface and, when we eat more sugar, the cells take up more glucose, accumulate more fat and become larger. The researchers in this latest study found that the artificial sweetener, sucralose, commonly found in diet foods and drinks, increases GLUT4 in these cells and promotes the accumulation of fat. These changes are associated with an increased risk of becoming obese.” – The Conversation

Artificial Sweeteners May Lead To Diabetes

Dr. Brian Hoffman, George Ronan, and Dhanush Haspula are the authors of a new study that found a link between consuming artificial sweeteners and changes in the blood that increases the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that acesulfame potassium, a sugar substitute, accumulated in the blood of rats tested. This accumulation of potassium harmed the cells that line blood vessels. The study indicates that artificial sweeteners can alter how the body processes fat and how we use energy at a cellular level. According to the authors, this vascular impairment may lead to diabetes (and obesity).

Gut ecology plays a huge role in disease, including diabetes, and medical science is at the forefront of realizing this. A potential new treatment hailed to be a likely medical breakthrough removed the mucous membrane of the small intestine to cure type 2 diabetes. The treatment inserts a balloon into the small intestine and inflates the balloon with hot water, hot enough to kill the gut’s mucous membrane. Within two weeks, if the patients eat well enough, a healthier membrane develops.

By destroying the mucous membrane in the small intestine and causing a new one to develop, scientists stabilized the blood sugar levels of people with type 2 diabetes. The results have been described as ‘spectacular’ – albeit unexpected – by the chief researchers involved. In the hourlong procedure, trialled on 50 patients in Amsterdam, a tube with a small balloon in its end is inserted through the mouth of the patient down to the small intestine.

“Even a year after the treatment, the disease was found to be stable in 90% of those treated. It is believed there is a link between nutrient absorption by the mucous membrane in the small intestine and the development of insulin resistance among people with type 2 diabetes.” – The Guardian

It stands to reason that if foods and chemicals like artificial sweeteners negatively influence our gut ecosystem, this damage may promote diabetes, as well as a host of other chronic illness.

Related: Holistic Guide to Healing the Endocrine System and Balancing Our Hormones

Artificial Sweeteners May Contribute to Cardiovascular Disease and More

Researchers from the University of Manitoba’s George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation reviewed 37 trials that followed a total of more than 400,000 people for an average of 10 years. The study showed a link between artificial sweetener consumption and increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues.

Artificial Sweeteners Are Likely To Promote Candida

Modern health loves to compartmentalize everything. Natural health practitioners generally have a more holistic outlook. Our belief is and has been, that toxic chemicals do damage to the body in a myriad of ways, including damage to the gut microbiome. Damaging the gut’s ecosystem has long-lasting, far-reaching consequences to virtually every facet of health.

Damage feeds candida and other pathogens. Cells in the body are made up of sugars and starches. When these cells are damaged they can feed pathogens. A healthy gut feeds the body with healthy, beneficial bacteria (it’s a misnomer that all bacteria is supposed to stay in the gut). An unhealthy gut with pathogens feeds the whole body pathogens.

Toxic chemicals damage the gut’s ecosystem and they also do damage all over the body in various ways. This promotes pathogenic proliferation. Candida is a normal part of a healthy gut colony, but if beneficial bacteria is damaged enough candida is very likely to take over. If not candida, other another fungus is likely there ready and waiting. It’s nearly impossible to kill fungal spores. Once they proliferate it’s a challenge to get them under control, especially with our modern sugar and toxin-laden diets.

Related: Best Supplements To Kill Candida and Everything Else You Ever Wanted To Know About Fungal Infections



Sperm Counts Keep Declining in U.S. and Europe, New Studies Say

They might have used different methodology and measurements, but two recent studies have come to the same conclusion – male fertility is on the decline. Both studies were premiered at the Scientific Congress of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in Denver.

The first study is a collaborative effort between private fertility centers in New Jersey and Spain. This study looked at 120,000 men struggling with infertility and found that the percentage of men with a total motile sperm count (TMSC) of more than 15 million declined from 85 percent in 2002-05 to 79 percent in 2014-17. A TMSC under 15 million is considered low, and this study also found that the number of men with an extremely low TMSC (0 to 5 million) increased from 9 to more than 11.5 percent.

The second study comes from researchers at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in conjunction with the California Cryobank and Reproductive Medicine Associates of New York. They looked at 124,000 sperm samples from 2,600 donors between 19-38 from various locations, including Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Houston, Boston, Indianapolis, and New York City. Testing sperm count, sperm concentration, and TMSC, researchers discovered that these numbers declined in almost every location from 2007 to 2017 (New York City was an exception for all three factors, while sperm counts in Boston showed no change).

Recommended: How To Heal Your Gut 

This is not news. Scientists from Hebrew University in Jerusalem found last year that sperm counts in the west have more than halved over the last forty years. The average rate of yearly decline is 1.4 percent. At this point, the real news would be the discovery of why. Why are men in the developed world experiencing this loss of fertility? Science still don’t know.

What We Need to Know

There are some theories as to how sperm counts and male fertility are declining in the western world. Some say the lack of exercise and increasing obesity play a part in decreased sperm numbers. Others point to the standard American diet, laced with sugar, soy, and other health-disrupting substances. Chemicals found in everyday items like Bis-Phenol A (BPA) are another common reason floated for the decline of male fertility. Add in smoking, stress, and drinking, and the causes of male infertility look like the textbook definition of an unhealthy lifestyle. Scientists haven’t found the official link between infertility and this kind of lifestyle. This suggests there isn’t one cause for the decline, though.  All of these options are valid and correct. Together they form the conditions needed to effectively slow men’s fertility in its tracks.

Related: How to Detox From Plastics and Other Endocrine Disruptors

Is This A Bad Thing?

As an environmentalist, I would love this news if the decrease in fertility wasn’t caused by environmental toxicity. Fewer people means less strain on resources, and 2017 study found that potential parents lower carbon emissions equivalent to 58.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year by having one fewer child. But lower sperm counts and decreased male fertility negatively affect the lives of the men dealing with them. Individuals struggling with infertility are more likely to develop diabetes, substance abuse disorders, or heart conditions. In a way that strains resources as well, especially in the U.S., where health care costs are a heavy burden on the population. Maybe we should treat infertility as a lifestyle problem, rather than a medical one. Let’s see that study.

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Organic Foods May Lower Cancer Risk According to New Study

JAMA Internal Medicine reported a French study where nearly 69,000 adults completed web-based questionnaires about their diets over three 24-hour periods. People who reported eating more organic foods were less likely to develop certain cancers, compared to people who consumed the least amount of organic foods. Organic consumers were 25 percent less likely to develop cancer during the study. Specifically, organic consumers were 73% less likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 21% less likely to develop postmenopausal breast cancer.

After the surveys were completed follow-up time varied but averaged about four and a half years. Participants developed 1,340 cancers. Common cancers included breast cancers, prostate cancers, skin cancers, colorectal cancers and lymphomas.

Related: Stop Eating Like That and Start Eating Like This – Your Guide to Homeostasis Through Diet

People who ate more organic foods were more likely to be married and had higher income and education levels. These participants also consumed less processed meat and alcohol. More than three-quarters of the volunteers were women with average ages in their mid-40s.

Related: How To Heal Your Gut