Health Tip: Help Kids Sleep Better Latest Sleep News (HealthDay News) — Getting children to go to sleep and stay asleep may be a true challenge for parents. The National Sleep Foundation says these factors may prevent kids from getting a good night’s rest: Bed-wetting, […]
By Dennis Thompson
Latest Mens Health News
TUESDAY, July 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Sperm counts in Western countries have decreased by half in recent years, suggesting a continuing and significant decline in male reproductive health, a new evidence review reports.
Sperm concentration decreased an average 52 percent between 1973 and 2011, while total sperm count declined by 59 percent during that period, researchers concluded after combining data from 185 studies. The research involved nearly 43,000 men in all.
“We found that sperm counts and concentrations have declined significantly and are continuing to decline in men from Western countries,” said senior researcher Shanna Swan.
“We don’t have a lot of data in men from non-Western countries, so we can’t draw conclusions about that part of the world,” added Swan, a professor of environmental medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
But in Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia, “the declines are strong, significant and continuing,” she said.
The new findings come on the 25th anniversary of the first study to observe a decline in sperm counts, Swan said. The original study, published in 1992, found that sperm counts had declined 50 percent over 50 years.
“The story has not changed over the past 25 years. Whatever is going on, it’s not transient and it’s not disappearing,” Swan said. “When we look at the data for the last five or 10 years, we don’t see a leveling off of this decline.”
“We are worried about these low sperm counts not only because people have trouble conceiving, but also because men with low sperm counts go on to have higher all-cause mortality,” Swan said. Studies have shown “they die younger and they have more disease, particularly cardiovascular disease and cancer,” she added.
“It really makes the implications of our study much greater,” she continued. “We’re not talking about making babies. We’re also talking about survival and health.”
No one knows why sperm counts continue to decline, but researchers believe it’s likely due to factors associated with a modern lifestyle, Swan said. These factors include exposure to man-made chemicals, increased levels of stress, widespread obesity, poor nutrition, lack of physical exercise and smoking.
These factors can temporarily reduce a man’s fertility, but researchers think the real damage is being done during exposures occurring in the womb, Swan said.
“Research has found that when a mother smokes, her son has a lower sperm count, regardless of his own smoking,” Swan said. “That says what a man is exposed to when he’s in utero is important. The mother’s exposure will cause a change that stays with the man his entire life.”
Experts are divided on whether the decline in sperm counts will have any impact on male fertility in the near future.
Modern men still have 66.4 million sperm per milliliter of semen, compared with 92.8 million per milliliter from men nearly four decades ago, said Dr. Avner Hershlag, chief of Northwell Health Fertility in Manhasset, N.Y.
“It’s not all in the numbers,” Hershlag said. “It is estimated about 20 percent of men who have achieved a pregnancy with their partners without treatment have abnormal sperm. There is no proof that parallel to the decline in numbers there has been a decline in the true ability of males to impregnate their partners.”
Furthermore, he said, “every person you know is the product of one egg and one sperm, so why do we need millions of sperm knocking on the wall of a single egg?”
However, if the trend continues, it could have an impact, said Dr. Peter Schlegel, a professor of reproductive medicine and urologist-in-chief for New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.
“It’s possible we are seeing a progressive decline in sperm numbers over time, and it could get to the point where it is a significant problem driving many more couples to require fertility treatment,” Schlegel said.
One potential problem could be that decreased sperm counts reflect an overall decline in sperm quality, Hershlag said.
“If you have a low number of sperm, then these sperm when facing the egg may have a lower capacity to fertilize the egg and lead to the creation of an embryo and, subsequently, a human being,” Hershlag said. “But that’s not been proven scientifically.”
The study appears in the July 25 issue of the journal Human Reproduction Update.
Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
SOURCES: Shanna Swan, Ph.D., professor, environmental medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Avner Hershlag, M.D., chief, Northwell Health Fertility, Manhasset, N.Y.; Peter Schlegel, M.D., professor, reproductive medicine, and urologist-in-chief, New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York City; Human Reproduction Update, July 25, 2017
Published at Wed, 26 Jul 2017 03:00:00 -0400
Even a One-Minute Run Might Help a Woman's Bones Latest Womens Health News MONDAY, July 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Just a minute or two of running every day could strengthen your bones, new research suggests. British scientists found that women who engage in “brief […]
Latest Sleep News
MONDAY, July 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) — A video may be worth a thousand words for someone with sleep apnea.
People with sleep apnea have pauses in breathing while they sleep. Left untreated, the disorder can lead to serious health problems such as depression, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It also leads to daytime sleepiness that increases the risk of car crashes and other accidents.
“People who watched themselves gasping and struggling to breathe with sleep apnea used their CPAP machines three hours more per night than those who saw no video, and nearly two and a half hours more than those who watched a video of another patient with sleep apnea,” said study leader Mark Aloia, a sleep expert at National Jewish Health in Denver.
“We really created a personal sense of urgency in these patients in order to change their behavior,” he said in a hospital news release.
Sleep apnea isn’t something you really notice in yourself, Aloia said. “I mean, you’re asleep; you’re consciously not aware of what’s happening to you,” he explained.
He and his colleagues wanted to find a way to convince patients of the urgency of their condition.
“The shocking part was that patients actually got very emotional,” Aloia said. “Sometimes we’d have men, who had never really thought of themselves having a problem, being tearful.”
Sleep apnea affects more than 20 million Americans, the researchers said in background notes.
Early results from the study were presented recently at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, in Boston. Research presented at meetings is usually viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
— Robert Preidt
Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
SOURCE: National Jewish Health, news release
Published at Tue, 25 Jul 2017 03:00:00 -0400
Walking the Dog, All the Way to Better Health Latest Exercise & Fitness News TUESDAY, July 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Your dog may be more than your furry companion — new research suggests it may also be an effective personal trainer. The study found […]
At WHFoods, we receive frequent questions about the advantages and disadvantages of raw versus cooked foods. This week we will begin a series of editorials addressing various aspects of this topic starting with the nutrient-richness of raw vs. cooked foods.
At WHFoods, we think about “raw” and “cooked” as being part of a continuum that begins with fresh, whole foods which have never been heated or processed in any way and continues on through several basic cooking methods. However, when it comes to cooking, the comparison between raw and cooked foods in terms of their taste and health benefits is better described as a comparison between raw and “optimally cooked,” which for us means minimally cooked in a way that avoids as much nutrient loss as possible, while bringing out a food’s vibrant colors, flavors and aromas.
Provided that they are fresh, raw foods have an overall greater nutrient richness than cooked foods, although optimal cooking techniques may increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in raw foods. We have never seen a published study that contradicts this basic relationship between raw and cooked foods. In addition, it’s important to pay close attention to the circumstances being described in this comparison of raw versus cooked foods. The first circumstance is “fresh.” It would be quite easy to find raw and deteriorating broccoli florets – long past time of harvest, and/or harvested too late in their life cycle – that were less nutrient-rich than frozen broccoli florets that had been blanched (very briefly boiled) prior to freezing. In addition, the blanched-and-frozen broccoli florets are likely to be more attractive than the raw and deteriorating ones. Fresh is an enormously important quality at WHFoods, and it is particularly important when considering the nutrient richness advantages of uncooked foods.
The words “overall greater” in the phrase “overall greater nutrient richness” is an equally important part of the raw-cooked relationship described above. It is not difficult for cooking to increase nutrient richness for a single nutrient, or even a select group of nutrients, in a food. In other words, you might easily find a cooked food that has more of one particular nutrient than the same food in raw form. A good example would be the amount of lycopene present in tomato. If you eat 32 calories’ worth of raw, fresh tomato, you can get an outstanding amount of the carotenoid lycopene: 4,631 micrograms. In fact, this low calorie level and high lycopene content correspond to the one-cup amount of raw tomato that we use as our website serving size. But if you eat 32 calories’ worth of cooked tomato, you can get an even greater amount of lycopene: 5,474 micrograms. So, in the particular case of tomatoes and their lycopene content, the raw versus cooked comparison tilts in favor of cooked tomatoes. However, if you consider not just lycopene but the hundreds of nutrients provided to us by tomatoes, their overall nutrient richness still tilts back in favor of raw. However, to see why this does not to imply that there is an absolute advantage for raw over cooked see our Newsletter next week..
Published at Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:23:11 -0400
Health Tip: Avoid Recipes With Raw Egg Latest Nutrition, Food & Recipes News (HealthDay News) — You may have a recipe or two that calls for raw egg, such as for Caesar salad dressing, custard or mousse. But since raw egg increases your chances of […]