Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Want more sperm - stop watching TV and start exercising.

You might not be aware that sperm counts are dropping throughout the western world. It is thought our slothful lifestyle could be the issue. A very interesting article just published indicates this:
Sperm concentration and total sperm count were found to be directly related to physical 
activity in an analysis of 189 young American men (18-22 years). The sperm concentration in men 
who participated in moderate to vigorous activity ≥15 hours per week was 73% higher than in less 
active men who participated in moderate to vigorous activity <5 hours="" nbsp="" per="" span="" week.="">Men who watched >20 hours of TV per week had a 44% lower sperm concentration than men who watched no TV. 
So watching TV kills your sperm. I can't help but wonder if it is also all that negative stuff on TV affecting the most sensitive parts of your body. But more likely the heating effect of siting cooks them.

Hat tip: NZ Fertility Research Review Issue 4 by Dr Mary Birdsall

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why changed my mind about fluoridation

In principle I don't like people adding stuff to mass medicate. For example I don't support fortifying flour with vitamins/minerals, which could seem at odds with my pro supplementation stance. However when you legislate mass medication, what you do is get the lowest cost product added into food. This lowest cost my have poor bio-availability and poor dose control. Fluoridation is especially problematic as it cannot be easily or inexpensively removed from water supply (you have to goto serious industrial water treatment to even have a chance). Therefore unlike chlorine you can't get rid of it once it is in the water.

This combined with a miss reading of analysis data (a risk being dyslexic) lead me to believe that fluoridation for water supplies was inappropriate. This was because I miss read the basal level of fluoride in the Waikato River and that dose level was higher than it actually is.

So in sitting down to write an article for a magazine about why fluoridation was wrong, I actually came to change my mind. The two key bits of information are:

The original study. This is the key study which demonstrated the effect of fluoride in water supplies. Each data point was the kids average cavities in that city. (Schutte, Trace Elements book)

Clarification of dose levels. I unfortunately got confused with units/levels, so thought that the fluoridation level was 10 units, so clearly over medicating, hence my opposition. At this high levels you could get impacts in young bottle feed infants, and older people who have spent decades accumulating fluoride into bone structures. However the NZ health regulations state the level is 0.7 - 1.0 PPM. Clearly this is the appropriate region compared to the graph.

Hence my change of heart!

So I do publicly declare that I support fluoridation in NZ water supplies. If you have data to argue otherwise I am always open to debate :) Let the data speak.......

PS for those who worry about the basal level of the Waikato river, it does have a reasonably high level, I do believe due to the geothermal power stations putting "waste" water into the river. This waste water is the condensed steam that is not pumped back into the ground, or vented to the atmosphere. (It is also a major source of arsenic which pollutes the down streams water supplies!) There is measurement systems in the Hamilton water treatment plant that monitors the fluoride level in what is effectively real time, and only doses the appropriate amount of fluoride to bring it up to the appropriate level. (For those paranoid people I have actually seen this equipment working with my one eyes)       

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Scientific paper backs up my book

Nice to see my book being confirmed by an independent source. Maybe I should submit some of my book for publication. I like the bit
The most popular term “vitamine” was introduced by Casimer Funk in 1912 and was changed to “vitamin” by Cecil Drummond in 1920.
 Could have lifted that from my book! Goes on to say
These networks of dissemination still exert an influence on how scientific information about vitamins is communicated to the public today
Which is one of the central themes of my book!

Lastest American J of Clinical Nurtition

Unfortunately the full studies are behind a paywall. But they become free in time. But in the mean time the summaries are interesting.

Magnesium may lower HD risk. To summarize
Circulating and dietary magnesium are inversely associated with CVD risk
So if you have more magnesium then low risk of cardiovascular disease. Can say that supplementing with magnesium lows your risk, but I am very pleased that supplement with 75 mg of highly bioavailable Mg a day! However I do need to get it to 250 mg a day (after which decrease in CVD becomes non-linear). So was thinking about getting some Mg for the trees in the orchard. Now will definitely be sourcing some.

Vitamin K1 maybe good for your heart. Turns out:
Animal studies have shown that vitamin K treatment reduced vascular calcification... A significant interaction between low vitamin K1 and antihypertension medication use was detected... Hypertension medication users with low serum vitamin K1 were more likely to have extreme CAC progression than were medication users without extreme CAC progression... lthough the point estimate of our primary analysis suggests low serum vitamin K1 is associated with greater CAC progression, the difference was NS.
NS = not significant.
CAC = coronary artery calcium

Vitamin K is hard to get in your food. It is thought to be produced in your gut by bacteria. But knowing what we should eat, and what we do. I suspect our gut flora has been changed, and not likely for the better! 

Continue to supplement with folic acid throughout pregnancy. I didn't realize that the recommendation to supplement with folic acid was only in the first trimester. I know Tiffany took supplement before, during and after pregnancy (it helped her multi had the right level of  folic acid in it).  In summary:

Continued supplementation with 400 μg FA/d in trimesters 2 and 3 of pregnancy can increase maternal and cord blood folate status and prevent the increase in homocysteine concentration that otherwise occurs in late pregnancy. Whether these effects have benefits for pregnancy outcomes or early childhood requires additional study.
We know high homocysteine levels are bad and indicate increasing risk of CVD. So odds are that high levels in late pregnancy are not good for mum! 

Vitamin D and calcium supplements can help young mothers retain bone mass in pregnancy.
Some describe a growing baby in mum's tum as a parasite or leech. Hardly endearing terms, but to some degree they are accurate. Mum will sacrifice her bodies nutrients to make sure baby has what it needs. So when it comes to calcium / bone health mums can often lose significant bone density over a pregnancy/lactation. This study found with adolescent mothers:
Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy of adolescents with low calcium intake results in higher lumbar spine bone mass and a reduced rate of femoral neck bone loss during lactation.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

First post in a very long time

Have decided to start to post again. Thanks to the wonderful people at USANA who I am doing some training for, found my blog posts really helpful in tracking down the data I knew I had read someplace. So will be posting a bit more :)