Health

Nuts may boost male fertility: study

Eating nuts “significantly” boosted the number and health of sperm in young men in a scientific trial, researchers said Wednesday. The findings “support a beneficial role for chronic nut consumption in sperm quality,” they said, but stressed the study participants were all healthy, apparently fertile men. The potential benefits of nuts for men struggling with fertility have yet to be probed. For the study, researchers recruited 119 men aged 18-35, who they divided into two groups. One group ate 60 grammes of almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts daily on top of their usual “western-style” diet, while the second group got no nuts. After 14 weeks, the nut group “had significant improvements in their sperm count, vitality, motility (movement) and morphology (shape)” — all associated with male fertility, said a statement. “Moreover, the subjects in the nut group also showed a significant reduction in their levels of sperm DNA fragmentation, a parameter closely associated with male infertility.” The results were consistent with sperm improvement observed in other studies that looked at diets rich in omega-3, antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, selenium and zinc, and folate. Nuts are rich in many of these nutrients. The study results were presented at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona. Does this mean that men hoping to conceive a child should add nuts to their diet? “We can’t yet say that,” said study co-author Albert Salas-Huetos of the Rovira i Virgili University in Spain. “But evidence is accumulating in the literature that healthy lifestyle changes such as following a healthy dietary pattern might help conception — and of course, nuts are a key component of a Mediterranean healthy diet.”

“We report…you decide.”      🙂

Smoking down, but tobacco use still a major cause of death, disease, WHO reports

Fewer people are smoking worldwide, especially women, but only one country in eight is on track to meet a target of reducing tobacco use significantly by 2025, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Three million people die prematurely each year due to tobacco use that causes cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and stroke, the world’s leading killers, it said, marking World No Tobacco Day. They include 890,000 deaths through second-hand smoke exposure. The WHO clinched a landmark treaty in 2005, now ratified by 180 countries, that calls for a ban on tobacco advertising and sponsorship, and taxes to discourage use. “The worldwide prevalence of tobacco smoking has decreased from 27 percent in 2000 to 20 percent in 2016, so progress has been made,” Douglas Bettcher, director of the WHO’s prevention of noncommunicable diseases department, told a news briefing. Launching the WHO’s global report on trends in prevalence of tobacco smoking, he said that industrialized countries are making faster progress than developing countries. “One of the major factors impeding low- and middle-income countries certainly is countries face resistance by a tobacco industry who wishes to replace clients who die by freely marketing their products and keeping prices affordable for young people,” he added. Progress in kicking the habit is uneven, with the Americas the only region set to meet the target of a 30 percent reduction in tobacco use by 2025 compared to 2010, for both men and women, the WHO said. However, the United States is currently not on track, bogged down by litigation over warnings on cigarette packaging and lags in taxation, said Vinayak Prasad of the WHO’s tobacco control unit. Parts of Western Europe have reached a “standstill”, particularly due to a failure to get women to stop smoking, African men are lagging, and tobacco use in the Middle East is actually set to increase, the WHO said. Overall, tobacco kills more than 7 million a year and many people know that it increases the risk of cancer, the WHO said. But many tobacco users in China and India are unaware of their increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke, making it urgent to step up awareness campaigns, it said. “The percentage of adults who do not believe smoking causes stroke are for example in China as high as 73 percent, for heart attacks 61 percent of adults in China are not aware that smoking increases the risk,” Bettcher said. “We aim to close this gap.” China and India have the highest numbers of smokers worldwide, accounting for 307 million and 106 million, respectively, of the world’s 1.1 billion adult smokers, followed by Indonesia with 74 million, WHO figures show. India also has 200 million of the world’s 367 million smokeless tobacco users.

Smoking is, of course, a stupid thing to do.  But, the WHO is a fascist bunch of busy-bodies.  And, if the people in China and India want to take up that obnoxious and disgusting habit, then hopefully American tobacco companies can do some business there, lol.   🙂

Eggs can lower risk of stroke and heart attack, new study finds

An egg a day keeps the doctor away, according to a new study out of China. Researchers at Peking University Health Science Center found that the simple and cheap food, once thought to raise unhealthy cholesterol levels, dramatically protects the heart. They discovered that daily egg consumption is linked to 26 percent reduced stroke risk and 18 percent reduced cardiovascular disease risk. “The present study finds that there is an association between moderate level of egg consumption (up to 1 egg/day) and a lower cardiac event rate,” lead scientists Professor Liming Li and Canqing Yu wrote in the journal Heart. The researchers examined the diets of 416,000 people between the ages of 30 and 79. Subjects were asked how often they consumed eggs. Their health was then documented over a period of around nine years. The 13 percent of participants who ate one egg a day were found to have more than a quarter less chance of suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when there’s bleeding in or around the brain. They also had 28 percent less risk of death caused by a hemorrhagic stroke, and an 18 percent reduced chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.

More parents smoking pot around kids, study finds

A growing number of American parents are using marijuana when they still have children living at home, according to a new study that suggests cannabis may be complicating efforts to limit kids’ exposure to second-hand smoke. Researchers examined data collected from 169,259 U.S. adults from 2002 to 2015. During that time, the proportion of parents with children at home who said they used cannabis at least once in the past month rose from 4.9 percent to 6.8 percent. Over that same period, the proportion of parents with kids at home who smoked cigarettes declined from 27.6 percent to 20.2 percent, the study also found. “While cigarette smoking continues to decline among parents with children living at home, use of cannabis is increasing among parents and this may as a result lead to an increase in children’s exposure to secondhand cannabis smoke,” said lead study author Renee Goodwin of the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy at the City University of New York. The increase in cannabis use appeared to be “disproportionately common among cigarette smoking parents,” Goodwin said by email. “Therefore we may be seeing an increase in exposure to multiple types of smoke/increased amount of smoke in a growing percentage of households with this increase in cannabis use.” With some forms of marijuana now legal in about 30 U.S. states, concern is mounting in the medical community that many people may falsely assume the drug is harmless and fail to recognize the potential harms to children who breathe second-hand smoke. “Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with an increased risk of asthma and many other health risks for children,” Goodwin said. “There have been tremendous public health campaigns aimed at decreasing cigarette use overall and at reducing children’s exposure to secondhand smoke from cigarettes, but no clinical or public health effort has been made to educate or inform the public about risks of secondhand cannabis smoke.” Cannabis use was almost four times more common among parents who also smoked cigarettes than among non-smokers, the current study found. Among smokers, the proportion of parents who reported using cannabis in the past month increased from 11 percent to 17.4 percent during the study period, researchers report in Pediatrics. For non-smokers, the proportion of parents who used cannabis in the past month also rose, from 2.4 percent to 4 percent. Daily cannabis use also climbed during the study period, and was more common among cigarette smokers. At the same time, the proportion of parents who said they avoided both cigarettes and cannabis also increased. The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how cigarette smoking might influence cannabis use. Another drawback is that researchers relied on parents to accurately recall and report any tobacco or cannabis use. Even so, the findings underscore how legalization of cannabis in many U.S. states may reflect and reinforce more permissive attitudes about marijuana use, said Ashley Brooks-Russell, author of an accompanying editorial and a researcher at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Cannabis legalization has increased the accessibility of cannabis for adults and removed many penalties for use,” Brooks-Russell said by email. “It is possible these laws also convey a sense the product is safe, or at least safer than it once was perceived.” When parents with young kids at home do choose to use cannabis, they should take precautions to do it when children aren’t around, Brooks-Russell advised. “If parents use cannabis, not only are they potentially modeling that behavior but they are likely making cannabis products more accessible in the home which could lead to either unintentional ingestion (e.g., poisonings) among younger children, or intentional experimentation and use among older children,” Brooks-Russell said.

Agreed..

New York doctor pleads guilty in fatal abortion

A New York doctor who says he’s done 40,000 abortions is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the 2016 death of a woman who was six months pregnant and bled to death. The case in Queens Criminal Court marks one of the rare legal instances of criminal prosecution of a doctor over a medical error, but Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal said that Dr. Robert Rho’s mistakes went beyond civil malpractice. “It’s about greed and arrogance,” Leventhal told jurors last week during closing arguments in the month-long trial. He said 30-year-old Jaime Lee Morales “bled to death because this defendant did nothing.” Rather than call an ambulance, prosecutors said, Rho released Morales for her sister to drive her home in the Bronx, despite signs she was in grave condition and had collapsed in a bathroom of Rho’s clinic. Morales fell unconscious in the car. Medics responding to a 911 call took her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Rho’s attorney reached a plea deal with prosecutors Friday after jurors said they were deadlocked. It spares the 53-year-old physician from facing up to 15 years in prison on the original charge of second-degree manslaughter, equivalent to reckless homicide. Instead, Rho admitted he was negligent with Morales’ abortion, leaving her bleeding uncontrollably with a severed uterine aorta, ripped cervix and pierced uterine wall. The lesser charge comes with prison time of up to four years. But Rho’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, says he may end up with only months in prison when he is sentenced on June 26. Lichtman called it a “monumental victory.” Rho, who lives with his family in the Lake Success section of Great Neck, on Long Island, was arrested in October 2016, three months after Morales died. Morales, who lived in Buffalo, New York, had come to Rho’s clinic in the Flushing section of Queens with her sister, desperate to get an abortion, for which Rho charged $6,000, witnesses said. She had only learned a week earlier that she was pregnant. Profuse post-operative bleeding forced the doctor to perform another procedure that did not fix the damage, prosecutors said. Lichtman said the botched abortion was a tragedy but was not a crime. He said Morales never told Rho that she suffered from medical conditions that made her prone to more intense bleeding. After her death, the doctor closed his clinic and surrendered his medical license. Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion law firm and advocacy group based in Washington, issued a statement Friday saying that Morales’ family “received some measure of justice,” but “the truth is that the type of behavior described in the Rho trial — not following best medical practices, using untrained staff, failing to properly monitor vital signs, not maintaining a sterile environment, etc. — are all very common in abortion clinics across America.” Even before Morales’ abortion, the doctor had been investigated by state officials over concerns that he was performing procedures improperly and using assistants who lacked medical training, witnesses said at the trial. The last criminal prosecution in New York over a mishandled abortion was in 1995, when obstetrician David Benjamin was convicted of murder after a patient bled to death from a rip in her uterus during an abortion. Philadelphia doctor Kermit Gosnell was convicted in 2013 of involuntary manslaughter after a patient got a fatal overdose of sedatives during an abortion. He also was convicted of murder for performing extremely late-term abortions, snipping the spines of infants born alive during the procedures.

Planned Parenthood Sues to Stop Health Inspections: ‘Unconstitutional’

Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit against Indiana over the state’s law that requires abortion clinics to be inspected annually for health and safety issues. “Once again Indiana politicians are barging into the exam room with irrational demands and intrusive requirements,” said Jane Henegar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana, which filed the suit on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK), reports the Associated Press. In addition to a provision requiring annual health inspections of abortion clinics, the Indiana law also requires medical providers who treat women for complications due to abortion procedures to report patient information to the state. The provision “imposes unique and burdensome obligations,” Planned Parenthood argued in the lawsuit, claiming such complications “are both extremely rare for abortions and are more likely to occur after other medical procedures.” Planned Parenthood took in nearly $544 million in taxpayer funding last year, according to its latest annual report, and claims to be a “women’s healthcare” provider, though the number of many of its non-abortion services has been in decline. The abortion vendor also boosted its profits by $21 million – 27 percent – from the previous year. Christie Gillespie, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said in a statement that the new law “is not about patient safety.” She said abortion “is already incredibly safe.” Gillespie added the law’s provisions are “yet another attempt by politicians to shame and stigmatize pregnant Hoosiers and spread the myth that abortion is dangerous.” However, in 2016, Americans United for Life (AUL) provided a 200-page report titled Unsafe: The Public Health Crisis in America’s Abortion Clinics Endangers Women. The report echoes the case of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell who, in 2013 was found guilty of murdering babies born alive during abortion and in the death of one of his patients. The AUL report also challenges the narrative put forward by abortion advocates that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Texas case of Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt prevents state legislatures from requiring health and safety standards in abortion clinics. “This report is the tip of the iceberg as too many state officials are turning a blind eye to this red-light district of medicine,” said AUL’s then-vice president of legal affairs Denise Burke and the author of the report. “The abortion industry willingly sacrifices women’s health and safety in their ‘back alley’ clinics, prioritizing mere access to abortion over women’s health and safety,” she said..

For more on this eye-opening piece by Dr. Susan Berry, click on the text above.

Bathroom hand dryers spraying poop on your hands, study finds

A recent study found bathroom hand dryers are pretty gross. A study by the scientists at the University of Connecticut found hand dryers in men’s and women’s bathrooms blew bacteria onto hands including fecal matter. The study, published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology Journal, stated scientists came to the conclusion after they placed data-gathering plates under hand dryers at 36 bathrooms on the University of Connecticut’s campus. The researchers said they placed the plates under the dryers for about 30 seconds and found “between 18 and 60 different colonies of bacteria on each plate.” “These results indicate that many kinds of bacteria, including potential pathogens and spores, can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers,” the study said. The scientists wrote it was not immediately clear what “organisms” are “dispersed by hand dryers” and if “hand dryers provide a reservoir of bacteria or simply blow large amounts of bacterially contaminated air, and whether bacterial spores are deposited on surfaces by hand dryers.” The researchers noted the hand dryers did not have the HEPA [high-efficiency particulate air] filters that come in most Dyson models. Researchers said the HEPA filters helped decrease but not eliminate the bacteria. The study said it was possible hand dryers are “responsible for spreading pathogenic bacteria, including bacterial spores” through an entire building as well. Researchers also noted Bacillus subtilis PS533 was discovered in every bathroom they tested. Peter Setlow, one of the study’s lead authors, told Newsweek the bacteria will not potentially affect human health but it shows how easy the bacteria spread. He said the bathrooms they tested now offer paper towels.

Disturbing…