The western Diet Is Making You Infertile
I don’t know how much more evidence of our failing dietary and lifestyle standards is necessary before people make the much-needed adjustment.
But to add more evidence to that pile, here is a recent report about infertility:
Infertility: A Lifestyle Disease?
A deep dive on causes and treatment of infertility
In the US, one in eight couples, or 6.7 million people struggle to conceive. A quick Twitter search of “IVF” will return scores of women sharing heartbreaking stories of failed IVF rounds and crushing miscarriages, like Breanna. Each year, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) increases 5-10%. Considering that our only real job, biologically, is to procreate, this is very alarming.
Probably the most popular (and controversial) work regarding infertility comes from Shanna Swan, an environmental and reproductive epidemiologist and professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. In her book Count Down, Swan finds that sperm count in Western men has dropped by more than 50% in the last forty years. Even more shocking, Swan predicts that by 2045, we’ll have a median sperm count of zero, and most people will have to use ART to reproduce. The cause of this “Spermageddon?” Swan points to weight, alcohol, smoking, and, most importantly, endocrine disruptors.
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals like phthalates, bisphenols (e.g. BPA), pesticides, and flame retardants, which are found in everyday items like plastic, food, clothes, and skincare. When we absorb them (through eating, breathing, applying lotions, and wearing clothes), these chemicals can mess with our hormones. For example, phthalates are known to lower testosterone which, in turn, lowers sperm production. Research shows that women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)— the most common cause of female infertility— have higher levels of BPA in their bodies. Even exposure to these chemicals in small amounts can have major effects on the body, as delicate hormone levels are already controlled by only slight changes.
One of the most surprising things about endocrine disruptors is that they begin to affect the body in utero, via exposure to the mother. In a previous newsletter, I wrote about new research that found BPA-containing microplastics in human placentas. Not only is it terrifying to think about “cyborg babies” (babies made out of a combination of human cells and inorganic entities) being born, but scientists have also found that the chemicals in the microplastics have an effect on the fetus’s reproductive health. After all, a female fetus develops all the eggs she will have in her lifetime in utero. One study looked at the effects of BPA in mice and found that it caused birth defects in the mice’s grandchildren; the first generation mouse’s BPA exposure disrupted its fetus’s egg development, resulting in chromosomal abnormalities in the next generation. This suggests that the effects of endocrine disruptors can be multigenerational. In male fetuses, exposures to endocrine disruptors like phthalates have been shown to result in smaller penis size and, in adulthood, lower count sperm.
So, what are options and treatments for infertility? The simple answer is to subtract: remove all the substances hindering the body from being in its natural, fertile state. If you look around, humans have been reproducing just fine for a while— the addition of toxic chemicals, alcohol, and processed foods are preventing us from being able to procreate naturally.
The few key problems contributing to infertility: weight, alcohol, smoking, endocrine disruptors. The endocrine disruptors and weight issue are majority-due to nutrition and diet.
Not only do these impact yourself, but they impact your entire generational lineage and can even be transferred by the mother to the child in utero. Pay special attention to that second-to-last paragraph in my quote, where it shows how these factors will become multigenerational. Your kids’ fertility will be degraded because of your actions. It targets male and female indiscriminately, but in their own hormonal ways.
The rise of infertility is such an interesting creature of modernity. The idea that we can’t do the one task we are meant to do means something is negatively impacting us, significantly. Our explosion of vice and indulgence was not done in a vacuum. Eventually, the payment must be made for those degenerative decisions. That payment will come both in the form of a personal lessened living standard and through multi-generational infertility.
The answer is exactly what the author says at the end: subtract. Just stop all of those harmful practices. Go natural. Cut out processed food, soy, and seed oils. Quit being fat. Especially focus on the endocrine, weight, and food sections.
Otherwise, enjoy having no sperm and no testosterone in the future. Your kids will despise your decisions once they realize you were basking in self-satisfying indulgence while tossing them to the fertility wolves for your own pleasure. Don’t be that parent. Sacrifice for them. They are your future.
These foods and products are killing us slowly. Break away from them.
You may just end up creating one of the few genetic lineages that can still reproduce normally if you do so.
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