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Lack of Sunlight Leads to Infertility

November 04, 2008 | 31,365 views
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fertility, infertility, vitamin D, sunlight, sunshine, sun, vitamins, minerals, pregnancy, spermAn infertility study has revealed vitamin D deficiency among men who are unable to impregnate their partners. The discovery surprised the researchers, who were investigating the incidence of DNA fragmentation of sperm.

Fertility specialist Dr. Anne Clark screened the blood of almost 800 men with fertility problems, and found that almost a third had lower than normal levels of vitamin D.

Sunlight is the major source of vitamin D.

How Vitamin D Performance Testing Can Help Optimize Your Health

A robust and growing body of research clearly shows that vitamin D is absolutely critical for good health and disease prevention. Vitamin D affects your DNA through vitamin D receptors (VDRs), which bind to specific locations of the human genome. Scientists have identified nearly 3,000 genes that are influenced by vitamin D levels, and vitamin D receptors have been found throughout the human body.

Is it any wonder then that no matter what disease or condition is investigated, vitamin D appears to play a crucial role? This is why I am so excited about the D*Action Project by GrassrootsHealth. Dr. Heaney is the Research Director of GrassrootsHealth and is part of the design of the D*action Project as well as analysis of the research findings. GrassrootsHealth shows how you can take action today on known science with a consensus of experts without waiting for institutional lethargy. It has shown how by combining the science of measurement (of vitamin D levels) with the personal choice of taking action and, the value of education about individual measures that one can truly be in charge of their own health.

In order to spread this health movement to more communities, the project needs your involvement. This was an ongoing campaign during the month of February, and will become an annual event.

To participate, simply purchase the D*Action Measurement Kit and follow the registration instructions included. (Please note that 100 percent of the proceeds from the kits go to fund the research project. I do not charge a single dime as a distributor of the test kits.)

As a participant, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year study, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient. There is a $65 fee every six months for your sponsorship of this research project, which includes a test kit to be used at home, and electronic reports on your ongoing progress. You will get a follow up email every six months reminding you "it's time for your next test and health survey."

Vitamin D Kit
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What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

What Are GMOs?

From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.

GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.

Help Support GMO Labeling

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.

Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back.  That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.

The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.

Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve

Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.

Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.


Donate Today!

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The beneficial effects vitamin D can provide are nothing short of amazing. So much so that optimizing your sun exposure, and hence the levels of vitamin D in your body, may indeed be one of the most crucial steps you can take in support of your long-term health.

I’ve discussed many of these benefits before (please see the related article links below), but now it turns out vitamin D may also play an important role in fertility.

Australian fertility specialist Dr Anne Clark found almost a third of the 800 infertile men included in her study had lower than normal levels of vitamin D, stating that:

" Vitamin D and folate deficiency are known to be associated with infertility in women, but the outcomes of the screening among men in our study group came as a complete surprise. Men in the study group who agreed to make lifestyle changes and take dietary supplements had surprisingly good fertility outcomes."

Previous studies, such as this one published in The Journal of Nutrition, found that although vitamin D deficient female rats were capable of reproduction, it reduced fertility by an astounding 75 percent, diminished litter sizes by 30 percent, and impaired neonatal growth.

What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency?

As Dr Clark said, concerns about skin cancer is likely one major contributing factor to the rampant vitamin D deficiency we now see around the world, along with indoor work, and other lifestyle choices that do not include direct sunlight exposure.

But evidence continues to mount in support of the obvious link between healthy vitamin D levels and getting the right amount of sunshine, which allows your body to produce it naturally. And unlike other medical fads that boomed and bombed, this evidence is very strong and keeps growing.

Why Too Little Sun May Be Far Worse Than Too Much

In fact, the concept questions the longstanding conventional belief that you should coat yourself with sunscreen whenever you're in the sun.

Vitamin D bears the nickname the "sunshine vitamin" because your skin produces it from ultraviolet ray exposure. Researchers now believe that slapping on sunscreen actually contributes to far more cancer deaths than it prevents, as doing so blocks this vital vitamin production.

Thus, while dermatologists and health agencies have long touted that such lotions are needed to prevent skin cancer, many scientists are now challenging that advice. Their main argument: Vitamin D is important for preventing at least 16 different types of cancer, including:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Skin cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lymphoma

So, even if too much sun can lead to skin cancer, which is rarely deadly, too little sun may be worse.

In fact, Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a Harvard professor, offered such compelling evidence in one of his studies -- vitamin D may prevent 30 deaths for each death caused by skin cancer -- that the American Cancer Society started reconsidering its own sun guidelines. Said Giovannucci in a previous interview with the Associated Press:

"I would challenge anyone to find an area or nutrient or any factor that has such consistent anti-cancer benefits as vitamin D. The data is really quite remarkable."

The mechanisms by which vitamin D reduces your risk of cancer are fairly well understood. They include:

  • Enhancing calcium absorption (in the case of colorectal cancer)
  • Inducing cell differentiation
  • Increasing cancer cell apoptosis or death
  • Reducing metastasis and proliferation
  • Reducing angiogenesis

Fertility – What Does Vitamins Have to Do With It?

Now it seems we can add infertility to the list of health ailments that are made worse by too little sun exposure. But other vitamins and minerals can also be helpful in this area.

For example, did you know that vitamin C increases sperm quality and mobility?

Vitamin C -- In one study, infertile men who were given 1,000 mg of vitamin C twice daily improved their sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. The researchers stated vitamin C could be important as an additional supplement to improve semen quality and increase chances of a natural conception.

Vitamin E & Selenium -- Vitamin E and selenium can also improve sperm motility. One study published in the Archives of Andrology confirmed the protective and beneficial effects of vitamin E and selenium on semen quality, and supported their use in male infertility treatment. Men who are deficient in vitamin B12 can also suffer from poor motility (where the sperm don't swim very well) so it is thought that taking this vitamin may be helpful as well.

Zinc -- If low testosterone is the cause, zinc may help. In one study, 37 infertile men were given 60mgs of zinc a day for six weeks. 22 of the men with low testosterone dramatically increased their sperm counts and their testosterone, and 9 out of the 22 spouses became pregnant during the study.

As usual, if you want to try the vitamin therapy approach, I recommend you try to get most of your vitamins naturally, from the food you eat, and in the case of vitamin D, from the sun (as it is not naturally present in food).

Good sources of zinc include nuts and seeds. Vitamin C is abundant in oranges, strawberries and sweet potatoes. Vitamin B12 is found in butter, margarine, and eggs.

A whole food diet based on your nutritional type, and avoiding processed foods, is the best way to ensure you’re getting sufficient amounts of essential vitamins and minerals.

You should also be aware that certain drugs can interfere with your vitamin D absorption and metabolism, including cholestyramine (Questran), Dilantin, and phenobarbital.

Additionally, because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, any drug or substance that interferes with fat absorption may cause problems, as may a low-fat diet.


[+] Sources and References

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