After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen stumbled into a surgical tent and broadcast the report seen in the following video.u “Is the IDF Harvesting Haitian Organs?” ? First, Cohen […]
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|(Natural News) Few plants possess the soothing properties that can rival the humble aloe vera plant. Often known as the “wonder plant” or the “plant of immortality,” aloe vera has been highly revered as a natural remedy by various cultures across the globe due to its potent healing properties. Disclaimer: This article includes links to lab-tested aloe…|
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Your entire body takes direction from your hormones. Hormones are secreted by your endocrine system and are responsible for telling your organs what to do and when to do it.1 They are essentially chemical messengers that travel throughout your bloodstream, working slowly over time to affect processes like growth and development, metabolism and reproduction.
Sometimes, these chemical messengers may get out of balance, and this leads to chronic disorders such as Type 2 diabetes, weak bones and infertility.2 Hormones may be secreted by your adrenal glands, endocrine-related organs, hypothalamus, sex glands and other organs.3
Progesterone is important to fertility and supporting a pregnancy. It’s a steroid hormone secreted by the corpus luteum and then by the placenta if you become pregnant.4 In some cases, when couples suffer from infertility, they choose in vitro fertilization (IVF).
This is a complex series of procedures in which eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, fertilized by sperm in a lab and then transferred into the uterus.5 One full cycle can take up to three weeks6 and cost $12,000.7 In response to her struggles with infertility, Amy Galliher-Beckley, Ph.D.,8 co-founded MFB Fertility and the progesterone test Proov.9
The Estrogen and Progesterone Relationship
Each of your bodily systems maintains a balance to help you maintain optimal health. Your reproductive system is no different. For a woman, there are several hormones affecting a complex system to mature an egg follicle and release an egg where it travels to the uterus. If fertilized, the egg must implant into the uterus, called the endometrium, where it begins to develop into a baby.
These events are controlled by hormones secreted from several sources in the body. The ovaries produce the eggs and are the main source of estrogen. The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney and also make a small amount. Estrogen plays a role in physical changes during puberty; it also controls the menstrual cycle, protects bone health and affects your mood.10
The second hormone essential to fertility is progesterone, a steroid hormone that is first secreted by the corpus luteum. After the egg is released, the corpus luteum is left attached to the ovary, which functions as a temporary gland.11 These two hormones are controlled by the release of other hormones.
During the menstrual cycle gonadotropin-releasing hormone is secreted from the hypothalamus, triggering the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland.12 This begins follicle development and triggers a rise in estrogen.
Luteinizing hormone (LH), also secreted by the pituitary gland, supports the maturation of the follicle and a trigger to cause the egg to be released. When estrogen levels get sufficiently high it signals a sudden release of LH, around mid-cycle, which triggers a set of events that ultimately release the mature egg from the follicle.13
Once released, the empty follicle becomes the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone. The release of progesterone triggers the uterus to develop a highly vascularized bed suitable for implantation of a fertilized egg.
Without fertilization, the corpus luteum begins to degenerate, the secretion of progesterone drops off and menstruation occurs. If pregnancy occurs then the corpus luteum produces progesterone for the first 10 weeks until production is taken over by the placenta.14,15
Not About Getting Pregnant, but Staying Pregnant
As Beckley explains in her interview with Forbes magazine,16 her test is not about getting pregnant, but rather staying pregnant. Progesterone not only prepares the uterus for the egg to implant; it also protects the endometrium from degeneration and menstruation. While the body is producing high levels of progesterone during a pregnancy, a second egg will not mature.17
In order to maintain a pregnancy, the corpus luteum must continue to secrete progesterone. This maintains the blood vessels in the endometrium to feed the growing baby. It is in these early weeks that women with low levels of progesterone may have difficulty, both conceiving and developing the right environment for a fertilized egg to grow.
Some women who do get pregnant are at a high risk for miscarriage.18 The test Beckley developed comes with sticks used in much the same way ovulation and pregnancy tests are used. These sticks measure the amount of progesterone metabolites excreted in the urine. To date, this is the first at-home, over-the-counter test used to evaluate a woman’s ability to produce progesterone.19 Beckley explains:20
“Low progesterone is the number one cause of unexplained infertility. Women who go through IVF protocols all are offered progesterone. If you are not going through IVF, most doctors don’t talk about progesterone, they don’t offer progesterone, they don’t test for progesterone. When your progesterone crashes too quickly, it is called a luteal phase defect.”
Luteal Phase Defect Increases Chances of Miscarriage
The luteal phase in a woman’s cycle begins after ovulation and represents the second half of the menstrual cycle. The luteal phase is named after the corpus luteum. Luteal Phase Defect (LPD) results in an abnormal endometrial growth that may not support a pregnancy.21,22
While researchers struggle to identify the underlying dysfunction and efficacy of LPD in supporting fertility, experts report women undergoing IVF always have LPD present.23 LPD is marked with a luteal phase less than 11 days. However, not all physicians believe the condition exists; reliable tests are lacking.24
Beckley developed the Proov urine test to help women identify a reduction in progesterone during their cycle. According to Beckley,25 her test gives women more knowledge about how their body works and provides a foundation for asking their infertility doctors better questions.
The test measures the presence of metabolites in the urine that should increase and remain elevated after ovulation. It may be used to confirm ovulation and confirm levels of progesterone afterward. A single negative test before ovulation followed by a single positive test will confirm ovulation for women trying to get pregnant.26
For women trying to conceive, the test is recommended four days after peak fertility and then for continued testing 10 days past ovulation.27 When questions arise about levels of progesterone to maintain a pregnancy, they recommend testing six days after peak fertility and as needed during the pregnancy since the test should remain positive.
Other Functions of Progesterone
Although LPD has a significant impact on a woman’s ability to carry a pregnancy, it is the subject of debate.28 In some cases, the ovaries release enough progesterone but the uterine lining does not respond.29 LPD has been linked to other health conditions, including:30
High levels of exercise
High levels of prolactinemia (the hormone responsible for breast milk)
In some circumstances, when these conditions are treated, the LPD resolves.31 Later in life, if levels of progesterone decline, a woman’s period may become irregular, heavier and longer,32 increasing her chance of experiencing anemia, depending on the amount and length of her period.33
Variations in hormone levels after menopause may also influence cognition and mood.34 In a study of 643 healthy postmenopausal women, researchers found that while estrogen had little effect on tests of executive function or global cognition, progesterone concentrations were associated with verbal memory. The researchers suggest this positive association merits additional study.
Bioidentical progesterone, also known as micronized progesterone in the oral form, has been successful in helping relieve hot flashes and night sweats during menopause. Dr. Jerilynn Prior from the University of British Columbia Vancouver presented her study at an endocrine society meeting during which she compared the use of progesterone to placebo.35
The study assigned 114 postmenopausal women into one of two groups, a placebo group and another who took 300 mg of micronized oral progesterone daily. To be eligible for the study, the women had to be off hormone therapy for at least six months.36
At the end of the 12-week study, researchers found that the group taking micronized progesterone demonstrated a 56% decrease in a score reflecting the number and intensity of symptoms, while the women taking the placebo reported a 28% decrease.37
Age Does Affect Hormone Balance
As is borne out by the number of women struggling with hormonal imbalances as they age and those requiring fertility assistance to become pregnant after 40,38 Beckley is vocal about the difficulty women may have supporting a pregnancy after she turns 40.39
Beckley says,40 “The closer a woman gets to menopause, the least likely her body is going to be able to support a pregnancy.” Much of this is related to the imbalance of hormones required to successfully support a pregnancy that occurs as women age.
Her research in designing the progesterone urine test led Beckley to believe 30% to 40% of women who undergo IVF treatment to become pregnant ultimately do not need IVF.41 Instead, they may require progesterone to develop a healthy endometrial lining and support early pregnancy.
Overall Fertility Is on the Decline
Couples experience infertility for a number of reasons. In a study42 released in 2017, researchers evaluated 38 years of information and found sperm counts declined significantly between 1973 and 2011. The sperm counts declined 52% to 59% in men located in North America, Europe and Australia.
The Australian Department of Health reports 1 in every 6 Australian couples suffers from fertility problems, which they attribute to the decision to have children later in life as well as declining sperm count. Quality and lifestyle factors such as smoking, not eating healthfully, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and not having a healthy BMI also affect fertility.43
In May 2019, the Pew Research Center reported that for the fourth year in a row, key fertility indicators for U.S. couples declined, reaching a record low.44 Two of the three indicators used to determine fertility reflected a decline in numbers.
The total fertility rate, or the estimation of the number of children a woman would have in her lifetime, was 1.73 children in 2018. This was lower than the estimate of 1.74 from the mid-1970s.45
Research suggests men’s fertility is affected by environmental toxins and chemicals you may find in your own home, which I discuss in a past article, “50 Percent Fertility Reduction Because of These Household Chemicals.”
Additionally, as described in the past article, “Birth Rate Reaches Record Low as Premature Deliveries Rise,” statistics from the CDC show the number of new births was down 2% in 2018 as compared to 2017, but the number of premature births was rising. Infertility and pregnancy are complex conditions that likely need a comprehensive approach to experience a successful outcome.
Hidden within your cellphone’s manual is a little-known warning that advises you to keep the device at a certain distance from your body — typically 5 to 15 millimeters — to ensure you don’t exceed the federal safety limit for radiofrequency (RF) exposure.
In the real world, however, most people carry their phones close to their body, usually in a pocket. Many women tuck their phone right into their bra, which may be the absolute worst place for a woman to put it, as it could raise their risk of both heart problems and breast tumors, two leading risks of death for women.
Now, cellphone testing by the Chicago Tribune1 reveals several popular cellphones emit far higher levels of RF radiation than legally permitted, which has not only reignited discussions about safety but also led to the launch of at least one class-action lawsuit.
How Safety Limits Are Determined
The safe distance (listed in your cellphone manual) is based on your phone’s specific absorption rate (SAR). SAR is a measure of how much RF energy your body will absorb from the device when held at a specific distance from your body, typically ranging from 5 to 15 mm, depending on the manufacturer.
Put another way, it’s a measure of the degree to which your device will heat body tissue, which we now know is not the primary way that cellphones damage your body.
However, even though heat generated from your phone does not really damage your body, the SAR could be a good surrogate marker for the actual microwave radiofrequency exposure that does indeed cause cellular damage, as it is the microwaves that heat your tissue. So, typically, the lower SAR rating, the safer your phone, but not for the reasons they are telling you.
The SAR limit set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)2 is currently the only standard set to protect public health, so the fact that even these lenient standards are being exceeded is concerning.
In the U.S. and Canada, the SAR limit for mobile devices used by the public is 1.6 W/kg per 1 gram of head tissue. To understand why and how SAR underestimates radiation absorption and health risks, see “Exposure Limits: The Underestimation of Absorbed Cellphone Radiation, Especially in Children,”3,4 published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine in 2012.
Popular Cellphones Emit Illegal Levels of RF
As mentioned, recent independent SAR testing paid for by the Chicago Tribune5 reveals several popular cellphones emit far higher levels of RF radiation than legally permitted. One bestselling cellphone, the iPhone 7, emitted more than double the legal SAR limit. As reported by the Chicago Tribune:6
“The Federal Communications Commission, which is responsible for regulating phones, states on its website that if a cellphone has been approved for sale, the device ‘will never exceed’ the maximum allowable exposure limit. But this phone, in an independent lab inspection, had done exactly that.”
In all, Chicago Tribune tested 11 cellphone models from four manufacturers. Because of the surprisingly high level of radiation obtained from the first iPhone 7 tested, four iPhone 7s were tested, using a standard test and a modified test based on manufacturers feedback. While results varied from one device to another, all four exceeded the FCC’s limit.
At a distance of 5 mm from your body (the distance used by Apple), the iPhone 7 was found to emit anywhere between 2.5 and 3.46 W/kg, which is 1.6 to 2.2 times the legal limit.
At a distance of 2 mm from the body — which mimics carrying your phone in your pocket — the results ranged from 3.5 W/kg on the low end to 4.69 W/kg on the high end, which are 2.2 to 2.9 times above the legal limit.
The three Samsung Galaxy smartphones tested, Galaxy S9, S8 and J3, were all within the legal limit at 10 to 15 mm from the body (the distance used by Samsung), but RF radiation levels skyrocketed at 2 mm from the body, raising serious questions about the safety of keeping a Galaxy phone in your pocket.
The Galaxy S9 came in at 3.8 W/kg at 2 mm from the body, while the S8 registered a whopping 8.22 W/kg (more than five times the legal limit) and J3 registered 6.55 W/kg. Based on these test results, the FCC has vowed to conduct its own testing in the near future, the Chicago Tribune reports. FCC spokesman Neil Grace told the Tribune:7
“We take seriously any claims on non-compliance with the RF (radiofrequency) exposure standards and will be obtaining and testing the subject phones for compliance with FCC rules.”
Safety Standards Leave Lots of Wiggle Room
How could these cellphones exceed the legal limit by such a significant margin? Part of the problem, the Tribune explains, is that manufacturers need only get a passing grade for a single cellphone in order to allow them to put millions on the market. They’re also allowed to select their own testing lab, which could give rise to discrepancies.
As noted by the Tribune, Apple disputed the results, saying the lab used by the Tribune “had not tested the phones the same way they do,” although the company did not specify what the problem was.
Motorola also disputed the results obtained for its Moto e5 Play, saying the Tribune’s test might not have triggered the phone’s proximity sensors — sensors that are supposed to detect when the device is in close proximity to your body and lower the phone’s power output accordingly. The Tribune writes:
“Motorola … would not answer questions about its power sensors. ‘Our power management techniques and expertise provide Motorola with a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace, and are therefore highly confidential,’ the company’s statement said.
‘The Chicago Tribune’s third-party lab was not privy to the proprietary techniques from Motorola necessary to elicit accurate results’ … When the Tribune asked Motorola to explain how it tests its phones, the company declined. It also would not share its lab reports.”
While the Tribune’s lab had conducted the testing according to FCC standards, the feedback from Motorola led the Tribune to retest the Apple and Motorola phones using a modified test “aimed at activating sensors that would reduce power.”
And, while the modified testing did allow some cellphone models to pass — suggesting proximity sensors in some phones may not work properly under certain conditions — the iPhone 7 still failed to meet the FCC standard. The Tribune writes:8
“When informed of the new results, Apple officials declined to be interviewed and requested the Tribune put its questions in writing. The newspaper did, submitting three dozen, but Apple did not answer any of them.”
Safety Standards Do Not Match Real-World Exposure
Another problem is that SAR testing companies are allowed to position the cellphone as far as 25 mm (0.98 inches, or nearly 1 inch) away from the body to meet the FCC standard. Today, few people consistently keep their phone at least a quarter of an inch to an inch away from their body, which means overexposure is chronic.
In 2012, the Government Accountability Office stated that because cellphone radiation is not measured under real-world conditions, against the body, the FCC should reassess its limits and testing requirements. In August 2019, the FCC finally announced that “the existing standard sufficiently protects the public and should remain in place,” the Tribune writes.9
Clearly, the Tribune’s independent testing suggests otherwise. As the Tribune points out, 68% of American teenagers take their cellphones to bed with them and 29% sleep with them,10 often next to or under their pillow. Children are also exposed to RF starting in utero. Never before has an entire generation been exposed to this amount of RF from cradle to grave. The Chicago Tribune writes:11
“When cellphones hit the market in the 1980s, authorities focused on setting an exposure limit to address only the heating risks of cellphones. Scientists found that animals showed adverse effects when exposed to enough radiofrequency radiation to raise their body temperature by 1 degree Celsius.
Authorities used this finding to help calculate a safety limit for humans, building in a 50-fold safety factor. The final rule, adopted by the FCC in 1996, stated that cellphone users cannot potentially absorb more than 1.6 watts per kilogram averaged over one gram of tissue.
To demonstrate compliance, phone makers were told to conduct two tests: when the devices were held against the head and when held up to an inch from the body.
These testing methods didn’t address the anatomy of children and that of other vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women, said Joel Moskowitz, a cellphone expert at the University of California at Berkeley. ‘It was like one-size-fits-all.’ Plus, he said, ‘I don’t think anyone anticipated the smartphone and how it would become so integral to our lives.’”
‘This Could Be the Chernobyl of the Cellphone Industry’
In the wake of the Tribune’s report, the class-action law firm Fegan Scott has announced it will launch an investigation.12 In a BusinessWire press release,13 managing partner Beth Fegan stated:
“This could be the Chernobyl of the cellphone industry, cover-up and all. If we found that produce sold in grocery stores contained twice the levels of pesticides as the law allows, we would be up in arms, demanding the products be pulled from the shelf — this is no different.
In this case, we know the cellphone radiation is dangerous, but the terrifying part is that we don’t know how dangerous, especially to kids’ brain development.
The fact that the Chicago Tribune can convene a group of experts and develop such convincing findings shows that the phone manufacturers may be intentionally hiding what they know about radiation output.”
According to MacRumors,14 Fegan Scott has not provided any additional information about its investigation or what kind of legal action it might pursue. Those wanting to learn more about the investigation and/or to receive updates are urged to email email@example.com.
That said, at least one class-action lawsuit has already been filed.15 August 23, 2019, a dozen individuals filed a class action complaint16 against Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics America Inc., saying excessive RF radiation has placed them at increased risk for cancer, cellular stress, genetic damage, learning and memory deficits and neurological disorders.
As noted by Tech Wellness,17 the lawsuit stresses that while the cellphone industry used to warn against holding your cellphone against your body, people are now encouraged to carry their phones in their pockets rather than a bag.
Tech Wellness also notes that,18 “Both Samsung and Apple have commercials showing people lying in bed with their phones and Samsung shows a pregnant woman holding the phone to her belly,” which presents the false perception that these devices are safe even when in direct contact with the body.
Government Research Confirms Safety Concerns
Indeed, there’s plenty of scientific evidence showing there’s cause for concern and prudence. Among the more damning studies are two government-funded animal studies19 that reveal GSM and CDMA radiation has carcinogenic potential.
The finalized report20 of these two studies — conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency research program under the auspices of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences — was released November 1, 2018.
While the preliminary report released in February 2018 significantly downplayed the findings,21 subsequent peer review upgraded the findings of risk. The NTP rates cancer risk based on four categories of evidence: “clear evidence” (highest), “some evidence,” “equivocal evidence,” and “no evidence” (lowest). According to the NTP’s final report, the two studies, done on mice and rats of both sexes, found:22
- Clear evidence for heart tumors (malignant schwannomas) in male rats. These types of tumors started developing around week 70, and are very similar to acoustic neuromas found in humans, a benign type of tumor that previous studies have been linked to cellphone use.
- Some evidence of brain tumors (malignant gliomas) in male rats. Glial cell hyperplasias — indicative of precancerous lesions — began developing around week 58.
- Some evidence of adrenal gland tumors in male rats, both benign and malignant tumors and/or complex combined pheochromocytoma.
- Equivocal or unclear evidence of tumors in female rats and mice of both genders.
While the NTP insists the exposure — nine hours a day for two years, which is the lifetime of a rodent — is far more extensive than that of heavy cellphone users, I would disagree, seeing how many have their cellphones turned on and near their body 24/7. As mentioned, many teens are literally sleeping with their phone beneath their pillow.
NTP Findings Reproduced at Power Levels Below FCC Limits
Corroborating evidence was also published by the Ramazzini Institute just one month after the NTP released its preliminary report in February 2018. The Ramazzini study23 reproduces and clearly supports the NTP’s findings, showing a clear link between cellphone radiation and Schwann cell tumors (schwannomas)24,25,26 — but at a much lower power level than that used by NTP.
While NTP used RF levels comparable to what’s emitted by 2G and 3G cellphones (near-field exposure), Ramazzini simulated exposure to cellphone towers (far-field exposure). Ramazzini’s rats were exposed to 1.8 GHz GSM radiation at electric field strengths of 5, 25 and 50 volts per meter27 for 19 hours a day, starting at birth until the rats died either from age or illness.
To facilitate comparison, the researchers converted their measurements to watts per kilogram of body weight (W/kg), which is what the NTP used. Overall, the radiation dose administered in the Ramazzini study was up to 1,000 times lower than the NTP’s — and below the U.S. limits set by the FCC — yet the results are strikingly similar.
As in the NTP studies, exposed male rats developed statistically higher rates of heart schwannomas than unexposed rats. They also found some evidence, although weaker, that RF exposure increased rates of glial tumors in the brains of female rats.
Cellphone Radiation Can Do a Great Deal of Harm
In my view, the fact that popular cellphones are exceeding the legal limit of RF is a significant health concern, as the primary hazard of cellphone radiation is not brain cancer but systemic cellular and mitochondrial damage,28,29,30,31 which can contribute to any number of health problems and chronic diseases.
Cellphone radiation has also been shown to have a significant impact on neurological and mental health,32 contributing to and/or worsening anxiety, depression and dementia, for example, and all of these conditions are rampant and growing more prevalent.
Research also suggests excessive EMF exposure is contributing to reproductive problems. For example, researchers have found prenatal exposure to power-frequency fields can nearly triple a pregnant woman’s risk of miscarriage.33 Studies have also shown cellphone radiation can reduce sperm motility and viability.34,35
It’s really important to realize that the harms of cellphone radiation are not related to the heating of tissue. Rather, it causes a cascade of molecular events that end up causing severe oxidative damage. This mechanism of harm is reviewed in more detail in my interview with professor Martin Pall below.
5G Will Exponentially Magnify Your Health Risks
The planned implementation of 5G is bound to further magnify the health risks associated with cellphones and other wireless devices. A call for a moratorium on 5G was issued in September 2017 by more than 180 scientists and doctors from 35 countries,36,37 “until potential hazards for human health and the environment have been fully investigated by scientists independent from industry.”
The moratorium points out that “RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment,” and that “5G will substantially increase exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on top of the 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, etc. for telecommunications already in place.”
Despite that, and an appeal for protection from nonionizing EMF exposure by more than 230 international EMF scientists to the United Nations in 2015,38 the U.S. and many other countries are still moving ahead without any health or environmental impact studies.
At a February 6, 2019, senate commerce hearing (above), the FCC admitted that no 5G safety studies have been conducted or funded by the agency or the telecom industry, and that none are planned.39,40
The added concern 5G brings is the addition of the millimeter wave (MMW). This bandwidth, which runs from 30 gigahertz (GHz) to 300GHz,41 is known to penetrate up to 2 millimeters into human skin tissue,42,43 causing a burning sensation.
Research has shown sweat ducts in human skin act as receptors or antennae for 5G radiation, drawing the radiation into your body,44,45,46,47,48 thereby causing a rise in temperature. This in part helps explain the painful effect. As noted by Dr. Yael Stein — who has studied 5G MMW technology and its interaction with the human body — in a 2016 letter to the Federal Communications Commission:49
“Potentially, if 5G Wi-Fi is spread in the public domain we may expect more of the health effects currently seen with RF/ microwave frequencies including many more cases of hypersensitivity (EHS), as well as many new complaints of physical pain and a yet unknown variety of neurologic disturbances.
It will be possible to show a causal relationship between G5 technology and these specific health effects. The affected individuals may be eligible for compensation.”
Aside from pain,50 MMW has also been linked to eye damage,51,52,53 heightened stress through its impact on heart rate variability,54,55,56 arrhythmias,57,58 suppressed immune function59 and increased antibiotic resistance in bacteria.60
If Stein is right about being able to demonstrate a causal relationship between 5G and certain health effects, then the class action against Apple and Samsung will be just the beginning of a flood of lawsuits.
Beyond its health ramifications, a global 5G network will also threaten our ability to predict weather, which will put civilians at risk and jeopardize the Navy.61 According to a recent paper62 in the journal Nature, widespread 5G coverage will prevent satellites from detecting changes in water vapor, which is how meteorologists predict weather changes and storms. Time will tell if that will be yet another avenue for legal action.
Take Precautions Sooner Rather Than Later
Clearly, a key take-home message from the Tribune’s testing is that you should never carry your phone in your pocket unless it’s in airplane mode. Carrying it on your body while it’s on is a surefire way to ensure overexposure, and this appears to be true for many different models.
The radiation may even differ from one phone to the next, of the same model, so even if your model happened to rate well at the 2-mm distance in this particular test, it’s not a guarantee your individual phone will not overexpose you.
I am currently writing a book on EMF dangers, called “EMF’d,” which will be a comprehensive resource on current technologies and should be published in February 2020. In the meantime, to learn more about 5G and help educate others, you can download a two-page 5G fact sheet63 from the Environmental Health Trust.
On their website, you can also access a long list of published scientific studies showing cause for concern.64 To reduce your EMF exposure, read through the suggestions listed in “A Film About the Impending 5G Apocalypse.” In that article, you’ll also find well-done documentary detailing the many concerns associated with this next-gen technology.
According to the CDC, 6 in 10 U.S. adults now have chronic health conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke, while 4 in 10 have two or more of these diseases.1 The triggers for many of these conditions are lifestyle choices including smoking and excessive alcohol use.
Big Soda companies, intent on protecting their profits, have been promoting the message that the obesity epidemic is being driven by a lack of activity as opposed to indulging in sugar-based foods and beverages. However, there is overwhelming scientific evidence that you can’t out-exercise your diet.2
Unfortunately, many of the no-sugar options contain aspartame, an artificial sweetener with several known health problems. This is believed to introduce great risk, as recent research3 data show an association between drinking any artificially sweetened drinks and rising rates of mortality.
20-Year Study: Diet Drinks Increase Risk of an Early Death
The new study involved a population-based cohort of 521,330 people from 10 European countries. The researchers’ objective was to analyze any association between sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened drinks and mortality.4 They engaged participants from an ongoing study recruited between January 1, 1992, and December 31, 2000.
Any participants who had cancer, stroke or diabetes were excluded, as were those who did not include follow-up information. The number of participants was then reduced to 451,743, of which 71.1% were women.5
The results showed there was a higher all-cause mortality in those who drank two or more glasses each day of soft drinks, whether they were sugar-sweetened or artificially-sweetened. There was an association between artificially sweetened soft drinks and death from circulatory disease, as well as a link between sugar-sweetened soft drinks and death from digestive diseases.6
The authors concluded the results were important enough that public health campaigns should be initiated to warn consumers to limit consumption.7 While results of the study were significant, it’s important to know one measured glass in the study was equivalent to 250 ml (8.4 ounces),8,9 which is less than the standard 330 ml per can (11.3 ounces).10
In other words, the results were based on less than what most people drink with each serving. The results from this study suggest policies aimed at cutting sugar consumption may have disastrous consequences when producers and manufacturers reformulate their products to use artificial sweetener.
Association Remains When Confounding Factors Removed
Recent studies show similar results. To determine whether soft drink consumption was a marker or an indication for an overall unhealthy lifestyle, researchers eliminated “confounding” factors — conditions that could influence or change the results. Chief researcher Neil Murphy from the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer said in an interview with The Washington Post:11
“In our study, high soft drinks consumers had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers. We made statistical adjustments in our analyses for BMI, smoking habits and other mortality risk factors which may have biased our results, and the positive associations remained.”
The researchers found there were similar associations in participants who were smokers and nonsmokers as well as those who were lean or obese. Sarah Reinhardt from the Union of Concerned Scientists commented:12
“The results of this study are significant. It reinforces a fact that won’t surprise anyone in the nutrition field: Processed foods loaded with artificial ingredients will never be the magic bullet to better health, no matter how low they are in sugar. Our bodies are smarter than that.”
According to the CDC, the percentage of children and adolescents who are obese has more than tripled since the 1970s. Data from 2016 show nearly 20% of school-aged children and young adults are obese.13
The prevalence for adult obesity in 2016 was 39.8%; this leads to conditions including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.14 One of the risks associated with artificial sweeteners is obesity.15,16
Artificial Sweetener Tied to Obesity
One of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners is aspartame, also marketed under the brand names NutraSweet, Equal and Sugar Twin. Relatively new on the market, and chemically closely related to aspartame,17 is Neotame,18 made by NutraSweet.
Researchers have made the link between the rise in the number of people who are obese with the widespread use of artificial sweeteners. In one review published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, researchers reviewed the epidemiological and experimental studies of the effect aspartame has on weight.19
They found evidence suggesting artificial sweeteners do not activate the reward pathway in the same way natural sweeteners do. In addition, artificial sweeteners appeared to encourage sugar cravings and dependence, thereby training flavor preferences.20
Knowledge that artificial sweeteners are associated with weight gain has been documented since the 1980s. During the San Antonio Heart Study involving 4,000 adults, researchers found that those using artificial sweeteners had a BMI greater than that of nonusers, leading researchers to consider whether artificial sweeteners were actually fueling the obesity epidemic.21
In a second study in 1986 examining 78,694 women ages 50 to 69, researchers found that artificial sweetener use increased participants’ weight, and consumption decreased with age. Those who used artificial sweeteners were more likely to gain weight regardless of how much they weighed initially. The results were not explained by differences in food patterns.22
Artificial Sweeteners Create More Health Problems
Despite increasing evidence that aspartame has negative health effects, its use has continued. In one study23 researchers asked healthy adults to consume a high-aspartame diet for eight days followed by a low-aspartame diet for eight days, with a two-week washout between.
During the high-aspartame, eight-day period individuals suffered from depression, poor mood and headache. They also performed worse on spatial orientation tests, indicating aspartame had a significant effect on neurobehavioral health.24
Researchers have also reported that aspartame may trigger insomnia and seizures linked to changes in concentrations of catecholamine in the brain.25 Another study26 was designed to evaluate whether people with mood disorders are more vulnerable to the effects of aspartame.
Researchers included 40 people with a diagnosis of unipolar depression and another 40 without any history of psychiatric disorders. The study was halted by the Institutional Review Board after just 13 had completed the study, because they experienced severe reactions.
While investigating the effects of aspartame on oxidative stress in an animal model, researchers observed that animals who were fed aspartame underwent neurological oxidative stress. They theorized this may have been related to free radicals from the methanol released during aspartame metabolism.27
Gut Bacteria Altered by Artificial Sweeteners
Unfortunately, many who struggle with their weight may choose foods with artificial sweeteners over sugar believing it’s the healthier choice. In one study28 published in Nature, scientists reported that they found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame may lead to glucose intolerance by altering gut microbiota. Their results indicated artificial sweeteners trigger dysbiosis and metabolic abnormalities.
In another animal study,29 mice that were fed aspartame-laced drinking water developed symptoms of metabolic syndrome. The researchers found that a metabolite of aspartame, called phenylalanine, blocked the activity of a gut enzyme known as alkaline phosphatase.30
This enzyme31 was previously found to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome. Each of the mice fed aspartame had measurably higher blood sugar and raised levels of TNF-alpha, an inflammatory protein, suggesting a systemic inflammatory response to aspartame.32
In a 2014 animal study,33 researchers found gut microbiota explanations for the negative effect aspartame has on insulin tolerance and the influence it has on gut microbial composition. Fecal analyses showed aspartame increased abundance of Enterobacteriaceae and Clostridium leptum.
Although the animals eating aspartame ate fewer calories, they experienced elevated fasting blood sugar levels. Aspartame influences changes to gut microbiota, insulin resistance and food cravings. Each of these is related to weight gain and the development of circulatory conditions.
American Beverage Association Pushing Back
In what amounts to efforts to protect profits while ignoring the health damage their products inflict on consumers, the American Beverage Association (ABA) is pushing back hard.34 Spokesperson for the ABA, William Dermody, told FOX Business:35
“Soft drinks are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet and the authors of this study acknowledge their research does not indicate otherwise. America’s Beverage Companies are committed to innovation and working to reduce the sugar people get from beverages by introducing more options than ever before with less sugar and zero sugar.”
The ABA is a group that lobbies on behalf of beverage producers. Dermody says more than half of all drinks purchased don’t contain sugar. He also said,36 “No one should overconsume sugar and we stand by the safety and quality of our products.”
The ABA released similar statements in 2011 and 2013 when other research regarding low-calorie artificial sweeteners was published and could not be quashed. In 201137 they reiterated their stance on low-calorie sweeteners as beneficial, and included what they depicted as support from health organizations:
“What we know for certain is that low-calorie sweeteners can help reduce calories and sugar intake and aid in maintaining a healthy weight — positions supported by health organizations including the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association.”
In 201338 the organization decided a press release was necessary to address what they called an opinion piece published in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism,39 which included charts, a glossary and 54 citations to past published studies. The ABA said:40
“This is an opinion piece not a scientific study. Low-calorie sweeteners are some of the most studied and reviewed ingredients in the food supply today. They are safe and an effective tool in weight loss and weight management, according to decades of scientific research and regulatory agencies around the globe.”
U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit research group,41 summarized some of the ABA’S past work, writing42 that the ABA defends the use of flame retardant chemicals in soda, claiming water is polluted as well. They’ve downplayed the risks associated with benzene after it was discovered in soft drinks and refer to content raising questions about artificial sweeteners as “internet myths.”
Soda Companies Directing Advertising at Teens
If their core consumers become ill and diseased, companies manufacturing diet soda drinks must expand their customer base. They’ve chosen direct advertising to teenagers using some of the same strategies as vape manufacturers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association put out a joint statement in April 2019 calling for a public policy to reduce the risk that sugary drinks pose to the health of children and adolescents.43
In the statement, the authors concluded that consuming added sugars, in particular those added to beverages, is a significant health risk, and encouraged pediatricians to counsel families to decrease consumption of sugary drinks and increase their intake of water.44
Many of the published recommendations indicated a lack of support in nutrition and prevention guidelines from local, state and federal government. The team recommended policies at all levels to reduce sugar consumption. They also recommended that federal and state governments support efforts to decrease the marketing of sugary drinks to children and adolescents.45
The group recommended that federal nutrition programs work to promote the purchase of healthy foods and beverages and to ensure that children have access to credible nutrition information. Importantly, the group made a notable argument regarding the contribution that hospitals and doctors have made toward poor nutrition.
Seeing your physician drink a Coke, for instance, or being able to purchase one at the hospital reinforces the idea that the habit is safe and normal.46 Referencing a 2012 Federal Trade Commission Report,47 the policy statement drew a comparison to tobacco companies that directed their marketing efforts at children and adolescents:48
“Similar to tobacco companies, sugary drink manufacturers aim to appeal to children and adolescents by associating their product with celebrity, glamour, and coolness.
Despite the existence of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, an industry-initiated, self-regulatory body designed to limit marketing of unhealthful food and beverage products to children younger than 12 years, children and adolescents are frequently exposed to sugary drink advertisements.
In 2009, carbonated beverage companies reported $395 million in youth-directed expenditures, approximately 97% of which were directed at teenagers.”
While the advertising for clean, pure water may not be as enticing, the health benefits are life-giving. If you enjoy flavored water, make your own by adding a slice of lemon or lime. Carry your own water in a glass bottle and avoid the multiple problems associated with plastic containers.
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