Will We Still Have Babies?

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

I was just reading the journal Human Reproduction. A Danish study found that if a woman who’s pregnant with a son takes just one 500 mg acetaminophen pill during her second trimester he’s twice as likely to have fertility problems.

It gets worse. If she takes more than one type of painkiller, the risk goes up 1,600 percent.1

The reason is that painkillers, considered “mild” and “safe” by most doctors, suppress testosterone. And not just a little. They drive it down more than the 10 most “gender-bending” chemicals called estrogen mimics that women are exposed to normally – like BPA and plastic-hardening phthalates – combined.

Estrogen mimics trick your body into thinking they’re the hormone estrogen. Once they get inside you, they disrupt your entire endocrine system, the network of glands that release your hormones.

Today’s world is also interfering with male fertility. A new study finds that using your laptop computer where it was designed to be used – in your lap – can lower your sperm count.

Researchers took the temperature in the testes of men working on their laptops. In just 10-15 minutes, the temperature down there rose to levels high enough to damage sperm production.2

Here’s another example. Polyethelene glycol. They put it into most shampoos. It’s an estrogen mimic.

It’s also what they use to make brake fluid.

How about sodium lauryl sulfate? That’s what makes the shampoo foam up. When it’s created industrially, it can get contaminated with a byproduct, 1,4 dioxane.

That’s the main ingredient in Agent Orange.

It’s also an estrogen mimic and a relative to the dangerous carcinogen dioxin.

Estrogen mimics can impair sexual development in boys, and cause early, or “precocious” puberty in girls. Their young bodies interpret the extra estrogen as the call to develop breasts and sexual traits when they’re as young as 7 and 8 years old.

And if you’re an adult, you’re body thinks it’s getting estrogen. You could have low sex drive, gain weight, become infertile, or get half a dozen different kinds of cancer.

So what are you going to do? Never use a laptop again and go back to pencil and paper? Shave your head so you never have to wash your hair? Suffer in pain if you’re pregnant?

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to avoid losing your ability to reproduce. Here are nine proactive steps you can take starting today:

1. Take DIM (Diindolylmethane) supplements. It sounds as tongue-twisting as some of those shampoo ingredients, but DIM is a 100-percent-natural nutrient that’s found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale and cauliflower. Try to eat them daily, because DIM can cleanse your system of excess estrogen that can affect your fertility. For supplementing, I usually start patients with a 100 mg DIM capsule. Two capsules can provide the DIM equivalent to a pound of vegetables.

2. Take DHEA. The fertility journal AYALA found that women going through fertility treatment were three times more likely to get pregnant if they also took just 75 mg a day of the supplement DHEA. The women who conceived also had healthier pregnancies and deliveries.3

3. Avoid unnatural ointments, lotions and shampoos. They can have estrogen mimics besides the ones I mentioned earlier. Parabens (like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben, and benzylparaben) are preservatives found in personal-care products like deodorants and shaving cream. Organic products generally do not have parabens, BPA or phthalates, but read the label to be sure.

4. Avoid storing food in plastic. They’re full of xenoestrogens that are also estrogen mimics. Store food in porcelain and glass dishes, or use paper cups or plates.

5. Eat the right fat. Researchers found that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA corrects low sperm count and abnormally shaped sperm cells. They used DHA to restore fertility to ALL impaired males with a gene malfunction in an animal study published by the Journal of Lipids Research.4

The best omega-3 sources are wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef, Sacha Inchi oil, nuts, eggs and avocados. Or you can supplement. I recommend 2-4 grams a day.

6. Shed those excess pounds. Excess fat can contribute to high estrogen levels. The best exercise for fat-melting is to do short-duration, progressively challenging workouts, like the ones I show you in my PACE program. They will help you melt more fat than cardio, aerobics or any endurance exercise. It’s the best way to keep melting fat even after you work out.

You can get lots of information about PACE, including the science behind how it works, specific descriptions of how to exercise with PACE, and workouts for any fitness level by going here.

7. Cut back on tea, coffee and chocolate. The common ingredient is caffeine, and it contains phytoestrogens, which are also estrogen mimics.

8. Put your laptop on a desk or work in this position. The Fertility and Sterility study found spreading your legs while working on your laptop is the best way to avoid killing off your sperm. You can also purchase a cooling pad that goes under your laptop if you must have it in your lap. They normally sell for around $20.

9. Try this potent pain-fighting herb. Most people think of ginger as a cooking ingredient. But ginger has 12 different compounds that fight inflammation. Some block the Cox-2 enzyme which triggers it. Some lower pain receptor and nerve-ending sensitivity. Together they work almost the same as anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

You can add ginger to meat or vegetable dishes, drink some ginger tea or take ginger supplements. Look for an extract with 5% gingerols.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1 Kristensen, David M., “Intrauterine exposure to mild analgesics is a risk factor for development of male reproductive disorders in human and rat,” Human Reproduction 2010
2 Sheynkin, M., “Protection from scrotal hyperthermia in laptop computer users,” Fertility and Sterility, November 2010
3 “Increasing Fertility Threefold.” AFTAU. http://www.aftau.org. Retrieved 01/10/11
4 Manuel Roqueta-Rivera et. al. “Docosahexaenoic acid supplementation fully restores fertility and spermatogenesis in male delta-6 desaturase-null mice.” The Journal of Lipid Research. February 2010; 51, 360-367.