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Around the World--- These Spices
Are Your Shield

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February 1, 2018

By S. Callahan, Contributing Columnist

Don't look now, but sperm counts are under attack around
the world.  In the past 40 years, sperm counts have
declined by 50%, which means that, if the ate of decline
continues at the pace, the next generation of humans may
be one of the last. A world with sperm? Is it possible? It's
not only possible --it is happening.

Here is just a smattering of headlines:

"Men's Sperm Counts are Dropping Worldwide: Study"
Time Magazine July 25, 2017

"Sperm Count Dropping in Western World"
Scientific American July 26, 2017

"The infertility crisis is beyond doubt. Now scientists must
find the cause ..." The Guardian July 29, 2017

The world has been slow to catch on that sperm levels
have declined. There have been, after all 185 studies from
around the world documenting the decline in sperm counts
for decades. But now that the decline has fallen to
between 50% and even 60% in some studies, the alarm
bells truly are ringing.  A comprehensive analysis of the
previous 185 other studies around the world led by Dr.
Hagai Levine  of Hadassah-Hebrew University finally broke
through to grab the world's attention.

Now, scientists are hard at work trying to figure out the
cause of the decline in sperm counts before it's too late.
Fertility levels are dropping in Europe, the United States,
Australia and New Zealand, to name a few.  We should not
overstate the concern. There are areas of the world which
have not experienced declines in sperm levels, and in
which, in fact, population is increasing.  Over the next few
decades, the  world's population  is predicted to hit 9
billion, fueled mainly by growth in the population of
sub-Saharan Africa.

While no one can say, for now, which factor or
combination of factors is causing the drop in sperm
counts, there are some things you can do to protect your
fertility.  Among the most promising protections are certain
spices. We took a look.

Cinnamon Spice Helps to Protect Sperm Quality Against
Damage from Metals

One of the suspected compounds causing the declines in
sperm quality are "taxanes", a powerful group of
chemicals used as chemotherapy. Unfortunately, taxanes
also have side effects. They trigger "adverse changes in
sperm quality, testicular and epididymal
oxidant/antioxidant balance, testicular apoptosis, and
sperm DNA integrity", according to a study 2016 study
from Erciyes University in Turkey.

These scientists found that cinnamon actually protects
reproductive organs from taxane damage. Lab rats given
cinnamon to eat were exposed to classes of taxane.  The
texane effectively blocked damage to reproductive organs,
sperm quality/counts and cell death in the testicles.

Common Cumin Spice Protects Sperm Against Copper

Scientists also suspect that sperm levels rare under assault
from environmental toxins, including heavy metals.

Metals are forever. Once they leak into the soil, water or
food supply, the body finds it hard to get rid of them. Our
exposure to metals in increasing over time, partly because
of the difficulty of safely disposing of or recycling metal
waste generated from production of cell phones,
computers and a myriad of other gadgets we now find
"indispensabe" in daily life.

Scientists know the effects of certain metals on sperm
counts, and it's not good news. Prolonged exposure to
copper, for example, leads to lower sperm quality an

But, surprisingly,  cumin spice can help.   This is the finding
of a 2015 study entitled "Effects of Cuminum cyminum L.
essential oil on some epididymal sperm parameters and
histopathology of testes following experimentally induced
copper poisoning in mice".

Common cumin spice, technically called "cuminum
cyminum" is a powerful antioxidant. Lab mice that had
been exposed to copper were then received cumin at dose
of 1 mg per kilogram of body weight.

Copper exposure damages sperm by producing oxidative
damage. Cumin protects against oxidative damage. This
means that cumin salvages the lone negatively charged
single oxygen molecules, so-called "free radicals".

If cumin protects sperm quality because of its strong
antioxidant properties, will other anti-oxidants also protect
against sperm damage?We will need to wait for the
scientific studies to address each potential antioxidant
before we will know the answer, at least as much as
anything can be "known".

In the meantime, it does not hurt, and probably helps a
lot, to increase the levels of antioxidants in your diet
whenever you can. Fruits and vegetables and spices are
the richest sources of anti-oxidants.

On the other hand, meats and oils and sugar all cause
oxidative damage.  This can't be good news for your
sperm and reproductive system.

Why Is My Sperm Count So Low?-Causes and Cures

Foods That Strengthen Erectile Performance

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Whey Versus Creatine -Which One Is Better?

Why Asian Men Don't Get As Much Prostate Cancer
Cinnamon blocks oxidative damage to sperm.
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