It’s no secret that smoking is bad for you, but once you start, it’s hard to ever stop. If you still smoke and want to quit, quitting today can have a profound effect on your long-term health! Plus, you’ll feel much better in general. These natural, healthy foods will help kick the nicotine out of your system.
Orange juice not only hydrates your body, enabling it to effectively remove toxins, it provides necessary vitamins for strengthening the immune system. We recommend freshly squeezed organic oranges with just a bit of water drank between meals.
Spinach and broccoli salad
This super strong super green combination is important for the quitting process. They’re both high in folic acid which is crucial to detoxing nicotine. Broccoli is also high in vitamins B5 and C, which are crucial to strong immune health.
How to make Spinach Broccoli Salad ?
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
pinch of sea salt, plus more to taste
black pepper to taste
2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
4 cups baby spinach, washed
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 3 inch slices
1/2 a red onion, sliced paper thin
To make the vinaigrette, whisk the rice wine vinegar, Dijon, salt, and pepper into the olive oil until emulsified.
Place the spinach in a medium-sized bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons dressing, tossing gently. Next, layer on the broccoli, bell pepper, and onion slices. Drizzle with a bit more of the vinaigrette. Finish with several twists black pepper, and serve.
Kiwi and lemon.
When you smoke, your ability to absorb vitamins A, C, and E are compromised. Kiwi and lemons are high in all three of these nutrients, which strengthen the immune system and help fight off germs. They’re also crucial for repairing your body after you quit.
Chronic smoking causes the body to lose fluids, and green tea is a great way to replenish those fluids. Additionally, green tea helps rid the body of nicotine and can replace habits. Many people form the habit of drinking coffee or a beer and smoking a cigarette. Instead, try green tea.
Carrots are high in vitamins A, C, K, and B. These vitamins are necessary for detoxing the body and strengthening the immune system. In conjunction with apples and the above listed fruits and vegetables, you have a super powerful, super healthy method of detoxing nicotine under your belt.
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Here some natural solutions for hair loss , to help slow the progression of hair loss and maintain healthy locks for as long as possible.
Protein is the building block of the tissues in your body, including your hair. Make sure you are consuming enough proteins in your diet. The best sources of protein are milk, egg whites and fish.
You also want to eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids—such as salmon and mackerel—two or three times a week, or sprinkle a tablespoon or two of freshly ground flaxseed onto salads or cereal each day.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin A is crucial to healthy hair because it “works with the fat synthesis.” Food products rich in vitamin A include leafy greens, carrots, and eggs.
Vitamin B12 creates more creation of red blood cells, which ultimately provides more oxygen for your body!
Vitamin C and Iron – save your hair with iron supplements paired with vitamin C (which aids iron absorption.)
Vitamin E also encourages circulation in the body and helps grow new blood vessels, which helps hair to grow.
Some of the most important minerals for hair health are — calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. You can find lots of these in your favorite vegetables, or you may want to consider taking a daily mineral supplement.
Many people who begin losing their hair early or without explanation find they have a hormonal imbalance. If you have other hormonal symptoms, look into natural supplements for hormone regulation and foods that promote healthy hormone levels. At IRIS Homeopathy® our expert doctors in endocrinology helps body to regulate hormones with Homeopathic medicines.
Staying hydrated is crucial in tissue growth and health. The hair shaft itself is largely made up of water. Also, avoid carbonated sodas all of which will weaken your immune system and make your hair more likely to fall out.
Smoking & Alcohol
Smoking reduces blood circulation, and this includes blood flow to the scalp. Drinking alcohol and caffeine will hamper the immune system and cause further hair fallout.
Regular exercise allows sweat to clean out and unclog your hair pores. The exercise will also make you healthier overall which will help you grow longer, stronger locks.
Scalp massages help stimulate the hair follicles to increase hair growth! Take any natural oil – olive, coconut, almond – add a few drops of lavender or rosemary essential oil to it, and massage gently into your scalp. Put on a shower cap and leave it on for an hour, then shampoo your hair.
Be Kind To Hair
- Set your hair dryer on cool and low settings, and minimize your use of flat irons.
- Don’t dye your hair more than one or two shades its normal color: The more severe the color change, the more chemicals you require, which can make hair break.
- When hair is wet, use a wide-toothed comb instead of a brush, and lightly comb through hair; avoiding any pulling and tugging.
How IRIS Homeopathy® Help you in Hair fall, Baldness, etc?
Although hair loss is not a life threatening condition but it can be a source of constant stress and worry in the persons affected by it. A person suffering from hair loss possesses lower self esteem and self confidence levels, and also feels embarrassed when in company of other people. IRIS Homeopathy® can very efficiently deal with cases of hair loss, and produce excellent results. At IRIS Homeopathy®, a huge number of wonderful medicines are present that are used to tackle hair loss cases.
Talk to IRIS Homeopathy®’s Health care Executive Today
+91 980 9999 003
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Muscular dystrophies are a group of diseases that make muscles weaker and less flexible over time. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common type. It’s caused by flaws in the gene that controls how the body keeps muscles healthy.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common fatal genetic disorder diagnosed in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in every 3,500 live male births (about 20,000 new cases each year worldwide). Because the Duchenne gene is found on the X-chromosome, it primarily affects boys; however, it occurs across all races and cultures.
Duchenne muscular dystrophyis caused by a problem in one of your genes. Genes contain the information your body needs to make proteins, which carry out many different body functions.
If you have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the gene that makes a protein called dystrophin is broken. This protein normally keeps muscles strong and protects them from injury.
The condition is more common in boys because of the way parents pass Duchenne muscular dystrophy genes to their children. It’s what scientists call a sex-linked disease because it’s connected to the groups of genes, called chromosomes, that determine if a baby is a boy or a girl.
It’s rare, but sometimes people who don’t have a family history of Duchenne muscular dystrophy get the disease when their genes get defects on their own.
Symptoms & Signs
If your child has DMD, you’ll probably notice the first signs before he turns 6 years old. Muscles in the legs are usually some of the first affected, so he’ll probably start to walk much later than other children his age. Once he can walk, he may fall down often and have trouble climbing stairs or getting up from the floor. After a few years, he might also begin to waddle or walk on his toes.
Listed below are the common signs of Duchenne. If a boy has a combination of these traits, he should be tested for Duchenne:
- Has a hard time lifting his head or has a weak neck
- Is not walking by 15 months
- Has a hard time walking, running, or climbing stairs
- Is not speaking as well as other kids his age
- Needs help getting up from the floor or walks his hands up his legs in order to stand (see Gower Maneuver, right)
- Has calves that look bigger than normal (pseudohypertophy)
- Walks with his legs apart
- Walks on his toes and waddles
- Walks with his chest pointed out (or has a sway back, saddle back, or hollow back)
Unfortunately, once a child is born with duchenne muscular dystrophy, its progression cannot be stopped. However, once there is a known case of v within a family, it is possible to offer prenatal diagnoses in future pregnancies (for both the mother of the diagnosed child and for other women in the family) through genetic testing.
Genetic testing refers to analysis of the gene itself, and it identifies the specific disease causing mutation. Genetic testing can also predict a person’s risk of developing a disease. For expectant mothers, genetic studies performed during pregnancy can detect Duchenne with about 95% accuracy.
Getting a Diagnosis
You should let your child’s doctor know about the symptoms you’ve been noticing. He’ll want to know your child’s medical history, then ask questions about his symptoms, like:
- How old was your child when he started walking?
- How well does he do things like run, climb stairs, or get up from the floor?
- How long have you noticed these problems?
- Does anyone else in your family have muscular dystrophy? If so, what kind?
- Does he have any trouble breathing?
- How well does he pay attention or remember things?
The doctor will give your child a physical exam, and he may do some tests to rule out other conditions that can cause muscle weakness.
If the doctor suspects duchenne muscular dystrophy, he’ll do some other tests, including:
- Blood tests. The doctor will take a sample of your child’s blood and test it for creatine kinase, an enzyme that your muscles release when they are damaged. A high CK level is a sign that your child could have duchenne muscular dystrophy.
- Gene tests. Doctors can also test the blood sample to look for a change in the dystrophin gene that causes duchenne muscular dystrophy. Girls in the family can get the test to see if they carry this gene.
- Muscle biopsy. Using a needle, the doctor removes a tiny piece of your child’s muscle. He’ll look at it under a microscope to check for low levels of dystrophin, the protein that is missing in people with duchenne muscular dystrophy.
There’s no cure for duchenne muscular dystrophy, but there are medicines and other therapies that can ease your child’s symptoms, protect his muscles, and keep his heart and lungs healthy.
Taking Care of Your Child
It’s overwhelming to learn that your child has duchenne muscular dystrophy. Remember that the disease doesn’t mean he can’t go to school, play sports, and have fun with friends. If you stick with his treatment plan and know what works for your child, you can help him live an active life.
- Stand and walk as much as possible. Being upright will keep your child’s bones strong and his spine straight. Braces or standing walkers can make it easier for him to stand and get around.
- Eat right. There’s no special diet for children with duchenne muscular dystrophy, but healthy foods can prevent weight problems or help with constipation. Work with a dietitian to make sure your child eats the right balance of nutrients and calories each day. You may need to see a specialist if your child has trouble swallowing.
- Stay active. Exercise and stretches can keep your child’s muscles and joints limber and help him feel better. A physical therapist can teach him how to exercise safely without overworking.
- Find support. Other families living with duchenne muscular dystrophy can be great resources for advice and understanding about life with the disease. Find a local support group or explore online discussion boards. It may also help you to talk about your feelings with a psychologist or counselor.
http://www.parentprojectmd.org , http://www.webmd.com, https://en.wikipedia.org https://cdn.musculardystrophynews.com
Different religions have different rituals. A lot of religions do not allow the consumption of pork. It’s a little known fact that too much pork can be harmful to your health.
Yersinia enterocolitica is a bacteria that resides within a pig’sbody. It is a dangerous contaminant and causes diarrhea, vomiting, cramps, fever and sickness. Ractopamine is another microorganism found in the animal’s body which can even cause death.
Taenia solium found in pork will cause loss of appetite. This compound can also cause conditions like fever, myalgia and edema. Profuse sweating occurs in certain parts of the body and chills and migraines are also symptoms of this condition.
All harmful elements need to be eliminated from the pork before consumption. Cooking on a high temperature because willl kill the bacteria.
After touching raw pork, do not forget to wash your hands and when you buy pork meat, make sure it has not been fed medication, anti-toxins, ractopamine and in-organic compounds.
Doubt will always remain, but the truth is that the conditons these animals are kept in and the food they are fed are all factors in the negative health implications of eating pork.
Many factory farms do not offer clean air for their pigs or sufficient sunlight and clean food, most grains and sludge are tainted with pesticides and poisins. Pigs are fed medication and anti-infection agents as food instead of green grass
See What Happens inside Your Body When You Eat Pork
Cirrhosis refers to the replacement of damaged liver cells by scar tissue. Too much scarring prevents blood flow through the liver. This causes even more damage and loss of liver function. Cirrhosis can hinder the body’s use of nutrients and can lead to malnutrition.
Many patients with cirrhosis tend to hold onto (or retain) water. This often is shown first by swelling in the ankles, particularly after walking. The swelling may move up the legs to the abdomen. Water buildup in the abdomen is called “ascites”
Too much sodium (or salt) in the diet can make the situation worse, because sodium encourages the body to retain water. Your doctor will tell you if you need to limit sodium in your diet. Usually this means restricting sodium intake to about 2,000 mg a day or less.
If you need to restrict sodium, here are some tips that can help:
- Avoid salty foods, salt in cooking, and salt at the table. Anything that tastes salty (such as tomato sauce, salsa, soy sauce, canned soups) probably has too much salt. Spice things up with lemon juice or herbs, instead of salt. Fresh foods usually are a better bet than processed foods.
- Read food labels when shopping. Check the amount of sodium in the foods you are buying.
- Avoid fast-food restaurants. Most fast foods are very high in sodium.
- Go easy on meats, especially red meats, which are high in sodium. When possible, consider vegetarian (meat-free) alternatives.
The more fluid you retain, the greater your need to avoid salt. Your doctor may prescribe diuretics (“water pills”) to help you urinate more. But all the water pills in the world won’t help if you eat salty foods, such as anchovy pizzas.
Calories and protein
People with cirrhosis may need more extra calories and protein. They may lose their appetite and experience nausea, vomiting, and severe weight loss. This can lead to shortage of the minerals calcium and magnesium (signs include muscle cramps, fatigue, weakness, nausea, and vomiting), or a shortage of zinc (signs include reduced ability to taste, changes in taste).
It can help to eat small, frequent meals (4 to 7 times a day), including an evening snack. Your doctor even may recommend high-nutritional supplement drinks, such as Ensure or Boost.
When the scarring from cirrhosis prevents blood from passing through the liver, pressure increases in the veins entering the liver. This is called portal hypertension. The body is forced to reroute the blood away from the liver and into the general blood circulation. This causes large blood vessels, called “varices,” to form.
Because the rerouted blood bypasses the liver, it contains high levels of amino acids, ammonia, and toxins that normally would have been handled by the liver. When these substances reach the brain, they can cause confusion and temporary loss of memory (a condition called “hepatic encephalopathy”).
Amino acids and ammonia come from protein in the diet. Some evidence shows that patients with cirrhosis do better when they get their protein from vegetables (such as beans, lentils, and tofu) and from dairy products (eggs, milk, yogurt) instead of from meats.
Doctors can prescribe a syrup called Lactulose to push food through the bowels more quickly. This way, less food is absorbed, the liver has less work to do, and fewer toxins make their way to the brain.
The government of India has planned to set up an All India Institute of Homeopathy at Narela, New Delhi. The initiative taken by the ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Yuan, Siddha and Homeopathy) aims to fill the lacuna in the field of homeopathy education.
According to Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH, this institute will be developed as a centre of excellence with a focus on fundamental research, drug safety regulation and standardisation, quality control including scientific validation of homeopathy. The institute will undertake post graduate and doctoral education related to the discipline of homeopathy including interdisciplinary studies.
With an intake capacity of 60 postgraduate students, the institute will provide degrees of MD and Ph.D including reorientation training and continuing medical education to homeopathic physicians and teachers alike. This would be backed by a state-of-the-art tertiary care hospital with facilities for clinical research which would, according to the minister, establish standard in the field of education, research and therapy at the highest level including both national and international forms. Thus the institute is expected to serve as a model for other institutions to emulate.
Homeopathy, though chastised by some medical fraternity bodies like Australian and British National Health and Medical Council as pseudo-science, is quite popular in India. In fact, it is said to have found a favor in as early as in 1835 when Maharana Ranjit Singh of Lahore invited Dr. John Martin Honigberger for the treatment of his paralysed vocal chords with feet swelling. However, it is Dr. Salzar of Vienna who is credited as the founder of homeopathic education in India. He influenced Dr. P C Majumdar who, along with Dr. Roy, Dr. Banerjee, and Dr. Younan, established the first homeopathic college in India under the name ‘Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College’ in 1878.
After independence, the Central Research Institute was established in Ghaziabad under the Homeopathy Central Councils Act, 1973 for standardisation of education and practice in the field of Homeopathy treatment. However, it is with the proposed college for higher education that a definitive step is being undertaken to address the inherent lacunae of homeopathic education. This institute will undertake interdisciplinary research, primarily focusing on best possible homeopathic treatment within the skeleton of traditional homeopathic principles and their applicable correlation with biomolecular western medicines.
The total expected cost of the institute is around Rs 302.16 crore with a time limit of around 60 months for completion. That would include around 36 months of construction work in projects.
After establishment, the proposed institute would consist of 10 departments and 10 speciality clinics with interdisciplinary research laboratories wherein the MD and Ph.D students will have access to 60 scholars. The institute would also include an International Centre for research and global promotion of the science of homeopathy.
Some of the goals which the Institute is expected to achieve includes bringing synergy between homeopathy and modern diagnostics, technology and management; highlighting principles of homeopathy; developing a knowledge centre for research and therapy monitoring, recording, evaluation, and feedback. Further, the institute is also expected to promote collaborative research with various research and development institutions at national and international level and function as an apex body for international collaboration in India.
President Pranab Mukherjee at Kolkata on Monday said more
research is crucial to unearth greater scientific understanding of homeopathy.
He was speaking while addressing at a function on ‘The Legacy to Humanity: Celebrating 150 years of Homeopathy’ as the Chief Guest in Kolkata, This event has been organized by Dr. Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation to commemorate 150 years of association of Dr. Banerji’s family with homeopathyAddressing the gathering, the President said that the generational association of Prasanta Banerji’s family with Homeopathy dates back to the mid-nineteenth century.Banerji’s grandfather, Ishan Chandra, was Pandit Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s brother. Vidyasagar was once treated for migraine with homeopathy. Pleased with the results, Vidyasagar convinced his brother Ishan Chandra to pursue this line of treatment.Ishan Chandra learned homeopathy and took to treating the poor as a charitable cause. Ishan Chandra’s son, Pareshnath Banerji, practiced homeopathy in a village in Bihar named Mihijam. His fame attracted patients from far and wide.He became a pioneer in homeopathic medicinal mixtures in India. Prasanta Banerji, the second son of Pareshnath Banerji, is the third generation practitioner of homeopathy in this illustrious family line.His son, Pratip Banerji, has kept the family tradition alive.
The Homeopathic Research Foundation was established by Prasanta Banerji and his son, Pratip Banerji, in 1993.It was set up with the objective to make homeopathy a scientific and effective mode of alternative medicine.The Foundation is rendering yeoman’s service to the masses through provision of wide-ranging homeopathic healthcare.
The President said that focused attention on research is crucial to unearth greater scientific understanding of homeopathy. Use of latest knowledge could pave the way for cutting edge research in this field. It could lead to the affirmation of homeopathic medicines in fundamental and clinical conditions.
It is heartening to note that the Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation is involved in active research. It accrues data about various life threatening diseases from the treatment it administers using The Banerji Protocols.The President said that seized of the need to promote these alternative healing systems, the Department of Indian Medicine and Homeopathy was created by the Government of India. It was later re-named Department of AYUSH and became a full-fledged Ministry last year.
Most moms-to-be likely don’t need prenatal multivitamin supplements, which can be a drain on the wallet, according to a U.K. review.
Multivitamin and mineral supplements are often promoted to pregnant women as a way of giving their child the best possible start. Nourishment before and during pregnancy is important, since it’s an intense period of growth for mom and baby.
Supplements containing more than 20 vitamin and minerals are marketed to women before conception and during pregnancy to ward off complications such as neural tube defects like spina bifada, low birthweight and pre-eclampsia, researchers say in the July issue of Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, published by BMJ.
The reviewers combed through published research on folic acid, vitamin D, iron, vitamins C, E, and A, and multivitamin supplements to see which have the strongest evidence to support national guidelines in the U.K.
Their verdict? Stick with folic acid and vitamin D during pregnancy.
Folic acid had the strongest evidence base, with a daily dose of 400 micrograms or 0.4 milligrams recommended for women trying to conceive until 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Last year’s Canadian guidelines for folic acid in pregnancy are similar, with higher amounts recommended for those at moderate or high risk for a neural tube defect.
Cleft palate, certain cardiac defects, urinary tract anomalies and limb reduction defects may also be sensitive to folate, also called vitamin B9, according to the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC).
The evidence for vitamin D supplementation in all pregnant women was less clear, based on the gold standard of randomized control trial evidence. The U.K. team recommended 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, with a higher dose suggested for some women.
Promote healthy diet
“We found no evidence to recommend that all pregnant women should take prenatal multi-nutrient supplements beyond the nationally advised folic acid and vitamin D supplements, generic versions of which can be purchased relatively inexpensively,” the reviewers concluded.
“The primary focus should be on promoting a healthy diet and improving the use of folic acid supplements, which have a poor uptake, particularly among those from lower income families.”
Dr. Danielle Martin, a family physician in Toronto and a contributor to CBC Health, says basic supplements are sufficient.
“I see women in my office with bags of expensive pregnancy supplements,” Martin said in an email. “I tell them all they need is a little folic acid in the first trimester and then some iron in the third, but these pill-makers have some good advertising!”
“Maintenance of maternal iron stores is usually assured if low level iron supplements are provided during the last half of the pregnancy,” the Canadian society said.
The reviewers suggest greater promotion of simple vitamin preparations. They added pregnant women should also be advised to avoid vitamin A supplements, which can be risky to the baby.
Courtesy http://goo.gl/ycl5lh https://goo.gl/qf03Cc
A new report from the World Health Organisation (WHO) makes even this poor statistic look worse, given it points out that of the allopathic doctors in the country, more than half (57%) did not have a medical degree. (Reuters)
Also, since AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, Homoeopathy) doctors tend to be better qualified than allopathic ones—according to WHO, 53% of AYUSH doctors had degrees in their respective fields as compared to 43% for allopathic ones– the government would be better off if it were to expand its AYUSH programme.
Published on July 4, the study titled The Health Workforce In India describes the “nature of health workforce inequalities” in the country and provides much needed insight into the many challenges faced by India.
Here are its most important conclusions
- For a population of 1.02 billion in 2001, there were just 20 lakh health workers in the country. Of these, 39.6% were doctors, 30.5% were nurses and midwives, and a meagre 1.2% dentists.
- Of all doctors, 77.2% were allopathic and 22.8% were ayurvedic, homeopathic or unani (AYUSH). Other categories of health workers were pharmacists, ancillary health professionals, and traditional and faith healers – they comprised 28.8% of the total health workforce.
- Shockingly, 31.4% of these allopathic doctors were educated only up to secondary school level and a massive 57.3% did not even have a medical qualification. Among nurses and midwives, 67.1% received education only up to secondary school level.
- As many as 73 districts in the country had no nurses with a medical qualification.
- Of all health workers, 59.2% were based in urban areas (home to just 27.8% of the population) and only 40.8% were based in rural areas (home to 72.2% of India’s population.)
- The education level and medical qualification of urban doctors was much higher than that of rural doctors. While 83.4% of urban allopathic doctors received educated higher than secondary school level, only 45.9% of rural allopathic doctors were as educated.
- This urban-rural divide was one of the most important highlights of the study. Of the 30 districts with lowest density of allopathic doctors, half were in north-eastern states and the remainder are in central states – including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Of the 30 districts with the highest density of allopathic doctors, more than half were in state capitals including seven in Delhi itself.
- The case was the same for nurses – their density was at its lowest in districts of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand and at its best in state capitals or in the national capital. Seven districts of Kerala were among the 30 with highest density of nurses.
- These gaps sharpened in the area of medical qualifications – while 58.4% urban allopathic doctors were appropriately qualified, only a meagre 18.8% of rural allopathic doctors had a medical qualification.
- The study also revealed a stark gender divide – of all health workers only 38% were female. The highest number of female health workers was found in Kerala (64.5%) and Meghalaya (64.2%), while states with the lowest female health workers were Uttar Pradesh (19.9%) and Bihar (22.3%).
- Despite a majority of doctors being male, they were largely less educated than female doctors. Among allopathic doctors, only 37.7% male doctors were medically qualified as compared to 67.2% females.
- For some states, fraction of AYUSH doctors was much higher than the rest – 41.7% in Tripura, 40.5% in Orissa and 38.1% in Kerala.
- The study pointed to a general lack of dental healthcare in the country. Of the 593 districts in the country, 58 districts had no dentists at all, while 88 districts had no dentists with more than secondary schooling. 175 districts had no dentists with a medical qualification.
Courtesy : http://goo.gl/61Pev4 http://goo.gl/4Xgpfy http://goo.gl/Vj691u
Conception problems becoming more and more common among today’s couples. Read on to find out ways to boost male fertility and increase sperm count naturally, and to understand lifestyle factors which can impact male fertility.
The presence of couples unable to conceive is an increasingly common scenario in my clinic compared to two decades ago. About 15 percent of couples experience conception problems, and this percentage is growing. Infertility is defined as the absence of conception after one year of regular intercourse without the use of any contraceptive. Men are responsible for this problem at least 40 percent of the time. Where modern medicine has developed its own technical solutions for assisting infertile couples in getting pregnant, complementary medicine can also offer its own assistance in increasing male fertility and sperm count. Before attempting natural remedies, it is important to rule out any underlying treatable medical conditions.
1. Improve sperm count
The average sperm count is between 120 and 350 million per cubic centimeter. A low sperm count is below 40 million per cubic centimeter. Low sperm counts or poor sperm motility may be due to environmental toxins such as chemicals, radiation, drugs, heavy metal exposure, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol use, street drug use and pollution.
Heat can also reduce sperm production. Hot baths, sitting for long periods of time and tight-fitting underwear that constricts the testes can all elevate temperatures long enough to suppress sperm production.
The anti-ulcer drugs cimetidine and ranitidine have both been reported to decrease sperm count and produce impotence.
2. Reduce chemical exposure
The semen of the average man today has half the sperm, and of poorer quality, than 50 years ago.
This is believed to be caused by exposure to xenoestrogens (PCBs, DDT, dioxin, other pesticides, plastics and industrial pollutants) that mimic the effects of estrogen. You can prevent or minimize the impact of xenoestrogens on your health by doing the following:
- Avoid plastic containers for food storage, plastic bottles, wraps and utensils.
- Use office paper products whitened without chlorine.
- Use only non-bleached coffee filters, paper, napkins and toilet tissue to reduce dioxin exposure.
- Avoid chlorinated tap water, chlorine bleach and other chlorinated products; use hydrogen peroxide as an alternative.
- Eat organic food as much as possible to avoid pesticides and herbicides.
- Avoid synthetic deodorants and cosmetics; use only organic productswhenever possible.
- Avoid animal products with a high fat content that contain hormones, especially conventional milk and dairy products, chicken, beef and pork.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Avoid fried, charcoal-broiled or barbecued forms of cooking.
- Eat lots of foods high in antioxidants (carotenes, vitamins A, C, E and selenium) such as green leafy vegetables, kale, carrots, citrus, broccoli, cauliflower and yams.
3. Improve diet
Getting plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can help boost fertility. Also avoid tobacco, refined carbohydrates, coffee, tea, alcohol and foods with artificial additives.
Maintain your ideal weight. Food deprivation in men leads to a loss of sex drive and structural changes to reproductive tissue leading to infertility.
Obesity, on the other hand, can be associated with a low sperm count and impotence, possibly because of higher temperatures caused by excess fat near the testes.
4. Exercise regularly
According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, regular exercise(five times a week for at least 45 minutes) and a healthy diet enhance fertility by keeping body weight at normal levels and relieving stress and anxiety.
Excessive amounts of exercise (marathon running and associated training) can be a cause of infertility because it can lead to amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) in women and a lowered sperm count in men.
If you are not sure what type of exercise is best for you, get yourself a personal trainer. He or she can give you an exercise program to bring your weight and fitness levels into the ideal range.
5. Take nutritional supplements
For men, the most important supplemental nutrients to enhance fertility are vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C (2,000 to 6,000 milligrams daily) helps prevent sperm from clumping or sticking together, thus improving the chances for fertility.
Zinc supplementation (100 to 200 mg daily) has been shown to increase testosterone levels, sperm count and sperm motility. High zinc sources include oysters, organ meats, lean beef, turkey, lamb, herring, wheat germ, legumes and nuts.
Arginine is an amino acid the body produces from the digestion of protein. It is found in high amounts in the head of the sperm. Although not available as a supplement in Canada, arginine has been shown to help low sperm counts and poor motility. In high doses, arginine is also a potent dilator of arteries, leading to better erections. Food sources of arginine include nuts, chocolate, meat, poultry, fish and dairy.
Other nutrients that have been shown to improve sperm counts include essential fatty acids (9 to 12 grams daily), chromium (1,000 mcg daily), selenium (200 mcg daily), copper (2 mg daily), vitamin E (800 IU daily), coenzyme Q10 (400 mg daily) and B-complex vitamins (50 mg daily), especially vitamin B12 (1,000 mcg daily).
6. Try herbal helpers to boost male fertility
The herbs listed below may be effective for improving erections, sexual desire, blood flow to the sexual organs and general sexual health with virtually no side-effects:
- panax ginseng (Korean ginseng): 500 milligrams, 1 to 3 capsules daily
- saw palmetto berry: 80 mg, 1 to 2 capsules daily
- muira puama: 500 mg, 3 to 6 capsules daily
- ginkgo biloba extract: 250 mg, 1 to 3 capsules daily
- rhodiola rosea: 500 mg, 1 to 3 capsules daily
- nutmeg: 500 mg, 1 capsule daily
- horny goat weed: 500 mg, 1 capsule daily
- elk antler velvet: 500 mg, 1 to 3 capsules daily
- Tribulus terrestris: 500 mg, 1 to 3 capsules daily
Since sperm formation takes almost three months, it will take at least this amount of time before experiencing the benefits of a nutrient supplementation program.
Causes of Male Infertility
- inadequate sperm production by the testes
- poor sperm motility
- varicocele (dilated veins in the scrotum)
- undescended testis/testes
- excessive xenoestrogen (environmental estrogen) exposure
- infectious disease of the epidydimis (storage tube for sperm), testes, seminal vesicles, urethra, prostate or vas; benign prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement)
- endocrine (glandular) diseases affecting the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, adrenals and the testes (e.g. low DHEA and low testosterone levels)
- congenital abnormalities
- urethral stricture
- malnutrition, especially protein deficiency
- Ten to 20 percent of all men have low sperm counts.
- Two to three percent of all men are completely infertile, producing no sperm at all.
- Infertility affects at least 15 percent of the reproductive age population, with roughly 40 percent of the cases attributable to men.
- Eighty-five percent are treated with conventional medications (synthetic hormones) or surgery to repair diseased reproductive organs.
- Less than five percent of infertile couples attempt in vitro fertilization, which has a 10 to 20 percent success rate at a cost of $10,000 per attempt.
Source: World Health Organization
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