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posted by Fnord666 on Friday July 28 2017, @03:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the children-of-soy dept.

The BBC reports that sperm quality continues to drop. Specifically, researchers "found a 52.4% decline in sperm concentration, and a 59.3% decline in total sperm count in men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand." While alarmist publications tout this as a 60% drop, the decline is accelerating and the researchers are concerned that inaction may lead to species extinction despite the effect not being observed in regions with high machismo, such as South America, Asia and Africa.

The study "aggregates 185 studies between 1973 and 2011, one of the largest ever undertaken." It supposedly overcomes selection bias occurring from patients attending fertility (virility?) clinics and selection bias of null results not being published in journals (churnals?). My intuition is that insights can be gained from studying transsexualism. Practitioners claim patients increase at the rate of 15% per year (doubling every five years), over many decades and with no end in sight. This is akin to Moore's law, Kryder's law, Butters' law, Hendy's law, Rider's law, Carlson's law or any other exponential halving or doubling. So, it doesn't take a genius to understand that it will become an increasingly widespread issue.

Regardless, masculine medical problems are vastly under-represented. By some estimates, spending on male medical problems is about 1/4 of spending on female medical problems. For example, when a man seeks help for a legitimate medical issue, such as declining testosterone, a patient at the lower end of the "normal" range may be denied treatment even if he is constantly exhausted.

Well, take care of yourself. Eat properly. Drink properly. Rest properly. Stay active. And if healthy food and exercise won't fix accumulated problems, consider hormone replacement. You may also want to watch two films which seem to be mentioned with increasing frequency and seem to predict our era with some accuracy: Children Of Men and Colossus: The Forbin Project. Children Of Men is the second bleakest film I've ever seen and the film I've seen most during its initial cinema release. It explores the scenario of global infertility leading to economic collapse. In addition to a nexus of cast and crew, the seamless plot and astounding compositing, the film is a fantastic example of mise-en-scène which is best explained by example.

Anyhow, enjoy the films and get your medical problems addressed.

Disclosure: People in my family are affected by virility and hormone problems. I have a professional interest in film, media encoding and art education.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @03:45AM (20 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @03:45AM (#545588)

    A good guess would be plasticizers. They are in nearly all soft plastic. BPA is famously bad, but the replacements are suspected to be even worse.

    Other guesses include common ingredients in food, cosmetic products, fire retardants, cosmetics, wood preservatives, ink... there are an incredible number of possible culprits, and most likely there are multiple sources of the problems.

    Research won't get you any love. You'll upset every company that profits from whatever is involved, and you'll upset a large portion of the population that wants to believe that LGBT stuff is genetic or a normal choice or an evil sin. Suddenly you turn all that into a class-action injury lawsuit for birth defects.

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  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @03:59AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @03:59AM (#545595)

    Wi-Fi microwaves are nuking my junk!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @04:33PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @04:33PM (#545843)

      This one shouldn't have been modded offtopic. It may be a bit silly, wifi seems like a very unlikely culprit, but it is still talking about possible causes of infertility.

      • (Score: 1) by toddestan on Saturday July 29 2017, @10:22PM

        by toddestan (4982) on Saturday July 29 2017, @10:22PM (#546447)

        Given this has been going on longer than Wi-Fi has been around, it seems likely that there's some other cause, though Wi-Fi might be a contributor.

        Though if you expand it a more general 2.4GHz radiation, it does seem to start about the time microwave ovens became commonplace.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @04:11AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @04:11AM (#545599)

    Indeed, and referring to your '..common ingredients in food' another good guess would be phytoestrogens.

    The problem is, as you state, '..there are an incredible number of possible culprits', this, compounded with the fact that there are an indeed an incredible number of powerful vested commercial interests associated with the continued usage of said culprits. Good luck trying to find out what 'They' know about it.

    ..and you'll upset a large portion of the population that wants to believe that LGBT stuff is genetic or a normal choice or an evil sin. Suddenly you turn all that into a class-action injury lawsuit for birth defects.

    You might think that, I couldn't possibly comment...
    (on a particularly tin foilish sort of day, I often wonder if somehow it's all planned, a means to get rid of the 'breeders'...)

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Reziac on Saturday July 29 2017, @03:43PM

      by Reziac (2489) on Saturday July 29 2017, @03:43PM (#546284) Homepage

      Flaxseed has 3x the phytoestrogens of soy. Guess what "healthy" ingredient goes into a lot of kids' cereals!

      My guess is not so much the soy protein products (not terribly prevalent anymore) as the switch in the 1960s from lard to soybean oil, which now pervades western cooking.

      Phytoestrogen is also a thyroid inhibitor, and even a slight drop in thyroid efficiency can lead to persistent, uncontrollable weight gain (exercise and calorie control will NOT fix this).

      As to the notion that orientals eat a lot of soy ... to my understanding, only as a condiment, not as a major ingredient.

      --
      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday July 28 2017, @04:32AM (10 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday July 28 2017, @04:32AM (#545611) Journal

    Other causes:

    Soy - phytoestrogen - debated.

    Coca Cola - reduces sperm count by 30% [caffeineinformer.com] - coffee and tea do not.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by RamiK on Friday July 28 2017, @08:33AM (8 children)

      by RamiK (1813) on Friday July 28 2017, @08:33AM (#545663)

      It's probably not just something we consume:

      Asians consume soy 10 times more and don't show any symptoms.

      Same with Coca Cola. Hugely popular in South America and the Middle East and no problems there. Also, Coca Cola keeps switching sweeteners and adjust their formulas so the continuous trend really doesn't make sense.

      It's not a lack of exercise and obesity either. Plenty of those in South America and within African Americans.

      Not antibiotics. Plenty of that all around.

      I would have guessed lactose on account of Black and Asians being too intolerant to milk. But I think they consume plenty of dairy in the Middle East and India so I'm not too sure... Similarly, Alcohol has it's own exceptions.

      Not a pesticide. Grain moves around the globe all the time.

      Overall, for it to stay hidden for so long, it's probably a combination of Anglo-Saxon genetics with (aforementioned?) environmental conditions.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @12:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @12:40PM (#545731)

        Asians consume soy 10 times more and don't show any symptoms.

        You don't know how great their fertility would be if they didn't eat all that soy! ;-)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @05:08PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @05:08PM (#545865)

        Same with Coca Cola. Hugely popular in South America and the Middle East and no problems there. Also, Coca Cola keeps switching sweeteners and adjust their formulas so the continuous trend really doesn't make sense.

        Perhaps it is the corn syrup (now called "natural sweetener" in the US) used in so many products? Is this type of slow poison used worldwide?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @07:30PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @07:30PM (#545931)

          Coca Cola diet doesn't has corn syrup.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @07:50PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @07:50PM (#545950)

            But the regular Coke does, as does every other major (and most minor) manufacturer of soda, candies, etc etc. Not to mention a shit-ton of other manufactured and processed foods. If you think drinking Diet Coke means you dodged a bullet then you are mistaken.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29 2017, @04:28PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29 2017, @04:28PM (#546310)

          No, it is mostly used in the US because of the government subsidies for corn growers there.

      • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Friday July 28 2017, @07:05PM (2 children)

        by cafebabe (894) on Friday July 28 2017, @07:05PM (#545916) Journal

        A friend thinks that industrial farming is the problem. Specifically, by volume, an increasing proportion of chicken, beef and pork is female. Males are usually killed before they grow to adults because they don't lay eggs, produce milk or have multiple pregnancies but do consume the same or more food. Historically, this wadn't an issue but farming has become industrial and very competitive. To counter the bias of xeno-estrogen and obtain a traditional mix of xeno-hormones, he eats veal on a regular basis.

        Anyhow, it would be worthwhile to compare virility versus farming practices.

        --
        1702845791×2
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @07:32PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @07:32PM (#545935)

          Farming been industrialized in China for quite some time.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @08:59PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @08:59PM (#545972)

          I'm gonna call bullshit on part of that. Chicken produced for meat is overwhelmingly male -- not only are cockerels bigger at a given age, but also better feed conversion -- that is, they get bigger, and they eat more, but they get bigger by more than they eat more. It's possible (not sure) some specific products like chicken nuggets, or anything else with "mechanically separated chicken" in it, may skew female from using old laying hens in them, but actual chicken meat is basically all cockerels grown for the purpose.

          The idea that chicken meat and chicken eggs come from the same flock hasn't been true, in terms of commercial operations, for half a century or more.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @08:36AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @08:36AM (#545665)

      It's "probably" also the fact we allow the weak and sick survive with all the fancy healthcare. Right-thinking Americans are only thinking of the greater good when they try to take it away from their fellow countrymen. Saving a nickel is just a side-benefit.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @11:04AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @11:04AM (#545714)

    Try being a bit more nuanced with the statistics here because you've just averaged away the material differences between goods in many of the spaces you referred to! Yes, you can get better products! and .. .. .. High Income Families will likely buy and use higher end products .. which just happen to have fewer of those estrogenic chemicals in them. I'm not calling this 'a war against useless eaters' or others that don't travel via private planes, but it might as well be. American beers, on average, carry more estrogen than those in europe.

    But yes, gayness and lgbt .. certainly related to this dietary/environmental poisoning. Depression and obesity.. you name it. But class-action law suits against one thing at a time won't help here as the assault on the west by the west happens on so many levels that you cant solve the problem by going against symptoms like that.

    But do the stats thing and look at risk vs cost. It might be enlightening to discover alternatives.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @11:18AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @11:18AM (#545719)

    Obama.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Friday July 28 2017, @04:46PM (1 child)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday July 28 2017, @04:46PM (#545856)

    Considering that most violence is perpetrated by men, we'd honestly be better off with masculinity bred out of us.

    The problem, of course, is reproduction, but that can be fixed with genetic engineering, IVF, etc. Give the technology another couple decades and this hysteria over low sperm counts should disappear: low (or even zero) sperm counts will be a positive, not a negative, since that'll mean few or no unplanned pregnancies. When people want to have kids, they can just do it artificially.

    Of course, given that the #1 reason people have kids these days is "whoops!", this will mean a rapidly declining population which could cause problems. But that can be fixed too, if all this anti-aging research pans out and human lifespans are greatly increased. If we can look forward to 200-500 or more years of life, or possibly even biological immortality, then a low birthrate won't be such a problem because the death rate will also be very low, resulting in a stable population. When that happens, sperm counts will not be a problem at all.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @07:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @07:03PM (#545914)

      If I were to score and rank people on this, my measure would be roughly "defensive violence divided by offensive violence", with reasonable preemptive strikes counting as defense.

      It takes violence to defend a person, family, or country.

      Evolution made us violent because violence is required for survival. Even pacifists rely on it, taking advantage of the fact that others will intervene on their behalf with violence.