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Smoking damages sperm through inflammation

04 July 2016

By Lone Hørlyck

Appeared in BioNews 858

A study of smokers has found smoking damages their sperm, including their DNA and mitochondria, by triggering inflammatory processes in their semen.

Previous studies had shown that smoking causes DNA damage to sperm and mitochondria – the energy-producing centres in cells – but this detailed analysis shows how that may occur.

Dr Ricardo Pimenta Bertolla of Sao Paulo Federal University, Brazil, lead author on the study, said: 'More and more studies are demonstrating a harmful effect of smoking on male fertility. Our results point in the direction of important semen alterations: semen of smokers presents [with] an inflammatory nature, associated with decreased capacity of sperm to achieve fertilisation and generate a healthy pregnancy.'

The researchers carried out functional and protein analysis on sperm from 20 smokers, who smoked at least 10 cigarettes per day, and from 20 non-smokers. They compared 422 different proteins between the two groups, and found that the proteins in the smokers' semen indicated an inflammatory state.

Sperm from the smokers had more DNA fragmentation and fewer active mitochondria. The cap structure on sperm called the acrosome, which helps the sperm penetrate an egg, was more often damaged in smokers' sperm.

In addition to reducing fertility, these DNA changes are associated with higher rates of genetic disease and an increased risk of cancer in children of fathers who smoke.

The authors suggest that substances such as nicotine and cadmium in cigarette smoke cause oxidative stress, which triggers an inflammatory response, leading to the observed sperm damage.

In the light of this cumulative evidence of harm, Dr Bertolla recommends that men pursuing fatherhood quit smoking: 'The whole process of producing a mature sperm takes around three months, so if a man wishes to quit smoking before attempting fatherhood, I would recommend quitting three months ahead of time,' he told Reuters.

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HAVE YOUR SAY
Comment (danielhammond - Updated on 06/07/2016)
http://consumer.healthday.com/.../heavy-drinking-smoking...



Heavy Drinking, Smoking Won't Harm Men's Sperm: Study


But the data should not give would-be dads the green...


consumer.healthday.com

TUESDAY, June 12, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- When a man drinks to excess, smokes or otherwise behaves unhealthily, it probably won't damage his sperm, a new British study contends.

But, fertility experts who reviewed the new report, published June 12 in Human Reproduction, weren't in full agreement with the findings.

"I am concerned that this limited and isolated study will convey the wrong message to couples desiring to become parents," said Dr. Natan Bar-Chama, director of the Center of Male Reproductive Health at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.

The study included more than 2,200 men from 14 fertility clinics around the United Kingdom who completed detailed questionnaires about their lifestyle habits. The researchers compared this information to the levels of swimming sperm ejaculated by the men.

Some factors did impact sperm health. For example, men who had low levels of swimming sperm were 2.5 times more likely to have had prior testicular surgery, twice as likely to be black, and 30 percent more likely to have manual labor jobs, not wear boxer shorts (vs. briefs or no underwear), or not to have previously conceived a child.

On the other hand, the researchers also found that men's weight and their use of tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs had little effect on levels of swimming sperm.

"Despite lifestyle choices being important for other aspects of our health, our results suggest that many lifestyle choices probably have little influence on how many swimming sperm [men] ejaculate," Dr. Andrew Povey, from the University of Manchester's School of Community Based Medicine, said in a university news release.

The findings suggest that lifestyle advice given to infertile men needs to be changed, the researchers added.

They noted that current U.K. guidelines instruct doctors to warn infertile men about the dangers of smoking, drinking, drug use, being overweight and wearing tight underwear. But, this study found that many common lifestyle factors make little difference to male fertility, based on how many swimming sperm men produce.

"For example, whether the man was a current smoker or not was of little importance. The proportion of men who had low numbers of swimming sperm was similar whether they had never been a smoker or a smoker who was currently smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day. Similarly, there was little evidence of any risk associated with alcohol consumption," the researchers wrote.

Povey said the findings potentially overturn "much of the current advice given to men about how they might improve their fertility and suggests that many common lifestyle risks may not be as important as we previously thought. Delaying fertility treatment then for these couples so that they can make changes to their lifestyles, for which there is little evidence of effectiveness, is unlikely to improve their chances of a conception and, indeed, might be prejudicial for couples with little time left to lose."

Experts in the United States weren't entirely convinced.

For his part, Bar-Chama, who is also associate professor of urology and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, said that "a single study that is counter to prior literature and common sense needs to be put into proper perspective."

According to Bar-Chama, "there is a plethora of science publications clearly indicating that illicit drug use such as marijuana, as well as chronic cigarette smoking, impairs semen parameters and fertility. Exposure to increased scrotal temperature as well as an increased BMI [overweight/obesity] is also well known to impair male fertility."

Dr. Avner Hershlag is chief of The Center for Human Reproduction at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. He said that while "this important study puts to rest many concerns regarding the effect of lifestyle on sperm quality," it doesn't give would-be fathers a free pass to smoke or indulge in unhealthy behaviors.

"The study did not find that cigarette smoking was a culprit, yet did not examine the effect of passive smoking on the female partner's fertility," Hershlag noted. And, he said, "while it is reassuring to know that sperm is resilient, I still recommend a healthy lifestyle to improve your chances to conceive."

He also noted that, as regards the finding on race, "this study was done in the UK, and therefore may not apply to African-American men."

More information

The American Urological Association has more about male infertility.

SOURCES: Avner Hershlag, M.D., chief, The Center For Human Reproduction at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; Natan Bar-Chama, M.D., director, Center of Male Reproductive Health, Mt. Sinai Hospital, and associate professor, urology and obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive science, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; June 12, 2012, news release, University of Manchester

--  Robert Preidt

Last Updated: Jun 13, 2012
Comment (danielhammond - Updated on 06/07/2016)
There is no danger from second-hand smoke, period. In America, the Baby Boom produced over 75 million kids, and smoking was very popular during that time.

Exposure to SHS was prevalent everywhere people went: in homes, yards, parks and playgrounds; in dime stores, drugstores, supermarkets - in every store, as well as banks, post offices, libraries, anywhere that people gathered. Also in cars, buses, taxis, planes and trains.

There were smokers in diners, cafes, restaurants; in hotels, barber shops, beauty salons; in hospitals, waiting rooms, stations, lobbies, airports, and in all vacation spots and summer camps. There was smoking at swimming pools, beaches and all the sports venues; at parties, church events, any type of social gathering. There was smoking from neighbors, visitors, relatives and older siblings; from babysitters, coaches, even from den mothers and scout leaders.

Think about it. Children were constantly exposed to SHS everywhere they went, every day of their lives. The only exception were classrooms and churches.

Did they all die? Did they get diseased? Did they develop asthma? Nope. But according to today’s whingers (it's for the cheeeeeldren!), none of those kids should have made it past the crib. With all that SHS exposure, the schools should have been half-empty on a daily basis, with hoards of absentee kids filling up the hospitals. Such was never the case, and you can’t re-write the history. All those kids managed perfectly well. These are facts.

All the anti-smokers got is junk science, propaganda and drivel..
Comment (danielhammond - Updated on 06/07/2016)
OSHA also took on the passive smoking fraud and this is what came of it:


Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence: Third Edition



This sorta says it all

These limits generally are based on assessments of health risk and calculations of concentrations that are associated with what the regulators believe to be negligibly small risks. The calculations are made after first identifying the total dose of a chemical that is safe (poses a negligible risk) and then determining the concentration of that chemical in the medium of concern that should not be exceeded if exposed individuals (typically those at the high end of media contact) are not to incur a dose greater than the safe one.

So OSHA standards are what is the guideline for what is acceptable ''SAFE LEVELS''

OSHA SAFE LEVELS

All this is in a small sealed room 9x20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes.

"For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes.

"Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

"For Hydroquinone, "only" 1250 cigarettes.

For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time.

The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets :

Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)...It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded." -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec'y, OSHA.

Why are their any smoking bans at all they have absolutely no validity to the courts or to science!
Comment (danielhammond - Updated on 06/07/2016)
JOINT STATEMENT ON THE RE-ASSESSMENT OF THE TOXICOLOGICAL TESTING OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS"
7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
November 2004.



"5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke - induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease."

In other words ... our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can't even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact ... we don't even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.
Comment (danielhammond - Updated on 06/07/2016)
Trust in Government Is Collapsing Around the World

The trend helps explain Trump and Brexit. What’s next?

theatlantic.com|By Uri Friedman

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/07/trust-instituti...
Comment (danielhammond - Updated on 06/07/2016)
The myth of smoking during pregnancy being harmful



Wed, 30 Oct 2013 17:51 CDT



In about 1999 I was asked to analyze the data of pregnant women with respect to smoking for a major health insurance company. They were running a campaign to get pregnant women to stop smoking and they expected to find interesting data to support their case.

I used to teach college courses covering the topic. The text books said that smoking causes underweight premature babies. Because of this babies of smoking mothers are more likely to have birth defects. With alcohol, two drinks a day was considered safe, but with tobacco, there was no safe threshold. I thought this was rather strange. You smoke one cigarette while pregnant and you are more likely to have birth defects? Even for a hard core health fanatic that is difficult to believe.

Here is what was found in the data. Babies of smoking mothers average weight was 3232 grams (7.1 lbs.). Babies of non-smoking mothers averaged 3398 grams (7.5 lbs.). That is about a half pound difference and it is statistically significant. Seven pounds is a good healthy birth weight that does not set off any alarms. Babies are considered underweight if they are less than 2270 grams (5 lbs.). 4.5% of smoking mothers babies were underweight and 3.3% of non-smoking mothers babies were underweight. This difference is not significant. There is no indication here of a health risk from smoking based on weight.

The other risk factor is length of term. Normal gestation is 253 days. 4% of smoking mothers did not go to term and 7.8% of non-smoking mothers did not go to term. Smoking mothers did better than non-smoking mothers but the difference was not significant. There was obviously no risk from reduced term for smoking mothers.

Because the non-smoking mothers had heavier babies one would expect more C-Sections from the non-smoking mothers. There were about 20% more. This is significant at the .05 level but not the .01 level so you could argue the significance either way depending on your bias. The data here is limited because only 5% of pregnant women smoked but the trend for smoking mothers was toward less babies retained in the hospital, less C-Sections, insignificantly fewer pre-term deliveries and an insignificant increase in clinically underweight babies.

This data can be explained by assuming that when pregnant women are stressed, they self medicate to relieve the stress. Non-smoking women tend to eat more causing the baby to be larger and more difficult to deliver. This can also cause other problems. Smoking women tend to light up when under stress. This is less harmful to the baby than over-eating. For this reason smoking mothers tended to have better outcomes for baby and mother. They also cost less for the insurance company.

You might be interested in knowing that this information was not used. I was told that the medical insurance business is highly regulated by the government. The company was not allowed to tell the truth about these results even though it was better for the insurance company and for the patients.

I do not think these results suggest that women should start smoking when they get pregnant. I do think it indicates that it is very poor practice to try to get smoking mothers to stop smoking when they get pregnant.
About me

I have a Ph.D. in experimental psychology and have worked in both research and teaching. I am a health nut and do not endorse smoking or care to be around people smoking. I was shocked by these results. My bias if any is certainly against these results. However I think it is horrible to withhold information form people and intentionally give them bad advice to advance a political agenda.
Comment (danielhammond - Updated on 06/07/2016)
THE CDC GIVE GRANTS OUT TO ANTI-TOBACCO GROUPS TO LOBBY FOR SMOKING BANS AT THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVELS...............

Illicit Lobbying
Report: Local health departments illegally used federal stimulus money to lobby

April 16, 2013 2:15 pm

At least seven local health departments illegally used stimulus grant funds to lobby for greater taxes and restrictions on tobacco and unhealthy foods, according to a report released Tuesday by a nonprofit watchdog group.

The stimulus-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program disbursed about $373 million intended to educate the public about tobacco use and obesity. Federal law prohibits grantees from using the funds for lobbying activities.

According to the group Cause of Action, local health departments from Alabama to California used the funds to devise or promote legislation designed to curb tobacco use or combat obesity.

The report detailing the allegations is the product of a 19-month investigation into the CPPW program.

“[Cause of Action’s] investigation revealed that CPPW money went to support lobbyists and public relations companies who used taxpayer dollars to push laws and agendas that would lead to tax increases on tobacco and high calorie products,” the report said.

The report said illicit uses of CPPW grant funds “essentially transform[ed] the CPPW program into a conduit for lobbying for higher taxes and bans on otherwise legal consumer products.”

Federal law prohibits grant recipients from using federal grant funds to influence “an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation.”

Internal guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which administers the CPPW program, clarifies that the law applies “specifically to lobbying related to any proposed, pending, or future federal, state, or local tax increase, or any proposed, pending, or future requirement or restriction on any legal consumer product.”

Cause of Action executive director Dan Epstein criticized the CDC for faulty oversight in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon. He also said specific CPPW grantees may have “committed not just violations [of lobbying prohibitions], but fraud.”

According to internal communications from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) obtained by Cause of Action through public records requests, DHEC officials altered meeting minutes in order to hide the involvement of officials involved in grant fund disbursements after CDC expressed concerns about the use of grant funds for lobbying activities.

“The DHEC stated outright that the purpose of altering the minutes was to hide the fact that its CPPW program coordinator had directed illegal lobbying in the pursuit of smoke-free ordinances,” according to the Cause of Action report.

The DHEC did not return a request for comment.

DHEC grant activities, like those of other state health agencies examined in the report, were explicitly geared toward specific legislative goals. Its application for CPPW funding said it would use taxpayer funds to “increase the support for and adoption of comprehensive smoke-free laws.”

While that proposal and similar ones from other states appeared to violate laws governing the use of federal grant funds, Epstein says the CDC has made no effort to effectively oversee the CPPW program.

“It’s not just a sign of misuse of taxpayer dollars,” Epstein said. “In fact, there’s some indication that the CDC encouraged this to occur.”

Previous investigations of the CPPW program have produced similar findings.

According to the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC’s parent agency, federal guidelines for CPPW grant recipients “appear to authorize, or even encourage, grantees to use funds for impermissible lobbying.”

Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce cited that report and apparent violations of the lobbying prohibitions in multiple communications with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding the CPPW program. The committee’s investigative panel examined the program during a 2012 hearing.

Annual CPPW disbursements are scheduled to grow to about $2 billion in 2015. When expenditures increase six-fold, Epstein said “we’re in a serious situation, because we’re going to undoubtedly see six times the fraud.”

Florida’s Miami-Dade County Health Department, one of the agencies singled out in Cause of Action’s report, denied any wrongdoing in a statement emailed to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Department “did not utilize any of the CPPW funding for lobbying activities, nor does the Department have any reason to believe that any of its contracted providers did so either,” said spokeswoman Olga Connor. “The Department of Health’s contracts specifically bar any provider from utilizing the CPPW funds for any type of lobbying activities.”

The CDC did not return request for comment. Miami-Dade County was the only local government highlighted by Cause of Action to return a request for comment.

........................

Monday, July 16, 2012

Illegal use of CDC grant money in St. Louis County

Dear Senator Collins,

On May 1st 2012, you issued the following request to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius:

“Please document each instance from fiscal year 2007 to fiscal year 2011 where CDC awardees used federal funds to pay for lobbying activities. The activities to be reported include those which are listed in 18 U.S.C § 1913 and include: any advertisement, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device (such as emails, websites, videos, audio, or other electronic communications), intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government (including local and state governments), to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation. The information should be documented and provided in a word-searchable format that includes the name of the awardee, total amount of the award, date the award was granted, the stated purpose of the award, a list of all activities in the aforementioned list that the awardee carried out with federal funds, and an indication of whether or not the desired outcomes in state or local policy or legislative changes took place.”

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