The colossal nutrient collapse — and its potential to destroy successful sex
he sex self-destruction theory posits that nutrient collapse in food crops due to global warming contributes significantly to the catastrophic collapse in male sperm counts, which threatens to destroy successful sex.
A recent study led by Samuel Myers and a team at the Harvard School of Public Health found that rising CO2 concentrations threaten human nutrition. Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 significantly reduce concentrations of vital nutrients, especially dietary zinc, iron and protein. Several reports, including WHO, estimate that over 2 billion people already suffer from zinc and iron deficiencies, which results in a loss of 63 million life years annually from malnutrition. The loss of zinc and iron in food crops represents the most significant health threat yet shown to be associated with climate change.
Zinc and iron
The Linus Pauling Institute estimates that the global prevalence of zinc deficiency today at 31%, affecting over 2 billion people. Higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 will expand zinc deficiency to possibly double that number. Zinc deficiency currently ranks as the fifth leading disease risk factor worldwide, causing 176,000 diarrhea deaths, 406,000 pneumonia deaths and 207,000 malaria deaths, largely due to weakened immune systems.
Zinc has earned the label as the “essential trace element” for all forms of life. All living things need this nutritionally essential mineral for catalytic, structural, and regulatory functions in the body. The mineral zinc is present in every cell, organ, bone, tissue, and fluid. Zinc plays an important role in activating enzymatic reactions, wound healing and normal immune function.
Zinc is especially prominent in the male prostate gland and must be present to make sperm. The zinc RDA for adult men and women is 11 mg/day and 8 mg/day, respectively.
Zinc deficiency can cause impaired growth and development in children, (dwarfism) and slow or incomplete development of major organs, especially the brain. Women with zinc deficiency face a wide range of pregnancy complications, including miscarriages and newborns with severe development disorders. Zinc deficiency causes immune and neurological dysfunction and increased susceptibility to infections. The structure and function of cell membranes are regulated by zinc. Loss of zinc from biological membranes increases their susceptibility to oxidative damage and impairs their function.
Research funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the International Zinc Nutrition Consultative Group estimate the total number of people at new risk of zinc deﬁciency by 2050 in the hundreds of millions. Another report estimated that more than one billion mothers and 354 million children live in countries where dietary iron is projected to drop significantly.
Iron deficiency will exacerbate the already widespread public health problem of anemia. Anemia occurs when the body fails to make enough red blood cells, which require iron. In infants and young children, signs of anemia include poor appetite, slowed growth and development, and behavioral problems.
Adult symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue weakness, irregular heartbeats, dizziness, chest pain, cold hands and feet, headache, heart arrhythmias, enlarged heart and heart failure. Men and women suffering from iron deficiency lack the energy and stamina necessary for successful sex.
Food grains, (e.g. rice, soy, corn and wheat) make up about 80% of the world’s food supply today. Most global citizens depend on food crops for nourishment because they cannot afford meat. These people are at increasing risk from zinc, iron and other micronutrient deficiencies due to increasing concentrations of atmospheric CO2. Field trials with ambient CO2 levels projected for 2050 showed a significant decrease in the concentrations of zinc, iron, and protein in food grains – 9.3%, 5.1%, and 6.3% respectively.
These losses may seem trivial. They are not for the 2 billion people who live on less than $2 a day. Very poor people need more nutrients per bit, not fewer. In addition to elevated levels of CO2, climate chaos causes extreme temperature spikes, drought and fierce storms that further diminish food production and the micronutrients in all types of food.
Food grains are highly susceptible to drought and temperature spikes. Lack of soil moisture from drought or temperatures outside a narrow “acceptable” growing temperature around 85oF, (25oC) can produce crop losses of 3% to 8% a day.
Elevated atmospheric and ocean heat are igniting more fierce storms. Hurricane Irma caused a 75% loss to the $10 billion citrus industry in Florida. While many farmers lost their crop, others lost their entire orchards to high winds and rain. Farmers feed their families with their farm production or the revenue generated by their produce. When their crops fail, their family goes hungry.
Systemic nutrient extraction creates “hidden hunger” in food crops. As crops remove nutrients from the soil, farmers typically replace only the macronutrients, NPK fertilizer. Constant micronutrient extraction without replacement results in produce that may look good but is deficient in vital micronutrients. Hidden hunger in food grains and produce results in fewer nutrients per bite, leading to micronutrient deficiencies and severe health problems, including obesity and diabetes.
The combination of nutrient loss from higher atmospheric levels of CO2, climate chaos caused temperature spikes may leave families very hungry and nutrient deficient. Systemic micronutrient extraction without replacement amplifies the severity and extent of micronutrient deficiencies.
Precipitous sperm count drop
A July, 2017 study found that sperm counts for men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have declined 59% over the last 40 years. Hagai Levine of Hebrew University, Jerusalem and an international team examined thousands of studies and then conducted a meta-analysis of 185 studies that included 42,935 men. The high proportion of men in Western countries with sperm concentrations below 40 million/ml is particularly concerning.
Evidence indicates that a sperm concentration below this threshold is associated with a “substantial decreased probability of conception.” Many men may discover they are infertile. Infertile means a pair have practiced sex regularly without protection for over a year without creating pregnancy. Men with low sperm counts may also have weak sperm motility (ability to move), or abnormally shaped sperm. The sperm may not contain sufficient enzymes to penetrate the outer layers and properly fertilize the egg.
Some men may not worry about low sperm count, because they assume the problem applies to others. Nearly 1 in 6 couples in the US currently confront fertility problems.
Just in time, the New York Times reports that a new cell phone app will allow men to accurately check their sperm count for about $5. When Millennials realize their ability to procreate is damaged by a tainted food supply, they will want solutions – quickly.
Low sperm count impacts health in several ways beyond infertility. The economic and societal burden of male infertility is high and increasing. Reduced sperm count predicts increased chronic medical conditions including increased mortality and morbidity. Reduced sperm count is associated with cryptorchidism, hypospadias and testicular cancer, suggesting a shared prenatal etiology. Sperm count sensitively reflect the impacts of the modern environment on male health throughout the course of life.
Modern pesticides, specifically endocrine disrupting chemicals also depress sperm count. Organophosphates are used on a massive scale to produce modern industrial foods. They are neurotoxins used in both nerve gases, (outlawed), and insecticides. They work by disrupting the nervous system of insects, a mechanism that also affects the human nervous and reproductive systems, when people are exposed. Conditions linked to these endocrine-disrupting chemicals include impaired brain development and function, lowered IQ, male infertility, female fertility problems and miscarriages, birth defects, neurological development problems, ALS, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. Pesticides commonly used in industrial agriculture that migrate to waterways and are residuals on produce may have more impact on male sperm counts than diet.
Global climate chaos threatens human societies. Rising CO2 concentrations are depleting the nutrients essential for a healthy life and successful sex. Acting dumb without addressing climate chaos will place possibly 4 billion people at risk for zinc, iron or protein deficiencies. If the sex self-destruction theory is correct, many of those people will have sperm counts that are too low to create offspring or lack the energy and stamina for successful sex.
The continued practice of micronutrient extraction without replacement and the hidden hunger that follows in field crops threatens to magnify and extend the reach of micronutrient deficiencies. No discussion of male fertility is complete without recognizing the role that modern industrial agriculture plays by polluting waterways and fresh produce with endocrine-disrupting pesticides.
The next post will explore the serious impacts from the pesticides used by modern industrial agriculture – that put the future of human societies in jeopardy.
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