What’s Happening to Cup Of Nurses?

What’s Happening to Cup Of Nurses?

What’s Happening to Cup Of Nurses

It’s incredible how time flies; just like that, we are on our 100th episode before we even know it! We wouldn’t be able to do all of these without your support for Cup of Nurses. We owe it to our followers and supporters to let you guys know that our channel will make some changes. As we move along, we will tackle topics we are more passionate about.

The Changes

We are excited to announce that we will be transitioning to Frontline Warriors as we want to focus more on health, consciousness, and wellness. Today’s episode will also be the last one for Cup of News. We’ve enjoyed our time doing this show, but like the changing season, we also embrace the changes. And we are pumped to have you guys join us in this new chapter for Cup of Nurses! So, stay tuned and be on the lookout for our new episodes. We can’t wait to share them and help inspire you to become the best version of yourselves! 

Why We Started Cup of News

We started the Cup of News for one specific reason: to keep up with the C-19 surge and keep everyone informed about what is going on during the pandemic. We believe we kept our part. Covid-19 is still a thing. However, it has become more of the norm, and breaking news is not as “breaking” as it used to be.

Our Favorite Episode Topics

Over the last few years, we’ve covered several good topics in Cup of News. Today, we will talk about some of our favorites and why we enjoyed talking about them here in Cup of Nurses. Here are a few:

EP 54: Out in Nature episode

No show notes but what a great trip it was. A great episode about reconnecting with yourself and nature. We truly enjoyed being able to relax and be with nature in this episode. 

EP 72: Horoscope

We really liked doing this one. Even though we don’t fully believe in horoscopes we still find them entertaining. They do hold some benefit because it allows you to think about yourself and your actions in a way you may not have before. It also offers a focus for you for the month or year to help you grow. 

Aries 

  • Family matters will be of importance this month. You will face a lot of challenges with your career, but towards the end of the month, you will make things better. Your health might take a toll on you if you are not careful.
  • Trust that you are ready to meet your soulmate this month. You have been waiting for a while now, and the time has come for you to get out there. Your social life will be perfect.

Taurus

  • You will be okay financially. Your career will improve, and you will get that promotion that you have been waiting for. Taurus love life will have some challenges because you do not see eye to eye with your partner.
  • Your health will be perfect while your travel prospects are also bright. You will have to work harder when it comes to your studies to achieve all your goals and aspirations.

Gemini

  • To have a happy and fulfilled life, married couples should ensure that they stay away from conflict. Do not always pick a fight with your spouse. Fighting in the family can cause the children to feel unloved. Always strive to be a positive example to your children.
  • You will finally get that leadership position that you have been working for at your workplace. Your superiors will appreciate your leadership skills and your ability to mobilize your fellow coworkers.

Cancer

  • Cancer natives will have a positive month. All aspects of your life will be on the right track. As long as you keep doing the great things you are doing, all will be well with you. Do not listen to people who tell you that you are worth nothing.
  • Keep being you and live your best life. Focus on the things that bring light and positive vibes into your life.

Leo

  • Family life will cause you lots of problems that might affect your mental health. It will be a prosperous period for Leo natives who are in business. Finances will not be a problem for you this month.
  • Children will do well in their studies, and you will be extremely proud of them. You will also travel a lot with your loved ones.

Virgo

  • Health will pose no problems for you this month. Your career prospects are, however, not encouraging. You need to change the approach by which you handle your professional life.
  • Single Virgo natives should be careful to protect their hearts from hurt. Exercise due diligence before choosing to fall in love with anyone.

Libra

  • Be true to yourself and live an honest life. Also, be careful with your finances. Misuse of funds will cause you to regret it in the near future. Ensure that you develop a good habit of saving for rainy days.
  • All your travel commitments will bring in great profits. You will also be able to meet new people who will help you grow your business.

Scorpio

  • You should be serious about your marriage. Show commitment to your spouse, and you will enjoy lasting happiness and joy. Also, show commitment to your children and your availability in their lives.
  • Your love life will be exceptional this month. You will be able to find someone that fills your heart. As a Scorpio woman, you need to be careful with your reproductive health.

Sagittarius

  • Business people will have great financial flow. Invest in businesses that will assure you of great profits. Pursue your passions and work towards achieving happiness in all you do.
  • Your education will head to the next level as you will get a scholarship to study abroad and broaden your area of study.

Capricorn

  • Trust those great things will manifest in your life. Do not take anything for granted. You should also be patient with yourself. In your career, take one step at a time, and you will eventually get there. Also, make good use of your talents and gifts.
  • Be well-equipped to handle your children when they start misbehaving. Ensure that you bring them back on the right track.

Aquarius

  • Your health will be okay this month, but you need to make some lifestyle changes. You will face some challenges with your studies because of school fees arrears.
  • Business people will profit greatly from their businesses.

Pisces

  • Your marriage life will be exciting and filled with passion and romance. Always appreciate your partner and remind them how much you love them.
  • This month you will safely invest knowing that you are doing the right thing. Nothing should scare you from living your best life.

EP 86: Cannabis and C-19

As nurses, we enjoy learning and here at Cup of Nurses, we are happy to share what we have researched. Our goal is to spread information about health and how people can utilize this information so they can live a long and healthy life.

One of the best topics we’ve come across is Cannabis use and its effect on Covid-19. Here’s what we found out:

Lowering blood pressure 

  • A study conducted by JCI Insight in 2017 found that CBD lowered the blood pressure of human participants. It reduced their resting blood pressure as well as their blood pressure after stress tests including mental arithmetic, isometric exercise, and the cold pressor test. 

Reducing inflammation 

  • CBD has been proven to help reduce inflammation and the neuropathic pain it can cause, according to a study by the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research. 

Preventing relapse in drug and alcohol addiction 

  • A 2018 study discovered that CBD can be useful in helping people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. A preclinical trial with lab rats determined that CBD reduced the stress-induced cravings, anxiety, and lack of impulse control that often cause people to relapse. 

Treating anxiety disorders 

  • Anxiety is perhaps the most common affliction that people have used CBD for, and a preclinical study found that CBD could be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Treating gastrointestinal (GI) disorders 

  • A recent study found that CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids can effectively be used to prevent and treat GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and more. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are key to reducing and preventing symptoms. 

Preventing seizures 

  • Decades of research have gone into using CBD to treat epilepsy and other seizure syndromes, and a recent study showed it can have positive effects in reducing symptoms and seizure frequency. 

Fighting cancer 

  • Not only has CBD been used to help alleviate the effects of chemotherapy, but studies have also found it can prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines and it has numerous anti-cancer effects that can help prevent a variety of cancers, treat tumors, and benefit the immune system.

EP 85: Heart Health #1 Killer in America

In this episode, we’ve compiled facts about heart diseases in America and how it has affected many Americans over the years.

Fact sheet – Heart Disease

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
  2. There are about 3 million deaths in the US
  3. Cardiovascular disease alone accounts for almost 1/4th of the total deaths in the US. 
  4. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease.
  5. Heart disease costs the United States about $363 billion each year from 2016 to 2017. This includes the cost of health care services, medicines, and lost productivity due to death.

Coronary Artery Disease

  1. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 360,900 people in 2019.
  2. About 18.2 million adults age 20 and older have CAD (about 6.7%).
  3. About 2 in 10 deaths from CAD happen in adults less than 65 years old.

Heart Attacks

  1. In the United States, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds.
  2. Every year, about 805,000 people in the United States have a heart attack. Of these,
  3. 605,000 are a first heart attack
  4. 200,000 happen to people who have already had a heart attack
  5. About 1 in 5 heart attacks are silent—the damage is done, but the person is not aware of it.
  6. According to heart.org, almost half of the US population has some type of cardiovascular disease. 
  7. According to 2017 figures, 116.4 million people had hypertension, almost half of the US population at that time, and that is just hypertension alone.
  8. Cardiovascular disease is such an issue that the AHA had to lower its guidelines for what hypertension is from 140/90 to 130/80 so that people can get treated sooner.
  9. 1 in 5 Americans reported having adequate aerobic exercise and muscle-strengthening activity to meet the physical activity guidelines.
  10. Estimates for 2035 are showing that more than 130 million people will have some form of cardiovascular disease and the total cost to the healthcare system would be $1.1 trillion. 

EP 52: World Economic Forum Plus Political News

At Cup of Nurses, we don’t only tackle issues related to health but everything that is happening around us. In this episode, we gathered all information we could about what is going on around the world in terms of economy and politics. These are our 2030 Predictions for the world and general economy. 

Products will become a service

  • There are people that do not own a car, don’t own a house, don’t own appliances or clothes, they don’t own anything. 

Global price on carbon

  • China took the lead in 2017 with a market for trading the right to emit a tonne of CO2, setting the world on a path towards a single carbon price and a powerful incentive to ditch fossil fuels, predicts Jane Burston, Head of Climate and Environment at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory. Europe, meanwhile, found itself at the center of the trade-in of cheap, efficient solar panels, as prices for renewables fell sharply.

Drop-in US dominance into a handful of powers

  • Instead of a single force, a handful of countries – the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, India, and Japan chief among them – show semi-imperial tendencies. However, at the same time, the role of the state is threatened by trends including the rise of cities and the spread of online identities.

Less hospital care

  • The hospital as we know it will be changed, with fewer accidents due to self-driving cars and an increase in preventive and personalized medicine. Open organ surgeries and organ donors are out, and tiny robotic tubes and bio-printed organs are going to be developed.

Less meat

  • Rather like our grandparents, the meat will be a treat rather than a staple, writes Tim Benton, Professor of Population Ecology at the University of Leeds, UK. It won’t be big agriculture or little artisan producers that win, but rather a combination of the two, with convenience food redesigned to be healthier and less harmful to the environment.

Refugees will be CEOs and share the future

  • Highly educated Syrian refugees will be old enough to have an impact on the community by 2030, making the case for the economic integration of those who have been forced to flee the conflict. The world needs to be better prepared for populations on the move, writes Lorna Solis, Founder, and CEO of the NGO Blue Rose Compass, as climate change will have displaced 1 billion people.

Western values will be tested

  • We forget the checks and balances that bolster our democracies at our peril, writes Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.

Moving closer to Mars

  • What’s more, once we get there, we’ll probably discover evidence of alien life, writes Ellen Stofan, Chief Scientist at NASA. Big science will help us to answer big questions about life on earth, as well as open up practical applications for space technology.

To find out more about the changes we’re doing for Cup of Nurses, check out the full video here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:45 Plugs
03:28 Reminiscing how it all started
06:28 How we stood up for what we believe
10:34 A podcast that will help everyone
12:32 We are our only cure
19:09 Favorite Episodes: The Challenge
21:42 Favorite Episodes: Out in Nature
22:25 Favorite Episodes: Horoscope
25:47 Favorite Episodes: Cannabis and C-19
31:10 Favorite Episodes: Heart Heath #1 Killer in America
34:59 Favorite Episodes: What is The World Economic Forum?
37:22 Wrapping up the show

Are you Eating Cancer-Causing Glyphosate in Your Diet?

Are you Eating Cancer-Causing Glyphosate in Your Diet?

Are you Eating Cancer-Causing Glyphosate in Your Diet?

There is cancer-causing glyphosate in your diet. You might not know how harmful it is until it is too late. What is it anyway? And how can it affect our body? Read on for more.

What is Glyphosate?

A Swiss chemist working for a pharmaceutical company, Dr. Henri Martin, discovered glyphosate in 1950. Since no pharmaceutical applications were identified the molecule was sold to a series of other companies. and samples were tested for several possible ends uses.
Glyphosate is an herbicide. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. The sodium salt form of glyphosate regulates plant growth and ripens specific crops.
This chemical became registered for use in the U.S. in 1974. It is now one of the most used herbicides in the United States. People apply it in agriculture and forestry, lawns and gardens, and weeds in industrial areas.

How does glyphosate work? 

Cancer-causing Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants. It works by inhibiting the action of a plant enzyme. The shikimic acid pathway plays a role in synthesizing three amino acids. These are phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan.

Glyphosate lawsuits 

“Glyphosate has a 40-year history of safe and effective use. The overwhelming conclusion of experts worldwide … is that glyphosate is safe to use,” Monsanto said. He was ignorant of evidence building against the chemical.
 
the roundup-related lawsuits have dogged Bayer since it acquired the top-selling brand. It is as part of its $63 billion sales of agricultural seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto in 2018.
 
The company has spent billions of dollars to settle around 96,000 Roundup cases of about 125,000[1].

What do regulatory agencies in the USA say?

In 2015, a committee of scientists working for the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the WHO evaluated studies and reported that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic.
 
The latest from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Food Democracy Now. The Detox Project tested various products for glyphosate. They found dangerous levels of glyphosate in everyday American foods.

Glyphosate Products to Avoid

  • Granola by Quaker, KIND, Back to Nature, Nature Valley
  • Instant oats by Giant, Quaker, Umpqua, Market Pantry
  • Whole oats by Quaker, Bob’s Red Mill, Nature’s Path, Whole Foods
  • Cereal by Kashi, Kellogg’s, including Lucky Charms and Cheerios
  • Snack bars by Quaker, KIND, Nature Valley, Kellogg’s
  • Orange juice by Tropicana, Minute Maid, Signature Farms, Kirkland
  • Crackers, including Cheez-Its, Ritz, Triscuits, Goldfish
  • Cookies by Annie’s, Kashi, and Nabisco (Oreos)
  • Chips by Stacy’s, Lay’s, Doritos, Fritos

An alarming study looked into Pesticides in Mississippi compared to air and rain between 1995 and 2007. Glyphosate and its degradation product, aminomethyl-phosphonic acid (AMPA), were detected in ≥75% of air and rain samples in 2007 [2].

How do you avoid glyphosate exposure?

The best way to avoid eating cancer-causing glyphosate is to grow your own plants, vegetables, and fruits.  If you don’t have time, source local produce from a farmer’s market you trust.
 
The Detox Project uses an FDA-registered food testing lab to test for toxic chemicals. Thye recently launched a “Glyphosate Residue Free” label. This way companies can apply to certify their products. Until it rolls out more, you are more likely (but not guaranteed) to avoid exposure by opting for foods labeled “Certified Organic.”

Products that are verified glyphosate free by the Detox project: https://detoxproject.org/certification/glyphosate-residue-free/certified-products/

The extent of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed research articles from 10 leading nutrition-related journals in 2018

We all know that evidence supports the food industry’s involvement in nutrition research or agendas. However, food industry involvement in nutrition research has not been systematically explored. 

This study, published on December 16th, 2020, aimed to identify the extent of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed articles. It includes leading nutrition-related journals that are examined thoroughly. The goal is to find food industries that support the industry’s interests. 

No study has comprehensively examined the extent and nature of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed research.

The study reviewed the top 10 most cited nutrition and dietetics-related journals. The evaluation of food industry involvement was evaluated based on author affiliations, funding sources, declarations of interest, or other acknowledgments. 

Principal research findings from articles with food industry involvement, and a random sample of articles without food industry involvement, were categorized according to the extent to which they supported relevant food industry interests. 

The Results 

Of 1,461, 196 (13.4%) articles reported food industry involvement. The extent of food industry involvement varied by journal, with The Journal of Nutrition (28.3%) having the highest and Pediatric Obesity (3.8%) having the lowest proportion of industry involvement.

Food industry involvement spanned several industry sectors, with processed food manufacturing, dietary supplement manufacturing, and dairy most often represented.

Processed food manufacturers were involved in most articles (77/196, 39.3%). Of articles with food industry involvement, 55.6% reported findings favorable to relevant food industry interests, compared to 9.7% of articles without food industry involvement.

The journals included in this study:

  • Advances in Nutrition
  • Clinical Nutrition
  • International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
  • International Journal of Obesity
  • Nutrition Research Reviews 
  • Nutrition Reviews, 
  • Journal of Obesity  
  • Pediatric Obesity
  • The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  • The Journal of Nutrition.

Future thoughts

Future studies should investigate nutrition-related articles from journals with both nutrition and non-nutrition focus (including, for example, journals in medicine and public health)

Get to know more about glyphosate by watching our full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:41 Plugs
02:44 Episode Introduction
04:28 About Glyphosate
05:23 How does glyphosate work?
08:05 Glyphosate lawsuits
11:27 What do regulatory agencies in the USA say?
15:43 Glyphosate Products to Avoid
16:39 How do you avoid glyphosate exposure?
18:04 Glyphosate traces in soil, water, and air
21:16 Being vigilant in avoiding Cancer-Causing Glyphosate
23:56 The involvement of the food industry
8:58 Science and spirituality
31:07 The Results
35:25 Huge funding to influence an agenda

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil Degradation and Human Demise

Soil degradation and retrogression are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of stable soil. So we think that soil degradation and human demise are the end results if this kind of soil condition continues. 

Retrogression is primarily due to soil erosion and corresponds to a phenomenon where succession reverts the land to its natural physical state. 

  • Soil is lost due to erosion from wind and water— for example, rivers washing upland or wind blowing dirt away.

Degradation is due to the replacement of primary plant communities by secondary communities. This replacement modifies the humus composition and amount and affects the formation of the soil. 

  • It is directly related to human activity. 

What is Soil?

The definition of soil is “The unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the Earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants.” [1].

Soil is one of the world’s most needed resources. We think about animals and this idea of going “plant only” but don’t understand that this might not be the best thing for ourselves and our environment. 

When was the last time, if ever, we thought about soil health? It isn’t something that comes to mind as necessary, even when we think about human survival. Ask yourself what do humans need to survive? Water and food.

Water is found in natural bodies of water, but where do you get food from? Soil is required for plants, animals require plants, and as humans, we need to eat animals and plants. 

The Soil Profile

As soils develop over time, layers (or horizons) form a soil profile. Most soil profiles cover the earth as two main layers—topsoil and subsoil.

Soil horizons are the layers in the soil as you move down the soil profile. A soil profile may have soil horizons that are easy or difficult to distinguish. [2]

Most soils exhibit 3 main horizons:

  • A horizon: humus-rich topsoil where nutrient, organic matter, and biological activity are highest (i.e., most plant roots, earthworms, insects, and micro-organisms are active). The A horizon is usually darker than other horizons because of the organic materials.
  • B horizon: clay-rich subsoil that is often less fertile than the topsoil but holds more moisture. It generally has a lighter color and less biological activity than the A horizon. Texture may be heavier than the A horizon too.
  • C horizon: underlying weathered rock (from which the A and B horizons form).
  • Some soils also have an O horizon, mainly consisting of plant litter accumulated on the soil surface.

The properties of horizons are used to distinguish between soils and determine land-use potential.

What is in the soil we use?

Soil contains air, water, minerals, and plant and animal matter, both living and dead. These soil components fall into two categories. 

  • In the first category are biotic factors—all the living and once-living things in the soil, such as plants and insects. 
  • The second category consists of abiotic factors, including all nonliving things—minerals, water, and air. 

The most common minerals found in soil that support plant growth are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen gas. Other less common minerals include calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. The biotic and abiotic factors in the soil make up the soil’s composition.

Minerals

The most significant component of soil is its minerals, accounting for about 45% of its volume. The most common ones are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. While the less common ones are magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. 

Water

Water is the second essential component of soil. It makes up approximately 2% to 50% of the soil volume. It is vital for transporting nutrients to growing plants and soil organisms and facilitating biological and chemical decomposition. Soil water availability is the capacity of a particular soil to hold water available for plant use.

Organic Material 

Organic matter is the next primary component found in soils at levels of approximately 1% to 5%. This matter is derived from dead plants and animals and has a high capacity to hold onto and provide the essential elements and water for plant growth. An organic matter has a tall “plant available” water-holding ability and CEC, which can enhance the growth potential of soils. 

Gas

Gases and air are the following essential component of soil. They make up approximately 2% to 50% of the soil volume. Oxygen is necessary for root and microbe respiration, which helps support plant growth. 

Carbon dioxide and nitrogen gas are also crucial for belowground plant functions like nitrogen-fixing bacteria. If soils remain waterlogged (where gas is displaced by excess water), it can prevent root gas exchange, leading to plant death, a common concern after floods.

Microorganisms

Microorganisms are the final fundamental element of soils. They are present in the ground in high numbers but make up less than 1% of the soil volume. An estimate is that, one thimble full of topsoil hols more than 200,000 microbial organisms.
 
Earthworms and nematodes are the largest organisms found in soil. The smallest are algae, fungi, actinomycetes, and bacteria. Microorganisms are the primary decomposers of raw organic matter. Many decomposers eat up organic matter, water, and air. This is to recycle natural organic matter into humus, rich in plant nutrients [3].

Nutrient Depleted Soil

Nearly 99 percent of the world’s daily calorie intake can be traced back to the soil. The plants and animals we eat require soil to grow. Soil is vital for human survival, yet modern farming and agricultural practices quickly destroy it. 

Worldwide, one-third of the Earth’s soil is at least moderately degraded, and over half of the land used for agriculture has some soil degradation.

Due to intense, mismanaged farming, soil nutrients are declining. 

  • Nitrogen stores have decreased by 42 percent
  • Phosphorus by 27 percent
  • Sulfur by 33 percent. 

Plants require these nutrients for photosynthesis, enzymes, protein synthesis, and more to grow optimally.

As a result of declining soil fertility and selective breeding, the nutritional contents of some fruits, vegetables, and grains have also been compromised. 

  • In a 2004 study using USDA data, 43 garden crops were analyzed to compare nutritional content in 1950 versus 1999. Some nutrients were unchanged, but calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C were lower in 1999 compared to 1950, ranging from a 6 percent to 38 percent drop [4].

The protein content in corn declined from 30 percent to 50 percent from 1920 to 2001, while the starch content increased [5].

The magnesium content of vegetables and wheat has declined by up to 25 percent. There are trace minerals in vegetable crops. Minerals like manganese, zinc, copper, and nickel, have decreased over the last decades. Toxic minerals like aluminum, lead, and cadmium have increased [6].
 
Grains, soy, and corn are low on the nutrient density scale. Far below organ meats, meat, eggs, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.

Modern Agriculture and Soil

The current agriculture methods produce higher yields but deplete and erode soils. Currently, industrial agriculture is destroying the soil. It is being destroyed at 100 to 1,000 times the rate where it is replenished. It is according to the United Nations estimates. According to their report, we only have 60 years left of harvest in many farming regions.

What contributes to soil degradation and human demise?

Monoculture

Many industrial farms grow one single crop, year after year after year. This kind of practice depletes the soil and contributes to carbon loss and soil erosion. Agricultural farms must include perennial crops, legumes, and forages in rotation. This returns the organic matter in the soil, prevents decay, and replenishes nutrients.
  • For example, legume crop residues can be converted into nitrogen by soil bacteria, reducing the need for synthetic nitrogen-based fertilizers.

Additionally, monocropping can threaten food security. With a single crop species on millions of acres, one disease could potentially wipe out an entire food system.

Synthetic Fertilizers

Instead of using organic fertilizers, including crop rotations, cover crops, and manure, modern farms require massive amounts of synthetic fertilizers to grow crops continually. 

  • Nitrogen-based fertilizer production has increased by 9.5-fold since 1960. Fertilizer production consumes fossil fuels in a very energy-intensive process, with non-negligible environmental consequences. 

Not all the fertilizers applied are used up by the crops. Fifty percent or more of the nitrogen leaches into the environment. Many inorganic fertilizers destroy soil microbes that have roles in soil homeostasis.

  • Ammonia, nitrate, and other nitrogen residues make their way to groundwater, rivers, and eventually, the ocean. They reduce oxygen levels, increase algae growth, and damage or death to aquatic life. 

Tillage-Based Farming

Farms today till fields to remove crop residues, flatten the land, and generally mix up the topsoil. However, tilling reduces microbe populations in the soil, promotes soil erosion, and releases greenhouse gases. Today, 93 percent of the world’s cropland uses tilling-based methods for production.

Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fungicides

Herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides can help increase crop yield. By keeping weeds and harmful organisms under control. The benefits come with costs. And when this problem continues soil degradation and human demise is going to be our future. 
 
Pesticides destroy the microbial populations in the soil too. It can also disrupt honeybee and butterfly populations, impacting pollination.
  • Additionally, pesticide residues make their way into water systems and food. Many health problems have been linked to pesticide exposure, including asthma, neurological issues, and even cancer. 
  • The most well-known herbicide is glyphosate, which is applied to crops for hundreds of millions of pounds each year. Glyphosate has profound environmental and health consequences, covered in this article.

Mismanaged Grazing

Cows and other ruminants have the unique ability to convert grasses and other plants that are inedible for humans into nutrient-dense, edible animal products.
 
Best practices dictate that ruminants should rotate among different fields, allowing sections of grass to rest and regrow
 
But when cows graze on the same land as in many conventional farms, it contributes to soil erosion. It lowers soil carbon reserves. Overgrazing contributed to the loss of about one-fifth of the world’s grasslands

[7].

  • Unfortunately, the importance of ruminant animals has been almost forgotten. Due to rocky terrain, hills, and climate, much of the world’s land isn’t even conducive for growing crops. 
  • In contrast, cows, sheep, and goats can often thrive on these marginal lands. Yet these areas aren’t being fully utilized to raise ruminants for food and to sequester carbon properly. Instead, we have concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFO, where grazing is limited, cows are fed grain residues from an outlying farm.

Unity Between the Human Body and Soil

Our body is from soil and water. Without those 2, there is minimal to no possibility of human life. The quality of soil impacts the quality of our physical, spiritual, and mental selves. 
 
Think about evolution or spirituality – if we stem from one at one point. We were the soil or some component of it, so now we are forever bound to the ground. In that soil, there is life, and from that life, there comes bigger life. Not only does it help in a physical sense but spiritual sense too.
 
When you eat bad food, you feel sick. This sickness manifests physically, mentally, and even spiritually. If you have food poisoning, how do you move? How does it then change your thinking? How does it influence your beliefs? Soil connects to us.
 
We are treating soil like some infinite disposable thing. Now take a look at how some humans treat other humans? How toxic people in power treat people below them.
 
The word human stems from the word “humus” in Latin, which means soil. As translated to “living soil” – as in the ground needed for growth. Less and less nutrient-dense foods can lead to the shunting of human growth and function.
 

To learn more about soil degradation and human demise, watch the full Episode 96 in this video 👇

SHOW NOTES:

00:00 Intro
00:52 Plugs
02:08 Soil Degradation and Human Demise
07:25 What is soil?
09:54 The layers of soil
12:35 The essential life-building blocks in soil
16:43 Nutrient Depleted Soil
20:37 Soil Erosion: Monoculture
21:58 Soil Erosion: Synthetic Fertilizers
24:21 Soil Erosion: Tillage-Based Farming
25:19 Soil Erosion: Herbicides, Pesticides, and Fungicides
27:35 Soil Erosion: Mismanaged Grazing
30:14 Unity Between the Human Body and Soil
35:20 Wrapping up the episode

Men Talk: The Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels

Men Talk: The Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels

The Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels 

In this episode, we will talk about the decline of serum testosterone levels among young Adult Men in the USA. Testosterone is a sex hormone that plays a vital role in the body. It regulates the sex drive, bone mass, and fat distribution.

In addition to that, testosterone is responsible for muscle mass and strength. It is also in charge of sperm production and red blood cells. And small circulating testosterone is converted by the body to estradiol, a form of estrogen.

Mammals have >95% of T fused by Leydig’s cells of the testes and are regulated through the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular (HPT) axis.

The adrenal glands also produce testosterone but in small amounts. However, the amount produced depends on gender. So, it means different areas have different amounts.

A Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels in Men

A study from 1999 to 2016 showed that the testosterone levels in young adult men and adolescent males with an average body mass index resulted in a decline, as presented in the 2020 American Urological Association Virtual Experience

The reason for this decline in testosterone level is attributed to age. It means that the decrease in these levels is time-dependent. However, the overall reduction in testosterone levels is caused by multiple etiologies. 

Researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) dating from 1999 to 2016 to analyze serum testosterone level changes in 40-45 AYA males. 

This study found a few factors affecting the decline of serum testosterone levels. These are as follows:

  • Age
  • Race
  • BMI
  • Comorbidity status
  • Alcohol intake
  • Smoking
  • Physical activity levels

Here are acceptable testosterone levels for men by age group

  • Early Teens: Between 12 to 13 years old, a person should have 7-800 ng/dL. But by 15 to 16 years old, the ng/dL should be 100-1,200.
  • Late Teens: Anyone between 17 to 18 years old have normal testosterone levels between 300 and 1,200 ng/dL.
  • Adults: An adult (19 years and older) should have anywhere between 240 and 950 ng/dL.

Mean Total Testosterone Decrease: 

  • 1999-2000 (605.39 ng/dL)
  • 2003-2004 (567.44 ng/dL)
  • 2011-2012 (424.96 ng/dL)
  • 2013-2014 (431.76 ng/dL)
  • 2015-2016 (451.22 ng/dL)

An increased BMI is associated with decreased total testosterone levels (P < .0001), with the mean BMI increasing from 25.83 in 1999-2000 to 27.96 in 2015-2016 (P = 0.0006). 

It was noted that even men with an average BMI of 18.5-24.9 had declining total testosterone levels of P < .05 during the same time frames.

Limitations of the Study

The study was a cross-sectional study design, a type of observational study. It is self-reported activity leading to potential bias and testosterone levels are only measured once. However, there were no results given on the participant’s symptoms. It is also the most extensive study of its kind.

Potential Causes Of Decline of Serum Testosterone

  • Increased Obesity/BMI
  • Diet/phytoestrogens 
  • Declined physical activity
  • Fat percentage
  • Marijuana use 
  • Environmental toxins

Increased Obesity/BMI

People with moderate obesity have decreased total testosterone. This decrease could be due to insulin resistance that is associated with reductions in sex hormone-binding globulin. Severe obesity connects with reductions in free testosterone levels.
 
Researchers believe it is due to a suppressed hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis. Obesity also affects iron metabolism and overactivity. It can further contribute to low circulating total T levels.

Diet

A small study conducted in 2016 investigated the dietary patterns associated with serum total T levels and their predictive effect on hypogonadism (low sex drive) and body composition.

Anthropometry, blood biochemistry, and food frequency questionnaires were collected for 125 adult men [1].

People whose diet is mainly composed of bread, pastries, and dairy products and those who rarely eat homemade food or dark green vegetables are most likely at risk for unhealthy body composition.

When the body composition suffers, it can increase visceral fat and decrease skeletal muscle mass. This result can also lead to lower serum total T levels.

How do endocrine disruptors affect the body?

When absorbed in the body, an endocrine disruptor can decrease or increase normal hormone levels, mimic the body’s natural hormones, or alter the natural production of hormones.

Examples: BPA, PFAS, Phytoestrogens, Phthalates, Triclosan &, etc.

Stress Levels Contributes to Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels

Stress can raise your cortisol, which is a hormone that can lower your testosterone once elevated. Reducing stress also reduces testosterone production. So if you want to reduce stress, you must get enough sleep and live a more balanced lifestyle. Exercising also helps and so does proper nutrition in your diet. 

Doing Physical Activity

A 2016 study of men with obesity found that regular exercise increased T levels than even losing weight. 41 overweight and obese men completed a 12-week lifestyle modification program (aerobic exercise training and calorie restriction).

They measured serum testosterone levels, the number of steps, and the total energy intake [2]. The best exercises to increase T levels are resistance and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). 

One study in men found that interval training helps in boosting T levels. The training consists of 90 seconds of intense treadmill running interspersed with 90 seconds recovery periods.

Results show a significant increase in T levels compared to running on the treadmill for 45 minutes straight [3]. So, to rise the T levels in your body, you must do intense exercises for half an hour or so. Running on the treadmill helps but it might slow down your T-level production. 

Doing cardio has no evidence that it can impact your T-levels, no matter the gender. However, too much cardio may lower your T-levels. 

Can Marijuana Cause a Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels?

A study from 2020 using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data from 2011-2016 had some interesting outcomes. They have studied men who are regular marijuana users and how it had impacted their testosterone levels.

This study had identified all men 18 years old and above who answered the substance use questionnaire and underwent laboratory testing for T levels.

In addition to that, regular THC users were defined as those who use THC at least once per month, every month for at least a year. Does this mean marijuana helps increase the T levels? 

Among 5,146 men who met inclusion, 3,027 endorsed using THC at least once in their lives (ever-user). Nearly half of the THC ever-users (49.3%) were regular THC users.

THC use is associated with small increases in testosterone. This means that the rise in T appears to decline as THC use increases. However, T is still higher with any amount of regular use when compared to T in non-users.

Furthermore, this increase was represented by an inverse U-shaped trend with Regular THC users using two-three times per month. It demonstrates the most significant increase in T (+ 66.77 ng/dL) over non-users [4].

Men who smoke it regularly are twice as likely to have sperm with abnormal shape and size. According to one study, males who smoke marijuana at least once a week experienced a reduced sperm count.

Conclusion: 

What you believe you believe is what you become. If you think you’ll lose intelligence by basking in the sun, you probably will. The hippocampus is 90% affected by what you believe and your confidence, in my case, at least.

If you believe that you’re smarter than Einstein, your neurons will fire corresponding signals, and you’ll be seriously reading and studying. It’s all about self-discipline and determination. 

To watch the full episode of Ep. 94, check out our latest by clicking here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
00:52 Plugs
02:11 Episode Introduction
04:02 What is testosterone?
06:00 The fun and exciting time of puberty
07:47 The Decline of Serum Testosterone Levels
11:01 The acceptable testosterone levels for men by age group
13:17 Testosterone decreased by 150 points
15:34 Potential cause of testosterone decrease
15:57 1. Obesity
18:39 2. Diet
20:48 3. Environmental Toxins
22:21 4. Stress
23:19 5. Physical Activity
25:26 6. Marijuana use
29:13 Conclusion
31:54 Wrapping up the episode

Everything We Need to Know About Autism

Everything We Need to Know About Autism

Everything We Need to Know About Autism

Many are aware of autism in children but have little understanding of its real nature. But what do we know about autism? Can it be corrected? What can we do to help children or people with this condition? In honor of April as World Autism Day, this post will talk about autism and what you need to learn about it. 

What is Autism? 

Autism is also known or called ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. It is a condition that includes problems with behavior and communication in children, which involves a wide range of symptoms and skills. 

ASD can be a minor problem that can be corrected through therapy or a disability that needs full-time care within a particular facility that specializes in patients with autism. 

Many people with autism have difficulty with communication. They don’t understand what other people think or feel, which makes it hard for them to express themselves through words, facial expressions, touch, or gestures. 

Difficulties in learning are a problem among people with autism. One example is their skill sets that do not develop within the proper age range. They do not meet the developmental milestone that their age has. 

They also have trouble communicating, making it hard to verbalize how they feel. However, many people with ASD are unusually brilliant at math, art, science, or memory. Because of this, they do well on problem-solving and tests of analysis. 

Today, more children are diagnosed with autism than a few decades ago. And understanding this condition is crucial in terms of caring for them. 

Early Signs of Autism

The signs and symptoms of autism usually appear before two or three years old. In some cases, signs of autism can be identified during the first 12 months of their life or as early as 18 months. Early intervention can lead to a much more favorable outcome for people with autism later in life.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms as early as possible can help you understand autism. Here are the most common symptoms of autism you should watch out for:

  • There is a lack of eye contact. 
  • The child has an intense interest in a specific topic or has a narrow range of interests. 
  • Repetitive activities like repeating phrases and words, rocking back and forth, or flipping an item repeatedly. 
  • Not paying mind or listening to other people. 
  • Highly sensitive to sounds, smells, touches, or sights that may seem ordinary to normal people. 
  • Does not want to be held or cuddled. 
  • Not looking at things when being pointed to them. 
  • Talking in a robotic, flat, or sing-song manner. 
  • Has difficulty adapting to changes in routine. 
  • Has problems understanding facial expressions, gestures, speech, or tone of voice. 

Seizures may also occur in children with autism. However, this might not start until they reach adolescence. 

Diagnosing Autism

Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder can be difficult. There is no medical test that you can do to diagnose the condition. Doctors must look at the child’s behavior and development first to confirm a diagnosis. 

ASD can be detected during the first 12 months of a child’s life. A diagnosis can be given when the child is two years old if all the classic signs are present. In some cases, many children do not receive a final diagnosis until later. 

There are also cases where one is diagnosed with ASD when they reach adolescents or adulthood. When the diagnosis is delayed, it could mean that they might not get the help they need during the early stages of their life. Correcting the condition may be more challenging around this stage. 

How to Diagnose ASD

Diagnosing autism can be a challenge, but your doctor will focus on your child’s development and behavior. There are two steps in diagnosing children:

First, a developmental screening will tell your doctor if your child is on track. Basic skills like behavior, speaking, learning, and developmental delays are monitored during regular checkups at nine months, 18 months, and 24-30 months. Children are checked for autism around 18-24 months during these checkups. 

If there are signs of autism during these screenings, they will evaluate the child through hearing and vision tests or genetic tests. Doctors will work with specialists like a developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist. A test called Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) is given to children to conclude a diagnosis further. 

Causes of ASD

There is no clear origin as to why autism happens. But, it could stem from a couple of problems in the parts of the human brain that interprets the sensory input and processes language. 

As studies show, autism happens more often in males than in females. However, it can occur in any ethnicity, race, or social background. In short, anyone can be affected by this disorder. Among the risk factors include: 

  • A child born to older parents has a higher risk of having autism. 
  • Autism runs in the family, so a combination of genes may also increase the risk of having a child with ASD. 
  • Pregnant women exposed to certain chemicals, drugs, alcohol, or anti-seizure medications while in term are more likely to have autistic children. Medications like valproic acid and thalidomide that were taken during pregnancy can also cause autism. 
  • Metabolic conditions like obesity or diabetes during pregnancy can also contribute to this condition. 
  • Having a sibling with autism. 
  • A researched has linked autism to untreated phenylketonuria or PKU. It is a metabolic disorder caused by the absence of an enzyme and rubella or German measles. 
  • Experiencing complications at birth. 

Contrary to popular belief, autism is NOT caused by vaccinations. There is no evidence supporting this claim. Make sure to get your information about autism from a credible source. 

The Different Types of Autism

ASD is not limited to one type. There is more than one kind of autism, and they fall under different spectrum:

  • Asperger’s syndrome – children with Asperger’s have no problem with language. They are even above the average range on intelligence tests. However, they have a narrow scope of interest, and issues with social interaction.
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder – this typically develops for at least two years. Children with this disorder tend to lose some or most of their social skills and communication. 
  • Pervasive development disorder (PDD), or atypical autism – is the term physicians use if a child has some autistic behavior. These behaviors are likely displayed as delays in communication and social skills but don’t fit within the ASD category. 
  • Autistic disorder – refers to children who have problems with social interactions, playing with other children younger than three years old, and communication. 

 

How Do You Treat Autism? 

As far as a cure is concerned, there is no “cure” for autism. However, several effective interventions can help improve the quality of life for a child with this disorder. It is used to create a structured behavioral plan to help improve their adaptive skills and decrease inappropriate behaviors. 

Most treatments for ASD seek to reduce symptoms to reduce the symptoms of autism that interferes with their quality of life. Treatment plans usually involve multiple professionals and are catered to the individual. If you think that your child has ASD, consult your doctor as soon as possible. 

Two types of treatment can help a child or person with ASD. They are: 

  • Communication and behavioral therapy to help with the structure and organization – applied behavioral analysis is a therapy that promotes positive behavior and discourages negative ones.
    • Occupational therapy is given to help them with life skills, eating, and relating to people.
    • Another is speech therapy. It is given to help them with their communication skills and sensory integration therapy to help those with sensory problems like sensitivity to sound, light, or touch. 
  • Medications – depending on the severity of the ASD, meds are given to help with the symptoms and control hyperactivity, anxiety, or attention problems. 

There are also complementary treatments that can help boost the individual’s communication and learning skills. These include:

  • Music
  • Art
  • Animal therapy like horseback riding etc. 
  • Swimming

An Advice for the Parents

Dealing with an autistic child makes parenthood even more challenging. The good news is that many healthcare facilities and specialists can help you with this condition. If you have an autistic child or suspect that your child has autism, it is recommended that you:

  • Learn as much as possible about ASD. Read books, research online, watch videos, and talk to experts. 
  • Connect with people who are also parents of children with autism. 
  • Provide a consistent routine and structure for your child. 
  • Seek out the best professional help for any specific concerns that you might have. 
  • Take time for yourself and the family members involved in caring for your child with ASD. 

 

Autism does not only affect the child born with it but the whole family too. Taking care of an autistic child is undoubtedly stressful, expensive (talk about therapy sessions), and time-consuming. But keeping your family’s emotional health is also as important. Don’t forget to include this in your treatment plan. 

 

In Closing

A child with autism is not a burden; they’re extra special. Truth is, they are some of the purest people in the world! All you need to do is love them and extend your patience. And they will surely give it back.