You may not think that common household products can cause erectile dysfunction but there is evidence to suggest that certain chemicals may do just that.
While singing in the shower, have you ever stopped to think that the soap you’re using may be affecting your erections? Probably not, but the truth is that chemicals common in many antibacterial soaps may affect your ability to produce or maintain an erection.
Benefits largely unproven
Many of us fear the unseen bacteria lurking almost everywhere. Because of this, we often look for “antibacterial” labels on products while shopping in the hope of keeping ourselves and our children healthy. Much of this fear has been created by the producers of these commercial goods, with advertising insisting that we need these products to avoid becoming ill. The truth of the matter is that the benefits of using antibacterial products are largely unproven, according to a statement by the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA).
Manufacturers need to add certain chemicals during the production process to make products “antibacterial”. Such chemicals can be found in many consumer products such as soap, toothpaste, kitchenware and even toys, but may actually be more harmful than we think.
Triclosan is one of the chemicals used for antibacterial properties. Beyond Pesticide explains that it is predominantly absorbed through the skin, from soap, body washes and lotions or through the lining of the mouth, from toothpaste or food exposed to the chemical.
It has been linked to an increased risk of allergies, eczema and asthma in children. It is also considered to be a potential endocrine disruptor. This means that research has indicated that it could potentially affect hormone functioning in the human body.
Bacterial resistance to triclosan has been shown during research although further studies are needed to show what effect it would have on bacterial resistance in a normal environment, The Encyclopaedia of Earth explains. The FDA states that certain antibacterial ingredients such as triclosan may actually be linked to bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Triclosan and male sexual health
The results of 2008 study published in the Oxford Journal of Toxicology Sciences, suggest that exposure to Triclosan can affect certain hormone levels. The study exposed rats to triclosan at a concentration of 5ml per 100g body mass. The researchers found that the rats exposed to triclosan had significantly lower testosterone levels than the control group.
Another study into rats conducted by The Indian Institute of Technology’s Department of Biotechnology showed that exposure to triclosan over a 60 day period resulted in lower sperm production.
While researchers are yet to conduct similar studies in humans, experts are advocating the removal of triclosan from consumer products because of the multiple risks it could pose to our health.
What effects can lower testosterone have?
Testosterone is the main male sex hormone and is responsible for sexual function. Low testosterone levels can have a number of effects on a man. Some symptoms are poor sleep, irritability, depressed mood, poor muscle tone and increased body fat, especially around the stomach.
Sexually, it can result in a lower sex drive, shrinking testes, abnormal sperm production and erectile dysfunction, a Health24 article states.
Should I change my soap?
The FDA is conducting further research into triclosan to determine what effects the chemical could have in humans, so for now, the decision lies with you really.
Locally, Johnson & Johnson South Africa and Reckitt Benckiser have decided to phase out the chemical from their products. Both Woolworths and Clicks do not use triclosan in their house brand products, according to an article by Bizcommunity.
Legally, manufacturers using triclosan are required to list it as an ingredient on the product’s label. If you are worried about chemicals and your health, simply avoid purchasing products that contain it.
Just as many people are neurotic about germs, it is easy to become similarly anxious about chemicals. Unfortunately in today’s world we simply are exposed to many more chemicals than the generations before us. It is possible to reduce your exposure by adopting an organic lifestyle but even then, chemicals cannot be avoided entirely.
Scams to look out for this Black-Friday
AS the curtain comes down on the year 2021, the buzz word this week will be Black Friday.
For those who are not up to speed with the concept, Black Friday is a colloquial term for the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
Many stores offer highly promoted sales at discounted prices and often open very early, sometimes as early as midnight or even on Thanksgiving Day.
This American concept has fast become a global trend and this coming Friday, the shopping frenzy continues.
This Black Friday comes at the backdrop of dire socio-economic challenges.
While many of us will be shopping around for those crazy deals and discounts, there are some threats and scams one needs to take note of.
According to the Cnet publication, these are some of the things we need to look out for this coming Black Friday:
1. Look out for fake websites and fraudulent apps
According to tech experts, the phishing concept’s goal is for hackers to get their hands on your personal information, like your credit card number, social security or account password. Pretending to be a large retail corporation, the fraudsters send out an official-looking email or text message, usually with a link to a fraudulent website designed to look just like a legitimate site. According to experts, if you receive an email asking you to update your payment method or requesting other personal information, contact the company’s help desk to make sure the email is legit before you do anything else.
2. Card scams can also happen digitally
This, according to experts, happens when a hacker places an object over a card reader, disguised to look like part of the ATM, and then waits for people to swipe their cards. A day or week later, the thief takes the object known as a skimmer back and collects the mountain of stolen card information stored inside, which they can then use to make purchases, withdraw money and more. Tim Mackey, principal security strategist for Synopsis, suggests that people don’t save the card details on retail websites. He also suggests that if possible, one should use a third-party payment method like Apple Pay, Google Wallet or PayPal.
3. Try to wire all your transfers
According to Health Care Family magazine, on this Black Friday, try and use your credit card to purchase goods. It offers you the most protection against purchases that don’t turn out to be what you expected. A debit card can be a good choice, too, if you’re only shopping at stores and sites you trust and frequent often.
Cellphone exposure may harm-sperm
In men with no exposure to cellphones, 50% to 85% of their sperm had a normal ability to move towards an egg – that fell by an average of 8% among men exposed to cellphones.
Men who carry a cellphone in their pants pocket may harm their sperm and reduce their chances of having children, a new review warns.
The research team analysed the findings of 10 studies that examined how cellphone exposure may affect male fertility.
Among men with no exposure to cellphones, 50% to 85% of their sperm had a normal ability to move towards an egg.
That fell by an average of 8% among men exposed to cellphones. Similar effects were seen for sperm viability, which refers to the proportion of sperm that were alive, according to the study published in the journal Environment International.
The effects of cellphone exposure on sperm concentration (the number of sperm per unit of semen) were unclear, the investigators noted.
Most adults worldwide own mobile phones, and about 14% of couples in middle- and high-income nations have difficulty conceiving, the researchers said. They also noted that previous studies have suggested radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellphones can harm male fertility.
“Given the enormous scale of mobile phone use around the world, the potential role of this environmental exposure needs to be clarified,” study leader Fiona Mathews, of the biosciences department at the University of Exeter in England, said in a university news release.
“This study strongly suggests that being exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation from carrying mobiles in trouser pockets negatively affects sperm quality. This could be particularly important for men already on the borderline of infertility, and further research is required to determine the full clinical implications for the general population,” she said.
While the study found an association between cellphone exposure and male infertility, the study was not designed to determine a cause-and-effect relationship.
Benefits of chewing gum
WHAT does Gavin Hunt, Rihanna and Katy Perry have in common?
Besides their apparent passion for what they do, all three are popular for always being seen chewing bubblegum.
A lot of people chew gum for various reasons.
Some chew it to keep their mouth fresh, while many sportsmen and women chew it to keep the saliva in their mouth, which in turn prevents them from constantly spitting on the pitch.
According to experts, there are many benefits to chewing gum.
According to Healthline magazine, these are some of the benefits of chewing gum:
1. Chewing gum reduces stress and boosts your memory.
Studies have found that chewing gum while performing tasks can improve various aspects of brain function, including alertness, memory, understanding, and making decisions. The studies found that students who chewed gum over a period of seven or 19 days had reduced scores for depression, anxiety, and stress compared to those who did not. Those who chewed gum also achieved greater academic success.
2. Chewing gum also helps you lose weight.
Bubblegum is sweet and low in calories, giving you a sweet taste without negatively affecting your diet. Some research suggests that chewing gum could reduce your appetite, which could prevent you from overeating. Furthermore, chewing gum between meals decreased feelings of hunger and reduced intake of high carb snacks in the afternoon.
3. Chewing gum protects your teeth and reduces bad breath.
Chewing sugar-free gum could help protect your teeth from cavities. This is because sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your mouth, which can damage your teeth. Studies have found that chewing gums sweetened with xylitol are more effective than other sugar-free gums at preventing tooth decay. This is because xylitol prevents the growth of the bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath.
4. It helps in eliminating nausea.
According to WebMd, if you feel sick, the saliva production from chewing gum may help you feel better. This is especially true for motion sickness and morning sickness during pregnancy.
5. It helps you stay alert and awake.
According to Select-Health magazine, if you are struggling to stay alert at work, chewing gum could be the simple solution you’re looking for. One study revealed that chewing gum can fight sleepiness. Anything mint flavoured is the most effective gum to battle midday yawns.
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