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Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 18 October 2017

Sixteen Foods That Can Increase Your Cancer Risk

Eating healthy is a full time job. It's important to take the time to be knowledgeable about your diet, because, in the end, a healthy diet can add years and years to your life. There are foods that many of us eat every day that are actually very bad for us, and can even increase our risk of many forms of cancer. The goal of this article is to help you choose your foods more conscientiously, so that you can avoid cancer-causing foods.

Microwave Popcorn and Cancer Risk

Popcorn is a great low-calorie snack, and an excellent source of fiber, but you should only eat popcorn that you cook yourself, because microwave popcorn can be really bad for you. Microwave popcorn is the epitome of modern convenience, but there are a lot of reasons to avoid this staple snack in the American diet.

For one, the inner lining of popcorn bags is covered with perfluorooctanoic acid, also referred to as PFOA. The reason why manufacturers use PFOA is so that the popcorn kernels and other ingredients don't get stuck to the bag. PFOA is also an ingredient in Teflon. Most people know that scratching Teflon can contaminate the food you cook on the pan, but PFOA fairly freely dissociates from he popcorn bag.

The Environmental Protection Agency considers PFOA a toxic chemical, but the chemical is still used in popcorn bags. There is strong clinical evidence that PFOA contributes to both cancer and infertility in laboratory experiments.

Also, there are reasons to avoid microwave popcorn even on top of the issues with the bag. For one, most microwave popcorn is covered with preservatives. One of the most common is propyl gallate, which has been linked to issues ranging from rashing of the skin to gastrointestinal complications. Microwave popcorn manufacturers heavily make use of genetically modified crops to make their popcorn as well.

Finally, popcorn is frequently doused with diacetyl, a powdery substance which has been associated with lung conditions among employees at their factories, frequently referred to as Popcorn Lung. All of this can be avoided simply by purchasing popcorn kernels from a responsible source, and cooking them on your own.

Non-Organic Fruits and Cancer Risk

It's incredibly important to source your fruits from responsible growers. Many industrial fruit farms douse their fruit crops in chemicals, such as organophosphates, thiodicarb, and atrazine. Many also use fertilizers which are tremendously high in nitrogen.

The use of atrazine as a fertilizer is actually illegal in many areas of the world, including most of Europe. There is powerful evidence that atrazine exposure can lead to issues regarding reproduction and fertility, made particularly clear in animal experiments. In America, atrazine is still frequently used as a weed killer.

There is even evidence that atrazine impacts human fertility. In fact, in 2009, researchers found that women that lived in areas where water was inadvertently laced with Atrazine, their children weighed less at birth. Also, frequently, non-organic fruit farms use bio-solids to fertilize their crops. Bio-solids is a polite way of saying that these crops are fertilized with human waste from American sewage plants. This sewage contains not only human waste, but everything that is filtered from the water supply!

Vegetables and fruits are frequently doused with these chemicals, which is why the conspicuous health consumer should choose organic growers that avoid these chemicals. Growers use these chemicals to maximize the growth of their product. Apples have the highest rate of pesticide absorption. Ninety-eight percent of apples were shown to have traceable levels of pesticide! Other fruits that have high rates of pesticide absorption and exposure are grapes, strawberries, and oranges.

For this reason, it is important to wash all fruits before you eat them. But it is also important to understand that washing won't get rid of all of the contamination, which is why it's important to source your fruits as well as possible.

Canned Tomatoes and Cancer Risk

Bisphenol-A is a common chemical which is frequently used in order to line the inside of canned food, in order to prevent the organic chemicals in the food from interacting with the metal of the can, preserving taste. It is also known as BPA, and there are some concerns regarding the effect that Bisphenol-A can have on health.

A recent study, released in 2013 by NAS, demonstrated that BPA can impact the manner in which genes function inside lab rat brains. The Food and Drug Administration is also concerned about potential health issues that may be contributed to BPA, and cautiously urge food manufacturers to minimize their use of BPA or find another, more safe and suitable chemical to do the job.

There are many canned foods which don't necessarily present a big risk of BPA exposure, but acidic fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, are some of the prime culprits, because the acids can interact with the lining, causing the BPA to enter the food itself. In canned tomatoes, BPA levels can reach a concentration where many groups recommend that children don't eat them at all.

As of today, there are no rules in place to make manufacturers label their cans if they use BPA, so unless it explicitly says that it does not contain BPA, you should assume that it does. If you want to mitigate you or your children's exposure to BPA, choose foods that have been sealed in glass jars, frozen in bags, or which are just plain fresh!

Processed Meats and Cancer Risk

Processed Meats have become a staple in many people's eating habits. Originally, processed meats were created to help food taste better and remain edible for a longer period of time. When good, fresh meat was harder to come by, this was important, but today, when good, healthy meat is readily available, the downsides to processed meat become much clearer. Processed meat is a wide and varied category that includes lunch meat, bacon, hot dogs, and sausages, among many other meat products.

The issue with these foods is that, unlike other meats such as steak, pork loin, and fish, processed meats are heavily treated with chemicals and salts which affect their flavor, texture, and quality. Unfortunately, these ingredients also present a carcinogenic risk, while also being bad for the cardiovascular system in general.

In a recent study released in the journal BioMed Central Medicine, it was found that in over the course of a 13 year longitudinal study, one in every seventeen patients died. The consumption of processed meats played at least a strong correlative factor in mortality rates, because participants that ate a volume of processed meat product of more than 160 grams per day were 44% more likely to experience premature mortality than those that ate 20 grams per day or fewer. This broad study ranged across ten nations in Europe.

One of the prime factors which lead to this enhanced risk is sodium nitrate, a preservative used to maintain freshness and quality, but that also leads to increased cancer risk. Smoked meats can also cause issues, because the cooking process involved with smoking causes tar to be absorbed into the meat. If you enjoy foods like these and don't want to give them up, remember: moderation is your friend and will help you live a longer and happier life!

Farm-Raised Salmon and Cancer Risk

In general, fish are one of the best means to add lean protein to your diet. Of course, there are some forms of fish you should avoid, even if they are fresh. This includes Farm-Raised Salmon, which is not nearly as healthy as salmon which is caught wild. It's important to be aware of where your salmon is sourced, because more than half of the salmon eaten in the United States come from these farms.

Right now you are likely asking yourself, what's the problem with Farm-Raised Salmon? Well, the main issue with them is the way they are fed and stored. Salmon that has been raised in a farm atmosphere doesn't live the same life or even have the same dietary composition as those caught wild.

For example, they are often fed the same food as other farm animals, including chicken litter. Healthy wild salmon is naturally pink, but, because of their poor diet in captivity, they lose that color, and are actually fed chemicals in order to produce this color artificially to trick you into thinking that you are getting a healthy product. The deep red color is actually an indication of the composition of the animal, and farm-raised salmon don't produce as much natural Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which means that you don't get the same health benefits from Farm-Raised Salmon as you would from wild salmon.

Also, in order to keep the fish healthy and heavy, they are treated with pesticides, antibiotics, and chemicals in order to increase the viability of the yield, and many of these chemicals are known endocrine disruptors or have other negative effects on human and ecological health. They also have increased levels of dioxins, mercury, and PCBs, all of which can have a negative impact on health.

Potato Chips and Cancer Risk

One of the issues with the American diet today is that so many of the things that are bad for us, or were originally only intended to be eaten in moderation are now staple foods in the American diet. This is especially true of potato chips, which are a go-to snack for people on the go, and many people that are simply looking for some quick and easy tasty calories to go with their sandwich (which likely contains processed meat!).

Unfortunately, potato chips are unhealthy in a number of ways. For example, potato chips are a calorie dense food and they are also full of fat. Potato chips, like french fries, are a terrible addition to any diet as more than an occasional treat. A recent article released in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that consuming just a single ounce of potato chips on a daily basis led to an average increase in weight of two pounds.

Also, many types of potato chips are loaded with trans-fats which are universally bad for human health and should be avoided as completely as possible. The combination of high trans-fats and high sodium combine in a one-two punch that is highly dangerous for individuals that suffer from hypertension and elevated cholesterol levels.

There are also carcinogens in potato chips, which are produced whenever potatoes are fried at very high temps. These exceptional temperatures are necessary to produce the crispiness in the ideal potato chip, but they also lead to the production of acrylamide, which is a cancer-causing agent most notable as a product of cigarette smoke.

All of this doesn't even take into account the glut of artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors which all have their unique effects on health and cancer risk. If you absolutely love the occasional bag of chips, turn to baked tortilla chips or potato chips in order to limit the calories and fat per serving. There are also a lot of alternatives that are much better for you, including whole wheat pretzels and popcorn popped on the stove, or, even better, air-popped.

If you are addicted to the crispness of potato chips more than the potatoes themselves, baked banana and apple chips can sate that desire while also filling in your nutritional needs without being a caloric burden.

Hydrogenated Oils and Cancer Risk

Hydrogenated oils are vegetable fats which are chemically extracted from the original plant. Animal fat can be separated naturally, but vegetable oils must be treated in order to be separated. The bottle of vegetable oil that you have on your counter has likely been treated with coloring agents and deodorized in order to make it appear more appealing as an ingredient.

There's nothing wrong with vegetable oil in moderation, but it's important to be aware that Hydrogenated oil is very high in Omega-6 fatty acids. If you have too much vegetable oil in your diet, it can lead to health issues such as an increased risk of both cancer and heart disease. The form of cancer that appears to be most affected by Omega-6 is skin cancer.

In order to mitigate the risk of cancer associated with Omega-6 fatty acids, it is important to both consume products which contain vegetable oil in moderation, and also make sure that you get enough Omega-3 to balance out for your health. There are a lot of great ways to supplement your diet with Omega-3, including fatty fish like wild mackerel and salmon as well as meat from animals fed by grass. There are also lots of supplements that effectively provide Omega-3.

The amount of oil used for home cooking is generally in an acceptable range, but processed foods tend to contain way too much vegetable oil because of its function as a preservative. The reason why Hydrogenated oils increase cancer risk is because they have a negative influence on the flexibility and structure of the cell membranes.

Smoked or Highly Salted Foods and Cancer Risk

One of the reasons why processed foods are such an issue is because they contain nitrite or nitrate salts. These salts are also used in a variety of other food products as well. They are powerful preservatives, and they also artificially color the meat to increase its visual appeal. The reason why these salts are bad is because, after they are digested, they are converted into N-nitroso composites, which are associated with increased cancer risk. Foods often treated with Nitrates and Nitrites are salami, bologna, sausage, and bacon, and, as we mentioned before, they are also unhealthy because of their salt and fat content.

The excess consumption of food cooked by smoking is also bad, because any food that is smoked absorbs tar solid carcinogens which will then be absorbed into the body. Pickled foods are highly unhealthy because the pickling process is literally preserving food by drowning it in salt.

There is evidence that all the foods mentioned above increase the risk of stomach and colorectal cancer. This has been shown quite vividly by studying cultures like Japan, where the normal diet is high in smoked and salted foods.

Processed Bleached Flour and Cancer Risk

It is quite clear that, as evidence continues to grow, white flour is simply not good for you. It's so prevalent in the American diet, however, that it can be difficult to actually register how bad white flour is for the body. In reality, white flour is no better than sugar. White flour is the epitome of the empty calorie. The process that creates white flour eliminates all of the ingredients which can make grains beneficial.

Flour used to be naturally white, but today, in order to reduce production time and cut costs, white flour is bleached in order to make the product more visually palatable. The most common chemical that is used to hasten the whitening process is chlorine gas.

Chlorine gas is highly toxic and dangerous when inhaled, and the same chemical processes which make the chemical so dangerous are also the mechanisms by which causes white flour to be completely bereft of nutrition.

Because white flour is so processed, the body can directly absorb the carbohydrates and distribute them with no effort. In most cases, unless you are highly active or maintain an otherwise optimal diet, white flour will be converted nearly directly into fat. Because white flour activates so readily, it can positively be hell on your insulin and blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of diabetes.

Over-consumption of processed flour can contribute to cancer for two reasons. For one, obesity leads to hormone imbalance, which suppresses Testosterone Levels and increases Estrogen Levels in men. In both sexes, HGH Levels are suppressed. Also, for patients with cancer, these empty calories can actually have a negative impact on health because of how readily they can be used by cancerous tumors.

GMOs Increase Cancer Risk

There are many loud and vocal opponents to genetically modified foods, frequently referred to as GMOs. GMOs are any foods, plant or animal, which have been modified at the genetic level via scientific means or exposure to chemicals.

Many GMOs are perfectly healthy, but the issue is that there is no review process or sufficient monitoring to make sure which GMOs are safe and which can potentially be dangerous. In one particularly telling study, performed by a scientist named Dr. Arpad Pusztai, potatoes were treated with a GMO modifier known as A-Lectin, which has an incredibly detrimental effect on mammalian health. After only ten days of experimentation, the rats in the study experienced diminished livers and brains, as well as pre-cancerous growths and inhibited immune systems.

Many point to this study to say all GMOs are bad, but the point of the study was explicitly to show that genetically modified foods, if not properly inspected, can potentially have a highly negative impact on human health. There are no procedures in place to sufficiently monitor genetically modified foods, and for this reason, the conscientious consumer would be wise to avoid GMO foods for their natural alternatives.

Processed Sugars Increase Cancer Risk

Like processed grains, processed sugars also wreak havoc upon insulin levels, and also provide a direct, unmediated path to increased weight gain and the exacerbation of cancerous and precancerous lesions and tumors.

For closing in on a century, scientific researchers have been aware of the potential cancer-exacerbating issues related to the excess consumption of sugar. In 1931, a man named Otto Warburg was the first researcher to prove that cancerous tumors draw in sugar from the blood stream to develop and grow.

The sugars which seem to have the most powerful effect upon tumor growth are those that also increase the risk of diabetes, such as simple sugars and carbs, as well as High-Fructose Corn Syrup. When you eat whole wheat bread or fruits, your body also processes fiber and other nutrients, which causes the body to absorb the sugar more slowly.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup is essentially identical to the sugar in your blood stream, meaning that it is absorbed directly from the stomach into the blood stream, where it goes directly to fat tissue, the muscles (under heavy activity), or to tumors in the case of cancer.

Since the 1980s, corn syrup has become increasingly prevalent in the foods that we eat, including cereals, sauces, juices, sodas, cookies, pies, and cakes. One of the easiest ways to avoid HFCS and other processed sugars is to cook food yourself so that you are aware of the ingredients, or eat selectively or at specialty restaurants.

Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer Risk

Artificial Sweeteners are commonly used by people that are trying to limit their sugar intake, whether as a result of diabetes or a general interest in losing weight. The issue with artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame is that they aren't that effective at leading to reduced caloric consumption. In fact, many studies show that, on average, people that turn to diet drinks actually have a tendency to gain weight, because these artificial sweeteners tend to lead to an increased sensation of hunger, especially for sweets. They've also been shown to be of limited effectiveness for diabetics.

These products can be ineffective for diabetics because it can inhibit the body's ability to regulate blood sugar, and can also exacerbate existing issues related to diabetes such as gastro paresis and cataracts. In some limited cases, aspartame can also lead to convulsions.

There is also growing data which suggests that aspartame, and some other artificial sweeteners, convert into Diketopiperazine, also known as DKP. When Aspartame is digested by the stomach, some of it is converted into this chemical, which is a known carcinogen, and is most strongly correlated with increased brain tumor risk.

If you are interested in a sugar substitute that is actually healthy for you, try Stevia. Stevia is a natural plant extract derived from a tropical plant that has the ability to imitate the flavor and satiation associated with sugar, without contributing to your caloric intake. Based on the way that the extract is biologically configured, it activates the taste buds associated with sweetness, but the sugar substitute does not break down until after it will no longer be absorbed into the blood stream and is safely excreted. The only issue is that Stevia cannot survive high temperatures associated with a stove top, but can survive the baking process up to a certain temperature.

"Diet" Foods and Cancer Risk

It may seem a bit counter-intuitive, but packaged diet products, whether they be drinks or meals, tend to be bad for you. For one, most common diet drinks contain aspartame, which is bad for you for the reasons described in the previous section.

Diet meals also tend to be bad for you because they dazzle you with phrases like Low Fat or No Sugar, but include other products that are just as bad for you. Many Low Fat foods are loaded with sugar, which is actually far worse for your diet than fat! Also, almost all Diet Foods are loaded with salt, which is bad for people that are overweight or obese and are already suffering from issues related to high blood pressure and hypertension.

Also, these diet foods often look nothing like their more naturally composed alternatives, meaning that they need artificial flavors and sweeteners in order to imitate the flavor profile that they are trying to copy. As we've mentioned previously, many of these artificial sweeteners and products are carcinogenic, and could be much worse for you in the long run than sticking to a natural and responsible diet.

There is also evidence that many of the additives in diet food actually have addictive qualities in some individuals. They are included to help you develop a craving for the foods and lean on them as a crutch, whether or not you lose weight! Remember, the best way to lose weight is to consume a diet of moderation high in nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables and fruits.

Excess Consumption of Alcohol and Cancer Risk

Alcohol is an interesting beast. When used in moderation, it can have beneficial effects on health and wellness, but, when consumed in excess, it can greatly increase mortality risk in a number of ways, including an increased risk of liver cancer and other medical conditions.

In one major study, researchers followed American women for nearly fourteen years in order to generally assess their health and how their habits affected their health. Among the 20,000 participants, it was discovered that women that drank alcohol once per day or more were thirty percent more likely to experience breast cancer than non-drinking women.

Behind the use of tobacco products, alcohol consumption is the 2nd highest identifier of cancer risk. Low or modest consumption of alcohol is related to a diminished heart disease risk, but alcohol abuse is associated with increased risk of general mortality, stroke, and heart failure. World Health Organization Researchers examined twenty-seven unique studies which explored the potential link between alcohol and cancer. The result of their research was that they determined that alcohol abuse is the leading cause of various cancers, including female breast cancer and cancers of the rectum, mouth, colon, liver, and esophagus.

Remember, the key here is moderation. There's no reason that you can't enjoy a beverage with dinner, but be sure to limit yourself in order to optimize your health!

Red Meat and Cancer Risk

Most people naturally crave red meat, at least sometimes. Red meat is a quality source of many vitamins, including Vitamin A. The problem is that we have a tendency to eat too much. Red meat is another food that is best eaten occasionally that many people eat on a daily basis.

The best red meat is that which comes from an animal eating its natural diet. Grass-fed beef is far better for health than grain-fed beef, and the former actually has cancer-preventing qualities, primarily in the form of linoleic acid.

On the other hand, studies have shown that daily consumption of red meat over an extended period of time can significantly increase cancer risk. For example, in one study, ten years of constant red meat consumption increased cancer mortality risk by twenty percent for women and twenty-two percent for men. In particular, red meat seems to increase the probability of experiencing colon, prostate, and breast cancer.

Red meat has the most significant and life-threatening impact with regard to colon cancer. In one exceptionally large study of men and women between fifty and seventy-four, there was clear evidence that red meat consumption greatly increased the risk of colon cancer, while regular consumption of lean meat had ameliorative properties which appeared to protect against cancer.

There's nothing wrong with a delicious steak occasionally, but make sure that you don't make it an every day habit. Once per week is a nice rule of thumb if you're a fan of steak and want to maximize benefits with minimal risk to your health.

Soda and Cancer Risk

After reading the previous entries, you probably wouldn't at all be surprised to find out that the excessive consumption of pretty much any soda is bad for you. One recent research study showed that men and women that average more than a single serving of soda daily are at increased risk of stroke compared to those that forgo soda altogether.

One reason for this is that sodas are packed with empty calories. Look at the back of that can of coke next time. The drink offers absolutely nothing that your body needs, aside from calories which you can easily get elsewhere, and are very likely consuming too much of as it is. Most American sodas are flavored with HFCS, which is incredibly bad for you and can lead to diabetes and exacerbate cancer.

Soda is also among the most common causes of Acid-Reflux disease, a condition in which stomach acid leeches into the esophagus, leading to discomfort and pain. Sodas are also bad because their ingredients cause ulcers to become worse and more problematic. Artificial flavors and sweeteners can be bad for you too, and one of the most common flavorings is 4-methylimidazole, which has been shown in some studies to be carcinogenic.

Some important things to note, if you do drink sodas occasionally: For one, root beer with natural flavors can be a nice treat every once in awhile that, while still containing empty calories, is devoid of other ingredients that can be bad for your health. Also, clear sodas like Sprite don't contain artificial coloring agents, and aren't as acidic as dark sodas, although Mountain Dew is just as bad or worse than other sodas, and contains more caffeine.


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 16 July 2014

The Dangers of Atrazine

Atrazine is a pesticide that is used across America that can potentially have serious health consequences to animals and people. In spite of the fact that Atrazine is banned as a pesticide in other areas of the world, Atrazine remains available in the United States for such purposes despite growing awareness and protest from consumers.

What is Atrazine?

Essentially, Atrazine is a weed killer, used to prevent the invasion of weeds that inhibit the optimal growth of many crops, including sugar cane, sorghum, and corn. Outside of agriculture, Atrazine is frequently utilized to kill weeds on lawns as well as golf courses.

Atrazine has been used in the United States since it was first introduced in 1959. It is synthesized primarily by a chemical manufacturer in Switzerland known as Syngenta. Atrazine has been banned as a pesticide by the entire EU as of 2004, although countries began banning the substance in 1991. In spite of this, the United States still burns through over eighty million pounds of Atrazine annually.

Atrazine is Dangerous to the Animal Environment

Although Atrazine is highly effective as a weed killer, it also has a dangerous impact on animals in the local ecosystem, which likely includes humans as well. Atrazine is known as an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it has the ability to interfere with the normal and healthy function of the endocrine system, which controls hormone balance.

This is especially apparent in amphibians like frogs, that readily absorb chemicals directly through their skin. Atrazine exposure actually causes male frogs to change sexes! This metamorphosis occurs at environmental levels of 2.5 parts per billion, and perhaps even lower! The Environmental Protection Agency considers three parts per billion to be ecologically safe, but this directly goes against clinical and field evidence.

This issue is so significant, that scientists believe that exposure to Atrazine and similar chemicals is one of the primary reasons why there has been such a sharp decline in the global population of amphibians. Today, one in every three species of amphibian is at risk of extinction. These health issues are also apparent in reptile and mammal species, as Atrazine exposure has been linked to increased incidence of breast and prostate cancer in rodents, as well as reproductive issues in fish. Continuing study demonstrates that there are also potential issues for humans.

How May Atrazine be Dangerous to Humans?

As scientists move outside of the laboratory and ecological environment and into the human sphere, they find increasingly strong correlations between Atrazine and human reproductive health, especially as it pertains to human development in the womb.

Atrazine Exposure Causes Babies to Be Born Lighter

A study from the year 2009 shows that exposure to Atrazine from water has a direct impact on the birth weight of the child. Babies that are born underweight are at a significantly increased risk of a number of conditions including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And this is just due to exposure to Atrazine from the water supply!

Atrazine is Prevalent in the American Water Supply

Because of this study and others, voices of concern are growing louder regarding the restriction or outright ban of Atrazine as an herbicide. Atrazine is highly prevalent in the water table after decades of extensive use. A study by the United States Geological Survey shows that forty percent of groundwater and seventy-five percent of flowing streams in agricultural zones are contaminated with Atrazine. Atrazine is even in most people's local drinking water! Researchers tested water from over 150 city water works and found that four out of every five were contaminated with Atrazine.

Atrazine Stays Active in the Environment Long After It Has Been Introduced

One thing that makes Atrazine worse than other similar herbicides is that it stays in the environment for an exceptionally long time. Atrazine was banned in France more than fifteen years ago, but it is still present at traceable levels even today. Atrazine is a global health hazard, because it gets absorbed with water into the clouds and actually falls back to earth. It is estimated that over 500,000 pounds of Atrazine enters the water cycle every year, leading to a greater and more pervasive effect upon both natural and artificial water supplies.

As recently as 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency considered Atrazine safe for agricultural use, and maintained that it did not propose any risks to humans. Many environmental lobbying groups, however, consider this decision a mistake, and strongly feel that weak monitoring and poor regulations have caused Atrazine to enter drinking water and the water table at exceptionally high levels, which they feel almost certainly puts some people at significant health risk.

Why is Atrazine So Popular?

There are a lot of reasons why agricultural specialists are so fond of Atrazine. For one, it's cheaper than many other herbicides. Also, it doesn't have a negative impact on the crops themselves, and increases the amount of fruits and vegetables that they have to sell. In the end, it saves them a lot of money. A two-decade research study showed that Atrazine increased harvested crops per acre by more than 5.5 bushels, which was more than a five percent increase.

This increase in yield provided an average increased profit per acre of more than $25, which was concluded to equal an increase in revenue of almost $1.4 billion per year to American farmers. An EPA study provided similar results, concluding that farmers earned $1.5 billion more attributable to Atrazine.

In Spite of Its Benefits, Atrazine Can Easily Be Replaced

Even though Atrazine provides tremendous benefits to farmers, it would not hurt bottom lines very much to get rid of Atrazine due to its potential health hazard. USDA studies suggest that if Atrazine use were made illegal in America, corn production would only drop by around 1.2%, and this would only lead to around a 2.3% drop in acres of corn planted nationwide.

There is also evidence that these studies are flawed in their conclusions, as, after Atrazine was banned in Germany and Italy, neither nation suffered in terms of revenue as a result of the ban. Because these two countries faced no issues resulting from the ban of Atrazine, there is no reason why Atrazine shouldn't be banned in the United States. Evidence even shows that Germany and Italy experienced larger national harvests without Atrazine.

The Risks Outweigh the Benefits: Ban Atrazine on American Crops

Most recent independent studies show that Atrazine most likely only increases harvest by between 1-2% at best. This, combined with the fact that the herbicide is highly detrimental to the environment while also imposing a threat upon human health as well, should lead most reasonable individuals to conclude that Atrazine should be banned in the United States like it is in Europe.


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 06 July 2014

How Does Human Growth Hormone Deficiency Impact Sleeping Habits: A Clinical Study

Researchers have long been aware that HGH Deficiency is strongly correlated with an increased incidence of sleeping problems, and in recent years, more time and effort have gone into exploring that correlation.

How Were Patients Selected for this HGH Sleep Study?

One study, published in 2010, analyzed thirty patients with Abnormally Low Growth Hormone Levels from four different University medical centers: the University of Pisa, Italy, the University of Liege in Belgium, the Free University of Brussels, and the University of Chicago. Patients were diagnosed with Human Growth Hormone Deficiency using a method known as the Insulin Tolerance Test. Patients were selected for this study if they showed less than three micrograms per liter after drinking Glucose Solution. Twenty-four of the patients suffered from Adult-Onset Hypopituitarism, while six were diagnosed early in life with Childhood-Onset Hypopituitarism.

Patients that were selected for study had not taken Bio-Identical HGH Injections for a minimum of six months before they were selected, and some participants had never used Bio-Identical Human Growth Hormone Injections. Subjects were screened for a number of conditions, and were turned away if they showed any signs of Diabetes, Hyperprolactinemia, Psychiatric/Neurological Disease, chronic infection, heart problems, kidney problems, liver disease, or drug/alcohol abuse.

Also, patients that had traveled three time zones or more in the previous two weeks were excluded, as were people that were shift workers in the prior three months. Finally, participants had to be off of sleeping medications for a minimum of 90 days.

Adult-Onset HGH Deficiency Causes

The source of Hypogonadism varied from patient to patient. In twelve of the thirty patients, Adult-Onset Hypopituitarism was the result of a pituitary issue that did not involve other parts of the endocrine system. Ten patients had their pituitary removed via surgery. One patient experienced the death of a pituitary tumor which suppressed HGH Levels, and one patient suffered from the same issue, but from the stalk of the pituitary. None of these patients suffered from Diabetes Insipidus.

The second group of patients had pituitary issues that could have been partially the result of hypothalamic insufficiency. Two patients had a tumor removed from the pituitary and suffered from Diabetes Insipidus. One patient received radiation therapy to remove a pituitary tumor. Two patients experienced HGH Deficiency as a result of Craniopharyngioma. One patient had a pituitary tumor break down while also suffering from Diabetes Insipidus. There were two patients that had lesions both of the hypothalamus and the pituitary, resulting from histiocytosis and neurosarcoidosis, respectively.

Childhood-Onset HGH Deficiency Causes

In the Childhood-Onset Hypopituitarism group, six of the ten patients experienced their deficiency as a result of a known genetic predisposition to HGH Deficiency. One patient suffered from Hypothalamic Insufficiency that led to HGH Deficiency. Three others suffered from Hypopituitarism resulting from the appearance or removal of tumors from the Pineal Gland, the Olfactory Duct, and a Brain Tumor, respectively. Finally, the tenth participant suffered from HGH Deficiency resulting from Brain Thrombosis.

More HGH Patient Information

Among the thirty patients, 28 of them had received Bio-Identical Hormone Deficiency Treatment in the past for their Pituitary Insufficiency. There were 24 male patients and 6 female patients in the study. Each female HGH Deficiency subject was taking Estrogen Replacement Therapy, with 4 of those 6 taking progesterone as well.

Sixteen of the patients were simultaneously suffering from Testosterone Deficiency, and were either replacing their Testosterone with Intramuscular Testosterone Injections, or Topical Testosterone Products.

Twenty-one patients were taking Thyroxine for Thyroid Deficiency and twenty-four were taking cortisone acetate or hydrocortisone for adrenal hormone deficiency. Finally, seven patients were taking desmopressin.

HGH Deficiency: Experimental vs. Control

Every patient in this Hypopituitarism Sleep Study had their own personal control with normal HGH Levels. Experimental Group Patients averaged around 72 micrograms per deciliter, whereas control patients had an average of 194 micrograms per deciliter. All experimental patients had normal levels of potassium, sodium, and glucose. Overall, patients had Thyroxine Levels which averaged 86% of normal.

Each patient was matched with a control based upon Body Mass Index, Age, and Gender. The results of this study indicate that Human Growth Hormone Deficiency is strongly associated with daytime fatigue, inhibited sleep quality, and too much high-intensity Slow Wave Sleep. Strangely enough, this increased level of Slow Wave Sleep is not normally associated with most sleeping disorders, which are the result of inhibited Slow Wave Sleep.

There are a number of mechanisms by which this abnormal sleeping condition could lead to issues with sleep health and quality. There is evidence that Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone enhances Delta Activity, because in healthy brains, HGH and IGF-1 serve as a negative feedback mechanism to limit Human Growth Hormone Production. There is animal research which supports this theory.

How Did HGH Deficiency Effect the Sleeping Patterns of Younger Patients?

Researchers also hypothesize that the hormone imbalance caused by the overproduction of Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone could cause the body to continue to release signals for Slow Wave Sleep even while awake, which could lead to issues with daytime tiredness. This is especially pronounced among the youngest patients, as those with elevated levels of Slow Wave Sleep were more tired during the day than their counterparts. Among the thirty participants, exhaustion was the single complaint most reported in Self-Reported Quality of Life Scales.

How Did HGH Deficiency Effect the Sleep of Older Patients?

Among older Hypopituitarism patients, the most significant issue appeared to be a lack of sufficient REM Sleep, which is strongly correlated with Human Growth Hormone Deficiency. Lack of REM-Sleep is associated with a number of medical issues, including issues with memory. In this study, older patients with Human Growth Hormone Deficiency were more likely than their control counterparts to suffer from memory issues. As the body of research continues to grow, it becomes increasingly clear that memory is strongly correlated with sufficient REM-Sleep in adult patients.

Another issue that Older Adult Hypopituitarism Patients experienced was that they slept less than their control counterparts, and also slept less soundly and experienced a higher level of sleep fragmentation. It is true that older men and women experience less REM sleep as they grow older, as well as shorter sleep, and more frequent rousing from sleep, but experimental patients experienced these sleep issues at a rate higher than their control peers, and HGH Deficiency appears to be a powerful mechanism which inhibits healthy sleep among these patients.

Older Adult HGH Deficiency patients simultaneously experienced Slow Wave Sleep of high intensity and long duration earlier in the sleep cycle, and had more issues staying asleep later in the sleep cycle. This is a strange issue, because enhanced Slow Wave Sleep is usually correlated with longer, steadier sleep.

Pituitary Insufficiency Vs. Combination Hypothalamic-Pituitary Insufficiency

So, for patients that only experienced pituitary issues with no hormone imbalance resulting from hypothalamic insufficiency, Slow Wave Sleep was longer, but didn't provide sleep benefits for other reasons. This was not the case for patients that were suffering from Hypothalamic issues in addition to Pituitary Insufficiency. Patients that had diminished GH-RH response had issues with Non-REM Sleep, not reaching a sufficient depth of sleep for optimal health. There is significant evidence from other studies that shows that GH-RH Deficiency is associated with an inability to sleep deeply.

For participants that were suffering from Pituitary issues in which Hypothalamic Insufficiency was not ruled out, the results were a mix between the two classes of Hormone Deficiency.

How Did this HGH Sleep Study Compare to Previous Studies?

Interestingly enough, the results of this study were different from another study released twenty years previously, which studied patients with Isolated Growth Hormone Deficiency. There are a number of reasons for this, however. In the older study, participants were controlled on age and sex, but not with regard to Body Mass Index.

There were other aspects which were insufficiently controlled as well. Patients were not monitored for how long they slept, nor when they went to sleep. The earlier study also allowed for naps, and patients were not limited in their activity in the previous study.

In this earlier study, patients slept much longer, ranging from 7:45 of sleep to 11:44 among the eight patients. Increased need for naps and longer periods of sleep are generally associated with fitful sleep which is not sufficiently deep. Because of these various differences, the results in the newer study were different.

Another older study found no significant difference between patients with Adult-Onset Human Growth Hormone Deficiency and otherwise healthy patients, but the patients were not matched to their controls with regard to sleeping habits, age, gender, and other characteristics, which led the study to be unable to register sleep differences between HGH Deficiency patients and healthy patients.

Could Other Hormone Deficiencies Have Impacted Sleep Quality?

Almost all of the patients in this Growth Hormone Deficiency Study received some form of Hormone Replacement Treatment, such as Estrogen, Testosterone, Thyroxine, Cortisone, or Hydrocortisone, although none of the patients were receiving Growth Hormone Therapy.

There is no way to rule out that any of these treatments or other underlying hormone deficiencies could have an impact on their sleeping patterns and habits as well. In spite of this, the fact that older patients experienced greater issues with sleep than their younger counterparts does provide strong evidence that HGH / GH-RH Deficiency do have a powerful impact on sleep quality.

HGH Study Conclusion

Based on the results of this study, there is strong evidence that Human Growth Hormone Deficiency impacts health in a number of ways related to sleep, including increased feelings of exhaustion and sleepiness during the day, caused by inhibited sleep quality during the night.

The mechanism by which Human Growth Hormone Deficiency impacts sleep quality depends on multiple variables, and the age of the patient and the cause of HGH Deficiency both seem to be very important signifiers.

How Does This Study Relate to Age-Related Hypopituitarism and Somatopause?

It's important to note that this study almost universally involved patients with damaged or otherwise non-functional Somatotrophs. Age-Related HGH Deficiency is most commonly the result of an underlying GH-RH Deficiency.

Patients in this study that were unable to produce sufficient GH-RH experienced issues with their ability to achieve deep sleep, which is in line with the experiences of patients that suffer from HGH Deficiency resulting from the aging process.

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