More and more evidence is pointing to environmental pollutants as harmful to our fertility. More and more couples are seeking fertility treatments. 1 in 6 couples trying to conceive experience challenges. The news today in California is that for the past 15 years, harmful levels of nitrates were in the water supply – affecting 2 million Californians. It is no wonder that we are seeing a declining sperm count, more young women with ovarian aging, and a higher number of couples seeking treatment.
Is the high level of nitrates to blame?
This is what you should know:
- Nitrates are used as a preservative in meats like hot dogs and bacon. Reduce your consumption, especially if you are pregnant
- Nitrates in food are a danger in that they can be converted to nitrites, which can react in your stomach to form nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are potent cancer-causing chemicals. Generally nitrates are most dangerous when they are converted to nitrites prior to ingestion, which happens during the cooking process. Nitrites form under conditions of extreme heat, such as frying.
- Although nitrates in some foods may not be a problem, high levels of nitrates in water can be. There has been some evidence that water contaminated with high levels of nitrates can lead to miscarriages. Consuming water contaminated with nitrates is dangerous for pregnant women and young infants.
- Contaminated water should also not be used to make formula as it can lead to a condition know as methemoglobinemia. This occurs when the nitrates, converted to nitrites in the intestine of the baby, are absorbed into the bloodstream. There they link up with hemoglobin, the pigment in red blood cells that transports oxygen. The combination forms methemoglobin, a pigment that cannot carry oxygen to the tissues. Infants under four months of age do not have enough of an enzyme necessary to convert the methemoglobin back to hemoglobin. When methemoglobin levels rise too high, the baby may turn blue. It is a potentially serious condition, that left untreated can lead to death. As the baby becomes older, his stomach acidity increases to a level that will help prevent the conversion of nitrates to nitrites, thus reducing the danger.
Either have your water tested or use bottled water. Not sure why the networks haven’t made a bigger deal about this story because it is very worrisome to me.
Read the article here: