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June 13th, 2014
12:01 AM ET

5 studies you may have missed

Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.

Keep your phone out of your pocket – your sperm will thank you
Journal: Environmental International

Since guys don’t usually carry handbags, they tend to keep mobile phones in their pants pockets. A recent study from the University of Exeter suggests this may not be a great idea.

That cell phone could actually have a negative effect on your sperm quality.

The review looked at findings from 10 studies, that included almost 1,500 samples of semen. To evaluate the mens’ sperm quality, the scientists measured viability (the ratio of sperm that were alive), motility (the ability of sperm to move) and concentration (the number of sperm per unit of semen).

Compared to a control group, the percentage of sperm showing normal movement dropped by 8% among men who pocketed mobile phones. This group's sperm's ability to survive also decreased in about 9% of the samples.

The scientists write that the individual risk for sperm damage depends on how long a man keeps his phone in his pants and how much electromagnetic radiation the phone emits.

Read more from TIME

Eating too many hamburgers may increase your breast cancer risk
British Medical Journal

Past research has shown that eating a lot of red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer. Now Harvard researchers say eating red meat in early adulthood also increases a woman's risk of breast cancer.

The scientists analyzed data from 88,803 premenopausal women. During 20 years of follow-up, the team looked at the diets of those who developed breast cancer.

The result: higher consumption of red meat was associated with a 22% increased risk of breast cancer overall. Women who ate more poultry, fish, eggs, legumes and nuts had a lower risk for breast cancer.

Read more from BBC

The 'trust and cuddle-hormone' has another important purpose
Journal: Nature Communications

Oxytocin is often referred to as the “trust and cuddle hormone” because of  its role in maternal nurturing and friendship. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, now say that oxytocin is also essential for healthy muscle maintenance and repair.

Their recent study showed that injecting oxytocin under the skin helped animals' muscles heal better.

Oxytocin is the first “anti-aging” molecule approved by the Food and Drug Administration for clinical use. That’s why the study presents oxytocin as a future treatment target for age-related muscle wasting.

Read more from UC Berkeley 

Bad-breath bacteria does more than turn off your date
Journal: Cell Host & Microbe 

Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have found the bacteria that cause gum disease also create an imbalance in your immune system.

Their recent study revealed that the periodontal bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis disarms the immune system, leading to periodontitis, with inflammation and bone loss. The gum germs block the immune cells' killing ability and cause inflammation. The dead cells become nutrients that the bacteria feed off of.

“The result is a vicious cycle that exacerbates periodontitis," the researchers write. The team’s discoveries open up new targets for periodontitis treatment.

Read more from University of Pennsylvania 

Heart disease can hurt your mental health
Journal: JAMA 

A healthy mind needs a healthy body.

According to a new study, keeping the heart healthy is also a great way to keep your brain fit. The research examined 17,761 individuals with normal mental function and then re-evaluated them after four years.

The scientists found that the risk for cognitive impairment is greater for people with poor cardiovascular health. A deficit in learning, memory and verbal skills developed in 4.6% of people with the worst heart health and in only 2.6% of those with the most healthy hearts.

The study doesn’t explain the mechanisms that may have led to the findings. However, the study’s author, Evan L. Thacker, said “undetected subclinical strokes could not be ruled out.”

To learn more visit Health.com 

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Filed under: Aging • Brain • Cell Phones • Conditions • Dental health • Diet and Fitness • Fertility • Heart • Living Well • Men's Health • Mental Health

soundoff (294 Responses)
  1. dan

    New study confirms that obvious stuff is obvious.

    June 14, 2014 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • itsnotwhatyouknow

      Good one!

      June 14, 2014 at 16:54 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      That's how research scientists keep the grant money flowing in, though. Just as the so-called "climate change experts"!!

      June 14, 2014 at 20:13 | Report abuse |
  2. sactowntruth

    I am over 50 year old, can I put the darn phone in my pocket and stop worrying about my sperm count now? I have a couple of great kids so I think I will stop while I am ahead.

    June 14, 2014 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brad

      I am 71. Is it OK to have my phone in my pocket?

      June 14, 2014 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • Pat O.

      lol my thoughts exactly.... lol 2 kids me too, enough!!

      June 14, 2014 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
    • Mill Creek Bill

      Sperm is a liability anyway.

      June 14, 2014 at 14:16 | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      I'm female & have no worries about the health of my sperm, but I found this report meaningful. Knowing that the radiation from mobile phones damages nearby sperm suggests that radiation from mobile phones is probably not too great a thing to constantly expose ANY of our cells to. A little thought as to how we can have the convenience of ready access to mobile phones while not having them against our bodies for extended periods and without shielding seems prudent.

      June 14, 2014 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
    • Vuman1

      What happens if you carry your cell phone in your back pocket? Will it still interfere with your sperms or should you then worry about colon cancer?

      June 14, 2014 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Iam 75, I keep mine in my shorts on vibrate...I am thrilled when friends call

      June 14, 2014 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • Spermatazoa

      Hey Ron... why don't you post your phone number. You'll have a night you'll never forget.

      June 14, 2014 at 18:59 | Report abuse |
  3. Medical_BS

    Talk about some more crap medical "studies"! What is this BS they are trying to feed to the American public? Burgers may increase your risk of breast cancer?..um yeah and every other cancer you can get. Having heart disease will make you dumb? Really?!?! Heart disease isn't genetic and there are many ways to prevent it so all-in-all, if you have heart disease, you're already dumb for not doing what you can to prevent it...by the way, step one...put down the cheese burger and you'll be two steps ahead of preventing cancer and heart disease; two of their medical studies solved.

    June 14, 2014 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brad

      Thank you Doctor! Do you take Medicaid patients?

      June 14, 2014 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Heart disease IS also caused by genes. You don't know what you're talking about saying it's all diet. Stress response also plays a role which can also be linked to genes.

      June 14, 2014 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
  4. DCDave

    This is up there with the stupidest things CNN has allowed on its front page (to be fair with all the opinion pieces it's got a ton of company). Sperm counts going down. haha

    June 14, 2014 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. G

    Wow a study published on a website called "Science Direct". That sounds legit. Move over PUBMED. For every study that has come out claiming cell phones have a negative impact on sperm/brain/bone/connective tissue, there has been 5 studies of equal or better that have discounted it.

    June 14, 2014 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Not again...

      Yeah – great to see such "wonderful" science being used to frighten people. You might think that the science editor of CNN would like to inform people of the truth. I guess it is more a case of trying to increase ad revenues – dam the truth.

      June 14, 2014 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      Actually, science direct is a database of peer-reviewed journals books just like pubmed. It is legit as it is run by Elsevier, the company that has been publishing medical and scientific journals, textbooks and reference materials since the 1800s. Anyone who studies science and medicine will know this company very well. Besides all their textbooks and reference materials, they currently publish over 2000 peer-reviewed journals.

      Not knocking your other point, just thought you would like to know that it is a legit site.

      June 14, 2014 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • Dagger

      To put it simply (because you obviously need simple) Science Direct is an extremely well known portal to access articles from a wide variety of journals. When you base your sarcasm on ignorance you reveal what a truly sad person you are. Also, Pubmed is just a database (something you might also want to learn about).

      June 14, 2014 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • H

      Perhaps you should learn what Science Direct actually is... but to save you time, it's a scientific journal database. If you're doing research of scientific literature, it is a fantastic resource.

      June 14, 2014 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
    • H

      Seems I should've refreshed the page first... Ah well, now you've been told plenty of times.

      June 14, 2014 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
  6. lucky9design

    Also, don't walk around with a PAY phone in your pocket!

    June 14, 2014 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Dave

    I carry my phone in my pocket all the time and my wife says my sperm quality is fine

    June 14, 2014 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      Nice. I'd like to know your wife's opinion on my sperm quality.

      June 14, 2014 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
    • KKKawkaazhun

      That's funny, she said the same about mine..

      June 14, 2014 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
  8. StayOnTheTruth

    The reassessment of FCC radio frequency exposure limits and policies

    Toril H. Jelter, M.D. FAAP
    Sept. 2, 2013

    "Children have a right to live and play and learn where their DNA will not be damaged by non-ionizing radiation. This is not the case today."
    ~ Toril H. Jelter, M.D. FAAP
    http://www.stayonthetruth.com/toril-h-jelter.php

    June 14, 2014 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anonymous

      um, DNA cannot be damaged by non-ionizing radiation, it is non-ionizing...

      June 14, 2014 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
  9. owleyes1

    I put my phone, wherever I damn please. I am 82, but that is not the point.

    June 14, 2014 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Thatguy371

    So I can talk, text, annoy and bother others... I duct tape my cell to my head while in public, music blaring. Is that dangerous to the lil swimmers, or just my brain?

    June 14, 2014 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Tennessee3501

    To paraphrase the late great Mae West: "Is that a phone in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?"

    June 14, 2014 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Mr. Vasectomy

    You mean I didn't have to pay all that money to get my vas deferens snipped & tied off, didn't have to go through my nuts feeling like they'd been put through a blender, didn't have to shell out all that money because it's a voluntary medical procedure?

    ALL I HAD TO DO IS CARRY MY PHONE IN MY POCKET?

    Oh, wait. I'm gay. I can't get my sexual partners pregnant. Guess I didn't need that vasectomy after all!

    June 14, 2014 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spermatazoa

      No, that's not true. But here's what you gotta do: Stick your $#)W#$ in a wood chipper and hit the switch.

      Guaranteed you'll never have to worry about knockin' your chick up ever again. Ever.

      June 14, 2014 at 18:56 | Report abuse |
    • IPhone5

      He doesn't @#$# chicks. He's a gibbon monkey.

      June 14, 2014 at 19:06 | Report abuse |
  13. Jeremy

    Hogwash. Unless your carrying an 80s style phone in your pocket. I am proof as my wife is about to give birth to twins. I share interesting photos on imageskeep.com

    June 14, 2014 at 14:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. barb'sbarb

    Men, keep the phones in your pockets right close to the one-eyed snake and help reduce the population!

    June 14, 2014 at 14:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. jackarouu

    The "wireless world" we are in is "man made". Asbestos was man made. DDT was man made; and the list goes on. My android see's 10 WiFi hot-spots while I'm at home. This WiFi radiation is passing through my body. The EMF ionizing radiation is in the S-band (about 2.5 Gig Hz) which is about the same frequencies used in Microwave ovens. Think about it.

    June 14, 2014 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ixion

      There is a huge difference between your Microwave and WIFI. WIFI power is in milliwatts range and your microwave oven is 1000 watts. milliwatt 2.4-2.5 Ghz will not penetrate your outer skin vary far. In fact, it only lightly interacts with the human body and that lite interaction in the future will be used for gesture control of other systems in your house.

      1000 Watts at 2.4ghz IS a big deal and that is why, MW ovens are shielded against leakage. That being said, i have no doubt at all that even low power high frequency radiation to the scrotum WILL cause issues.

      June 14, 2014 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  16. InfinitusMax

    More government funded studies of dubious practical worth. As for cellphone storage, I keep mine between the butt cheeks to deter theft.

    June 14, 2014 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. uckermanf

    All of you guys coming on here telling us that these studies are dumb just because YOU are older than Methuselah and your wife is about to give birth to octuplets are idiots who clearly don't understand science. Could you just S-T-F-U already?

    June 14, 2014 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. jazjaz

    Let's make sure Justin Bieber has at least 4 cellphones in his pockets all the time.

    June 14, 2014 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Smeagel4T

    "Heart disease can hurt your mental health" - See Dick Cheney.

    June 14, 2014 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Foster

    "Heart disease can hurt your mental health".

    Correlation is not causation. Need to report more stats from other lifestyle behaviors before making this statement.

    June 14, 2014 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. JeffinIL

    I keep my phone in my pocket because I have it set on vibrate.

    June 14, 2014 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. trev

    It would be better off if most of you mooks didn't reproduce at all.

    June 14, 2014 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spermatazoa

      I agree. The idiocracy is outgrowing the GDP.

      June 14, 2014 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
  23. John Kennedy

    There's NO Room for a Cell Phone in my Pocket....OBAMA's Hand is already in there!!!

    June 14, 2014 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Bomboraaas

    I must let all my brothers from the hood, know to keep the phone in their pockets, maybe even 2 phones

    June 14, 2014 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. gj2001

    I put my phone in my pocket yesterday and now I can't find it.

    June 14, 2014 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. SteveS

    You know you need a new girlfriend, when she'd rather put your cell phone in her mouth.

    June 14, 2014 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spermatazoa

      Especially when it goes off and vibrates.

      You've been replaced, Bruno....

      June 14, 2014 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
  27. itsnotwhatyouknow

    Gosh! The prospective precedent for male birth control; just make 'em carry arounf an overpowered cell phone in their pockets all the time, past age 13.

    But that second one is going to royally tick off the Beef Council. How soon before we hear a counter "study" that disproves it?

    June 14, 2014 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Burt Ward

    Global warming is a sure thing. That's because we know we are on the final phase of the current warming cycle of 120,000 years. Prior to this cycle we had three confirmed cycles happen with almost the same results. Earth cycles through cold and warm all the time. Vostok data set shows we are closing in on the latest high levels of C02 and sulfur dioxide. Temperatures are also very close to the melting of the poles, which has happened enough to find samples of leaves and trees at the south pole. So, yes, Barry, global warming is guaranteed according to the Vostok ice core data. It will happen and Earth will survive. As for humans, not so much

    June 14, 2014 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Burt Ward

      Sorry, my browsers got crossed up.

      June 14, 2014 at 17:06 | Report abuse |
    • rob

      yup – we will hurt ourselves before we hurt earth, can I assume that?

      personally, I do not think we have enough data to make intelligent decisions. not that we shouldn't be mindful of the environment per se, but we have a tendency to commercialize and politicize which does us no good anyway – as it is not seriously addressing the issue, just making it serious business (of money). green is expensive...

      it's like smoking – smoking is bad, I do it, I shouldn't.. yet the government seems to rely on people's addictive behaviors, smoking being one, to profit by it..

      the surgeon general's warning is up in smoke – no good in this sense.

      June 14, 2014 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
  29. Jeff

    A one-night stander acquitance of mine liked to keep her cell phone on vibration between legs.

    June 14, 2014 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JusSayin

      She prefers a phone to giving you a second shot? Better work on your technique. I have a line of videos set for release this fall. Watch for them.

      June 14, 2014 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
  30. xEmmanuelGoldsteinx

    "Hey baby-I don't need a rubber, I keep my phone in my pocket!".

    June 14, 2014 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Fillthishome

    Interesting article, I too have been trying to avoid to much red meat for many reasons!!

    June 14, 2014 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Justin

    However, men who use a cell phone clip, instead of placing their phone in their pocket, have a reduced ability of actually getting laid by 80%, rendering the benefit useless.

    June 14, 2014 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. david7134

    There is no association between diet and cancer, cardiovascular disease or any other ill except obesity. We need to get off the stupid diet concepts that have been part of our culture for over 50 years. I did research on this and the literature does not support any association of diet with a major illness.

    June 14, 2014 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • anonymous

      There is a correlation, but there is also a correlation between the marriage rate in Kentucky and the number of people who drowned after falling out of a fishing boat. Correlation means nothing.

      June 14, 2014 at 19:23 | Report abuse |
  34. mike

    why would anyone put something warm next to his testicles? 🙂

    June 14, 2014 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • frontgate

      Aaahhhhh why not?

      June 14, 2014 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
  35. frontgate

    HAHAHAHAHAHA what a bunch of silliness.

    June 14, 2014 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Padlocked

    After reading this, I moved my mobile phone from my pocket to my underwear.

    June 14, 2014 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Kawika

    There is a NEW study out just seconds ago that indicates fabricated Medical/Global warnings are now available on Gluten Free toilet paper.

    June 14, 2014 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spermatazoa

      Use John Wayne toilet paper. Rough and tough and doesn't take crap off no one.

      June 14, 2014 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
  38. Gaypalmsprings

    I am gay. Should I avoid putting my cellphone in my back pocket?

    June 14, 2014 at 18:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spermatazoa

      Never mind what you put in your pockets. Stop sticking things up your wahoo that don't belong there.

      That peg doesn't go in that hole, Nancy...

      June 14, 2014 at 18:48 | Report abuse |
  39. Spermatazoa

    Be kind to your sperm. And stop shooting us on the ceiling and the drapes.

    Gawd you people make me mad.

    June 14, 2014 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. kieser Sozay

    Cool, I found a new form of birth control. I'm keeping my phone in my underwear from now on.

    June 14, 2014 at 18:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Spermatazoa

      It's gonna stink when you put it to your ear.

      Do you care?

      June 14, 2014 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
  41. IPhone5

    gubba gubba!

    June 14, 2014 at 19:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Siri

    Put me in your pocket and I'll talk dirty to you.

    Then I'll butt call your old girlfriend.

    June 14, 2014 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. jimmyb

    "Thou shalt not put thy sperm into thy sock and bury it at the bottom of a clothes hamper like it has been there for awhile"
    -Reverend Lovejoy- Classic.

    June 14, 2014 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Andre

    Umm, but holding the cell phone up to your brain? No problem...

    June 14, 2014 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. retiredcompanyguy

    In the 1990's my company made antennas for 90 percent of the world market. We built a faraday cage to do the first testing for harmful effects. We did testing to create a baseline. The engineer in charge had the baseline test results on his laptop, which he took home for the christmass holidays. While leaving town, his car was hit by something big that sent his car into the air and crashed in a ditch. He died. There were no witnesses. The vehicle that hit him was never located. When police arived there was nothing missing except his laptop with the results.

    After the holidays I was told to destroy the cage. No more testing was done and nobody asked why.

    June 14, 2014 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JusSayin

      See, cellphone radiation could kill.

      Motorola may have had 90 percent of the world cellphone market at some time, (not even Nokia?) but I have to call Bullfeathers.

      June 14, 2014 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
  46. taurran

    More people should keep them there. I'm tired of all the stupid people breeding.

    June 14, 2014 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. trollol

    Da Faq. Maybe men should keep their phones nestled next to their balls. Reduce the chances of getting a girl knocked up, yes?

    June 14, 2014 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Jan

    I'm 73 years old. Can I keep my phone in my pocket?

    June 14, 2014 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. gregladen

    I looked at the phone study, and wrote it up here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/06/14/does-keeping-a-cell-phone-in-your-pocket-reduce-male-infertility/

    The tl;dr: maybe a little but for benign reasons. If fertility is important to you and you are a man, don’t put hot things in your pockets. This may fall into the category of switching from tidy whities to boxer briefs.

    June 14, 2014 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. kybo61

    Maybe more men should keep their cell phones in their pockets. In fact, I think this practice should be widely promoted. Perhaps jock strap cell phone pockets could be developed. I would gladly be on a team to design one. Men could sleep with their cell phones charging while in these jock strap pockets. We might eventually reach a sustainable global population if these practices were followed.

    June 14, 2014 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.