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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 (304 Responses)
  1. rhobere

    I've heard multiple reports about how having a mental health issue can lead to heart problems. Now they're saying heart problems lead to mental health issues. Is this another chicken v. egg case or are researchers just trying to scoop up some presedence?

    June 16, 2014 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      Nope. They're trying to scoop up some government grant money and need to produce a "tangible" result.

      June 16, 2014 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
    • Old Enough

      If I had heart disease, I think I would be a little depressed too.

      June 16, 2014 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • jhonnyausemkock

      One theory is that heart disease leads to less oxygen in the brain, which leads to depression and other issues. It's actually a plausible theory. We'll see what the next round of studies turns up. This scenario was actually attributed to my grandmother's mental decline before her death.

      June 17, 2014 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
  2. Scott

    Ah., how about the fact that we are meant to put these devices to ours heads nevertheless next to our nuts?

    June 16, 2014 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. My Too Senseworth

    What about the guys that walk around with a cell phone next to their head all day?

    June 16, 2014 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. mr.meyer

    I can always take off my tin foil hat and use it to wrap my package

    June 16, 2014 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jon Anthony

    Thanx for the tip and all, but I let my ladies worry about my sperm "quality"... :0)

    June 16, 2014 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Life Lessons

    What have I learned from health studies? Everything is trying to kill you.

    June 16, 2014 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. citizenUSA

    I don't keep my phone in my pocket because my penis keeps dialing New Zealand.

    June 16, 2014 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jonathanlk

      That proves they are misinterpreting the data. It is only men with low quality sperm in the first place that keep their phones in their pockets. Men with high counts tend to be more active and that requires dialing specific tele# numbers by whatever means. I think dialing by hand keeps the sperm count high.

      June 16, 2014 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
  8. lunchbreaker

    Well that will save me some money on a vasectomy.

    June 16, 2014 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. martins Donald

    there are things that are very harmful to our human body

    June 16, 2014 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. pia

    all these posts were so funny!! Thank u guys for making me laugh!

    June 16, 2014 at 16:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Robert

    Well that it for now until the next study comes out with the opposing "facts".

    June 16, 2014 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. moiraesfate

    Uh huh, and milk is bad for you one week, and good for you the next. Its fear mongering and nothing more.

    June 16, 2014 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      Milk IS very bad for you if it's not from organic, grassfed cows! And even then, many people have milk allergy that causes acne and other negative effects. So yea, I loved milk but I have stopped drinking it.

      June 17, 2014 at 14:45 | Report abuse |
    • Nonovyerbeezwax

      Prove that milk from "grass fed cows" is any better for anyone that milk from cows on other feeds. Go ahead. Cite your sources.

      June 18, 2014 at 19:51 | Report abuse |
  13. RDC

    The way men are portrayed in the media and in everyday life, I'm surprised people are still concerned about our health. Usually we're seen as slobs and neanderthals.

    June 16, 2014 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Brenda

    I used to carry my cellphone in my bra until I had a cat scan of my chest and a spot was seen on my breast.
    Six months later another cat scan and it was still there. I had changed jobs so didn't carry my cellphone in my bra and Dr ordered another cat scan and mammogram. Nothing not a speck.
    I'm just telling you my experience.

    June 16, 2014 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. booyaka

    Hmmmm ok I will put my phone in my mouth. Boooooooooooo

    June 16, 2014 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. bd

    if you read the instructions that came with your iPhone it specifically states not to get the iPhone any closer than 4 inches to your head, due to possible radiation poisoning. If you sat down and read the rest of the instructions you would probably stop using cell phone technology that is if you're smart enough to understand what it says oh and read.

    June 17, 2014 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nonovyerbeezwax

      The instructions say that? Where? Can you post a link to them?

      June 18, 2014 at 19:52 | Report abuse |
  17. Alan DeGolmon

    So you can use your cell phone to get a free vasectomy? Sounds like a good deal. Let's jump on it before the cell phone companies realiize what's going on and get health insurance involved.

    Dial "S" for sterility!

    June 17, 2014 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Amy Mae

    Background checks for cell phones !!!

    June 17, 2014 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Dude McDuderson

    I've kept my cell phone in my pocket since 2000, and I have 3 kids. I had a vasectomy and it took 4 samples for me to be clear of any sperm. I'd say I beat the odds.

    June 17, 2014 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jim

    Scientists have been bad-mouthing birth control for years. Leave my cell phone alone.

    June 17, 2014 at 10:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. ere

    .....is there a correlation between having hair on my palm and being single?

    June 17, 2014 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Owl96

    I am 65 years old. My swimmers are not able to make it across the Channel if they wanted. They need the phone in my pocket anyway, they have their own Facebook account.

    June 17, 2014 at 13:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. guest

    a new form of birth control. Now men won't feel slighted by Obamacare only covering womans BC. And with the Obama phone – it is free as well !

    June 17, 2014 at 13:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. danny

    more like dont put your cellphone in your pocket because the nsa will not be able to hear your muffled conversation

    June 18, 2014 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. edlf2014

    Holy Cow! Another 'study'! And here I am still trying to digest the 'study' that discovered school girl pregnancies result from their addiction to motherhood.

    June 18, 2014 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
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    June 22, 2014 at 22:13 | 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.