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Friday, August 17, 2012

Laptops damage sperm? What wi-fi study shows

(CBS) Do laptops reduce men’s fertility? There’s some evidence that heat from laptops can interfere with sperm production, and now a new study links the electromagnetic radiation emitted by wi-fi-enabled laptops to sperm damage.

For the study – published in the journal Fertility and Sterility – researchers in Argentina obtained semen from 29 healthy men and measured sperm cells’ swimming ability after being exposed to wi-fi radiation from an Internet-connected laptop.

After four hours of exposure, one-quarter of the sperm were no longer swimming, Reuters reported. In comparison, 14 percent of sperm cells that had been kept at the same temperature but not exposed to wi-fi were no longer swimming. What’s more, DNA damage was more common in the wi-fi sperm than in the “control” sperm.

The researchers offered a blunt assessment of their finding, writing in the study’s conclusion that “We speculate that keeping a laptop connected wirelessly to the internet on the lap near the testes may result in decreased male fertility.”

But other experts weren’t so sure.

“This is not real-life biology,” Dr. Robert Oates, president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, told Reuters. “This is a completely artificial setting. It’s is scientifically interesting, but to me it doesn’t have any human biological relevance.”

The researchers called for more research to prove their speculation, adding that it wasn’t clear that the sperm damage would be seen with all laptops.

One thing’s for certain – infertility is a common problem. About 15 percent of couples are infertile, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, and roughly one-third of the time the problem lies solely with the man.

Doctors have identified numerous potential causes of male infertility. These include infections, hormone imbalances, smoking, vitamin deficiency, and certain medications. Many cases are associated with varicocele, a surgically correctable condition in which blood vessels in the scrotum impair sperm production by raising the temperature of the testicles.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tips on Hair and Skin Care for Swimmers

The beautiful swimmer, Charlene Wittstock married the Prince Albert of Monaco on July 2, 2011 in a serene ceremony. Do you wonder how the former Olympic swimmer has maintained her gorgeous skin and healthy hair? Normally, we tend to suffer from dry skin and damaged hair after a couple of swimming sessions itself. But, if the right hair and skin care is taken before and after swimming, you too can maintain your beauty! No more do you have to restrain yourself from jumping into the pool on a hot summer day or reduce your swimming time. Follow these tips on hair and skin care for swimmers and swim like a gorgeous mermaid.

Hair and Skin Care Tips for Swimmers

Before Swimming

- To prevent the greenish tinge in your hair due to copper oxidation by chlorine, invest in a bottle of coconut oil or olive oil. It will hydrate your hair cuticles with a protective layer of moisture that seals them and prevents the chlorine and boric acid from leaving a green tone to your blonde or colored hair.
- Always have a shower before you enter the pool, it instantly hydrates the topmost layer of your skin. Wet your hair too. This prevents them from soaking up the chemicals present in the water.
- If you have chlorine-sensitive skin that is prone to rashes after swimming, use a chlorine-neutralizing lotion before you take a dip in the pool.
- Massage your skin with a cream for dry and damaged skin. Do this also after you take shower post swimming.

While Swimming

- Did you know? The salt content and chlorine in the beach or pool water is a major factor contributing to your sunburn. No, you don’t have to stop swimming. Take a two minute break from swimming and apply a heavy sunblock every half an hour to protect your skin from sun damage. The above two factors also contribute to a chapped and flaky skin situation.
- Carry a bottle of water and keep sipping on it. You can also drink non-alcoholic summer coolers to keep yourself cool and hydrated.
- Always wear a well-fitting swimming cap.

After Swimming

- Always wash your hair with an EDTA-containing clarifying shampoo to ensure that no chemical residue is left behind in your hair after you come out of the pool.
- Add apple cider vinegar to the last rinse of your hair. It is a natural remedy to remove product residue in your hair that makes hair look flat.
- Do not forget to apply a conditioner. A hair mousse or leave-in conditioner is also a good option if you are pressed for time.
- Supplement your diet with a multivitamin tablet and an omega-3 capsule.
- Frizzy hair is a common problem among swimmers. Use styling products that are silicone-based with a volumizing shampoo. A hot oil treatment every night is also a good option for hair care for swimmers.
- Use an exfoliating face wash and bath gel.
- Regularly apply cucumber juice to sunburnt skin and leave it overnight. It helps reduce sun damage already done to the skin.
- Weekly, apply mayonnaise evenly throughout your hair, covering the ends as well. It provides intense hydration to your hair and will get rid of the problem of ‘swimmer’s hair’.
- Mix honey and yogurt together and leave it on your face for 20 minutes for a cooling and exfoliating face mask. It also moisturizes the skin. You may add oatmeal to this paste.
- Finish your bath with a heavy duty moisturizer and body lotion or oil.
- Add a few capsules of Vitamin A and E to your night cream.
- Don’t wear tight and synthetic clothing after a swim.
- Scrub yourself every alternate day. Mix salt and brown sugar in olive oil, scrub vigorously. Alternatively, you can also use baking soda for the same.

Immediately take a shower after you come out of the pool. It will help keep your skin clean and chlorine-free. Also, you should regularly wear swimming goggles to protect your eyes from drying as well. You can apply cooling eye drops later. There are brands selling swim care shampoos for kids. You can try one of those too. They are formulated to gently wash out the chlorine from your hair, prevent brittleness and get rid of sticky hair after swimming. There are several chemicals and industrial wastes dumped into the sea that affect the quality of water at the beach too. You must take proper hair and skin care before and after swimming. Start your beauty routine now, before it is too late.

By Urvashi Pokharna