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The Hidden Cause of Infertility–Cottonseed Poisons–And What You Can Do About It

Cottonseed and Infertility

Infertility affects as many as 10% of couples and can be devastating.  Sometimes the problem is with the man, sometimes with the woman, sometimes with their interaction and sometimes no cause can be determined.  When the problem is with the man, many times the problem is a low sperm count or a problem with the sperm.  Sperm problems may be due to hormonal problems, genetic or anatomical problems but often the cause is unknown.[i] When the problem is with the woman, the cause may be  failure to ovulate.  Such failure is often thought to be due to a hormonal problem.[ii]

Now if you look further and ask what can cause a low sperm count in an otherwise healthy man, you will find such problems as hormonal disorders.  But there is another, hidden reason, that you won’t find anywhere else. The hidden cause of infertility comes from our food—specifically, the cottonseed that is part of our food chain.  Cottonseed toxins interfere with fertility.  But these toxins are known only to a few people.  Most people don’t sit down to a meal of cottonseed, so you may wonder what I’m talking about.  Cottonseed, unless you buy cottonseed oil directly, is hidden in our food.  Let us review a few historical facts.  Cottonseed has been fed to agricultural animals, pigs, dairy and beef cattle, farm fed fish since at least early 1900’s.  Cottonseed is loaded with toxic chemicals and killed many of the animals to which it was fed, leading to studies of just how much cottonseed could be fed to animals without killing them.    However, just because the cottonseed in the animal feed doesn’t kill the animal doesn’t mean the cottonseed is safe.  Cottonseed is highly toxic and accumulates in the meat and fat of the animals.  So when you eat animals, including pigs, beef, chicken and fish, you are eating toxins.  One of the main cottonseed toxins is called “gossypol.”

How does gossypol relate  to infertility?  Researchers have known since 1950 that gossypol caused male rates to become  infertile.[iii]  Scientists have observed this effect consistently, but nobody until now has told you about it.

Because of this effect on male infertility, the Chinese looked into gossypol as a possible form of birth control for men.  Some Chinese researchers here in the United States found that gossypol interfered with formation of sperm.[iv]  In other words, if there is too much gossypol present, the male animal or human cannot make sperm.  They will have a low or zero sperm count.

Now let us go back to the man in an infertile couple.  The man has a low sperm count and has no idea why.  But the man has been taking in for literally his whole life a toxin which we know causes infertility in male rats and which the Chinese experimented with as a form of male birth control.  In other words, the low sperm count could be coming at least partially from the cottonseed toxin he has eaten over the years and all the gossypol he has accumulated.

What should this man do?  First, he should understand there may be a reason for why he has a low sperm count that has nothing to do with him, but what he is eating.  This knowledge will reduce anxiety. Second, he should stop eating cottonseed for at least 6 months to a year to see if this is helpful.  The problem is that cottonseed is in all the main meat containing foods and is also in dairy products and in farm fed fish.  The only major protein source that does not contain cottonseed toxins is eggs.  Eggs contain no cottonseed toxins. The only way to avoid cottonseed toxins is to eat no dairy, no meat, no farm fed fish, no chicken.    One can only eat meat if one knows that since the animal was born, it was not fed cottonseed.  This means eating eggs, beans and rice, vegetables and grains and potatoes.  This may be worth it, given all the problems that male infertility can cause and given how inexpensive this solution is compared with fertility treatments.

What about women?

Women are also affected by cottonseed.  Gossypol also reduces fertility in dairy cows.[v]  One of the main causes of female infertility problems is thought to be failure to ovulate from a hormonal disorder.  Cottonseed causes problems with fertility for dairy farmers.  Why?  Because gossypol reduces ovarian hormone production.[vi]  Again, the woman has been taking in a toxin literally for her whole life every day a toxin which causes hormonal problems.

What should she do if she has fertility problems?  She should follow the same dietary advice given above.

Going to a fertility clinic is expensive and at best not fun.  Any couple who wishes to give their fertility the best chance should know that diet may be playing a major role.

Are there any other dietary issues besides cottonseed toxins in our food?   Yes.  I give a lot of information on other parts of our website about problems with eating yeast, mold and fermentation.  You can go to our home page to see all of the problems that foods cause in our diet, or click on “medical solutions” in the menu above.

While changing diet is not easy, I recommend our book Feast Without Yeast, both for Candida problems and for the problem of cottonseed in food.

I know of at least two women in their late 30’s who conceived easily while using the Feast Without Yeast diet.  One of these women had had multiple miscarriages and conceived quickly and carried her baby to term after she went on the Feast Without Yeast diet.  The other woman simply wanted to have a baby at age 39.

The is just a brief preview of my new book,  Rottenseed:  Cottonseed,  Alzheimer’s and Your Brain  scheduled for publication later this year.  Look for it on Amazon.com and other electronic sources.

To learn more about how you can take control of your health, check out our other books, Feast Without Yeast, Extraordinary Foods for the Everyday Kitchen, and An Extraordinary Power to Heal.  You can order them through Amazon.com by clicking on the links to the right.


[i] http://www.umm.edu/patiented/articles/how_does_male_reproductive_system_work_000067_2.htm

[ii] http://www.stanford.edu/class/siw198q/websites/reprotech/New Ways of Making Babies/Causefem.htm

[iii] Ambrose, A. M., and D. J. Robbins.  Studies on the chronic oral toxicity of cottonseed meal and cottonseed pigment glands.  J. Nutrition.  43:357-70. 1951.

 

[iv] Medrano, F. J., Andreu, J.M.  Binding of gossyol to purified tubulin and inhibition of its assembly into microtubules.  Eur. J. Biochem. 1986; 158(1):63-9.

 

[v] Santos, J. E. P., Villasenor, M., Robinson, P. H., DePeters, E. J. and C. A. Holmberg. (2003). Type of Cottonseed and Level of Gossypol in Diets of Lactating Dairy Cows: Plasma Gossypol, Health, and Reproductive Performance. Journal of Dairy Science. 86:892-905

[vi] Gu, Y., C. J. Chang, Y. Rikihisa, and Y. C. Lin.  1990.  Inhibitory effect of gossypol on human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)-induced progesterone section in cultured bovine luteal cells.  Life Sci. 47:407-414.

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Dr. Bruce Semon, M.D., Ph.D.

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