Is 20-Something Too Late For A Guy To Get The HPV Vaccine?

WFYI’s Jake Harper reports health stories for Side Effects Public Media in Indianapolis. His newest health anxiety stems from the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Sex with someone new has always made me nervous. Now, TV is making it even worse.

I keep seeing scary ads featuring young people asking their parents why they didn’t get the vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus — HPV. If you’re unfamiliar with HPV, it’s a sexually transmitted infection that has been linked to various cancers, including cervical cancer in women.

I didn’t get vaccinated. So lately I’ve been wondering: Now that I’m 29, is it too late for me to get the vaccine?

I found out about HPV eight years ago when a college girlfriend got immunized. Back then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only recommended the vaccine for girls and young women between the ages of 11 and 26. The earlier the better, they said, to try to reach girls before they become sexually active. The vaccine is also more effective at a younger age.

At the time, I remember thinking that limiting it to females was strange — after all, males still spread HPV, right? But with my partner vaccinated, I let it go. I didn’t know HPV could cause health problems for men.

But HPV absolutely affects men. It causes genital warts and is pulling past tobacco and alcohol as a leading cause of cancers in the back of the mouth and throat, the area called the oropharynx. The CDC now estimates about 70 percent of all oropharyngeal cancers may be caused by HPV, including roughly 12,600 cases in men each year.

“There are now more oropharynx cancers in men in the United States each year than there are cervical cancers in women,” says Dr. Erich Sturgis, a surgeon and researcher at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

And there’s no way to screen for oropharyngeal cancer, so Sturgis says most people catch it late.

“Typically it’s a man, while he’s shaving,” says Sturgis. “He notices a lump in his neck. That means it’s already a cancer that has spread.”

HPV also puts men at risk for cancers of the anus and penis. Those are rare, but still make me anxious.

So, for men like me who missed the vaccine, is it still worth it?

The answer is complicated. In 2011, the CDC began recommending the vaccine for males ages 11 through 21 years old (26 for some high-risk groups).

Despite my age, researchers I talked to said that the vaccine could still help — if I haven’t already been exposed.

But therein lies a complication. An estimated 80 percent of sexually active people will be exposed to HPV by age 45. In most people, the virus goes away on its own after two years. For men, there’s no commercially available test to find out if you have been exposed. Women can be checked for HPV exposure as part of a Pap test.

To have 80 percent of sexually active young adults exposed sounds bleak. But there’s a caveat: “There are several dozen types of HPV that infect the genital region,” says psychologist Greg Zimet, who co-directs the Center for HPV Research in Indianapolis. Only a fraction of those cause cancer or warts, and the latest version of the vaccine Gardasil protects against nine of those HPV types — the ones responsible for a vast majority of HPV-related problems.

So let’s say — hypothetically — you’re kind of shy and haven’t had that many partners. Is it possible you’ve been spared?

“The chances you’ve been exposed to all nine types are actually vanishingly small,” says John Schiller, a microbiologist who studies HPV and HPV vaccines at the National Cancer Institute.

Schiller says the vaccine might not be a bad idea for someone outside the CDC’s recommended age range. Still, it’s not cheap.

“You’re past the age where your health insurance is going to pay for it,” says Schiller, so getting the vaccine isn’t imperative — it’s a personal decision.

“Peace of mind for you may be worth more than it is for some other people,” he tells me.

So, I got the vaccine. It’s costing $130 out of pocket per dose, and the CDC recommends three shots for those older than 14. But it could help me, even if it just calms my anxious inner voice. And it might keep me from spreading the virus to someone else.

10 Sensible Ways Of Handling Arguments In A Long Term Relationship

People feel that arguments strip our love lives of love and intimacy, but just like there are two sides of a coin, there are times when arguments can even sew people together and make them closer. We need to realise that arguing is a skill, not winning them but putting our point forward requires effort. When you are in a long-term committed relationship, you will see seasons of change in your relationship. You don’t get to choose ‘not’ to ever argue or misunderstand your partner, but there are some sensible ways of handling them which can minimise the damage. We list out 10 such ways for you.

 Sensible Ways Of Handling Arguments In A Long Term Relationship

Keep The Argument Private

Nobody needs to wash their dirty laundry in public, which includes in front of your family or friends. Keep things private, always solve issues or strike words at each other in private. Arguing in public not only leaves you in a pool of embarrassment, but an audience could only add fuel to the fire, making it blow out of proportion.

Take A Break And Have A Cooling Period

When in the middle of an argument, sometimes we keep harping on the same detail repeatedly and it becomes difficult to think logically in the heat of the moment. It is best that two people should get away from each other and muse individually about what exactly went wrong. Long term relationship means you won’t just say ‘break up’ and leave. So patience and distance goes a long way in getting people back together.

Sensible Ways Of Handling Arguments In A Long Term Relationship

A Little Compromise Never Hurts

You need closure to stop the argument and let peace prevail. Compromising is not a bad option, after all you are bowing down to someone you love, right? If harmless, small adjustments here and there save your relation, what is the harm in it? Not that you need to bend on serious issues which require discussion and a solution. Remember the person matters, the argument will end.

There Is A Good Time And A Bad Time For Arguments

Filtering what is important enough to argue about is primary, but don’t forget that timing plays a huge part too. Picking a fight right after coming back home from a long day at work or dissecting issues at bed time will always lead to a cranky behaviour and a bad ending. Skip the wrong time and argue about things which are ‘worth’ fighting for!

Sensible Ways Of Handling Arguments In A Long Term Relationship

When Found Guilty, Own It Up And Surrender

Nobody likes it when their partner puts them on a guilt trip about something. Sometimes, if you know you were at the wrong end, have no shame in accepting it and own up to your mistakes. This will only bring the two of you closer and you can lead by example, as your partner would be willing to do the same for you next time when they are wrong.

Be Open About Your Vulnerability And Insecurities

We all feel insecure or jealous or plain vulnerable sometimes and end up doing some immature stuff to garner attention from our partner which leads to petty arguments. If you love someone, it is only natural to feel these emotions. Instead of picking up fights and blowing issues out of proportion, just talk about it like a grown up and let them know what is bothering you.

Sensible Ways Of Handling Arguments In A Long Term Relationship

Never Say Something You Will Regret

Being in a long term relationship means you know your partner’s weaknesses really well, including the things which can drive their temper up the wall. When in the middle of an argument, never ever should you blurt out something which will end up hurting them and instantly make you regret your words. The argument will end, but will leave a bad after taste for the longest time.

Rebuild Intimacy Quickly

Never leave things sour and work out together to put things back on track. Intimacy is very important and issues often affect it the most. So chuck the ego, and just kiss and make up!

Sensible Ways Of Handling Arguments In A Long Term Relationship

Understand That Anyone Can Have A Bad Day

There are days when your partner will just argue with you because maybe they are having a bad day, and they know that you won’t judge them, but after all we all are humans, and flawed. So understand that sometimes, they don’t mean to offend you, and allow them to cool down before you point out their mistakes.

Sensible Ways Of Handling Arguments In A Long Term Relationship

Forgive And Forget

Forgiveness is a mutual gift that two people need to share often. You love your partner and they love you too, life is not a bed of roses and both of you will screw up things sometimes. So figure it out, solve it, forgive each other and forget about it. Love makes life beautiful, not complicated.

Sensible Ways Of Handling Arguments In A Long Term Relationship


Your Brain Has A “Delete” Button–Here’s How To Use It.

This is the fascinating way that your brain makes space to build new and stronger connections so you can learn more.

Your Brain Has A "Delete" Button--Here's How To Use It

There’s an old saying in neuroscience: neurons that fire together wire together. This means the more you run a neuro-circuit in your brain, the stronger that circuit becomes. This is why, to quote another old saw, practice makes perfect. The more you practice piano, or speaking a language, or juggling, the stronger those circuits get.

For years this has been the focus for learning new things. But as it turns out, the ability to learn is about more than building and strengthening neural connections. Even more important is our ability to break down the old ones. It’s called “synaptic pruning.” Here’s how it works.


Imagine your brain is a garden, except instead of growing flowers, fruits, and vegetables, you grow synaptic connections between neurons. These are the connections that neurotransmitters like dopamine, seratonin, and others travel across.

“Glial cells” are the gardeners of your brain—they act to speed up signals between certain neurons. But other glial cells are the waste removers, pulling up weeds, killing pests, raking up dead leaves. Your brain’s pruning gardeners are called “microglial cells.” They prune your synaptic connections. The question is, how do they know which ones to prune?

Researchers are just starting to unravel this mystery, but what they do know is the synaptic connections that get used less get marked by a protein, C1q (as well as others). When the microglial cells detect that mark, they bond to the protein and destroy—or prune—the synapse.

This is how your brain makes the physical space for you to build new and stronger connections so you can learn more.


Have you ever felt like your brain is full? Maybe when starting a new job, or deep in a project. You’re not sleeping enough, even though you’re constantly taking in new information. Well, in a way, your brain actually is full.

When you learn lots of new things, your brain builds connections, but they’re inefficient, ad hoc connections. Your brain needs to prune a lot of those connections away and build more streamlined, efficient pathways. It does that when we sleep.

Your brain cleans itself out when you sleep—your brain cells shrinking by up to 60% to create space for your glial gardeners to come in take away the waste and prune the synapses.

Have you ever woken up from a good night’s rest and been able to think clearly and quickly? That’s because all the pruning and pathway-efficiency that took place overnight has left you with lots of room to take in and synthesize new information—in other words, to learn.

This is the same reason naps are so beneficial to your cognitive abilities. A 10- or 20-minute nap gives your microglial gardeners the chance to come in, clear away some unused connections, and leave space to grow new ones.

Thinking with a sleep-deprived brain is like hacking your way through a dense jungle with a machete. It’s overgrown, slow-going, exhausting. The paths overlap, and light can’t get through. Thinking on a well-rested brain is like wandering happily through Central Park; the paths are clear and connect to one another at distinct spots, the trees are in place, you can see far ahead of you. It’s invigorating.


And in fact, you actually have some control over what your brain decides to delete while you sleep. It’s the synaptic connections you don’t use that get marked for recycling. The ones you do use are the ones that get watered and oxygenated. So be mindful of what you’re thinking about.

If you spend too much time reading theories about the end of Game of Thrones and very little on your job, guess which synapses are going to get marked for recycling?

If you’re in a fight with someone at work and devote your time to thinking about how to get even with them, and not about that big project, you’re going to wind up a synaptic superstar at revenge plots but a poor innovator.

To take advantage of your brain’s natural gardening system, simply think about the things that are important to you. Your gardeners will strengthen those connections and prune the ones that you care about less. It’s how you help the garden of your brain flower.

Study Finds Trees Have Feelings, Make Friends And Look After Each Other Like An Old Couple.

Trees are scientifically proven to be WAY more intelligent than we ever imagined!

“They can feel pain, [and] have emotions, such as fear. Trees like to stand close together and cuddle. They love company and like to take things slow.”  These are just some of tree-whisperer Peter Wohlleben’s findings. Peter is a German researcher who not only enjoy being surrounded by trees, he has devoted his life to studying them.

“There is in fact friendship among trees,”  he says. “They can form bonds like an old couple, where one looks after the other. Trees have feelings.”

Intelligent Trees is a new documentary is by German forester, author, and tree expert, Peter Wohlleben, along with Suzanne Simard, who is an ecologist from the University of British Columbia. Watch the trailer below to get a glimpse into it.


“They can form bonds like an old couple, where one looks after the other. Trees have feelings”

“Trees like to stand close together and cuddle. They love company. They can feel pain, [and] have emotions, such as fear”


Watch the video. URL:

UFO expert Max Spiers’ death prompts conspiracy theories

Max Spiers died in Warsaw in June this year.
Max Spiers died in Warsaw in June this year. 

Max Spiers, a British Ufologist and conspiracy theorist, sent his mother a text message days before his death earlier this year saying: “If anything happens to me, investigate.”

Spiers, 39, originally from Canterbury, was found dead in Warsaw in June.

We all want answers to this and I will continue to fight to get to the truthVanessa Bates, Max Spiers’ mother

Local authorities say he died from natural causes – but his mother has told reporters she has doubts over the verdict.

Vanessa Bates, an English teacher, said: “He was making a name for himself in the world of conspiracy theorists and had been invited to speak at a conference in Poland in July.

“He was staying with a woman who he had not known for long and she told me how she found him dead on the sofa.

“But I think Max had been digging in some dark places and I fear that somebody wanted him dead.”

Ms Bates remarks have prompted fevered online speculation among conspiracy theorists. Scott C Waring of UFO Sightings Daily told Metro: “This is really strange. It does seem that UFO researchers are now being targeted, probably to slow the rate of information being leaked to the public.”

However, author and journalist Nick Pope, who investigated the UFO phenomenon for the Ministry of Defence in the early Nineties, said on Twitter: “The death of Max Spiers was a tragedy, but having run the UK Government’s UFO project I promise we don’t go around killing UFO researchers.”

Ms Bates described her son as a “very fit man who was in good health”, adding: “All I have is a death certificate from the Polish authorities that it was from natural causes, but no post-mortem was done so how can they tell that?

“They are also refusing to release any paperwork about it to me because, absurdly, I don’t have his written permission.

“He has a brother, Josh, and sister, Becky, who are both devastated, as are his two boys. We all want answers to this and I will continue to fight to get to the truth.”

North East Kent coroner’s office said that an investigation into Mr Spiers’ death was in its “very early” stages.

UN Classifies Antibiotic Resistance as a Crisis, Putting It on Par With Ebola and HIV


Antibiotic resistance, the ability of bacteria to evolve to combat treatment, has been declared a crisis by the United Nations. The classification will hopefully lead to the funding and research needed to combat, or even fully eradicate, the problem, which is currently responsible for more than 23,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone.


Since Alexander Fleming’s discovery of penicillin in 1928, antibiotics have come to revolutionize medicine in the 20th century. By systematically killing off microbes that cause infections, antibiotics made it easy to cure bacterial infections from wounds as well as highly communicable diseases such as pneumonia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Along with vaccines, antibiotics have considerably improved the life expectancy of people all over the world.

Here’s the rub: like humans, microbes can adapt.

When exposed to antibiotics frequently enough, bacteria can evolve to combat the treatments. Also known as antibiotic resistance, this phenomenon results in bacteria that is more resistant (if not fully immune) to the drugs that could treat them before. A report from Quartz showed that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that 23,000 people die each year as a direct consequence of antibiotic resistance, and that’s just in the U.S.

The issue is so serious that the United Nations has now elevated the problem of antibiotic resistance to crisis level.


The new categorization puts antibiotic resistance on par with Ebola and HIV as a threat to humanity, and while the declaration alone won’t be enough to completely eradicate the problem of antibiotic resistance, it marks a global commitment to combating the issue and saving lives. With 193 member states of the UN General Assembly signing the document, the world is clearly in agreement that action needs to be taken.

As more companies in those countries, particularly those in the pharmaceutical and food industries, adopt policies aimed to reduce the overuse of antibiotics and more research is conducted on the topic, we should see a decrease in the number of deaths related to antibiotic resistance. Perhaps the next ruling the UN makes on the issue will be one in the other direction, from crisis level to problem of the past.

The “Impossible” EM Drive’s New Patent Is Now Public — And It’ll Blow You Away



Short Bytes: The UK Intellectual Property Office has granted a new patent to Roger Shawyer, the inventor of the EM Drive which is a microwave radiation thruster capable of propelling a spacecraft without the need of fuel propellant. The new patent enhances the efficiency and thrust of the EM drive by minimizing the internal doppler shift.

While Elon Musk and SpaceX have been busy posting mac diamonds on social media, there is a man working hard to revolutionize our space travels in the future. It is possible that Musk may end up sending humans to mars by the next decade but if the British scientist Roger Shawyer’s creation reaches reality, our Mars trip would be way cheaper or at least won’t be fuel dependent. Because even a single gram of fuel won’t be used in the EM drive invented by Shawyer.The EM drive or microwave radiation thruster has been in question for not adhering to the basic laws of physics given by Sir Isaac Newton. Notably, the third, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The EM drive works by making the electromagnetic waves reflect back and forth in a closed frustum-shaped cavity structure theoretically generating enough thrust to propel an entire spacecraft.

The advocates of physics have said that the em drive doesn’t have fuel which means it doesn’t have anything to push backward in order to move forward. But tests conducted by NASA and other scientists have indicated that the EM drive can work.

Shawyer has been working on the EM drive since 1999. He has bagged four patents in the field of work, the first one in 1993 for the basic concept of a cylindrical thruster with a shaped internal dielectric. Now, the UK Intellectual Property Office has granted him a new patent for the microwave radiation thruster. It is an improved design having a non-superconducting specially shaped plate on one end and a superconducting flat plate on the other.

The microwave radiation thruster houses a circularly polarized input antenna and a detector antenna with polarization opposite to the input antenna. A phase locked loop is created between the two antennas and is used to put a check on the input frequency of the waves.

This process minimizes the internal Doppler shift (the change in frequency or wavelength of a wave for an observer moving relative to its source) for the electromagnetic waves and increases the thrust ring acceleration.


“There’s millions of pounds at stake on this particular patent,” Shawyer told IB Times. He has been working with an unnamed UK aerospace company to create the second generation of the EM drive.

Just like the Robert Shawyer’s electromagnetic thruster, Guido Fetta created the Cannae drive based on the EM drive concept. The development of the Cannae drive has been promoted by his company Cannae LLC. Recently, Fetta has also managed to get his thruster tested in the space.

Wikileaks XFILES: John Podesta’s Alien Emails Disclosure?

Wikileaks released the Podesta Emails, 2,000 emails leaked that talk about everything from Goldman Sach’s speeches to X-Files conversations between John Podesta, Edgar Mitchell, and former Blink 182 guitarist Tom DeLonge, talking about Alien life and sources within the government who hold this information.


John Podesta and Edgar Mitchell are both prominent, credentialed individuals of the disclosure movement that advocate the public disclosure of the Extraterrestrial presence that has been visiting this planet for centuries, a well kept secret by many presidents and international world leaders alike. It has now spread to include hundreds of whistle-blowers from military to intelligence agencies worldwide, ready to blow the lid off the greatest cover up mankind has ever seen, that we are indeed not alone in this vast universe and our governments have conspired to keep it secret under “National Security.”

Astronaut Edgar Mitchell is caught talking to John Podesta in a leaked email in which the both of them were worried about a war breaking out in space and apparently they planned to have a conversation via Skype about the ramifications of it.

“Because the War in Space race is heating up, I felt you should be aware of several factors as you and I schedule our Skype talk. Remember, our nonviolent ETI from the contiguous universe are helping us bring zero point energy to Earth. They will not tolerate any forms of military violence on Earth or in space.”

~Edgar Mitchell, said.

In another leaked email Edgar Mitchell also talks about the Vatican knowing about the Extraterrestrial presence Mitchell writes.

“My Catholic colleague Terri Mansfield will be there too, to bring us up to date on the Vatican’s awareness of ETI.”

Mitchell has previously claimed last year that Aliens helped prevent nuclear war.

John Podesta tweeted before leaving the Obama administration “My biggest failure was not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files.” Are we getting to see the under belly of secrecy that was Podesta’s biggest failure?

Additionally, in another email exchange with Tom Delonge in 2015, Tom Delonge wrote John Podesta about sources he claimed were “both in charge of a most fragile division that relates to classified science and DOD topics” adding they were “worth our time.”

“I think you will find them very interesting, as they were principal leadership relating to our sensitive topic. Both were in charge of most fragile divisions, as it relates to Classified Science and DOD topics. Other words, these are A-Level officials. Worth our time, and as well the investment to bring all the way out to you,”

~Tom DeLonge

In another leaked email from 2016, Mr. DeLonge writes he has “been working with another former military official.”

“He just has to say that out loud, but he is very, very aware- as he was in charge of all of the stuff. When Roswell crashed, they shipped it to the laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. General McCasland was in charge of that exact laboratory up to a couple years ago,” Mr. DeLonge wrote,

Delonge referred to the Roswell Incident that was first reported as a saucer first with dead Alien Bodies then that was retracted and it was then a weather balloon with crash dummies, yes crash dummies, absolutely unbelievable.  Although former CIA Director Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter said to the NY Times, the Inspectors General Called “UFOs serious business” years later in the 1960s.  That PDF in which the Inspectors General said UFO’s were serious business can be viewed here.

Wikileaks has additionally previously leaked cables in which world leaders have talked about Extraterrestrial life.

If it’s not obvious by now that we are not alone you need to study “Rendlesham Forest Colonel Charles Halt Tapes“, “Roswell“, “The Battle Of Los Angeles“, “Phoneix Lights“, “Jerusalem UFO“, “Whitehouse fly over“, and here watch this compilation of NASA UFO videos too from the STS to ISS. It’s quite apparent that we are not alone in the universe and if that’s not enough for you, several ex NASA astronauts and Military, Intelligence officials and pilots have tried to come forward with the Disclosure project. Are you paying attention now? Space program manager Wayne Hale has previously admitted that NASA “has been chasing these objects for many many years, rarely able to pinpoint where they came from and always finding out that they didn’t pose us any hazard.”

For fuck sake, the FBI has declassified a document which military personnel concluded a number of shocking conclusions about UFOs that document is below. Former Legislator Henry W. McElroy, Jr has alleged that Eisenhower met with Extraterrestrials, another CIA officer on his deathbed came out in 2013 and his story matches up with Henry McElroy’s story. Timothy Good, a pentagon consultant has also claimed that Eisenhower had a meeting with Extraterrestrials. That’s three different people within years apart of each other who all say that Eisenhower met with Extraterrestrials. They aren’t the only officials that claim that world leaders have already had first contact Retired, NATO Command Sergeant Major, Robert O. Dean has claimed “the Annunaki met with our leaders in 1954.” Then you have whistle-blowers who allege to show ET life forms like Lockheed Martin’s, Boyd Bushman who shows an alleged picture of an ET life form on his deathbed.

1. Part of the disks carry crews, others are under remote control
2. Their mission is peaceful. The visitors contemplate settling on this plane
3. These visitors are human-like but much larger in size
4. They are not excarnate Earth people, but come from their own world
5. They do NOT come from a planet as we use the word, but from an etheric planet which interpenetrates with our own and is not perceptible to us
6. The bodies of the visitors, and the craft, automatically materialize on entering the vibratory rate of our dense matter
7. The disks possess a type of radiant energy or a ray, which will easily disintegrate any attacking ship. They reenter the etheric at will, and so simply disappear from our vision, without trace
8. The region from which they come is not the “astral plane”, but corresponds to the Lokas or Talas. Students of esoteric matters will understand these terms.
9. They probably can not be reached by radio, but probably can be by radar. if a signal system can be devised for that (apparatus)
If you still need more, Victor Viggiani, a disclosure advocate leaked NORAD documents talking about UFO activity last July. Disclosure is picking up at a quickening pace, the truth can’t be stopped it’s like a tsunami, coming full speed to knock down the veil of secrecy. Just one question will blow the cover up out of the water, if NASA exists and it’s not a civilian agency as whistle-blower NASA engineer Clark McClelland, who has been apart of more then 800 NASA missions on record, has said why does the Navy Space Command exist? As such then the next dot to connect is hacker Gary Mckinion’s claim he found a list of off-planet space ships when he hacked into NASA and the DoD. As security clearance agreements expire more and more whistle-blowers will come forward. Could these leaked images from a U.S. submarine in 1971 be circumstantial evidence that Extraterrestrial life exist? The French MoD ‘contacted’ aliens during Steven Greers CE5 experiment  and he’s not the only one, two unknown men made UFO orbs appear out of nowhere, one happened during a live news broadcast which shocked the reporter who was at first mocking him. An old video from Oliver’s Castle shows a Crop Circle being made by an energetic orb of light. That video was tested for digital editing and was ruled to be clean of any type of editing tools of that time by digital editing experts.

Let us know what you think in the comment section below about all this and more and feel free to add to the content provided and connect dots of your own. Together We Are Change and we can win this information war to quote Ex Canadian Defense Minister Paul Hellyer. “The American people have a right to know what’s been going on because they are apart of it.”

 “there is abundant evidence that we are being contacted, that civilizations have been visiting us for a very long time. That their appearance is bizarre from any type of traditional materialistic western point of view. That these visitors use the technologies of consciousness, they use toroids, they use co-rotating magnetic disks for their propulsion systems, that seems to be a common denominator of the UFO phenomenon.”

~Dr Brian O’leary, former NASA astronaut.

Death Is Not Uncommon In The Most Dangerous Religious Cults

Cults are nothing to joke about. Many religious cults over the years have included dehumanizing tactics such as brainwashing and imprisonment. Not to mention The Peoples’ Temple, a cult led by Jim Jones that ended in the mass suicide of hundreds of his followers. Quick warning: The images in the videos below may be disturbing to some of our users.

Women who regularly consume soft drinks may be reducing their chances of getting pregnant

Women who regularly consume soft drinks may be reducing their chances of getting pregnant, according to new research.

A study of 524 patients found a link between artificial sweeteners, such as those used in “diet” sodas, and lower fertility rates, while use of sugar in soft drinks and added to coffee was associated with poorer quality of eggs and embryos.

A woman drinking (stock)

One of Britain’s leading fertility experts last night described the findings as “highly significant”, and warned women not to underestimate the effects of food additives on their likelihood of conception.

Other scientists, however, have said the lower pregnancy rates may have been driven by obesity, which is already a known negative factor, rather than the sugar or its synthetic equivalent per se.

Artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin and sucralose, are chemical substances that many people choose over sugar because they are low-calorie or calorie-free.

In the study, which will be presented today at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine congress in Salt Lake City, a batch of women who were undergoing IVF treatment were interviewed by nutritionists about the foods they consumed, as well soft and hot drinks.

 The finding, showed that reduced rates of pregnancy was most closely associated with consumption of soft drinks made with artificial sweeteners, as well as coffee with added artificial sweeteners.

Meanwhile the use of sugar in soft drinks and coffee was associated with a poorer quality of egg, which can be a factor in likelihood of getting pregnant.

Unsweetened coffee, however, had no effect on egg quality or pregnancy chances, said the researchers from the Federal University of Sao Paulo.

Professor Adam Balen, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, said: “This is a very interesting study that suggests the false promise of artificial sweeteners that are found in soft drinks and added to drinks, such as coffee, may have a significant effect on the quality and fertility of woman’s eggs and this may further impact on the chances of conception.

“These findings are highly significant to our population.

“There should be more scrutiny of food additives and better information available to the public and, in particular, those wishing to conceive.”

However, a spokesman for the British Dietetic Association said the study made no effort to distinguish the effect on fertility outcomes of the bodyweight of the women in the trail from the impact of artificial sweeteners and sugar in their diets.

Professor Sir Colin Berry, Emeritus Professor of Pathology at Queen Mary University London, also cautioned about drawing inferences on wider reproductive outcomes from the experience of IVF patients.