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Harvard Study Shows Men Who Smoke Marijuana Are More Fertile

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There’s plenty of research showing that marijuana can improve things in the bedroom, but it’s not as clear whether it has the same effect in your pants. Studies about the effect of marijuana use on sperm count have had mixed results, at best. Guys who smoke weed, however, can take comfort in the findings of a large study published by Harvard University scientists on Tuesday. The sperm of marijuana smokers, it seems, is alright. Maybe even more than alright.

As the research team writes in the Human Reproduction study, the men who had smoked one or two joints of marijuana at least once in their lifetimes had a sperm count and concentration that was significantly higher than that of people who had never smoked marijuana in their lives, which is generally a good thing for a man’s fertility. More intense marijuana users also appeared to have higher levels of the sex hormone testosterone as well.

“Our findings were contrary to what we initially hypothesized,” said Feiby Nassan, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and research fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Previous research on marijuana smoking had suggested that doing so lowered sperm counts. Previous studies had strongly suggested that marijuana use lowers sperm count and concentration.

Not What They Expected

That didn’t appear to be the case for the 662 men who submitted 1,143 semen samples to the Fertility Center at Massachusetts General Hospital between 2000 and 2017. All of the men completed a self-reported questionnaire about their previous and current marijuana use. Their answers, combined with the team’s analysis of the samples, revealed that past or present marijuana use didn’t have a negative effect on sperm concentration and count at all.

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In total, the 365 men who had ever smoked marijuana had significantly higher sperm concentration than the 297 men who had never done so. Furthermore, there weren’t any statistically significant differences in sperm concentration between men who currently smoked weed and those who did in the past.

In addition, 316 men involved in the study gave blood samples on the same day they gave their first semen sample. Those from the marijuana smokers showed they had less follicle stimulating hormones (FSH, which is critical for sperm growth) in their blood. However, those who had “more intense use” of marijuana had significantly higher concentrations of testosterone (which is also needed for sperm development).

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Two Possible Explanations

These results are the exact opposite of what their hypothesis predicted, but they aren’t inexplicable.

“However, they are consistent with two different interpretations,” said Nassan, “the first being that low levels of marijuana use could benefit sperm production because of its effect on the endocannabinoid system, which is known to play a role in fertility, but those benefits are lost with higher levels of marijuana consumption.”

In other words, the amount of weed you smoke matters. Previous studies showing marijuana’s negative effects on sperm didn’t only focus on people who’d smoked once or twice in their lives.

“An equally plausible interpretation,” she continued, “is that our findings could reflect the fact that men with higher testosterone levels are more likely to engage in risk-seeking behaviors, including smoking marijuana.”

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This latter explanation is a reminder not to be too hasty in drawing conclusions from this study. Though it provides evidence that marijuana doesn’t hurt sperm count or concentration, there are other effects we may not be aware of yet — for example, marijuana’s effect on sperm gene expression, which scientists documented in a previous study.

Furthermore, the team points out, seeing as the majority of the participants were white, university-educated men who weren’t tobacco users, there’s no guarantee the findings will apply to everyone. And finally, there’s the chance that these men weren’t totally truthful about how much marijuana they used — weed was mostly illegal from 2000 to 2017, after all.

“Our results need to be interpreted with caution,” said Harvard T.H. Chan School associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology Jorge Chavarro, Ph.D., “and they highlight the need to further study the health effects of marijuana use.”

Weed is still illegal in Kenya even though there are efforts by legislators like Kibra’s Ken Okoth to have the herb legalized.


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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Send me tips to [[email protected]]

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Kyle McCarter: Corrupt Kenyan Officials Will Now Be Denied Visas To The US

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US Ambassador Kyle McCarter.

From the moment he stepped into the country after his approval as the US ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter made his intentions clear. Enhancing USA-Kenya ties. He’s also been building a signature of being vocal about corruption which is hailing the country.

‘Fed Up With Corruption’ has become a dominating theme and the Motto that the ambassador has adopted in his tweets.

Kenya loses an estimated Sh600B every year to corruption in a country where many live under a dollar a day and also the country with most million dollar millionaires in the region. Because of corruption, basic social amenities have been undelivered.

Much of stolen public money is often stashed in foreign countries including the USA and this why Kenya needs partnerships with international partners. Swiss recently inked a deal with Kenya to help repatriate stolen money.

As an intervention, it has been proposed for Western countries where the loot is often stashed by corrupt public officials to impose sanctions on such leaders including denying them visas. This will confine them in Kenya without luxury of flying out to go blow up the billions.

Kenyans if not Africa has been waiting to see President Trump’s policies in Africa especially on tackling corruption and it seems there’s an answer. The new Ambassador Kyle has confirmed that the embassy is denying leaders who’ve been involved in corruption visas to travel to the US.

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Asked if the US would consider denying thieves (corrupt officials) visas to visit America, he firmly answered l, “Absolutely. Already happening.”

This is a big step in the direction and we can only hope the worst is yet to happen, it’s a great opportunity for the ambassador to make a name as the only USA ambassador in Africa to have ever publicly and loudly joined hands in fighting corruption that is now eating up our generations.


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Male Birth Control Pill Has Been For The First Time Declared Effective And Safe For Human Use

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For years, scientists have been trying to develop a safe and effective version of the pill for men, and a new drug candidate could be the contraceptive we’ve been looking for.

This week, scientists in the US announced that an experimental oral drug called 11-beta-MNTDC looks to be safe and tolerable, based on results from a phase 1 clinical trial involving 40 men.

“Our results suggest that this pill, which combines two hormonal activities in one, will decrease sperm production while preserving libido,” says male reproduction biologist Christina Wang from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed).

In the clinical trial, Wang and her team recruited 40 healthy men.

For 28 days, 30 of these participants took a low or higher daily dose of the 11-beta-MNTDC (full name: 11-beta-methyl-19-nortestosterone-17-beta-dodecylcarbonate), while the remaining 10 men took a placebo.

11-beta-MNTDC is a modified form of testosterone with both progestational (in effect, sperm-blocking) and androgenic(hormone-balancing) characteristics.

“Since testosterone production is shut down in the testes, the androgen action in the rest of the body maintains ‘maleness’ elsewhere, supporting things like male pattern hair, deep voice, sex drive and function, and lean body mass,” explained one of the team, endocrinologist Stephanie Page from the University of Washington. She presented the team’s results at the Endocrine Society’s annual conference in New Orleans on Sunday.

In the first clinical trial results on the drug, that balancing act looks like it might deliver a safe oral drug while hypothetically stopping sperm production – although it has to be emphasised this is only preliminary data.

The participants taking 11-beta-MNTDC did not demonstrate serious adverse events or significant clinical concerns, but showed significantly reduced levels of two hormones called LH and FSH that are needed for sperm production.

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That said, this 28-day experiment was testing 11-beta-MNTDC’s safety, rather than contraceptive effects – but the early results are positive, suggesting future research could demonstrate those, too.

Before we get to that point, it’s important to show that 11-beta-MNTDC is safe to take. And it does appear to be safe, with a minority of the men experiencing some side effects. A few of the participants reported fatigue, headaches, and acne during the experiment.

In terms of sexual effects, five men said they felt mild changes in libido, and two experienced mild erectile dysfunction. Nonetheless, for a hormone-based drug, which tend to inevitably carry some level of side effects, the researchers characterise these effects as mild.

Despite the promise of the results, the researchers say it will be some time before a drug like 11-beta-MNTDC will be available to men. The researchers are currently planning follow-up trials for 11-beta-MNTDC and a functionally similar chemical called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU).

Depending on how those future experiments go, the team says a safe hormonal male pill should be available on the market in about 10 years.

That might seem like a long way away, but the researchers stress that it’s necessary, to ensure that these experimental drugs aren’t just safe, but functional in terms of blocking sperm production sufficiently to prevent pregnancy.

“This study is very short and we need three months if not more to stop sperm production,” Wang said.

“All we have shown so far is that it shuts down the hormones that control the function of the testes.”

The findings were presented at ENDO 2019 in New Orleans on Sunday. Related research by the team is reported here.

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Investigations

Britam Risks Losing Billions As Court Rules In Favor Of Cytonn Over Unsubstantiated Fraud Claims

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Back in 2014 Britam accused four of its former employees of theft of billions of shillings, to the tune of kes. 8 billion, and sought to file criminal complaints about them. Britam said that the theft was discovered after audits done by accounting firm KPMG and law firm Coulson Harney.

The four former employees refuted this claiming that no such theft had happened and wrote to Britam asking them to disclose the said reports to prove their innocence. Britam, however, refused to disclose the audit reports and the four former employees then filed a lawsuit in the high court in 2016 seeking to compel Britam to disclose the audits.

After three years of litigation, the judge ruled and ordered that indeed Britam must disclose the said audit reports if they are relying on them to allege theft by its former employees. Additionally, the judge found Britam’s conduct so unbecoming that it also slapped Britam with the penalty of refunding the accused former staff with the cost of the lawsuit.

Contacted for comment, our source at Britam says that the board is furious with the CEO, Benson Wairegi, why he filed frivolous lawsuits just for the sake of trying to kill competition from former staff. The new investors IFC and Swiss RE are apparently unhappy with Mr. Wairegi and want to see him fired by the end of the year.

The stock has tanked by over 75% since he lost his team to Cytonn and is now trading at below IPO price. Our sources tell us that the new investors, IFC, Swiss Re, and AfricInvest are frustrated because they’re sitting on paper losses, having bought the share price at kshs. 15 and now it is trading at below 9 bob.

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When we contacted a source at Cytonn, she said that “all their games shall come to a sudden and painful end. We are going to go after them for billions of shillings for damages. They are the ones with really big legal issues. The judge was very clear in his ruling. And we can assure you, the so-called forensic audits don’t exist, they have just fixed themselves with their lies”

Sooner or later the market will realize that this is the biggest corporate lie ever perpetrated by a listed company to investors and in plain sight of regulators and international shareholders like IFC and Swiss Re.

Our investigative desk obtains the ruling below.

SKMBT_C364e19032114190


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