Damage from Cell Phones Not Debatable

Monday, October 06, 2008
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

A variety of new studies show beyond the shadow of a doubt that cell phone exposure alters nerve function in an adverse way, a problem that certainly increases based on exposure time and frequency of use.  Data indicates that this problem will be worse in the presence of other nerve related stress, and risks can be reduced by having adequate antioxidants (like vitamin E and C).  The data paints an alarming picture of risk for a young generation that has grown up attached to cell phones.  In my feature article on April 15, 2008, Cell Phone Cover-Up – Is Your Brain at Risk, I reviewed what was known about the emerging risk.  The majority of new science continues to sound a rather disturbing alarm. 

Sept. 2008 – New evidence presented by Swedish researchers1 who have been at the forefront of exposing potential cell phone problems claims that children who began using cell phones before age 20 (while their brains are still developing) have a five times elevated risk for getting brain cancer.

Sept. 2008 – This animal study shows that cell phone exposure compromises the integrity of the blood brain barrier2, resulting in direct damage to brain cells.  Interpretation:  When the blood brain barrier becomes leaky then toxins can enter the brain and induce damage, a common feature of many neurologic illnesses like MS.

Sept. 2008 – Human semen samples3 exposed to cell phone radiation for 1 hour showed a significant decrease in sperm motility and viability and increased free radical damage.  The authors concluded “We speculate that keeping the cell phone in a trouser pocket in talk mode may negatively affect spermatozoa and impair male fertility.”

Sept. 2008 – This controlled human study showed that cell phones affected mood4, lowering arousal.  This indicates that brain energetics is being altered by cell phone exposure on a short term basis.

Aug. 2008 – This animal study proved the cytochrome c oxidase5 activity was lowered in various brain regions due to cell phone exposure.  This enzyme is the key final phase of energy production within the mitochondria of cells, including brain cells.  Interfering with it will not only cause a loss of energy, it will cause a significant production of cell-damaging and potentially cell-mutating free radicals.

Aug. 2008 – In this cell study an adverse response in cells was seen when exposure occurred in the presence of other forms of oxidative stress6.  Since there are many forms of oxidative nerve stress (pollution, lack of sleep, poor diet, emotional stress, etc.), cell phone radiation can be viewed as one more thorn in the side of healthy brain function.  Problems are likely worse when there are multiple issues.

July 2008 – A startling study of 13,000 women shows that mothers who use a cell phone 2-3 times a day during pregnancy alters the brain development of their child7, a problem that is made worse if the young child also uses a cell phone.  By age 7 the following was clear:  “They found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioral problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation. And when the children also later used the phones they were, overall, 80 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behavior. They were 25 per cent more at risk from emotional problems, 34 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers, 35 per cent more likely to be hyperactive, and 49 per cent more prone to problems with conduct.”

April 2008 – An animal study modeling long-term cell phone exposure shows significant reduction in cognitive-related memory function8.

Aug. 2007 – In this animal study the antioxidant nutrients vitamins E and C9 were shown to offset the free radical damage that cell phones were causing.

My suggestions are to limit cell phone use by everyone, especially children and pregnant women.  Use nutrition to offset stress and antioxidants to protect your brain.


Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Cell Phones and Brain Cancer  First International Conference on Mobile Phones and Health.  Lennart Hardell.
  2. ^ Cell Phones Corrupt Blood Brain Barrier  Electromagn Biol Med.  Eberhardt JL, Persson BR, Brun AE, Salford LG, Malmgren LO.
  3. ^ Semen and Cell Phones  Fertil Steril.   Agarwal A, Desai NR, Makker K, Varghese A, Mouradi R, Sabanegh E, Sharma R.
  4. ^ Cell Phones and Mood  Bioelectromagnetics.  Augner C, Florian M, Pauser G, Oberfeld G, Hacker GW.
  5. ^ Cell Phones and Brain Energy Production  Toxicology.  Ammari M, Lecomte A, Sakly M, Abdelmelek H, de-Seze R.
  6. ^ Cell Phones in Combination with Other Stress  Radiat Res.  Höytö A, Luukkonen J, Juutilainen J, Naarala J.
  7. ^ Cell Phone Exposure Alters Brain Development  Epidemiology.  Divan, Hozefa A.; Kheifets, Leeka; Obel, Carsten; Olsen, Jorn
  8. ^ Cognitive Impairment from Cell Phone Exposure  Bioelectromagnetics.  Nittby H, Grafström G, Tian DP, Malmgren L, Brun A, Persson BR, Salford LG, Eberhardt J.
  9. ^ Antioxidants Protect Against Cell Phone Damage  Toxicol Ind Health.  Guney M, Ozguner F, Oral B, Karahan N, Mungan T.

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