Exposure to electromagnetic fields affects our biology in many different ways. Several of our recent articles have been focused deep dives on how EMFs detrimentally affect a specific aspect of our biology, by exploring the current body of research in each area, considering the possible mechanisms of harm, as well as proposing ways to minimize or negate that harm. Our most recent deep dives have been on the subject of blood glucose and insulin, as well as cognitive effects including memory, attention and learning impairment. The most probable way that EMFs are causing damage in these areas relates to the highly electrically sensitive voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) in our cells, as we have extensively elaborated on in these previous articles.
With the VGCC groundwork we have already laid, which should give you a thorough understanding of this complex and fascinating electrochemical system in all of our bodies, we are now going to build on that and address the issues of DNA damage and fertility problems that can be caused by electromagnetic field exposure.
DNA damage and fertility issues are some of the most well studied and well known effects of excessive exposure to harmful EMFs. They are also some of the most dangerous and alarming, if you consider the implications. Let’s touch on some of the most profound studies in each area, and then ponder the potentially devastating domino effects of both issues.
DNA damage results in cell destruction and mutation
One of the most well known initial studies that found DNA damage from radiofrequency radiation was in 1995, by Henry Lai and Narendra Singh, a prolific research team who have done extensive studies on EMF harm over the years. This study found single strand DNA breaks in cultured rat brain cells exposed to low intensity microwave/Wifi frequency radiation of 2.45 GHz. The harm was found to be dose dependent, meaning longer exposure times resulted in more damage. This is important to note, since most people in modern times are exposed to this exact type of radiation 24/7 from their Wifi routers (and Wifi connected computers), and for shorter durations (but still regularly) from any device that uses Bluetooth, as well as cooking with microwave ovens.
Then in 2004, a comprehensive report sponsored by the European Commission, called the Reflex Report, demonstrated that radiation from 2G cell phone handsets was found to cause both single and double strand breaks in the DNA of cultured human and animal cells.
A study report published in 2011, by Martin Blank and Reba Goodman, examined existing studies and found increased stress protein levels and DNA strand breaks from EMF exposure, and interestingly, the effects persisted across a wide spectrum of frequencies, from extremely low frequency (ELF) up to the high radiofrequency (RF) spectrum. Being affected by such a wide spectrum points toward the likelihood of DNA acting as a fractal antenna, as the fractal nature would allow it to resonate with and pick up frequencies across a very wide range. The authors explained how DNA actually appears to possess both attributes of a fractal antenna: electronic conduction and self-symmetry. This could imply that DNA is an especially sensitive receiving instrument for all EMFs in the vicinity – from natural, “good” EMFs to harmful, repetitive ones! This could also mean it’s highly prone to damage from biologically harmful types of frequencies.
The current body of research on DNA damage from EMF exposure shows evidence of single strand breaks, double strand breaks, and oxidized bases in the cellular DNA. Each of these three types of DNA changes can play roles in cell mutation and cancer causation, by triggering chromosomal breaks, rearrangements, deletions and duplications, copy number mutations, and gene amplification. In the process of DNA destruction, essential genes that control cell division can be damaged or lost, causing cells to mutate because they lack proper instruction for their division.
As mentioned previously, DNA damage from EMFs is thought to be caused by the cascade of effects from excessive signaling of the VGCCs. When the calcium channels are overstimulated, it creates a chain reaction of other processes: the excess calcium creates a large quantity of nitric oxide, which then turns into peroxynitrite. Peroxynitrate degrades into free radicals like ROS (reactive oxygen species), which creates oxidative stress. These free radical breakdown products directly attack the DNA, causing cellular DNA damage. The free radicals have a damaging domino effect, where each free radical creates another of itself, continuing the cycle of damage until it meets up with an antioxidant of some kind, which halts the process of that particular free radical chain.
Cell and DNA damage from non-ionizing radiation may be a lot more similar to how damage from ionizing radiation (like gamma rays and x-rays) is inflicted than previously thought. Free radicals are the cause of much of the damage from ionizing radiation, as well, in a similar process. Ionizing radiation is considered dangerous because it can ionize (split apart) atoms inside the cell. Turns out non-ionizing radiation also damages cell membranes, causes DNA fragmentation and does considerable collateral damage to other cell components, which can result in cell death. So the end product of damage from all types of radiation can be one and the same.
Potentially the largest and most important study showing DNA damage and cancers of the brain and heart was executed by the U.S. Government itself – the National Toxicology Program study that cost $30 million dollars and took 10 years to complete, with a verdict (after an expert peer review panel) in 2018 of “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity”. The shocking dismissal of these results by our government since that time represents what many see as one of the most egregious crimes against humanity in the world of EMF research. They took a meticulously designed, perfectly executed study, funded wholly with U.S. taxpayer money, and shoved it under the rug. You can read all about the NTP study in this article.
EMFs are also linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and melanomas. Much of this is thought to be related to how EMFs suppress melatonin production. Most people think of melatonin as the “sleep hormone”, but it’s vastly more than that. Melatonin does help you have deep, restful sleeps, which allows your cells to rejuvenate and your immune system to restore itself, which is very important in cancer prevention. Melatonin also massively increases the ability of vitamin D to stop tumor growth – by 20 to 100 times! Also, melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that deactivates free radicals, such as the ROS that is produced through chain reaction by EMF exposure.
Reduced fertility & increased risk of miscarriage & birth defects
Although DNA damage and fertility issues may seem unrelated, lowered male and female fertility are associated with the same oxidative stress process that causes DNA damage. Fertility issues and birth defects are a result of DNA damage, but of the germ-line cells instead of the somatic cells.
Changes in somatic cell lines affect the health of that organism, without affecting its reproductive cells. Germ-line changes refer to alterations that DO affect reproductive cells (within the sperm and the egg), thereby altering the cells of future offspring. DNA damage from EMFs was found to affect both types of cells, affecting our current state of health, as well as the health of future generations!
EMF exposure reduces the synthesis of steroid hormones, including testosterone and progesterone, which can reduce libido and fertility. The VGCC activation chain caused by EMFs can also prevent sperm from effectively fertilizing an egg.
A study by the prestigious Cleveland Clinic showed that the more hours a man spends on his cell phone, the lower his sperm count, and sperm quality was substantially diminished. Men who used a cell phone for more than 4 hours a day had a 25% lower sperm count than those who rarely used a cell phone. They also noted a 50% drop in the number of properly formed sperm! Overall, they found significant effects on sperm count, mobility, viability and appearance.
In one of many studies linking EMF exposure and miscarriages, it was shown that almost one thousand pregnant women had a 180% increased incidence of miscarriage when exposed to slightly stronger than average magnetic fields of just 16 milligauss. Miscarriage is often caused by chromosomal mutations. We know that a man’s sperm is continually created throughout his life, so any mutations reflect his current and recent level of health. However, with women, we have a much more serious situation. All of a woman’s eggs she will ever have are created when she is in utero. She goes her entire life with these eggs, so if any are damaged at any point in her life, and a damaged egg gestates into a baby, it significantly increases her risk of either miscarriage or birth defects.
The eggs of a female baby and young girl are still immature, so they are more susceptible to damage during growth. Once an egg is damaged, it has been found to be irreversible, and the genetic damage in that egg is passed down to her female offspring’s eggs, and their female offspring!
This excellent and comprehensive study review from 2018 concludes from the available data that electromagnetic fields of various frequencies (especially the most highly tested 2.45 GHz Wifi frequencies and 60 Hz home electricity) have detrimental effects on human and animal reproductive health, including fertility and pregnancy and birth outcomes, even at very low levels of exposure. The studies found significantly reduced sperm motility and viability, increased sperm DNA fragmentation and damage, reproductive organ damage and carcinogenic risk, lower serum testosterone, increased testicular temperature, germ cell death, oxidative stress induced endometrial damage, altered hormonal cycles in females that reduced fertility, as well as DNA fragmentation in female egg cells with negative effects on embryonic development and fetal abnormalities.
Protecting your DNA and healthy reproduction
Cancers rates are increasing worldwide, with 19 million new cases diagnosed in 2020. Predictions state that cases per year could rise to nearly 29 million by the year 2040! At the same time, human sperm count has dropped to below 50% of what used to be considered normal throughout the technologically advanced countries of the world, and reproductive rates have fallen below replacement levels in most places, as well. Many factors are thought to contribute to the cancer and fertility crises, and our approach to protecting our health (and the health of our descendants) should be multifaceted. Based on the many available studies we just touched on, linking EMFs to DNA damage and fertility issues, we would do well to include EMF reduction and protection in our health strategy!
EMF protection in itself should be approached from several angles. Minimizing EMF exposure sources (much as possible and practical) is the best first step. After that, you can add effective EMF protection technology (like Blushield) to protect you from the EMF exposure sources you cannot control or eliminate. Optimizing your melatonin levels will also go a long way to ensuring your body has enough of this precious and potent endogenous super antioxidant to protect all of your cells from damage. Lastly, a nutrient rich, clean diet with abundant sources of antioxidants (such as vitamin C and E, polyphenols and flavonoids) will ensure that any oxidative stress from EMF exposure will be neutralized quickly.
- Study: “Acute low-intensity microwave exposure increases DNA single-strand breaks in rat brain cells” – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/bem.2250160309
- Reflex Report: “Risk Evaluation of Potential Environmental Hazards From Low Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure Using Sensitive in vitro Methods” – https://itis.swiss/assets/Downloads/Papers-Reports/Reports/REFLEXFinal-Report171104.pdf
- Study: “DNA is a fractal antenna in electromagnetic fields” – https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/09553002.2011.538130
- Study review: “Effect of radiofrequency radiation on reproductive health” – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6469375/
- Study: “A Population-Based Prospective Cohort Study of Personal Exposure to Magnetic Fields during Pregnancy and the Risk of Miscarriage” – https://www.jstor.org/stable/3703242
- Study review: “Cell phones and brain tumors: a review including the long-term epidemiologic data” – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0090301909001451
- Cleveland Clinic study review: “Radiations and male fertility” – https://www.clevelandclinic.org/ReproductiveResearchCenter/docs/publications/692_Radiations_and_male_fertility.pdf