Debunked: Infowars product damages sperm

Dan Wilson

Senior Member.
California recently passed Proposition 65, a law that regulates warnings for harmful levels of chemicals and compounds found in products. Among the listed chemicals is lead.
Consequently, the Infowars product "Caveman True Paleo Formula" has been marked as containing high concentrations of lead. News media outlets have taken to reporting this in what Natural News is calling a "smear campaign."

While it may be true that media reports are overhyping the dangers of this product, the concentration of lead in this supplement is quite high. The product recommends using one 21 gram serving of Caveman formula per day by dissolving it in 8-10oz of water. Caveman reportedly exceeds the daily limit of 0.5 micrograms of lead set by Proposition 65 by 6 times. According to these numbers, one daily serving of Caveman adds 3 micrograms of lead to the diet and gives it a total concentration of 143 part per billion (ppb). Let's put these numbers into perspective.
  • The EPA takes action when lead concentrations in drinking water exceed 15 ppb.
  • Most foods (88%) tested have a lead concentration lower than 1 ppb and the highest is liver and beef at 24 ppb.
  • The joint FAO/WHO committee has set a provisional tolerable daily intake of 3.5 micrograms/kilogram of body weight (provisional in this case means insufficient evidence). For someone weighing 65 kilograms (143lb.), thats about an allowed 227 micrograms of lead per day.
  • Negative health affects from lead exposure depend on the level, duration, and timing but for this thread, blood lead levels have to be fairly high in order to be associated with reproductive damage in men.
To help give this number some perspective, the average blood lead level for adults in the U.S. is about 1.5-2 micrograms/deciliter. Furthermore:
With all of this taken into consideration, using Infowars' Caveman formula as recommended means absorbing an extra 0.3 micrograms of lead per day which, when diluting in the ~4.7 liters of blood in an adult human body, translates to a 0.006 microgram/deciliter increase in blood lead levels. This means that male fertility is probably not something you need to worry about while using this product.

With all that said, the Caveman formula's lead concentration of 143 parts per billion is quite high compared to most other dietary sources. Lead concentrations this high could very well be dangerous to infants and developing fetuses. While lead is a toxin that is most harmful to infants and fetuses, it can also accumulate in bone which may cause health problems later in life. Reducing the amount of lead ingested from food and drinking water is extremely important and has been the efforts of many regulations enforced over the past few decades that have been met with great success.

In summary, the news surrounding this product is overhyped and misleading but the lead concentration in the Caveman formula is high compared to most other dietary sources. If you're not a pregnant adult or an infant and you're using this product as advertised, you're probably fine and it definitely won't damage your sperm. Avoiding lead entirely is impossible but no level of lead is considered safe and reducing lead intake and exposure to as little as possible is always advisable.
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