The fertility rates are declining at concerning speed that can lead to shrink of population by the end of the century. Yes, as per the BBC news report, 23 nations – including Spain and Japan – are expected to see their populations halve by 2100.
What is The Actual Scenario of Low Fertility Rates?
The fertility rate – the average number of children a woman gives birth to – is falling. If the number falls below approximately 2.1, then the size of the population starts to fall. In 1950, women were having an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime.
Researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed the global fertility rate nearly halved to 2.4 in 2017 – and their study, published in the Lancet, projects it will fall below 1.7 by 2100.
As a result, the researchers expect the number of people on the planet to peak at 9.7 billion around 2064, before falling down to 8.8 billion by the end of the century. That’s a pretty big thing; most of the world is transitioning into natural population decline.
Why are Fertility Rates Dropping?
It has nothing to do with sperm counts or the usual things that come to mind when discussing fertility. Instead it is being driven by more women in education and work, as well as greater access to contraception, leading to women choosing to have fewer children. In many ways, falling fertility rates are a success story.
Which Countries have the Lowest Fertility Rates and Affected most?
Japan’s population is projected to fall from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century. Italy is expected to see an equally dramatic population crash from 61 million to 28 million over the same time frame.
They are two of 23 countries – which also include Spain, Portugal, Thailand and South Korea – expected to see their population more than halve. While on the other hand China, currently the most populous nation in the world, is expected to peak at 1.4 billion in four years’ time before nearly halving to 732 million by 2100.
India will take its place, while the UK is predicted to peak at 75 million in 2063, and fall to 71 million by 2100. However, this will be a truly global issue, with 183 out of 195 countries having a fertility rate below the replacement level.
Why Declining Fertility Rate is a Concerning Factor?
You might think this is great for the environment. A smaller population would reduce carbon emissions as well as deforestation for farmland. That would be true except for the inverted age structure (more old people than young people) and all the uniformly negative consequences of an inverted age structure would be major problem.
What Study Says?
- The number of under-fives will fall from 681 million in 2017 to 401 million in 2100.
- The number of over 80-year-olds will soar from 141 million in 2017 to 866 million in 2100.
As per the Prof Murray, “It will create enormous social change. It makes me worried because I have an eight-year-old daughter and I wonder what the world will be like.” Who pays tax in a massively aged world? Who pays for healthcare for the elderly? Who looks after the elderly? Will people still be able to retire from work?
What could be the possible solution?
Countries, including the UK, have used migration to boost their population and compensate for falling fertility rates. However, this stops being the answer once nearly every country’s population is shrinking.
“We will go from the period where it’s a choice to open borders, or not, to frank competition for migrants, as there won’t be enough,” argues Prof Murray. Some countries have tried policies such as enhanced maternity and paternity leave, free childcare, financial incentives and extra employment rights, but there is no clear answer.
Sweden has dragged its fertility rate up from 1.7 to 1.9, but other countries that have put significant effort into tackling the “baby bust” have struggled. Singapore still has a fertility rate of around 1.3. Prof Murray says: “I find people laugh it off; they can’t imagine it could be true, they think women will just decide to have more kids.
“If you can’t [find a solution] then eventually the species disappears, but that’s a few centuries away.” The researchers warn against undoing the progress on women’s education and access to contraception.
Prof Stein Emil Vollset said: “Responding to population decline is likely to become an overriding policy concern in many nations, but must not compromise efforts to enhance women’s reproductive health or progress on women’s rights.”
But African Nations Have Different Story?
The population of sub-Saharan Africa is expected to treble in size to more than three billion people by 2100. And the study says Nigeria will become the world’s second biggest country, with a population of 791 million.
Prof Murray says: “We will have many more people of African descent in many more countries as we go through this. “Global recognition of the challenges around racism are going to be all the more critical if there are large numbers of people of African descent in many countries.”
Why is 2.1 fertility rates is considered as a threshold?
You might think the number should be 2.0 – two parents have two children, so the population stays the same size. But even with the best healthcare, not all children survive to adulthood.
Also, babies are ever so slightly more likely to be male. It means the replacement figure is 2.1 in developed countries. Nations with higher childhood mortality also need a higher fertility rate.
What are the Views of Experts?
Prof Ibrahim Abubakar, University College London (UCL), said: “If these predictions are even half accurate, migration will become a necessity for all nations and not an option. “To be successful we need a fundamental rethink of global politics. “The distribution of working-age populations will be crucial to whether humanity prospers or withers.”
Source: BBC News
How Vitamin C Helps in Fighting with COVID-19 & Other Viruses?
Millions of people died and suffering from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and many are at risk of getting infected with such deadly virus. Till now what we have learnt that keeping our immune system can help us to keep safe from such virus.
And Vitamin C plays a major role in keeping our immunity system strong. Vitamin C discovered by Albert Szent-Gyorgi in the early twentieth century when he was searching for a substance, the deficiency of which can cause various health problems.
Role of Vitamin C in Fighting with COVID-19
Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body and requires daily intake to maintain adequate levels. This combined with smoking, poor lifestyle, not consuming enough nutritious foods leads to a majority of the population being sub-clinically Vitamin C deficient.
In the 1970s, Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling popularised the use of high doses of Vitamin C for the treatment of common cold. As per the research and studies Vitamin C deficiency and Pneumonia and found that patients with a low Vitamin C intake required hospitalisation much longer than those who had adequate amounts.
How Much Vitamin C Per Day?
For the prevention and treatment of viral respiratory tract infections, it is recommended to take 4-6 grams of Vitamin C per day. In a clinical study conducted with 500 subjects, 4-6g of Vitamin C per day showed an 85 percent reduction in cold and flu symptoms.
To those who think they can get adequate Vitamin C from citrus fruits, you have to understand that you need to consume as many as 20 oranges to get 1g of Vitamin C which is impossible. While consuming excessive Vitamin C has a side effect on your body.
How Does Vitamin C Work?
In case of coronavirus infected patient, the main reason for the extensive lung injury is the excessive free radicals and oxidative stress mounted by the dysfunctional immune system in an effort to kill the virus but end up harming the patient instead.
Vitamin C, a water soluble powerful anti-oxidant, can neutralise these free radicals and reduce oxidative damage to the lungs. When the balance between oxidants and anti-oxidants is lost, that’s when the damage happens and patients progress to severe disease. By administering adequate Vitamin C, we can increase the anti-oxidant status of our body.
Vitamin C levels in white blood cells (immune cells) are ten times higher than in plasma, which indicates functional role of the vitamin in these immune cells. Vitamin C has been shown to affect the functions of phagocytes, production of interferon, replication of viruses, and maturation of T-lymphocytes.
Vitamin C Prevents from Many Diseases
Vitamin C also protects these immune cells from oxidative damage when they try to clear out bacteria, viruses, etc. Hundreds of clinical studies have shown that Vitamin C has a positive impact on many infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.
Vitamin C at doses of 4-6g is absolutely safe and causes no side effects whatsoever. It is especially useful for the elderly and for those with pre-existing conditions to strengthen their immunity. However, you can also increase intake of other foods to boost your immunity.
Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water to Boost Immunity with Vitamin C
Lemon water not only makes a delicious drink to keep your stomach cool in summers but also gives immunity to your body. Yes, lemon contains an ample amount of Vitamin C that helps to boost the immune system naturally, which is very important nowadays to keep your body resistant from COVID-19 like deadly viruses.
As we all know there is no vaccine or specific medicine developed to cure this disease, the only way to keep your body immune enough to remain safe from such deadly viruses. So right here we discussed how lemon water boosts immunity against COVID-19 and what are the health benefits of lemon water and how you can enjoy lemon water.
How Does Lemon Boost Immune System?
As you know Lemons are high with vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that can improve your immune system, helping your body ward off infections and diseases. The citrus fruit can also help the body absorb iron from foods and contribute to wound healing due to its high vitamin C content in it.
As per the research foods that contain high amounts of vitamin C and other antioxidants may help improve immunity against germs and viruses that cause the flu and common cold. Vitamin C can help support the health of your intestines and respiratory system.
As per the international health reports consuming at least 200 mg of vitamin C every day did appear to reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children. This vitamin may also help strengthen immunity in individuals undergoing extreme physical activity.
Other Health Benefits of Lemon
Lemons not only enrich with Vitamin C but also have multiple other benefits to your health. Yes, it will not only boost your immunity against COVID-19 but also provides various other amazing benefits to your body that are listed below.
Lemon Health Benefits:
- Strengthening the immune system.
- Provides relief or prevents nausea.
- Helps to prevent asthma.
- Lower the risk of ischemic stroke and high blood pressure.
- The high vitamin C content in lemons can help prevent free radicals from causing cell damage, leading to cancer.
- Boost metabolism and aid in weight loss.
- It improves the digestion system & Prevents kidney stones.
- It helps with iron absorption, thereby reducing the risk of Anemia.
- It assists in the formation of collagen, which helps maintain a healthy complexion.
- Lemons also contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help keep your eyes healthy.
Apart from the above said, Lemon has multiple benefits, but make sure to keep consuming on a regular basis. And there are multiple ways to consume lemon as beverages or add into your daily food to make your body strong and immune. Further, below you can also find the various ways to consume lemon for maximum health benefits.
How To Make Lemon Water for Immunity?
- The best way to enjoy lemon is to make Shikanji with water, lemon, sugar and black salt.
- Or you can add a dash of organic cayenne pepper, a few springs of mint, a slice of fresh ginger, a teaspoon of raw honey, etc, to boost your metabolism as well as enhance the taste.
- You can also add a few slices of other fresh citrus fruits such as lime, oranges, or cucumber.
- You can take lemon water added with honey in the morning to control your weight.
- Or you can add lemon water on the salad to make it more tasty and healthy.
But don’t forget to enjoy warm lemon water every morning to boost your immunity against coronavirus infection, and enjoy the immense health benefits listed above. However, people having common cold problems should avoid lemon water after evening, especially other than the summer season otherwise they will keep sneezing and coughing.
How Much Vitamin C is Too Much: Side Effects of Excess Vitamin C
We all know, Vitamins are the most essential nutrients for our body. Vitamins are broadly classified as water-soluble and fat-soluble Vitamins. There are 13 Vitamins in all and each one carries out critical functions keeping us to stay alive and Vitamin C is one of them that helps in performing the various functions in our body.
Actually, Vitamin C is involved in the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. The most important function of Vitamin C is that it acts as an antioxidant and boosts the immune system to fight from various diseases.
To avoid getting infected with COVID-19 like viruses, people increased the intake of Vitamin C into their diet. But do you know taking too much Vitamin C has side effects? Yes excessive intake of Vitamin C is not good for your health.
Symptoms of Too Much Vitamin C in the Body
When you take any supplement usually the full amount is not absorbed into your body. And it is believed that in lower doses about 70-90% absorption occurs while in mega doses of 1g and above only 50% is absorbed. And the excessive amount leftover in the GI tract may irritate the system leading to symptoms like:
Symptoms of Excess Vitamin C:
- Abdominal cramps
- Heartburn or Acid Reflux
Overdose on Vitamin C symptoms can help you to control the cut the intake of this nutrition. If you not control the same it will negatively affect your body. Hence, you also need to know the side effects of too much vitamin C discussed below.
Side Effects of Taking Too Much Vitamin C
Absorption of Other Nutrients
Excessive Vitamin C may interfere with the absorption of other essential nutrients like Vitamin B12. However, if you need both, it is advised that if you are taking both these vitamin supplements, you should keep about 2 hours of gap between them. Vitamin C has also found to decrease the uptake of Copper in the body.
Affecting the Health of Bones
Vitamin C is important for collagen formation, which is essential to keep your bones healthy, and several research and studies have shown it beneficial for keeping bone and joint diseases away.
While high levels of Vitamin C in our body may lead to the activation of a protein that causes painful bone spurs (bony projections that develop along bone edges especially at the joints). High intakes of Vitamin C over long periods of time may lead to the acceleration of painful osteoarthritis.
Chances of Kidney Stones
Excessive Vitamin C leads to excretion as oxalate from our body through your urine. And sometimes this oxalate binds to other minerals forming crystals that may lead to stones in the kidneys.
As Vitamin C is responsible for increasing the oxalate formation, excessive intake has been found to be linked to kidney stones. And few studies have shown high Vitamin C intakes to be linked to kidney failure, though in very rare cases only.
May Rust Your Body
As per the research and studies carried out by the scholars of the University of Florida, if you had an injury, sprain or inflammation, and were taking more than 100 mg of Vitamin C/day, you may be rusting your body from the inside.
And the assumption was that all these conditions lead to free iron within the body which reacts negatively with Vitamin C causing a reaction like the rusting of an iron rod when exposed to water and oxygen. So even though Vitamin C helps lower inflammation and hasten to heal, taking the right amount is recommended.
Recommended Daily Dose of Vitamin C (ICMR/NIN)
To avoid such complications due to overdose of Vitamin C, you need to control the intake of Vitamin supplements. And as per the different genders and ages, the upper limit of Vitamin C is recommended according to the Office of Dietary Supplements – the USA.
- Infants: 400mg/day
- Children 4-8 Years: 650mg
- 9-13 Years: 1200mg
- 14-17 Years: 1800mg
- Adults: 2000mg/day
- Pregnant and Lactating mothers: 1800mg/day
Recommended Daily Intake Of Vitamin C (ICMR/NIN) for The Indian Population:
- Adult Man: 40mg/day
- Adult woman: 40mg /day
- Children: 0-1 year: 25mg & 1-17 years: 40mg
- Pregnant and lactating mothers: 60-80mg/day
If you are regularly taking citrus fruits, peppers, tomato, papaya, green chutney, amla and green leafy vegetables your body will get adequate Vitamin C. Supplementation should be done only when you are under doctor’s medication supervision.
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