No, Your Grandchild Isn't Growing Horns

Our children and grandchildren are growing "horns."

Or at least, that's what the popular media want you to believe...

The latest media frenzy stems from a study in a 2018 issue of Scientific Reports that looked at X-rays of 1,200 people from ages 18 to 86. About 41% of the young adults in this sample had bony growths on the back of their skulls. They look vaguely like very small horns growing down close to where the head meets the neck.

From a medical standpoint, these are bone spurs (not horns). At points on our skull, there are sites where your tendons and ligaments attach. When you put too much stress on these points from things like poor posture, the bone in your skull grows. That's because the larger the amount of bone attached to the ligament or tendon, the more spread out the pressure. The media has picked up the story and claimed it comes from excessive use of cellphones.

Even if we are growing some bone spurs, its not nearly as widespread as the media would have you believe.

The study has some major issues, including questionable data. Plus, all of the subjects sought help from a chiropractor... meaning they were already predisposed to these problems.

And one of the authors has a company that sells posture pillows. That makes it lucrative for him to publish something sensational and blame bad posture.

Here's the thing, though: This study and the conversation about it brings up a great point – too much time in front of screens does wreck our health in other ways. And phones are one of the worst culprits.

Kids also aren't the only ones suffering from the boom in technology. I've warned for years about the health effects of cellphone use... and these are issues everyone faces. If you spend time on a cellphone (especially a smartphone), you need to understand your risk.

Three Ways Our Phones Hurt Us

1. They interrupt our sleep. Blue light is just one color of light that electronics like laptops, tablets, and smartphones emit. But it's the one that's the most disruptive to our circadian rhythm. Think of the circadian rhythm as a clock that signals our bodies the optimal time to do things, like falling asleep and waking up. Blue light also stops the release of melatonin – the hormone that makes you sleepy.

Regular readers of my Retirement Millionaire newsletter know that I talk about my own sleep problems due to the blue light from my tablet. To give your brain time to get ready to sleep, do what I do and shut off your electronics an hour before bed.

2. They hurt our eyes. Now we're learning how it permanently damages our eyes. Here's the research published in a different 2018 issue of Scientific Reports...

To break it down, our retina is a layer at the back of our eye that reacts to light. It triggers our optic nerves to signal to the brain what we're seeing.

One way the retina responds to light involves a chemical, called retinal. It's a molecule that changes shape when exposed to light.

Here's the scary part... These researchers exposed retinal within retina cells to different wavelengths. The blue light twisted the retinal so much that it couldn't change back to the untwisted form. Worse, that buildup of the twisted form damaged the membrane of the retina cell, causing the cell to die.

In other words, too much blue light actually kills the cells in human retinas. One more point the researchers tested: It's not just our eyes in jeopardy. Retinal moves through our bodies, so it can affect different cell types. The researchers tested other cell types as well, including heart cells, nerve cells, and even cancer cells. All the cell types experienced the same result – overexcited retinal killed the cells. And the destruction of these cells could lead to blindness.

3. EMF radiation from cellphones does more damage than we know. A few studies suggest that EMF radiation can alter DNA. Remember, DNA is the building block of all our cells. It's formed as a double helix that unwraps itself to make copies when the cell divides.

But that process of copying, called replication, can lead to errors. Adding in certain carcinogens increases the chances of those errors. And those errors lead to cancer.

Since RF radiation is a form of energy, scientists have studied how DNA interacts with energy... specifically electron transport. In simple terms, some bonds within a DNA helix emit electrical charges. As such, DNA can conduct electricity. In fact, when exposed to certain charges, DNA splits open and begins to replicate.

We're now beginning to see that some frequencies, including those in EMF, can cause this splitting.

The problem is, there aren't any long-term studies on EMF and cancer. And as one team of researchers wrote in 2011, it can take about 30 years for exposure to EMF to cause a tumor. Since cellphones weren't available to the public until 1984, that means 2014 hit the 30-year mark. So we expect to see rates of brain cancers grow in the coming years.

EMF's effect on our health is a growing problem we still don't fully understand. I covered it in-depth in my report, "How to Protect Yourself From Your Cellphone and Other Devices: The EMF Radiation Protocol." In it, I discuss what EMF does to your body and how to protect yourself. Subscribers of Retirement Millionaire can read it right here. If you aren't a subscriber, you can sign up with our latest offer right here.

Cellphones won't really give you these bony growths, but they do cause real and dangerous health problems. That's why I suggest taking a few precautions like using a blue-light filter and reducing your time spent in front of any and all screens.

In fact, I challenge you to unplug for a while. Try to spend a day without your cellphone. Then up it to a weekend. If you can't disconnect entirely, try to be more mindful of the time spent on it.

A good way to do this is with a free time tracker app called QualityTime. It measures how many times you "unlock" your phone (turn on the screen to look at it). It also records how much time you actively spend using different apps. My researcher has tried it out for a few days already and can't believe how many times she's looked at her phone (so many she won't even tell me the number). She said it's made her much more conscious of her time and she's started leaving her phone in different rooms to avoid the temptation. Try the app and tell us how you're doing right here: [email protected].

What We're Reading...

Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
July 2, 2019