Study: Long-term testosterone therapy improves urinary, sexual function and quality of life

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A new study shows a significant improvement in both sexual and urinary function as well as quality of life for hypogonadal men who undergo long-term testosterone replacement therapy.

These findings appear in the Journal of Urology.

Testosterone is a steroid hormone involved in the regulation of sexual function, urinary health and metabolism as well as a number of other critical functions. For most men, testosterone concentration declines slowly with age and may not cause immediate major symptoms. However, some men may experience a host of signs and sumptoms constituting a clinical condition called Testosterone Deficiency (TD), or male hypogonadism, which is attributed to insufficient levels of testosterone. As a result, they experience symptoms as varied as erectile dysfunction, low energy, fatique, depressed mood and an increased risk of diabetes.

Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Public Health (BUSPH) collaborated with a group of urologists in Germany to investigate the effects of long-term testosterone replacement therapy on urinary health and sexual function as well as quality of life in men with diagnosed, symptomatic testosterone deficiency. More than 650 men in their 50s and 60s enrolled in the study, some with unexplained testosterone deficiency and others with known genetic and auto-immune causes for their hypogonadism.

“It is thought that testosterone treatment in men may increase prostate size and worsen lower urinary tract symptoms,” said Abdulmaged Traish, PhD, professor of urology at BUSM.

However, he and Gheorghe Doros, PhD, professor of biostatistics at BUSPH, discovered that despite increased prostate size in the group that received testosterone therapy, there were fewer urinary symptoms such as frequent urination, incomplete bladder emptying, weak urinary stream and waking up at night to urinate.

In addition to these subjective improvements, the researchers conducted objective testing that showed that those men treated with testosterone emptied their bladders more fully. Finally, testosterone treatment also increased the scores patients received on assessments of their erectile/sexual health and general quality of life.

The findings of this study are of great significance to men suffering with symptomatic testosterone deficiency. Traish emphasized the value of this treatment option, stating that, “[Testosterone therapy] is well-tolerated with progressive and sustained improvement in urinary and sexual function and overall improvement in quality of life.”

Article Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/bumc-slt081517.php

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One hidden culprit behind weight gain: fruit juice

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Fruit juice isn’t doing any favors for your waistline, a new study reports.

People who drink a small glass of fruit juice daily can expect to steadily gain a bit of weight over the years, according to data from a long-term study of women’s health.

It’s about the same weight gain you’d expect if someone drank a similar amount of sugary soda every day, the study authors noted.

On the other hand, someone who increases consumption of whole fruit by one serving a day can expect to lose about a pound over three years, the researchers found.

A single 6-ounce daily serving of 100-percent fruit juice every day prompted an average weight gain of about half a pound over three years, said lead researcher Dr. Brandon Auerbach, a doctor at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

“The numbers might not seem like they’re that large, but this is in the context of an average American gaining about one pound every year,” Auerbach said. “In terms of weight gain, there’s a striking difference between fruit juice and whole fruit.”

The large load of sugar contained in fruit juice is contributing to the United States’ obesity epidemic, the researchers concluded.

A 6-ounce serving of pure fruit juice contains between 15 and 30 grams of sugar, and 60 to 120 calories, the study authors noted.

Whole fruit also contains sugar, but that sugar is stored within the pulp and fiber of the fruit, Auerbach said. Even high-pulp 100-percent orange juice is not a significant source of fiber.

Without that added fiber, the sugar in fruit juice hits your bloodstream much faster, inducing an insulin jolt that alters your metabolism, Auerbach said.

“Fruit juice does have the same vitamins and minerals as whole fruit does, but it has hardly any fiber,” he said. “The sugar in fruit juice gets absorbed very quickly, and we think that’s why it acts differently in the body.”

This new report relied on data from more than 49,000 post-menopausal American women who were part of the Women’s Health Initiative, a national health study, between 1993 and 1998.

On average, participants gained a little more than 3 pounds during three years of follow-up, the researchers reported.

After controlling for other factors in weight gain—for example, exercise, total calories consumed a day, education and income—the researchers found that women who frequently drank fruit juice were more likely to  .

Sugary fruit juice is a contributing factor to obesity, said Dr. Reshmi Srinath, but “it’s hard to pinpoint as a single culprit” responsible for weight gain.

“Generally, the association is with the pattern of healthy eating and healthy lifestyle,” said Srinath, an assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease with Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York City.

“Those who eat more fresh fruit are generally having a healthier or more active lifestyle than those who are drinking juice,” Srinath added. She wasn’t involved in the study.

Srinath noted that, on average, women in the study drank less than one serving a day of pure fruit juice from the beginning, “which makes it even harder to find a significant difference, and makes it a more challenging study to interpret.”

Both Srinath and Auerbach agreed that moms should limit kids’ fruit juice, and instead pop a piece of whole fruit in their lunches.

“I would say to limit juice, especially through childhood, because those patterns can continue into adulthood,” Srinath said.

The study was published online recently in the journal Preventive Medicine.

More information: Brandon Auerbach, M.D., MPH, doctor, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle; Reshmi Srinath, M.D., assistant professor, endocrinology, diabetes and bone disease, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Jan. 9, 2018, Preventive Medicine, online.

Article Source: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-02-hidden-culprit-weight-gain-fruit.html

February 14, 2018 by Dennis Thompson, Healthday Reporter

 

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7 Weight Loss Strategies That Actually Worked For Real People

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Losing weight is hard. Sometimes, the best form of inspiration is hearing what actually worked for other people with the same goal.

Recently, one Reddit user turned to the Internet to scope out this very question: “What are some weight loss diet and workout tips/tricks that actually work?”

The response wasn’t huge , but the thread was loaded with tips from people looking to dish out their own advice. The surprising part? Many of the tips they shared actually have a pretty strong backing in science. Here, seven weight loss strategies that helped them shed pounds—and why they might work for you, too.

“DRINK WATER INSTEAD OF SODA.”

It’s a simple swap, but an effective one. If you need to cut calories, nixing them in their empty, liquid form — like soda, booze, and sugary coffee drinks — will make a big impact.

Soda is loaded with sugar and potentially sketchy ingredients. For instance, one can of Coke contains 39 grams of added sugar (more than your daily recommended max of 36 grams) and 140 calories. Just one a day will save you nearly 1,000 extra calories a week.

Plus, drinking the sweet stuff might be upping your risk of some serious health conditions, too. One study published in the Journal of Nutrition suggests that people who sip sugary drinks like soda have 10 percent more visceral fat — the fat you can’t see hiding deep within your body around your organs — than people who avoid the stuff. This type of fat has been linked to heart disease and diabetes.

 

“MEAL PREP WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.”

This tip comes from the same user as above. If you have a hard time making healthy food choices in the moment, prepping meals ahead of time can save you from those impulsive not-so-great decisions.

When you have a hectic work schedule or kids to take care of, it’s a lot harder to turn down fast food or frozen meals you can heat up in 5 minutes. Taking a day or two out of your week to prep will ensure that your meals are full of muscle-building protein, filling fiber, and healthy carbs and fats — all essentials when you’re looking to drop pounds.

“INTERMITTENT FASTING. IT’S BEEN 8 WEEKS. I’VE LOST 18 POUNDS.”

More than one person in this Reddit thread gave a shout out to intermittent fasting, a weight-loss strategy that has surged in popularity. Basically, your eating is restricted during set times and you eat as normal — or even more than you would otherwise — during others.

In fact, intermittent fasting is just as effective for weight loss as daily calorie restriction, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In this experiment, people who fasted ate 25 percent of their daily calorie needs every other day, known as “fast days.” On their “feast days” they ate 125 percent of their calorie needs. So if you typically eat 2,000 calories a day, you’d eat 500 calories one day, followed by 2,500 the next.

Any diet can work — as long as you’re consistent and able to stick with it. “The people who can benefit from this type of alternate-day fasting are those who would rather feel like they aren’t restricting food intake 3.5 days out of the week,” Men’s Health nutrition advisor, Alan Aragon, M.S. told us. That means you find it hard to stick to a diet all the time, and you’d like the flexibility that feast days can give you.

“ALL YOU REALLY NEED IS DECENT MOVEMENT EVERY DAY.”

“I lost 40 kg a few years ago,” one user wrote — that’s the equivalent of 88 pounds. “The only thing that really worked for me was to do cardio every single day, just 30 min of good cardio a day.”

The user added: “All you really need is decent movement every day. Jumping jacks are really effective for weight loss, they helped me most.”

Cardio can feel like a chore (unless you try one of these awesome indoor cardio workouts), but according to a study in BMC Public Health, overweight people who included both cardio and weight training into their 12-week exercise program lost more body fat than those who stuck to just one or the other.

“COOK ALL YOUR OWN FOOD.”

“Don’t eat anything that comes out of a bag, box, or restaurant,” one user pointed out in the thread.

It’s a good point: One study from the U.K. found that people who ate more than five home-cooked meals per week were 28 percent less likely to have an overweight body mass index (defined as anything above 25) and 24 percent less likely to have excess body fat than those who ate less than three home-cooked meals per week.

That’s because people who whip up their own meals tend to use healthier prep methods, eat a larger variety of foods (like fruits and vegetables), and eat less processed foods, which tend to be higher in added sugar and calories, the researchers note. What’s more, cooking at home motivates you to add other healthy habits into your daily routine, like exercising regularly.

“INCLUDE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WITH EVERY MEAL.”

You’re probably not eating enough fruits and vegetables, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only 12 percent of Americans eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit, while only 9 percent down a minimum of 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day.

But filling your plate with fruits and vegetables is crucial if you want to eat more food while downing fewer calories. (Two cups of broccoli serves up only 109 calories. Compare that to just one cup of white pasta, which gets you around 200 or more.) Fruits and vegetables also contain lots of gut filling fiber, which will help keep your hunger at bay between meals.

Plus, packing in colorful produce can reduce your risk of chronic health issues, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even come cancers, says the CDC report.

Try this: Fill half your plate with fruits or vegetables, and split the other between quality carbs (like whole grains) and lean protein for a satisfying meal, Wesley Delbridge, R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Men’s Health recently.

“KETO HAS WORKED FOR ME. BUT MOSTLY BECAUSE IT HELPS ME REDUCE MY CALORIE INTAKE.”
The ketogenic diet is all anyone can talk about lately—but it’s not exactly new. The keto model is similar to the Atkins diet of the early 2000s, but focuses more heavily on carb restriction. When you go keto, 60 to 80 percent of your diet is composed of fat, 10 to 15 percent comes from protein, and less than 10 percent is made up of carbs.

Here’s the thing: Keto is extremely restrictive, which automatically means it won’t work for everyone. But if you can stick with it, you should go into in a ketogenic state, which will theoretically force your body to run on fat rather than glucose (a type of sugar found in carbs), helping you burn fat by default.

Plus, as the Reddit user noted, you’re forced to eat a limited number of foods, which means you have less of any opportunity to rely on unhealthy options. Plus, you can’t really eat carbs, so you will immediately eliminate refined carbs, like sugar cereals and packaged snacks, which can help you reduce your calories.

ALISA HRUSTIC

Article Source: https://www.menshealth.com/weight-loss/reddit-weight-loss-tips-that-work

 

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Vitamin D-3 could ‘reverse’ damage to heart

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By probing the effect that vitamin D-3 has on the cells that make up the lining of blood vessels, scientists at Ohio University in Athens, OH, have identified for the first time the role that the “sunshine vitamin” plays in preserving cardiovascular health.

In a paper published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, they describe how they used nanosensors and a cell model to identify the molecular mechanisms that vitamin D-3 can trigger in the endothelium, which is the thin layer of tissue that lines blood vessels.

It was previously believed that the endothelium served no other purpose than to act as an inert “wrapper” of the vascular system, allowing both water and electrolytes to pass in and out of the bloodstream.

However, advances over the past 30 years have revealed that the endothelium acts more like an organ that lines the whole of the circulatory system from the “heart to the smallest capillaries,” and whose cells carry out many unique biological functions.

Changes to the endothelium have been linked to several serious health problems, including high blood pressure, insulin resistance, diabetes, tumor growth, virus infections, and atherosclerosis, which is a condition wherein fatty deposits can build up inside arteries and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Vitamin D-3 has role beyond bone health

The new study suggests that vitamin D-3 — a version of vitamin D that our bodies produce naturally when we expose our skin to the sun — plays a key role in preserving and restoring the damage to the endothelium that occurs in these diseases.

Some other natural sources of vitamin D-3 include egg yolks and oily fish. It is also obtainable in the form of supplements. Vitamin D-3 is already well-known for its role in bone health.

“However,” explains senior author Tadeusz Malinski, a professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, “in recent years, in clinical settings people recognize that many patients who have a heart attack will have a deficiency of D-3.”

“It doesn’t mean that the deficiency caused the heart attack,” he adds, “but it increased the risk of heart attack.”

Nanosensors probed effect of D-3 on cells

For their study, Prof. Malinski and colleagues developed a measuring system using nanosensors, or tiny probes that are 1,000 times smaller than the thickness of human hair and can operate at the level of atoms and molecules.

They used the nanosensors to track the impact of vitamin D-3 on molecular mechanisms in human endothelial cells that had been treated to show the same type of damage that occurs from high blood pressure.

The findings suggest that vitamin D-3 is a powerful trigger of nitric oxide, which is a molecule that plays an important signaling role in the control of blood flow and the formation of blood clots in blood vessels.

The researchers also found that vitamin D-3 significantly reduces oxidative stress in the vascular system.

They note that their study “provides direct molecular insight to previously published observations that have suggested that vitamin D-3 deficiency-induced hypertension is associated with vascular oxidative stress.” The effects of vitamin D-3 were similar in both Caucasian and African American endothelial cells.

Could D-3 reverse cardiovascular damage?

The study authors note that while their findings came from tests performed on a cellular model of high blood pressure, “[T]he implications of the influence of vitamin D-3 on dysfunctional endothelium is much broader.”

They suggest that vitamin D-3 has the potential to significantly reverse the damage that high blood pressure, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and other diseases inflict on the cardiovascular system.

“There are not many,” Prof. Malinski adds, “if any, known systems which can be used to restore cardiovascular endothelial cells which are already damaged, and vitamin D-3 can do it.”

 

Article Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320802.php

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