Testosterone Therapy: “Significant Reduction” in Heart Attack, Stroke Risks

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Large-scale Veterans Affairs database study reaffirms safety and benefits of testosterone replacement, in men.

A US Veterans Affairs database study of more than 83,000 male subjects found that men whose low testosterone was restored to normal through gels, patches, or injections had a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from any cause, versus similar men who were not treated.  Rajat Barua and colleagues analyzed data collected on 83,010 male veterans with documented low total testosterone levels, dividing them into three clinical groups: those who were treated to the point where their total testosterone levels returned to normal (Group 1); those who were treated but without reaching normal (Group 2); and those who were untreated and remained at low levels (Group 3).  Importantly, all three groups were “propensity matched” so the comparisons would be between men with similar health profiles. The researchers took into account a wide array of factors that might affect cardiovascular and overall risk. The average follow-up across the groups ranged from 4.6 to 6.2 years. The sharpest contrast emerged between Group 1 (those who were treated and attained normal levels) and Group 3 (those whose low testosterone went untreated). The treated men were 56% less likely to die during the follow-up period, 24%less likely to suffer a heart attack, and 36%less likely to have a stroke.  The differences between Group 1 and Group 2 (those who were treated but did not attain normal levels) were similar but less pronounced.  The study authors conclude that: “normalization of [total testosterone] levels after [testosterone replacement therapy] was associated with a significant reduction in all-cause mortality, [myocardial infarction], and stroke.”

Sharma R, Oni OA, Gupta K, Chen G, Sharma M, Dawn B, Sharma R, Parashara D, Savin VJ, Ambrose JA, Barua RS. “Normalization of testosterone level is associated with reduced incidence of myocardial infarction and mortality in men.”  Eur Heart J. 2015 Aug 6. pii: ehv346.

Article Source: https://www.worldhealth.net/news/testosterone-therapy-significant-reduction-heart-a/

 

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Want To Make Real Gym Progress? Deload!

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If pushing it to your limits is your M.O., it might be high time for you to back off a bit and deload. By following the “I don’t need no stinkin’ break” approach to lifting, many lifters don’t make room in their program for deloading. That’s a shame because ratcheting back from your max workout can do your body a world of good.

The Lowdown On Deloading

Many lifters organize their workouts based on the principle of overloading, in which you add more and more challenges over time. These challenges can come in the form of progressively more weight, more volume, or less rest. It’s an effective technique but it can torch your body if you don’t occasionally slow down.

A deload is a period of time, usually about a week, when you back off the intensity of your workout after a long phase of overloading. People often do it when they reach—and can’t overcome—a persistent state of fatigue.

Why Slow Down? I’m Doing Great!

Many people think that taking the time to deload will shift their gains into reverse. I mean, why work so hard each day only to let your intensity slide?  You’ll just lose strength, right? In fact, it’s precisely because you’ve been working so hard that you need to deload.

Deloading doesn’t mean you’re stopping. It usually means switching to weights that are about half what you normally lift and cutting your volume in half.  It’ll make your workout feel incredibly easy, but that’s the point. The human body can take only so much stress. Without a break in intensity, you’ll burn yourself out, fatigue your body beyond its ability to recover, become injured, or all three.

Think of deloading as proactive damage control. By making it a regular part of your training program, you can keep progressing—without having to take much longer breaks when your body gives out.

Deloading gives your joints and tendons a chance to heal and your muscles time to fully recover. This will strengthen your body and mind over time. Constantly pushing 100 percent each workout can be psychologically taxing. You might think you are tough and can take it, but this is exactly how burnout takes place.

Making The Most Of Your Deload Period

Do Cardio… Mellow Cardio

During your deload period, add some light to moderate cardio training to your workout. Avoid high intensity training (HIT) or you’ll be swapping one form of strenuous exercise for another. Cardio, done in moderation, helps the recovery process by improving blood circulation to bring more nutrients and oxygen to damaged muscle tissues.[1] It’s also a great way to relieve soreness.

Aim for 20-30 minutes of light cardio training 3-4 times during your week of deloading.

Perfect Your Form

Since you’ll be lifting much lighter weights during this period, use the opportunity to focus on form. Correct any bad habits you notice so you can see better results and avoid injury once you get back to your normal workout.

Also use this time to work on developing a stronger mind-muscle connection. If you’re doing triceps pull-downs, focus on your triceps and make sure they’re doing the work and not your abs. If you’re doing back exercises, tune in to your scapula and keep your arms out of it.

Learn Some New Exercises

Deloading is also a good time to integrate some new exercises into your program. Once you finish the deload, you’ll get back to your regular program and there’s no better way to ensure continued progress than to keep switching up your exercises.

Adding new exercises can cause soreness, so start out with light weights. You don’t want to deal with delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) while you’re deloading—or any other time, for that matter. The deload period is a chance for your muscles to recover, not get damaged. Take it easy and give your body time to learn new movement patterns.

Make More Time For Sleep

Because a deload week is pretty easy, you’re able to combine a few workouts into one, to the point where you can probably do a full-body run-through in an hour or so. This will help you cut back your weekly gym schedule from five days to maybe two days, freeing up big chunks of time for recovery—and for sleep.

Use these extra hours to take naps instead of hitting the gym, or just go to bed earlier. Sleep is when the body heals itself; the more sleep you get during this week, the more effective your deload will be and the stronger you’ll feel when you get back to your program.

Too many of us try to get by on as little sleep as possible. This does your training no favors. Consider eight hours a night an effective minimum to strive for.

Avoid Slashing All Carbs

Deloading isn’t the time to slash carbs. Many people think that since they’re lowering their training intensity they need to lower their calorie and carb intake too, but don’t be so sure.

The purpose of a deload is to help your body recover from intense, challenging physical activity. As you ratchet back your workout, make sure your body is getting all the carbs it needs to restore muscle glycogen and rebuild lean muscle mass tissue.

It might make sense to decrease your carb intake slightly if you were doing a high-volume workout right before you deload.  If that’s the case, don’t decrease your carbs too much or your results will suffer.

The period of deloading might seem like a radical shift from your regular routine, but it’s only for a week or so—just long enough to give your body a chance to gather its strength again before you start piling on the plates.

Reference:

  1. Connolly, D. A., Sayers, S. E., & McHugh, M. P. (2003). Treatment and prevention of delayed onset muscle soreness. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 17(1), 197-208.

Article Source: https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/want-to-make-real-gym-progress-deload.html

Written by: Shannon Clark, February 08, 2018

 

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5 Tips for Preventing Sports-Related Injuries

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Many people are heading outdoors to ramp up their exercise programs. But before you or your young athlete start playing, it’s important to learn how you can prevent sports-related injuries.

“Sports injuries generally occur for two different reasons: trauma and overuse,” says Dr. Andrew Cosgarea, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert. “And while traumatic sports injuries are usually obvious, dramatic scenes, like when we see a player fall down clutching their knee,” continues Cosgarea, who is also the head team physician for Johns Hopkins University Department of Athletics, “overuse injuries are actually more common.”

Overuse injuries often occur when the body is pushed past its current physical limits or level of conditioning — but poor technique and training errors, such as running excessive distances or performing inadequate warm-ups, frequently contribute. To help keep you or your young athlete from experiencing a sports-related injury, Cosgarea provides the following prevention tips:

1. Set realistic goals.

“I am a strong advocate for setting goals and working hard to achieve them,” Cosgarea says, “but it is crucial that our goals are realistic, achievable and sustainable.” Whether your goal is to swim more laps, lift a certain amount of weight or run a specific distance, set an obtainable goal and gradually work to improve.

2. Plan and prepare.

If you plan to begin exercising regularly or want to begin a new program, you should meet with your primary care provider first and discuss your options. Also, take the time to learn the proper techniques required for your sport or program. Working with a personal trainer or signing up for a class are often safe and enjoyable ways to start a new activity, Cosgarea suggests.

3. Warm up and cool down.

It is important to warm up before physical activity because research has shown that a heated muscle is less likely to be strained. To accomplish this, Cosgarea recommends some light walking or jogging before you start your exercise and then again afterward to help your muscles cool down slowly. Another important way to prevent injury is to increase your flexibility. This can be done by stretching before and after a workout, Cosgarea suggests, but it is best to do so once the body is already warm.

4. Take your time.

Don’t push yourself too hard too fast. Getting in shape or learning a new sport takes time. “We need to allow for adequate time to gradually increase training levels so that our bodies have time to adjust to the stresses on our bones, joints and muscles,” Cosgarea says. For instance, when running, increase mileage gradually and give yourself plenty of time to recover between workouts.

5. Listen to your body.

Adjust your activities if your body is showing signs of too much stress. “While a mild and short-lived muscle ache is generally considered ‘good pain,’ pain in your joints is not normal and is a sign that you should cut back,” Cosgarea warns.

 

Article Source: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/articles-and-answers/prevention/five-tips-for-preventing-sports-related-injuries?utm_medium=social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_campaign=Ortho&utm_term=5TipsPreventingSportsInjuries&utm_content=ArticlesAndAnswers

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How hormone levels might affect your quality of life

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Regardless of gender, all humans produce the hormone testosterone. However, men have much higher levels of testosterone than women.

 

Testosterone is a chemical messenger that is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. In addition, testosterone helps regulate muscle size and strength, red blood cell production, bone mass, and fat distribution.

 

As men age, their testosterone levels begin to dip. Although a natural result of aging, lower testosterone levels, also called hypogonadism, can contribute to any number of side effects – some of which men can find interrupt their quality of life. The medical resource Healthline says that testosterone starts to decrease after age 30, falling by 1 percent for each year thereafter.

 

Some men may even suffer from low testosterone (called low-T), which is the underproduction or lack of production of this hormone. Typically, this is linked to chronic medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and other hormonal conditions. Although not all men will experience low-T, learning to recognize its signs and symptoms can help those who develop the condition address it that much more quickly.

 

Changes in sexual function: Changes in sexual function resulting from low-T can include decreased libido/desire, inability to have or maintain erections, fewer spontaneous erections, and infertility. Since testosterone is linked to healthy sperm production, lower levels may reduce the number of healthy sperm or their mobility.

 

Insomnia and trouble sleeping: Sleep disturbances may be linked to low-T. These can include trouble falling asleep or frequent waking.

 

Weight gain: Men with low-T may suffer from increased body fat coupled with decreased energy levels that can make exercise less appealing. Weight gain — particularly in the abdominal area — may also occur in conjunction with a condition called gynecomastia, which is swollen or tender breasts.

 

Reduced muscle mass: Other physical changes can include reduced muscle bulk and strength. Decreased bone mass or mineral density is also possible.

 

Emotional changes: Emotional changes may be a byproduct of lower testosterone or feelings of helplessness over a seemingly irreversible condition. Fatigue, low self-confidence, sadness, depression, and even trouble concentrating are possible.

The Urinary Care Foundation says that low-T is quite common. Roughly 4 out of 10 men over the age of 45 have low testosterone. Low-T also affects 2 out of 10 men over the age of 60 and 3 out of 10 men over the age of 70.

 

If symptoms of low-T prove bothersome, testosterone replacement therapy, or TRT, may be prescribed. These include skin gels, shots, long-acting pellets, patches, and pills. The American Urological Association suggests discussing the pros and cons of TRT with a doctor who is skilled in diagnosing low-T. TRT should not be used by men planning to become a father anytime soon.

 

It should be noted that, while the Mayo Clinic says there are no definitive studies that point to HRT being effective, the accumulation of anecdotal evidence is undeniable.

Local anti-aging and regenerative medicine expert Dr. Brett Osborn believes that “while HRT is not for everyone — for instance, those with a strong family history of hormone-sensitive cancer — if you and your physician do opt for HRT, use only bio-identical hormones.”

 

Bio-identical hormones are those that are created in a compounding pharmacy and match one’s own specific hormonal needs.

 

In addition, he strongly urges that you “avoid ever using oral testosterone or oral estrogens” because both, when broken down metabolically, have the potential to be carcinogenic.

 

Rather, he suggests that bio-identical transdermal creams or injections are the best options.

 

“Do not underestimate the roles that hormones play in your biochemistry and your overall well-being. I would urge everyone to explore with their doctor the option of hormone replacement therapy. Restoring a youthful hormone profile not only has the potential to make you feel great, but also may slow down the aging process.”

And just in case you need further proof of Dr. Osborn’s belief in HRT, consider this: He checks his own hormone levels every six weeks — and adjusts his HRT accordingly.

Article Source: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/lifestyles/health/how-hormone-levels-might-affect-your-quality-life/sgXf5J82C1ntK2KEdQkM5O/

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Why you should probably reduce your intake of soy

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For some, soy is a great meat alternative as it contains protein. On the other hand, there has been some controversy surrounding soy’s implications on health. This is because components in soy may act as estrogen, which can be problematic, especially in regards to cancer risk.

The latest finding on soy is that consuming foods high in certain soy compounds may increase the risk of or aggravate prostate cancer.

The researchers looked at data from over 27,000 men and compared their risk of developing prostate cancer over the course of 12 years. The researchers found that men who consumed the highest amount of soy isoflavones had a 91 percent higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared to those who consumed soy the least.

There was no link found between eating soy compounds and prostate cancer or non-aggressive prostate cancer in general.

Although the study didn’t uncover the exact link, there are a few theories. Researchers suspect that isoflavones may trigger responses similar to estrogen and estrogen has been previously linked to prostate cancer. This is because the byproducts of estrogen are genotoxic, which means they can damage genetic information to prostate cells and lead to cancer mutations.

There still needs to be more research to better understand fully the link between soy isoflavones and prostate cancer, particularly in more diverse populations, to see how soy affects different ethnic groups.

Should you stop eating soy? This isn’t completely a yes or no answer at the moment. The researchers do warn against over-consuming soy—the men in the study consumed between 0.75 to 2.03 mg a day. As with all things, moderation is key. As for supplements that contain soy isoflavones, the researchers suggest there isn’t much worry there, either.

Furthermore, because the study showed an association and not a cause-and-effect, there isn’t enough evidence to completely rule soy out.

If you do have a family history of prostate cancer, then you may want to consider lowering consumption of soy. But if not, then consume at your own discretion.

Article Source: https://www.belmarrahealth.com/probably-reduce-intake-soy/

 

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How Much Booze Do You Have To Drink To Mess With Your Hormones?

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We all love to unwind at the end of the day. Sometimes that’s a great bout of yoga or high-intensity training, and sometimes it’s a glass of wine or a favorite cocktail. Everything in moderation, right?

Or not? Have you ever wondered what impact (if any) alcohol has on your hormones? And just how much is too much? Is any amount “safe”? What is alcohol doing inside our bodies? And what does moderate consumption even mean?

To answer those questions, let’s take it one step at a time.

Alcohol consumption can increase estrogen—but it’s not the same for everyone.

According to clinical studies, moderate alcohol consumption can vary with life stages. What you consume at age 20 may not be the same as what you consume at age 40—and what you drink will affect your hormones really differently as well. As a woman ages, her hormones fluctuate; therefore, less alcohol is needed to have larger hormonal effects over time. For a woman in her 40s or 50s, even “moderate” amounts of alcohol can affect the hormonal system.

Drinking alcohol can cause a rise in estrogen and a decrease in progesterone in premenopausal women. Some studies even suggest that menopause was delayed by moderate alcohol consumption, since “alcohol consumption was significantly correlated with estrogen levels.” Though binge drinking (five or more drinks in one day) is the most detrimental, in terms of hormonal disruption and other health problems, this study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption needs further analysis to determine its health impact.

Alcohol consumption can decrease testosterone—but it depends how much you drink.

According to a study by the Testosterone Centers of Texas, “alcohol is the enemy of testosterone.” Testosterone is important for both men and women (although men have much more)! It’s well-known as the hormone for sex drive and libido, but it is a key player in muscle formation, bone mass, fat distribution, and brain health. Low testosterone (caused by alcohol or something else) in both men and women can result in brain fog, fatigue, irritability, lower muscle mass, and lower motivation.

The Testosterone Centers study goes on to cite that the decrease in testosterone is in direct relation to the amount of alcohol consumed, which poses the question: How much is too much?

In this particular study, the findings suggest that drinking two to three beers a day caused a “slight” reduction in testosterone for men and none for women, a good sign that moderate drinking doesn’t have that huge of an impact. The way in which alcohol affects hormone levels is related to the chemicals alcohol contains. Beer and wine contain chemicals that can increase estrogen, thereby lowering testosterone.

Heavy drinking (more than three drinks a day) is the real culprit for all kinds of health maladies in both men and women: weight gain, lowered testosterone levels in men, and increased testosterone levels in women. Both sexes are affected in terms of fertility. Studies have shown that men who drink in excess suffer from both fertility and “abnormally low testosterone.”

How to balance drinking with a healthy lifestyle.

Though most studies seem to suggest moderate alcohol intake may not cause any health issues in men and women, I’ve found in my years as a practitioner that “moderate” can mean very different things to different people.

The best solution? Consult with your health care provider to:

  • Determine a baseline for your health.
  • Talk to (and trust) your doctor to let her or him know your accurate alcohol intake on a weekly basis.
  • Follow-up, on a regular basis, about how that intake may be or may not be affecting your health.

The bottom line: What’s moderate and appropriate for you might not be the same as what’s moderate and appropriate for me—especially when it comes to hormone balance.

Article Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/is-drinking-alcohol-bad-for-hormone-balance

Written By: Dr. Amy Shah

 

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BALD GUYS ARE SEEN AS SMART, DOMINANT, AND JUST PLAIN SEXY, NEW STUDY SAYS

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With increasing age comes many wonderful things, including hard-learned wisdom, better sex, and cold, hard cash. But since life is a total bitch, aging also flings some serious horse shit our way, too, namely in the form of achy knees, the ‘dad bod,’ and baldness. Oh, that darn male pattern baldness.

Statistics show that by the age of 35, around 66 percent of men lose a considerable amount of hair, and by 55, 85 percent of men have significant hair loss. And by significant hair loss, I mean bald, just like Mr. Clean.

Sure, having a gorgeous head of hair is a blessing, but hey, no shame in being a baldie. There’s no use fighting it if your hair is falling out. Plus, if you just shave off any remaining tufts of hair instead of combing it over like a dweeb, and just go for the clean bald look, think of all the time and money you’ll save! And not to mention how badass you’ll look.

And guess what? Going bald (or just shaving all your hair off) is actually one of the greatest things that can happen to you, because apparently, bald dudes are perceived as more intelligent, dominant, and overall sexier than men who have a full head of hair. Or so says Dr. Frank Muscarella from Barry University in Florida.

Interested in why baldness is still a thing, even though it’s seen as such a horribly negative thing, Muscarella set out on a noble quest to find out why the baldness trait hasn’t been bred out of humans yet.

In his study, Muscarella and his team asked participants to rate a selection of men in four domains: physical attractiveness, aggressiveness, appeasement, and social maturity, which included factors like honesty, intelligence, and social status.

Once he crunched the numbers, he found that generally, people perceive bald dudes as more honest, intelligent, and dominant, which are obviously all good things. However, there is one bit of bad news – baldness decreases perceived physical attractiveness just a touch, but no matter. The increase in the other domains cancels that out.

Besides, look at Jason Statham. He’s on the short side of the height spectrum and he’s bald, but he’s one of the sexiest dudes in Hollywood. Just look at how badass he is!

“It could be speculated that although the characteristic of baldness decreases a man’s perceived physical attractiveness, it increases his perceived social dominance,” Muscarella told Daily Mail.

“Studies have shown baldness in men is seen as a non-threatening form of social dominance. There is a large body of literature that shows that although women like physically attractive men, they are also very attracted to signs of high social dominance.”

“Consequently, it could now be explained how the characteristic was passed on. My speculation is that as humans evolved and the group became increasingly important for survival, males played a more integral role in the family group, and it may have been adaptive to evolve a morphological sign of this dominance-related role and one that made the adult males appear less threatening and more approachable to facilitate interactions with them.”

Well, damn. That’s what I like to hear. That said, if you’re struggling with the psychological trauma of hair loss, just remind yourself: Would you rather be a pretty boy with a head of hair? Or would you rather be a highly intelligent, sexy, dominant goddamn boss who everyone respects?

I think the answer is clear.

Written By: ZEYNEP YENISEY

Article Source: https://www.maxim.com/maxim-man/bald-men-are-sexier-2017-1

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