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/

 

“The Greatest Health of Your Life”℠

Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
Wellness & Preventative Medicine

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

 

“The Greatest Health of Your Life”℠

Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
Wellness & Preventative Medicine

Estrogen Dominance In Men

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How it is ruining your health and virility, and what you need to do to prevent It

Estrogen dominance is often thought of as a female-only disorder, however men suffer with it as well, and overexposure to estrogen-like compounds (xenoestrogens), has made it increasingly common.

Understanding Male Estrogen Dominance

The healthy range of estradiol is between 15 and 60 pg/ml. When estradiol climbs higher than that, or when testosterone levels fall too low to balance out estrogen, estrogen dominance occurs.

Estrogen Dominance Symptoms

Estrogen dominance can cause: mental fatigue, memory problems, an inability to concentrate, moodiness, irritability, emotional hypersensitivity, insomnia, unrelenting physical fatigue, depression, obesity, bone loss, back pain, headaches, and high cholesterol.

Estrogen Dominance and Your Sex Life

Estrogen dominance can cause: a loss of libido, an inability to get and/or maintain an erection, low sperm count, infertility, an inability to orgasm, and male breast enlargement.

Estrogen Dominance and Prostate Health

As estradiol levels climb, both prostate size and fibrous tissues increase. This makes it hard to urinate and increases the risk for prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Four Main Causes of Estrogen Dominance in Men

Cause #1: Diet

Animal products are major estrogen dominance contributors. Non-organic produce and processed foods made from them, can also contribute to estrogen dominance because they are grown with herbicides and pesticides which mimic estrogen.

Cause #2: Excess Body Weight

Fat tissues are rich in an enzyme that converts protein into testosterone, and testosterone into estradiol; the more fat you have, the higher your estradiol levels will be. Estrogen is also stored in fat cells, so if you’re overweight you’ll need to lose excess fat cells to reverse estrogen dominance.

Cause #3: Caffeine and Alcohol

Caffeinated beverages are major estrogen dominance triggers. Alcohol is also problematic because plants used to produce alcoholic beverages contain estrogen-like compounds that mimic estrogen in the body.

Cause #4: Tight Underwear

Tight underwear forces the testicles to be squeezed up against the body, which reduces the flow of blood to the testicles and causes them to overheat. These two factors lead to an increase in estradiol and a decrease in testosterone.

Article Source: http://www.worldhealth.net/news/estrogen-dominance-men-ruining-your-health-/

“The Greatest Health of Your Life”℠

Boston Testosterone Partners
National Testosterone Restoration for Men
Wellness & Preventative Medicine

Solutions for Common Prostate Problems

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By the time men reach their 50s or 60s, it is almost inevitable that they will experience difficulties related to their prostate gland.

Common symptoms include more frequent need to urinate, waking up during the night to “go,” or trouble even “going” at all.

These signs should not be ignored or overlooked as they can indicate serious problems, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and even prostate cancer.

Fortunately, a number of natural extracts have proven value in preventing, and often reversing, symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and chronic prostatitis with a high safety profile.

There is also evidence that certain supplements can help prevent prostate cancer, and even slow the rate of cancer progression if it does occur.

This article supplies essential information for men wishing to prevent prostate trouble—and solutions for those with existing issues.

The Aging Prostate Gland

The three most common prostate conditions are:
  1. Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  2. Prostatitis (inflammation of prostate)
  3. Prostate cancer1

These conditions often produce similar symptoms in their early stages, making it difficult to differentiate between them. These common symptoms can include the following:

  • More frequent need to urinate
  • More urgent need to urinate
  • Decreased urine flow or dribbling
  • Frequent nighttime awakening to urinate
  • Burning with urination

The reason prostate problems are likely to cause trouble with the lower urinary tract has to do with the prostate’s location. The prostate is located between the lower part of the bladder and the rectum. It surrounds the internal part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the end of the penis.

When the prostate swells, whether because of benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, or prostatitis, it narrows the urethra, making it difficult for urine to pass freely from the bladder. As the gland continues to grow, it can produce sufficient blockage to lead to difficulty urinating, and even urinary retention, which in turn can result in bladder and kidney infections.

While most prostate problems can be readily treated—and the vast majority are not cancer-related—it is important to seek medical attention as soon as a symptom arises.1

Researchers have identified a number of nutrients that have been found to alleviate many of the unpleasant prostate symptoms. Let’s look at the data on some of the best-known and most effective supplements that can help men optimize their prostate health.

Nature’s Solutions for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate gland. Approximately 25% of men in their 40s have benign prostatic hyperplasia, with a startling 80% of men in their 70s suffering from the condition.2

The good news is that benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is not cancerous. It is a major risk factor for sexual dysfunction. Conventional treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia can cause unpleasant side effects that are also a cause for sexual dysfunction.3

Fortunately, studies have shown that certain nutrients help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia and can significantly improve quality of life as a result.

Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is one of the most well-known natural treatments for prostate problems. Recent studies suggest that saw palmetto may also be beneficial for chronic prostatitis, prevention of prostate cancer, and even sexual dysfunction.3,4

There is evidence to suggest that saw palmetto has similar efficacy to finasteride (Proscar®) and tamsulosin (Flomax®), two medications used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.3,5,6 Of even greater interest, a lower incidence of associated sexual dysfunction was seen in men supplemented with saw palmetto compared to those given pharmaceuticals.5

A 2013 study demonstrated that elderly men treated with 320 mg of saw palmetto extract daily for eight weeks not only experienced a significant 52% improvement in their International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), the standard tool used to measure the severity of benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, but also had a significant 40% improvement in sexual dysfunction scores!3

A host of other studies compellingly demonstrate the impact of saw palmetto extract on symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Two large meta-analyses including more than 7,000 men from 38 studies showed that saw palmetto extracts produced significant improvements in the International Prostate Symptom Score, reductions in frequency of nighttime urinations, and improvements in peak urine flow rates.7,8 Indeed, saw palmetto produced similar improvements in urinary symptoms and urinary flow compared to the drug finasteride, but with fewer adverse effects.7

Based on all of these studies, a 2015 review article concluded that, while drug therapy might be most effective for moderate to severe benign prostatic hyperplasia, herbal medications including saw palmetto are useful for men with mild to moderate symptoms.9

Not all studies demonstrate desired relief with saw palmetto,10 which is why combining it with additional nutrients is the preferred choice for most aging males.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Natural Treatments for Prostate Health

  • The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that has important functions in the male reproductive system.
  • With age, the prostate is known for causing problems with urination and pain, as well as cancer.
  • A number of natural extracts have proven value in preventing and often reversing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and chronic prostatitis as effectively and with a much better safety profile than existing drug therapies.
  • Most prostate problems are not cancer-related, and proper supplementation can lead to improved prostate health and fewer risks for problems down the line.

Stinging Nettle Root

Stinging nettle root (Urtica dioica) has been widely used as therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia.11 Both human and animal studies have shown that nettle root extract is effective not only in relieving benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, but also in shrinking the size of the prostate gland.11-13

A study on nettle root extract was shown to improve lower urinary tract symptoms significantly better than placebo, with marked improvements in the International Prostate Symptom Scores, increases in peak urinary flow rates, and reductions in residual urine volume remaining in the bladder.12

The most compelling findings show that the combination of nettle root extract and saw palmetto extract can produce improvements similar to those of prescription benign prostatic hyperplasia medications with far fewer adverse events.6,14,15 Of particular interest, a study involving 257 elderly men with benign prostatic hyperplasia found that the combination of the extracts reduced the International Prostate Symptom Scores by 53%, improve urinary flow by 19%, and reduced residual urine volume by 44% when compared to placebo.16

In addition, repeated studies have revealed that saw palmetto, combined with nettle extract, can reduce nighttime urination by one episode per night, a substantial and significant difference.14

SYMPTOMS OF PROSTATE PROBLEMS1

Regardless of the cause, symptoms of prostate enlargement that can signal prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or prostate cancer are similar in their early stages. They include the following:

  • More frequent need to urinate
  • More urgent need to urinate
  • Decreased urine flow or dribbling
  • Frequent nighttime awakening to urinate
  • Burning with urination symptoms of prostatitis include, in addition to those of general prostate trouble:1
  • A strong and frequent urge to urinate, even when only a small amount of urine is present
  • Chills, fever, low back pain, or body aches
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, the groin area, or behind the scrotum
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum
  • Discharge from the urethra (urinary opening) during bowel movements
  • Throbbing in the genital and/or rectal area
  • Problems with sexuality and loss of drive
  • Painful ejaculation symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia include, in addition to those of general prostate trouble: 1
  • Hesitation or difficulty starting a urine stream
  • A weak or slow stream of urine, or just a dribble of urine
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • A sense of incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Repeated stopping and starting during a single urination
  • Pushing or straining to complete bladder emptying

The symptoms of prostate cancer are often difficult to distinguish from those of benign prostatic hyperplasia. That means that men with any such symptoms should see their physicians early to allow for proper diagnosis and treatment. Annual PSA screening to detect early-stage prostate cancer is highly recommended.

Pygeum Africanum

Pygeum africanum is a plum tree from tropical Africa.17 It has been in widespread use in Central and Eastern Europe for decades and numerous human studies have demonstrated the clinical efficacy of pygeum in the management of mild to moderate benign prostatic hyperplasia.18,19 At typical doses of 100 mg per day, the extract produces significant improvements in International Prostate Symptom Scores of 38% to 46%,19reductions in frequency of nighttime urination of 32%,18 and increases in peak urinary flow rates of 16% to 19%.19 Quality of life, an important measure for this disruptive condition, was increased by about 30% in two studies.18,19

A meta-analysis of 18 randomized, controlled trials involving 1,562 men has shown similar results, with overall reduction in nocturnal urination of 19% and increased urine flow of 23%. It also showed that men who took pygeum had an important reduction in the volume of urine remaining in the bladder after urination, a major risk factor for urinary tract infections. In that analysis, men using pygeum extract were more than twice as likely as those using placebo to report an overall improvement in urinary tract symptoms.20

Additional Nutrients for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Pumpkin seed. Studies have shown that supplementation with pumpkin seed led to clinically relevant reductions in the International Prostate Symptom Scores compared with placebo after three to 12 months.21,22One of these studies also showed that the combination of pumpkin seed oil and saw palmetto improved quality of life scores and showed 41.7% reduction on serum PSA levels at the end of the study when compared to baseline.22

Pollen extracts. A meta-analysis of 444 men demonstrated that rye grass pollen extract significantly improved self-rated urinary symptoms in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Men in this study were also more than twice as likely to report improvement in nocturnal urination compared with placebo, and no side effects were reported.23

Flaxseed. Flaxseed is a rich source of dietary lignans. In the intestine, they are converted by bacteria into other bioactive compounds, particularly enterolactone. A human study on dietary flaxseed lignan extract demonstrated significant reductions in the International Prostate Symptom Scores and improvements in quality of life in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia.24

Prostate Cancer Prevention

Prostate cancer is the second most common malignancy experienced by men,25 with more than 180,000American men diagnosed a year, according to the American Cancer Society.26

While it can be life threatening, most men do not die from prostate cancer. The five-, 10-, and 15-year survival rates for men diagnosed with prostate cancer are 99%, 98%, and 95% respectively.27 In fact, it is estimated that more than 2.9 million American men are living with the disease right now.26 In addition, it is among the most readily prevented cancers because it tends to grow very slowly and because nutritional approaches to prevention can be highly effective.17

Let’s take a look at five of the most effective nutrients against prostate cancer.

Lycopene

A nutrient with significant potential effects against prostate cancer is lycopene, a bright red carotenoid pigment abundant in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables.28-30

High consumption of lycopene has been associated with a reduced risk of developing prostate cancer—and also with a reduced risk of dying from the disease. Among men with more aggressive prostate cancers, above-average lycopene consumption was associated with a 59% reduction in the risk of dying from the disease!31

Higher blood lycopene levels have also been consistently associated with reduced prostate cancer risk.32

Additionally, lycopene inhibits the inflammatory processes that promote prostate (and many other) cancers by suppressing critical “master regulatory molecules” such as nuclear factor-kappa beta (NFkB).33

Pygeum Africanum

In addition to combating many of the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, pygeum africanum has shown early evidence of potent anticancer effects.

One study found that when mice bred to have prostate cancers were treated with pygeum extract, they had significantly lower incidence of developing the malignancy. This same study showed that when applied directly to prostate cancer cells in culture, pygeum extract had numerous benefits, including inhibiting cell proliferation, inducing apoptosis, and binding to androgen receptors used by the tumor to sustain growth.17

Another important study showed that serum from a man using pygeum extract could decrease the proliferation of prostate cells in culture and upregulated genes involved in tumor suppression.34

LYCOPENE MAY SLOW CANCER PROGRESSION

Most men by middle age have been offered a blood test for prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is produced in excessive amounts by prostate cancers and can be effectively used to help identify early-stage malignancy. PSA can also elevate in response to prostatitis and benign prostate enlargement.

Lycopene, the red pigment from tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, is one of the few compounds convincingly demonstrated to slow the rise of PSA in men with prostate cancer.

One study showed that, for men with advanced tumors, lycopene plus removal of the testes (to deprive the tumor of growth-promoting male hormones) was superior to surgery alone, with a significant difference in PSA levels by two years after the procedure.51 Men in this study also had fewer secondary tumors, better relief from bone pain, improved urine flow, and, most importantly, an improved survival rate compared with those undergoing testes removal only.

In another study of men with prostate cancer, 10 mg of lycopene per day significantly slowed the rate of PSA rise in 70% of treated men, and in 21%, turned the rise into a decline.52

Since PSA is now known to have direct contributions to prostate cancer growth in addition to serving as a marker for the disease,43 it seems sensible for men, even without known cancers, to supplement with lycopene as a way of suppressing this important risk factor.

Three Additional Nutrients to Fight Prostate Cancer

Boswellia extract. Numerous studies on cultured prostate cancer cells have shown that boswellia extract induces tumor death by apoptosis.35-38 Other studies also show that its components may prevent tumor growth by blocking the androgen (male hormone) receptors39 and by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), further depriving tumors of nutrients.36

Flaxseed. Studies confirmed that flaxseed supplementation lowers PSA levels and significantly reduces the proliferation of normal prostate cells and prostate cancer cells.40,41 In a clinical study, supplementation with flaxseed generated favorable reductions in tumor proliferation rates in men with prostate cancer in as little as 30 days.41

Boron. According to one study, men with the highest dietary boron intakes have a 54% lower risk of developing prostate cancer compared to those with the lowest intake.42 Boron is known to block certain growth factors necessary for tumor development, and it has also been shown to inhibit the enzymatic action of PSA, which releases those same growth factors from their transport proteins.43 In an animal study, human prostate cancers implanted in mice were smaller by 38% following low-dose boron supplementation, while serum PSA levels fell 89%. 43

Relief for Chronic Prostatitis

Chronic prostatitis is a term used to describe ongoing inflammation of the prostate gland, usually in the absence of any known infection. 1 It is often found as part of a condition known as chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, both of which are common in older men and unfortunately difficult to treat with standard medication, leaving men who suffer from this condition in considerable misery.44-46

Fortunately, studies show that rye grass pollen extract may be a viable approach to treating this challenging condition.

One early study demonstrated that men assigned to receive rye grass pollen extract showed significant improvements in reported pain and quality of life. They also showed improvements on total scores on the NIH Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index scale, compared with placebo.47

Subsequent studies found similar results, with more supplemented subjects reporting significant improvements in quality of life and symptom scores.48,49

None of these studies identified significant side effects, which suggests that rye grass pollen is both safe and effective in the treatment of chronic prostatitis, a stubborn condition that has resisted other treatment approaches.

Summary

The human prostate is a small gland with an enormous impact on a man’s health. Most of its functions are important in reproductive activity, but problems tend to arise later in life.

The most common prostate problems include benign prostatic hyperplasia, chronic prostatitis, and prostate cancer. Treatments, when available, vary in effectiveness and carry considerable side effects.

A large handful of dietary supplements has shown real promise in reducing the impact of prostate disease. While no single supplement can provide complete coverage against potential problems, those discussed here have overlapping mechanisms of action. This suggests that, taken in combination, they can contribute to reducing the risk of prostate disease, and many have been shown to help reverse the most troubling symptoms.

Starting a comprehensive prostate health supplement regimen is the smart thing to do, even (and especially) before symptoms arise.

References

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  40. Demark-Wahnefried W, Robertson CN, Walther PJ, et al. Pilot study to explore effects of low-fat, flaxseed-supplemented diet on proliferation of benign prostatic epithelium and prostate-specific antigen. Urology. 2004;63(5):900-4.
  41. Demark-Wahnefried W, Polascik TJ, George SL, et al. Flaxseed supplementation (not dietary fat restriction) reduces prostate cancer proliferation rates in men presurgery. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008;17(12):3577-87.
  42. Cui Y, Winton MI, Zhang ZF, et al. Dietary boron intake and prostate cancer risk. Oncol Rep. 2004;11(4):887-92.
  43. Gallardo-Williams MT, Chapin RE, King PE, et al. Boron supplementation inhibits the growth and local expression of IGF-1 in human prostate adenocarcinoma (LNCaP) tumors in nude mice. Toxicol Pathol. 2004;32(1):73-8.
  44. Nickel JC. Treatment of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2008;31 Suppl 1:S112-6.
  45. Monden K, Tsugawa M, Ninomiya Y, et al. A Japanese version of the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI, Okayama version) and the clinical evaluation of cernitin pollen extract for chronic non-bacterial prostatitis. Nihon Hinyokika Gakkai Zasshi. 2002;93(4):539-47.
  46. Potts JM. Therapeutic options for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Curr Urol Rep. 2005;6(4):313-7.
  47. Wagenlehner FM, Schneider H, Ludwig M, et al. A pollen extract (Cernilton) in patients with inflammatory chronic prostatitis-chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a multicentre, randomised, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study. Eur Urol. 2009;56(3):544-51.
  48. Cai T, Wagenlehner FM, Luciani LG, et al. Pollen extract in association with vitamins provides early pain relief in patients affected by chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Exp Ther Med. 2014;8(4):1032-8.
  49. Iwamura H, Koie T, Soma O, et al. Eviprostat has an identical effect compared to pollen extract (Cernilton) in patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a randomized, prospective study. BMC Urol. 2015;15:120.
  50. Available at: http://www.rxlist.com/flomax-drug/side-effects-interactions.htm. Accessed Mach 17, 2016.
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Written By:  Michael Tewson

Article Source: http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/6/Solutions-for-Common-Prostate-Problems/Page-01

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Male birth control shot found effective, but side effects cut study short

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Both men and women are responsible for pregnancy, yet the burden of preventing it often falls on one gender. Women can choose from a variety of options to control fertility while for generations, men have been limited to withdrawal, condoms and sterilization. But someday soon, a new method may allow men to shoulder a greater share of responsibility.

A new hormonal birth control shot for men effectively prevented pregnancy in female partners, a new study found.
The study, co-sponsored by the United Nations and published Thursday in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, tested the safety and effectiveness of a contraceptive shot in 320 healthy men in monogamous relationships with female partners. Conducted at health centers around the world, enrollment began on a rolling basis in September 2008. The men, who ranged in age from 18 to 45, underwent testing to ensure that they had a normal sperm count at the start.
The injection, given every eight weeks, consisted of 1,000 milligrams of a synthetic form of testosterone and 200 milligrams of norethisterone enanthate, essentially a derivative of the female hormones progesterone and estrogen referred to as “progestin” in the synthetic form.
According to Dr. Seth Cohen, a urologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, when a man is given a shot of testosterone, “basically, the brain assumes the body is getting enough,” so the body shuts down its own production of testosterone — specifically “the testicle’s production of testosterone as well as the testicle’s production of sperm.”
The progestin “further drives the brain malfunction, so it stops the testicle’s production of both testosterone and sperm,” explained Cohen, who was not involved in the new study.
The researchers used a combination of hormones in order to reduce the testosterone dose to a level that they believed, based on previous studies, would effectively lower fertility yet still be safe.

Study terminated early

During the ramp-up pre-efficacy stage of the study, the couples were instructed to use non-hormonal birth control methods, while the men participants received shots and provided semen samples until their sperm counts dropped to less than 1 million per milliliter in two consecutive tests. At that point, couples relied on the injections as contraception.
Throughout the study, the men provided semen samples to ensure that their sperm counts stayed low. Once the participants stopped receiving the injections, they were monitored to see whether and how quickly their sperm counts recovered to levels described as “fertile” by the World Health Organization.
The researchers discovered that the shot effectively held the sperm count at 1 million per milliliter or less within 24 weeks for 274 of the participants. The contraceptive method was effective in nearly 96% of continuing users.
Four pregnancies (resulting in three live births) occurred among the men’s partners, all during the phase where other contraception was required. All the babies were normal, noted Doug Colvard, co-author of the study and deputy director for programs at the nonprofit research organization CONRAD, Eastern Virginia Medical School, a co-sponsor of the study.
Serious negative effects resulting from the shots included one case of depression and one experience of an abnormally fast and irregular heartbeat after the injections stopped. The researchers considered one intentional overdose of acetaminophen possibly related.
“It is possible that the fluctuations in the circulating progestin following bimonthly injections could haveresulted in the reported or observed mood swings, such as occurs in women, whether on a hormonal contraceptive or not,” Colvard speculated.
Overall, 20 men dropped out early due to side effects. A total of 1,491 adverse events were reported by participants, including injection site pain, muscle pain, increased libido and acne. The researchers say that nearly 39% of these symptoms — including one death by suicide — were unrelated to the shots.
However, due to side effects, particularly depression and other mood disorders, the researchers decided in March 2011 to stop the study earlier than planned, with the final participants completing in 2012.
“I immediately thought of the recent findings on female birth control,” Elisabeth Lloyd said of a study published last month in the journal JAMA Psychiatry. A faculty scholar at the Kinsey Institute, she is a professor of biology and an adjunct professor of philosophy at Indiana University Bloomington.
The study she refers to found an association between the use of hormonal birth control and depression. It looked at prescriptions filled during an 18-year period by more than 1 million women included in Denmark’s national registry.
According to the lead author, Dr. Øjvind Lidegaard of the University of Copenhagen, among women both with and without a psychiatric history who were using hormonal contraceptives, about 10% to 15% got a prescription for an antidepressant during a five-year period.
Annually, the risk of antidepressant use among the youngest group of women taking hormonal contraception amounts to between 2% and 3%. Two or three out of every 100 women between 15 and 19 years old who take hormonal contraceptives will become depressed over the course of a year. “Adolescents seemed more vulnerable to this risk than women 20 to 34 years old,” the researchers noted in their study.
Lidegaard said doctors need to tell women about the benefits and risks of hormonal contraceptive products when deciding which birth control to use.

Effects on fertility

After the men stopped receiving shots, most returned to fertility during a recovery period.
“The minimum recovery time was about 12 weeks after the last injection, and the average time was about 26 weeks,” said Colvard.
Still, there were problems. After 52 weeks in recovery, eight participants had not returned to fertility. The researchers continued to follow these men individually, and five eventually regained normal sperm counts over a longer period of time. One volunteer did not fully recover within four years, though he did “partially recover, so whether he is actually fertile is not known,” Colvard said.
“It shows that it’s a risk, a low-probability risk of it, and it’s not to be sneezed at as a risk of it, surely,” said Lloyd, who is unaffiliated with the new study.
Lloyd said, adding that this risk needs to be compared with those involved in hormonal birth control for women, such as potentially fatal strokes and blood clots.
“These risks of fertility damage are not fatal risks like the women endure with their birth control,” said Lloyd. “You have to compare what women are doing in terms of taking hormones with what men are doing in terms of taking hormones. Are they taking their life in their hands when they take the hormones? Women are. And that needs to be put right up in front when considering the risk.”
Colvard and his co-authors say more research is needed as they work to perfect their cocktail of hormonal contraceptives in an attempt to reduce the risk of side effects, including depression, increased sex drive and acne.
Despite the side effects of the male birth control shot, more than 75% of participants reported being willing to use this method of contraception at the conclusion of the study.
Cohen believes at least part of the reason for this is that they were getting testosterone.

Looking to the future

“Testosterone makes men feel pretty good,” Cohen said. “Testosterone is not a stimulant per se, but it is a steroid, and like a lot of steroids, it can give you a boost of energy. It can give you a boost of muscle mass. It can help with weight loss. It can help with mentation,” or mental activity.
Lloyd believes that if 75% of the men said they’d be interested in getting the shot if it were available, there’s real interest in the product. “That’s unbelievable. That’s fabulous. I’m very very impressed with that number,” she said.
Cohen, who says he he sees patients who face infertility or other hormonal problems, worries about the safety of this method. “Let’s just say, when I read it, I was highly alarmed,” he said, explaining that putting men on testosterone who have normal testosterone levels is not safe and amounts to a violation of the “ethical clinical practice guidelines.”
However, Lloyd thinks this product is a long time coming.
“It’s been a long time since people have been talking about male birth control. This goes back to the 1950s at least.” When scientists first began talking about hormonal birth control for women, they also discussed the same for men, explained Lloyd, but hormonal contraceptives for men were not acted on or investigated.
Cohen questions the general safety of hormonal birth control — for anyone.
“We’re talking about young people, and the scary thing is messing around with young people’s hormones, and that can be detrimental for the rest of their life, right?” Cohen said. “You take an 18-year-old girl or a 20-year-old boy and mess around with their hormones, you’ve really altered possibly how they go through their life.
“If anything, this may wake us up to finding out better hormonal contraceptives for women, right? Because certainly, I know that a lot of young women don’t get the type of counseling that maybe they deserve when it comes to contraception,” Cohen said. “Just a (prescription) and a visit to Duane Reade is all they get, and that may not be enough.”

Article Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/30/health/male-birth-control/index.html?sr=fbCNN103116male-birth-control1030AMStoryGalLink&linkId=30515664

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Breast Tissue in Men

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A breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that may grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body. To learn more about how cancers start and spread, see What Is Cancer?

Breast cancer occurs mainly in women, but men can get it, too. Many people do not realize that men have breast tissue and that they can develop breast cancer.

Normal breast structure

To understand breast cancer, it helps to have some basic knowledge about the normal structure of the breasts.

The breast is made up mainly of lobules (glands that can produce milk if the right hormones are present), ducts (tiny tubes that carry the milk from the lobules to the nipple), and stroma (fatty tissue and connective tissue surrounding the ducts and lobules, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels).

Until puberty (on average around age 9 or 10), young boys and girls have a small amount of breast tissue consisting of a few ducts located under the nipple and areola (area around the nipple). At puberty, a girl’s ovaries make female hormones, causing breast ducts to grow, lobules to form at the ends of ducts, and the amount of stroma to increase. Even after puberty, men and boys normally have low levels of female hormones, and breast tissue doesn’t grow much. Men’s breast tissue has ducts, but only a few if any lobules.

Like all cells of the body, a man’s breast duct cells can undergo cancerous changes. But breast cancer is less common in men because their breast duct cells are less developed than those of women and because they normally have lower levels of female hormones that affect the growth of breast cells.

The lymph (lymphatic) system of the breast

The lymph system is important to understand because it is one of the ways that breast cancers can spread. This system has several parts.

Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped collections of immune system cells (cells that are important in fighting infections) that are connected by lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels are like small veins, except that they carry a clear fluid called lymph (instead of blood) away from the breast. Lymph contains tissue fluid and waste products, as well as immune system cells. Breast cancer cells can enter lymphatic vessels and begin to grow in lymph nodes.

Most lymphatic vessels in the breast connect to lymph nodes under the arm (axillary nodes). Some lymphatic vessels connect to lymph nodes under the breast bone (internal mammary nodes) and either above or below the collarbone (supraclavicular or infraclavicular nodes).

If the cancer cells have spread to these lymph nodes, there is a higher chance that the cells could have also gotten into the bloodstream and spread (metastasized) to other sites in the body. The more lymph nodes with breast cancer cells, the more likely it is that the cancer may be found in other organs as well. Because of this, finding cancer in one or more lymph nodes often affects the treatment plan. Still, not all men with cancer cells in their lymph nodes develop metastases to other areas, and some men can have no cancer cells in their lymph nodes and later develop metastases.

Benign breast conditions

Men can also have some benign (not cancerous) breast disorders.

Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is the most common male breast disorder. It is not a tumor but rather an increase in the amount of a man’s breast tissue. Usually, men have too little breast tissue to be felt or noticed. Gynecomastia can appear as a button-like or disk-like growth under the nipple and areola (the dark circle around the nipple), which can be felt and sometimes seen. Some men have more severe gynecomastia and they may appear to have small breasts. Although gynecomastia is much more common than breast cancer in men, both can be felt as a growth under the nipple, which is why it’s important to have any such lumps checked by your doctor.

Gynecomastia is common among teenage boys because the balance of hormones in the body changes during adolescence. It is also common in older men due to changes in their hormone balance.

In rare cases, gynecomastia occurs because tumors or diseases of certain endocrine (hormone-producing) glands cause a man’s body to make more estrogen (the main female hormone). Men’s glands normally make some estrogen, but not enough to cause breast growth. Diseases of the liver, which is an important organ in male and female hormone metabolism, can change a man’s hormone balance and lead to gynecomastia. Obesity (being extremely overweight) can also cause higher levels of estrogens in men.

Some medicines can cause gynecomastia. These include some drugs used to treat ulcers and heartburn, high blood pressure, heart failure, and psychiatric conditions. Men with gynecomastia should ask their doctors if any medicines they are taking might be causing this condition.

Klinefelter syndrome, a rare genetic condition, can lead to gynecomastia as well as increase a man’s risk of developing breast cancer. This condition is discussed further in the section “What are the risk factors for breast cancer in men?”

Benign breast tumors

There are many types of benign breast tumors (abnormal lumps or masses of tissue), such as papillomas and fibroadenomas. Benign tumors do not spread outside the breast and are not life threatening. Benign breast tumors are common in women but are very rare in men.

General breast cancer terms

Here are some of the key words used to describe breast cancer.

Carcinoma

This term describes a cancer that begins in the lining layer (epithelial cells) of organs such as the breast. Nearly all breast cancers are carcinomas (either ductal carcinomas or lobular carcinomas).

Adenocarcinoma

An adenocarcinoma is a type of carcinoma that starts in glandular tissue (tissue that makes and secretes a substance). The ducts and lobules of the breast are glandular tissue (they make breast milk in women), so cancers starting in these areas are sometimes called adenocarcinomas.

Carcinoma in situ

This is an early stage of cancer, when it is confined to the layer of cells where it began. In breast cancer, in situmeans that the abnormal cells remain confined to ducts (ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS). These cells have not grown into (invaded) deeper tissues in the breast or spread to other organs in the body. Ductal carcinoma in situ of the breast is sometimes referred to as non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer because it might develop into an invasive breast cancer if left untreated.

When cancer cells are confined to the lobules it is called lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). This is not actually a true pre-invasive cancer because it does not turn into an invasive cancer if left untreated. It is linked to an increased risk of invasive cancer in both breasts. LCIS is rarely, if ever seen in men.

Invasive (or infiltrating) carcinoma

An invasive cancer is one that has already grown beyond the layer of cells where it started (as opposed to carcinoma in situ). Most breast cancers are invasive carcinomas, either invasive ductal carcinoma or invasive lobular carcinoma.

Sarcoma

Sarcomas are cancers that start in connective tissues such as muscle tissue, fat tissue, or blood vessels. Sarcomas of the breast are rare.

Types of breast cancer in men

Breast cancer can be separated into several types based on the way the cancer cells look under the microscope. In some cases a single breast tumor can be a combination of these types or be a mixture of invasive and in situ cancer. And in some rarer types of breast cancer, the cancer cells may not form a tumor at all.

Breast cancer can also be classified based on proteins on or in the cancer cells, into groups like hormone receptor-positive and triple-negative. These are discussed in the section “How is breast cancer in men classified?”

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; also known as intraductal carcinoma) is considered non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. In DCIS (also known as intraductal carcinoma), cells that lined the ducts have changed to look like cancer cells. The difference between DCIS and invasive cancer is that the cells have not spread (invaded) through the walls of the ducts into the surrounding tissue of the breast (or spread outside the breast). DCIS is considered a pre-cancer because some cases can go on to become invasive cancers. Right now, though, there is no good way to know for certain which cases will go on to become invasive cancers and which ones won’t. DCIS accounts for about 1 in 10 cases of breast cancer in men. It is almost always curable with surgery.

Infiltrating (or invasive) ductal carcinoma (IDC)

Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma (IDC) starts in a milk duct of the breast, breaks through the wall of the duct, and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. At this point, it may be able to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system and bloodstream. At least 8 out of 10 male breast cancers are IDCs (alone or mixed with other types of invasive or in situ breast cancer). Because the male breast is much smaller than the female breast, all male breast cancers start relatively close to the nipple, so they are more likely to spread to the nipple. This is different from Paget disease as described below.

Infiltrating (or invasive) lobular carcinoma (ILC)

This type of breast cancer starts in the breast lobules (collections of cells that, in women, produce breast milk) and grows into the fatty tissue of the breast. ILC is very rare in men, accounting for only about 2% of male breast cancers. This is because men do not usually have much lobular tissue.

Paget disease of the nipple

This type of breast cancer starts in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple. It may also spread to the areola (the dark circle around the nipple). The skin of the nipple usually appears crusted, scaly, and red, with areas of itching, oozing, burning, or bleeding. There may also be an underlying lump in the breast.

Paget disease may be associated with DCIS or with infiltrating ductal carcinoma. It accounts for about 1% of female breast cancers and a higher percentage of male breast cancers.

Inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is an aggressive, but rare type of breast cancer. It makes the breast swollen, red, warm and tender rather than forming a lump. It can be mistaken for an infection of the breast. This is very rare in men. This cancer is discussed in detail in our document Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

Article Source: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancerinmen/detailedguide/breast-cancer-in-men-what-is-breast-cancer-in-men

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Hormone therapy has no effect on verbal memory after menopause, study suggests

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Although millions of American women use hormone therapy, some of its effects are uncertain due to previous mixed results and insufficient research. But a new randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial suggests the therapy does not impact mental skills like verbal memory— a suspected effect that has encouraged and discouraged women from using it— regardless of when an individual begins taking estradiol after menopause.

Estradiol is the most common estrogen made in the human body during a woman’s reproductive phase. During menopause, production of the hormone ceases, and these hormone changes have been linked to symptoms like hot flashes and memory decline.

“It would’ve been nice to show a particular [cognitive] benefit for a particular age group, but we didn’t find that,” lead study author Dr. Victor Henderson, professor of health research and policy, and of neurology and neurological sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, told FoxNews.com. Henderson collaborated with authors at the University of Southern California – Los Angeles for the research.

Hormone therapy has proven effective for counteracting osteoporosis and improving vasomotor symptoms, Henderson said. However, its cognitive effects have been undetermined in older women— as previous larger, long-term studies have suggested a nil impact— and insufficient in younger women, as those study models have not been long term, randomized and controlled, the highest standard for scientific research.

Based on other previous study results, Henderson and his team first hypothesized that hormone therapy would impact younger postmenopausal women but not the older women.

For the study, which will be published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers studied 567 women ages 41 to 84 and split them into two groups: those who had experienced menopause in the previous six years and those who had experienced it at least 10 years prior, representing “early” and “late” groups, respectively. Participants were randomized to receive estradiol or a placebo for 17 days. Study authors analyzed their mental skills using cognitive measures at baseline, two and a half years into the study, and five years later. Verbal memory and executive functions like judgment, planning reasoning and focusing attention, plus their overall neurophysical conditions, were among the measures.

Researchers didn’t observe cognitive changes in either the early or late group, nor did they find any difference among various subgroups. Those groups included women who at the time of enrollment were experiencing hot flashes, women who had the dementia marker apolipoprotein E, or women who had undergone a hysterectomy or an oophorectomy.

Based on his team’s results, Henderson said women seeking memory improvement from hormone replacement therapy can infer that, from this study, there’s no indication of this benefit. But, he said, “If a woman is considering hormone therapy for other approved indications like moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms, concerns about adverse cognitive outcomes shouldn’t weigh into that.”

Dr. Pauline Maki, professor of psychiatry and psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who has studied hormone therapy in postmenopausal women but was not involved in the current study, said that fact could offer reassurance for women fearful of a negative memory effect from the therapy. Results from a large, longitudinal study in 2002 by the Women’s Health Initiative suggested hormone therapy was linked with a twofold increased risk of dementia. The women in the study had an average age of 72 and took hormone therapy for 22 years.

Maki also called Henderson’s research “exceptional,” as 98 percent of the participants maintained their medication regimen over the five-year period. She added that the cognitive tests participants underwent were appropriate, as they are thought to be sensitive to changes in estrogen levels, she said.

Scientists know more about hormone replacement therapy today than they did two decades ago, but some questions remain.

Maki said further study could analyze whether hormone therapy improves memory in women with moderate to severe hot flashes. Previous research suggests a correlation among brain functioning on neuroimaging scans, memory tests and incidence of hot flashes, she said.

“The main reason women take hormone therapy is for hot flashes, and 85 percent of women experience that,” she said.

Another thing scientists still don’t know for sure is the therapy’s long-term effects on late-life disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Henderson said.

“There’s pretty good evidence that starting hormone therapy late increases dementia risk, but I think it’s somewhat of an open question if starting it early protects against Alzheimer’s risk,” he said.

Further study may explore that possible risk, as well as how hormone replacement therapy may affect women who undergo premature menopause either due to disease, an unknown cause, or due to radiation or chemotherapy.

“Those [areas] weren’t addressed in this study and haven’t been in others,” Henderson said.

Written By Melinda Carstensen

Article Source: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/07/19/hormone-therapy-has-no-effect-on-verbal-memory-after-menopause-study-suggests.html

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