Your Risk Of Erectile Dysfunction More Than Triples If You Have This Health Condition

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High blood sugar can make it hard to get hard: Men with diabetes are significantly more likely to have erectile dysfunction that those with normal blood sugar readings, new research in the journal Diabetic Medicine concludes. That’s a problem, since diabetes cases have increased four-fold since 1980.

After crunching the numbers from 145 studies including over 88,000 men who averaged 56 years old, the researchers determined that those with diabetes were more than three times as likely to have erectile dysfunction than healthy guys were. In fact, 59 percent of men with diabetes had ED.

What’s more, men with diabetes tended to develop their erectile dysfunction 10 to 15 years earlier than those without the condition did, according to the study. (Want to keep your penis healthy for life?

So how can high blood sugar sink you in the bedroom?

Diabetes can damage your blood vessels and your nerves—both of which are needed for healthy erectile functioning, says Sean Skeldon, M.D., who has previously researched ED and diabetes, but was not involved in this study.

Another important point: Erectile dysfunction is often considered a harbinger of heart disease. That’s because the blood vessel issues that cause ED—say, like plaque buildup—can also affect your heart, too. They just manifest first with problems in the bedroom, since your blood vessels in your penis are smaller than the ones that carry blood to your heart. (Here are 8 other weird facts you never knew about your heart.)

The good news, though, is that many of the risk factors for diabetes are under your control—meaning your penis and your heart could benefit from some prevention strategies. One easy one? Eat three servings of legumes a week. That can cut your risk of diabetes by 35 percent, as we recently reported, possibly because their fiber can help prevent blood sugar spikes.

Written by: CHRISTA SGOBBA

Article Source: http://www.menshealth.com/health/diabetes-raises-erectile-dysfunction-risk?

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Infertility in men could point to more serious health problems later in life

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Poor sperm quality affects about one in ten men and may lead to fertility problems. These men also have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer, which is the most common malignant disease of young males. And, even if they don’t develop testicular cancer, men with poor sperm quality tend to die younger than men who don’t have fertility problems.

Couples who can’t achieve pregnancy usually go to fertility clinics for treatment. At these clinics, emphasis is put on deciding whether the couple needs assisted reproduction or not, and, if so, to choose between different methods (such as IVF, IUI, or ICSI) for doing this. In most cases, these treatments lead to pregnancy and a live birth. So the problem seems to be solved. But if infertility is an early symptom of an underlying disease in the man, fertility clinics won’t pick it up.

Missed opportunity

Testicular cancer is easy to detect. In men seeking treatment for fertility problems, a simple ultrasound scan of the testes can reveal early cancer, so a life-threatening tumour can be prevented. If detected, 95% of all cases can be cured. But, unfortunately, testicular ultrasound scans are rarely performed at fertility clinics as the focus tends to be on sperm numbers and which method of assisted reproduction to use.

And testicular cancer is not the only threat to young infertile men’s health. Serious health problems, such as metabolic syndrome (high blood pressure, high blood sugar and obesity), type 2 diabetes and loss of bone mass are also much more common conditions among infertile men. These disorders are possible to prevent, but if left untreated often lead to premature death.

A possible culprit

At Lund University in Malmö, Sweden, we have – together with other research groups – made a number of studies focusing on the link between male fertility problems and subsequent risk of serious diseases. We cannot yet explain the causes, but testosterone deficiency is a strong candidate. My research team found that 30% of all men with impaired semen quality have low testosterone levels. And men totally lacking the hormone have early signs of diabetes and bone loss.

We recently conducted a study in which we investigated almost 4,000 men below the age of 50 and who had had their testosterone measured 25 years ago. We found that the risk of dying at a young age was doubled among those with low testosterone levels compared with men with normal levels of this hormone.

Although testosterone treatment may not necessarily be the best preventive measure, these findings makes it possible to identify men at high risk so that they can be advised about lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking – lifestyle changes that will help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

A relatively high proportion of men get in touch with their doctor about infertility problems and, as they represent a high-risk group for some of the most common diseases occurring later in life, perhaps it is time to change the routines for managing them. With the knowledge we now have regarding these men’s health, the least we can demand from doctors is to identify those who are at risk of serious diseases after they have become fathers. This is cheap and only requires simple tests. It is no longer enough to just evaluate the number of sperm.

 

Written by:  Aleksander Giwercman And Yvonne Lundberg Giwercman, The Conversation

Article Source: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-05-infertility-men-health-problems-life.html

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Jerking Off Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk By 33 Percent: Male Orgasm Flushes Out Harmful Toxins, Theory Says

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Many men know a healthy diet and lifestyle provides some protection against prostate cancer. Eating less red meat, animal fats, and dairy fats and adding more fruits and vegetables promote good health, but science suggests men can also give their prostate a helping hand, literally. A study published in European Urology found having sex or jerking off can lower the risk of prostate cancer via the male orgasm.

There’s a link between how much men masturbate and their likelihood of developing prostate cancer. A total of 21 orgasms a month, either by having lots of sex or jerking off, can reduce the risk of disease by 33 percent.

“These findings provide additional evidence of a beneficial role of more frequent ejaculation throughout adult life in the etiology of PCa [prostate cancer], particularly for low-risk disease,” wrote the researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in the study.

However, it remains unclear why having this many orgams per month is good for the prostate.

One theory is that ejaculation flushes out harmful toxins and bacteria in the prostate gland that could cause inflammation. The prostate works by providing a fluid into semen during ejaculation that activates sperm, and prevents them from sticking together. High concentrations of potassium, zinc, fructose, and citric acid are drawn from the bloodstream.

Previous research has shown carcinogens found in cigarette smoke, like 3-methylcholanthrene, are also found in the prostate. This means carcinogens can build up over time, especially if men ejaculate less, which is known as the prostatic stagnation hypothesis. In theory, the more a man “flushes out” the ducts, the fewer carcinogens that are likely to linger around and damage the cells that line them.

Another theory proposed is ejaculation can lead the prostate glands to mature fully, which makes them less susceptible to carcinogens.

Approximately 32,000 men were surveyed on their number of orgasms as researchers tracked  those who developed prostate cancer over the course of decades. The study was a 10-year follow-up on questions answered on ejaculation frequency in 1992 and followed through to 2010. Average monthly ejaculation frequency was assessed during three periods: age 20–29; age 40–49; and the year before the questionnaire was distributed.

The researchers concluded daily masturbation throughout adulthood had a protective effect against prostate cancer. These findings echo results from a 2008 Harvard study that found there was no increased risk of prostate cancer related to age of ejaculation, but benefits increased as men aged. Yet, other studies have found men experience a reduced risk of prostate cancer if they frequently masturbated during young adulthood.

Jerking off as an effective preventative measure for prostate cancer remains murky. These studies suggest there is a connection between the two, but its effects seem to fluctuate depending on a man’s age. This warrants further research to determine what age group can reap the most benefits from daily masturbation for prostate health.

Prostate cancer mainly affects men over 50, and risk increases with age. About six in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men older than 65, according to the American Cancer Society. Other risk factors include race, genetics, weight, physical activity, diet, height, and chemical exposure.

The exact causes of prostate cancer remain unknown, but sticking to a healthy diet and lifestyle could offer protection. Perhaps men who give themselves a helping hand in the bedroom can also improve their prostate health. After all, relaxing and reducing stress can help increase longevity, and decrease the onset of disease.

Source: Rider JR, Wilson KM, Sinnott JA et al. Ejaculation Frequency and Risk of Prostate Cancer: Updated Results with an Additional Decade of Follow-up. European Urology. 2016.

Written By Lizette Borreli 

Article Source: http://www.medicaldaily.com/jerking-cuts-prostate-cancer-risk-33-percent-male-orgasm-flushes-out-harmful-419783

 

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Dangerous Combinations

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Five things you need to know about food and drug interactions

You are diligent about taking your medication each day. But did you ever think that the bologna sandwich, grapefruit or glass of milk you have with it could be making your medicine less effective, or even dangerous? Read on for five facts you need to know about food and drug interactions.

1. Beware of grapefruit.

This popular breakfast fruit interacts with a variety of medications, including blood pressure medications, statins, HIV medications and organ transplant medications, says Charlie Twilley, Pharm.D., a pharmacist at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The culprits are furanocoumarins, compounds found in grapefruit that block the enzymes in the intestines responsible for breaking down these drugs. This can make the drugs more potent, and raise the level of drug in your bloodstream. If you are a big grapefruit fan, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out whether it is safe to eat with the medications you are taking.

2. Dairy diminishes antibiotics’ infection-fighting powers.

Twilley warns that the calcium in milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream and antacids can interact with tetracycline and the tetracycline group of antibiotics used to treat a number of bacterial infections. To make sure you are getting the full benefit of your antibiotic, take it one hour before, or two hours after you eat anything containing calcium.

3. Leafy greens cancel the effects of warfarin.

The vitamin K in spinach, collards, kale and broccoli can lessen the effectiveness of warfarin, a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots and stroke. The darker green the vegetable is, the more vitamin K it has. “You don’t want to eliminate leafy greens from your diet, because they do have many health benefits,” says Twilley. The key is to be consistent with the amount you eat. If you plan to drastically change the amount of these veggies in your diet, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first.

4. Beer, red wine and chocolate are dangerous to mix with some antidepressants.

These popular indulgences may be a nice way to relax in the evening, but they contain tyramine, a naturally occurring amino acid that can cause an unsafe spike in blood pressure when mixed with MAO inhibitors. Tyramine also is found in processed meat, avocados and some cheeses. “This is a significant, dangerous interaction,” says Twilley. If you take MAO inhibitors for depression, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before eating anything with tyramine. Alternative therapy may be considered.

5. Think before you crush medication in applesauce.

Many people who have trouble swallowing pills like to crush them up and mix them with applesauce or pudding. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist before you crush or take apart medication. “This method can dump too much of the drug into your system at once, or change the way the drug works,” says Twilley.

Also keep in mind that some medications are affected by whether or not you eat with them. Before you start any new drug, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about whether it is affected by food. “They can help you come up with a schedule that’s good for the drug and convenient for you,” says Twilley. Even over-the-counter medications and supplements can have food interactions.

Article Source: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/publications/jh_bayview_news/fall_2014/dangerous_combinations

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Shoulder blade (scapula) pain causes, symptoms, treatments, and exercises

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Shoulder blade pain can occur for numerous reasons, and we are going to look into those causes along with the symptoms, treatments, and exercises that can help improve shoulder blade pain.

The shoulder blades – known as the scapula – are two triangle-shaped bones located at the top of your back. The scapula is connected to the humerus (upper arm bone) and clavicle (collar bone) along with the muscles of the upper back, neck, and arms.

Shoulder blade pain can be experienced above, within, over, or under the shoulder blades, as well as in-between and below the shoulder blades. As mentioned, there are numerous reasons for shoulder blade pain ranging from mild causes like muscle strain to more severe like lung conditions or tumors.

Causes of shoulder blade pain

Below are 27 different causes of shoulder blade pain to help you narrow in on what may be causing your pain.

Muscle strains, muscle contusion (bruise): Overuse of the muscles surrounding the shoulder can result in shoulder blade pain. Other causes of muscle strain are changing workout routine, overusing the muscles, lifting heavier weight than what you are used to, or sleeping in one position for too long.

Disc disease: Compression of nerves in the neck due to a collapsed or displaced disc can result in shoulder blade pain. You may also experience pain in your neck, or tingling or numbness down your arms to your fingers.

Heart conditions: More commonly seen in women, shoulder pain can be sometimes a result of a heart condition. Heart attacks, pericarditis, or aortic dissection can cause pain in the left shoulder.

Fractures: It is quite difficult to fracture the scapula, but it is possible. Fractures of the scapula commonly occur as a result of a car accident or fall and can lead to shoulder blade pain.

Shingles: Shingles is an infection from the chickenpox virus. This type of shoulder blade pain is often a burning sensation followed by a rash.

Bone metastases: Bone metastases occur with the spread of a cancerous tumor. The shoulder pain is often a result of the spread of breast, lung, esophageal, and colon cancer.

Lung conditions and tumor: Lung conditions like pulmonary emboli or a collapsed lung along with lung tumors can contribute to shoulder blade pain.

Arthritis, osteoarthritis: Arthritis or osteoarthritis can affect the scapula causing shoulder blade pain.

Snapping scapula syndrome, broken scapula, scapular cancer: There are conditions that solely affect the scapula, such as snapping scapula syndrome, broken scapula, and scapular cancer, leading to pain.

Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a bone disease, which causes the bones to become thin and fragile. The scapula can be affected by osteoporosis resulting in pain.

Abdominal conditions (GERD, stomach disorders): Sometimes, a shoulder blade pain can result from stomach and digestive issues. This type of pain can occur in the right shoulder and is a result of gallstones, peptic ulcers, and liver disease. Ailments that lead to pain in the left shoulder blade include pancreatitis.

Gallbladder disease: A gallbladder attack can cause pain under the right scapula and the pain can radiate from the upper abdomen to the shoulder.

Liver disease: Liver disease can lead to pain under the right shoulder because the liver is located under the right rib so the pain radiates to the shoulder.

Overuse of shoulder muscles: As mentioned, the overuse of shoulder muscles, whether through exercise or work, can cause pain.

Sleeping the “wrong way”: Sleeping for prolonged periods of time on one side or simply sleeping at an odd angle can cause shoulder blade pain.

Nerve impingement: If your shoulder blade pain radiates down your arm it could be a result of nerve impingement. You may also experience a burning sensation in your hand.

Rotator cuff injury: This injury is most common among athletes and affects one of the four muscles of the rotator cuff.

Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, which can cause pain between the two shoulders.

Paget’s disease: Paget’s disease is a chronic viral infection of the bones which can cause shoulder blade pain.

Brachial neuritis: Brachial neuritis is a rare neurological condition without a precise cause. Symptoms of brachial neuritis include sudden, severe burning pain above the shoulder.

Whiplash: Whiplash is a strain or sprain of the upper neck muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Pain can begin at the neck and radiate downward.

Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is characterized by allover pain with unknown cause. Fibromyalgia patients are known to have tender points and shoulder blades are among those tender points.

Pleurisy: Pleurisy is inflammation of the lung membrane caused by a viral infection.

Enlarged spleen: An enlarged spleen can cause left shoulder blade pain, which can worsen when breathing in and out.

Frozen shoulder: Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is inflammation and thickening of the shoulder capsule, which wraps the shoulder joint. The condition can take years to heal, but can be aided in physiotherapy exercises.

Avascular necrosis: Avascular necrosis is bone death as a result of limited blood supply. Symptoms include deep, throbbing, and poorly localized pain around the shoulder that can radiate down to the elbow.

Symptoms of shoulder blade pain

The symptoms you experience depend on the cause of your shoulder pain. Pain can be sudden, chronic, temporary, burning, radiating from one area to another, and appearing in different parts of the shoulder. Shoulder blade pain can also cause numbness or tingling, and pain can become worsened when lying on the shoulder or breathing.

Another symptom of shoulder blade pain is crepitus, which is a grating sound when the shoulder moves or when it is pressed.

Pain under right shoulder blade

Pain under the right shoulder can have minor or severe causes. Causes which typically result in pain under the right shoulder include using a computer mouse, carrying a child on the right side, incorrect posture, sleep positions, heart attack, gallbladder attack, liver disease, breast cancer, and arthritis.

Pain under left shoulder blade

Common causes of pain under the left shoulder blade include injury, aging, wrong sleeping position, cold or flu, dislocation, frozen shoulder, fracture, bursitis, torn rotator cuff, compressed nerve, trigger points, inflammation, heart attack, gallbladder attacks, and pneumonia.

Pain between the shoulder blades

Common causes of shoulder blade pain experienced in-between the shoulders are poor posture, herniated discs, gallbladder disease, heart attack, inflammation under the diaphragm, spinal stenosis, cervical spondylosis, osteoarthritis, and facet joint syndrome.

Shoulder blade pain diagnosis and treatment options

If shoulder pain does not go away within a few days, you should see your doctor as it could be an indication of a more serious injury or ailment. Your doctor will perform MRI scans in order to see what is going on with your shoulder to determine if medical intervention is required or home remedies will suffice.

Some treatment options for shoulder blade pain include stopping the pain-causing activity and resting, keeping proper posture, practicing scapular retraction exercises, applying cold and hot compresses, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, practicing acupuncture, wearing a sling, getting massages, taking medications like painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications, getting treatment for underlying illnesses like heart or lung conditions, arthritis, and other infections, which could contribute to shoulder blade pain.

Stretches for shoulder blade pain

Here are some tips, stretches, and exercises you can perform in order to help shoulder blade pain.

Improve your work station: Ensure feet are flat on the ground and knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, back is straight, arms are bent at the elbow at 90 degrees, monitor is at eye level, and your mouse is close to your keyboard.

Correct your posture: Ear, shoulder, and hip joint should be aligned when sitting with good posture. Shoulders should not be slouched and your head should not be tilted.

Massage the area: Lay your shoulder on the massage ball and roll on it with the weight of your body.

Stretch the shoulders: Intertwine your fingers together, lean back, and hunch your upper body as far back as possible, push your hands as far away from you as possible, while looking down. In this position, you can move around to feel other areas of the upper back become stretched.

Stretch the thoracic spine: Have a foam roller underneath your shoulders and lay on it. Keep your ribs downward, but don’t arch your back too much. Keep your hands behind your head in order to support it. Roll gently on the roller.

Do a chest stretch: Stand in the middle of a doorway with each hand forward flat on the side of the door frame. Gently lean into the door frame and feel your chest opening up.

Strengthen postural muscles: Stand up against a wall with your back touching. Have your arms bent at the elbow, hands facing up, palms outward (you should look like a W). Lift your hands above the head to make yourself into the letter I, hold, and return back to the W.

After completing any type of exercise, apply heat packs to the area to further relax the muscle.

Written By:  Emily Lunardo

Article Source: http://www.belmarrahealth.com/shoulder-blade-scapula-pain-causes-symptoms-treatments-and-exercises/

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Porn Use Linked to Erectile Dysfunction

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Men who are obsessed with pornography and prefer masturbation to sexual intercourse appear to be at increased risk for erectile dysfunction, a new study suggests.

Although these results need validation, urologists and other clinicians who treat men with erectile dysfunction and other forms of sexual dysfunction should ask patients about their use of pornography, and potentially recommend abstention, said Matthew Christman, MD, a urologist at the Naval Medical Center San Diego, California.

“The latest version of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has added internet gaming disorder. Internet porn has been shown in studies to be more addictive than internet gaming,” so it doesn’t seem to be much of a stretch to add something related to internet pornography use, said Dr Christman at a press briefing here at the American Urological Association (AUA) 2017 Annual Meeting.

A 2014 US armed forces health surveillance survey found that rates of erectile dysfunction had more than doubled during the preceding decade, from about 6 per 1000 person-years to about 13 per 1000 person-years, he reported. This increase was primarily accounted for by an increase in the incidence of psychogenic, rather than organic, erectile dysfunction, and coincided with the growth of pornography on the internet.

Web sites dedicated to pornography videos were first identified in 2006, “and soon after that, Kinsey Institute researchers became the first group to really identify what they describe as ‘pornography-induced erectile dysfunction,’ ” said Dr Christman.

Various research groups have postulated that sexual behavior acts on the same circuitry in the brain as addictive substances, and that internet pornography is a particularly strong stimulus of that circuitry. It is postulated that internet pornography increases sensitivity to pornographic cues and decreases sensitivity to normal stimuli, he explained.

Probably not a shocker, but men viewed pornography more than women. Dr Matthew Christman

 

To see whether there is a correlation between addiction to pornography and sexual dysfunction, Dr Christman and coauthor Jonathan Berger, MD, also from the Naval Medical Center San Diego, used an anonymous survey that included questions about sexual function, preferences, and pornography use, as well as the usual demographic and medical history questions.

The survey was offered to 20- to 40-year-old patients who presented to their urology clinic.

A total of 439 men received questionnaires, and 314 (71.5%) responded. In all, 71 women were given the surveys, and 48 (68%) responded. The majority of both male and female responders were active-duty military (96.8% and 58%, respectively).

Men were evaluated for sexual function with the International Index of Erectile Function 15-item questionnaire, and women with the validated Female Sexual Function Index. Addiction to pornography was measured by two validated instruments: the Pornography Craving Questionnaire and the Obsessive Passion Scale.

“Probably not a shocker, but men viewed pornography more than women,” Dr Christman said.

Among men, 81% reported viewing pornography at least some of the time compared with 38% of women (P ≤ .001)

There were no significant differences in the duration of pornography episodes, with the majority of both men and women reporting they used it for 15 minutes or less at a time.

Preferred sources for pornography were also similar for men and women, with internet porn on computers being the most common, followed by internet porn on telephones. Women reported using books more frequently than men.

In all, 27% of male respondents had sexual dysfunction, as defined by an International Index of Erectile Function score of 25 or less, and 52% of females had sexual dysfunction, as defined by a Female Sexual Function Index score of 26.55 or less.

When they looked at correlations between erectile dysfunction and preferences for pornography in men, the investigators found that the rate of dysfunction was lowest among the 85% of respondents who reported preferring intercourse without pornography (22%). The incidence of dysfunction increased in men who preferred intercourse with pornography (31%), and was highest among men who preferred masturbation with pornography (79%).

The finding was consistent across all five domains of the sexual dysfunction questionnaire: erection, orgasm, libido, intercourse satisfaction, and overall satisfaction.

There were no significant correlations between pornography use and sexual dysfunction in women, however.

Asked by Medscape Medical News whether a patient’s use of pornography mattered clinically, Dr Christman replied that mental health providers at his center who have treated patients for pornography addiction have observed resolution of sexual dysfunction once those patients were able to curtail their pornography use.

I think these investigators are characterizing something that is a real clinical entity.Dr Joseph Alukal

“I think these investigators are characterizing something that is a real clinical entity,” said Joseph Alukal, MD, director of male reproductive health at New York University in New York City and moderator of the briefing in which the data were presented.

“This research represents a beginning to asking this question of how we identify these people and treat them,” he added.

“The clinical impact of erectile dysfunction is a common problem and a burdensome problem, so if this represents some subset of patients who have this common and burdensome problem, and we can treat them with an intervention as simple as ‘you should doing behavior X,’ that’s important,” he said in an interview with Medscape Medical News.

He routinely asks younger patients about pornography use and masturbation habits, and can confirm that for patients with a serious pornography habit, discontinuation can improve their sexual function, he said.

The study was internally supported. Dr Christman, Dr Berger, and Dr Alukal have disclosed no relevant financial relationships. Dr Christman stated that the views expressed in the presentation are those of the authors and do not reflect official policy or position of the US Navy, Department of Defense, or US government.

American Urological Association (AUA) 2017 Annual Meeting: Abstracts PD44-11 and PD69-12, Presented in a briefing May 12, 2017.

Written By: Neil Osterweil

Article Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/879982#vp_1

 

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Surprising Dangers of Elevated Uric Acid

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Elevated levels of uric acid are associated with gout, an excruciating form of arthritis.

More recent evidence demonstrates powerful correlations between high uric acid levels and some of the most deadly conditions of our time, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney failure, and cardiovascular disorders.1-5

In 2016-2017, a group of studies appeared linking uric acid elevations to bipolar disorder.6-9

Many people don’t realize that it is possible to have high uric acid without having gout. About 21% of Americans have elevated levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia), but only 4% suffer from gout.10

A 2016 study highlighted a natural plant extract, called Terminalia bellerica, that can effectively lower uric acid blood levels without the side effects associated with prescription drugs.11

Let’s look at how lowering uric acid blood levels is an important step not only in addressing gout, but also in helping prevent life-shortening diseases.11

Terminalia Bellerica Lowers Uric Acid

Terminalia bellerica is a tree native to lower elevations in Southeast Asia, whose fruit has been used for centuries in Indian traditional medicine to treat a variety of diseases, particularly diabetes.12

In 2011, a component of the T. bellerica fruit rind, gallic acid, was shown to promote antidiabetic activity in a study of diabetic rats.12 In that study, the extract lowered blood sugar levels, and, in a surprising finding, the animals’ pancreases showed regeneration of their insulin-producing islet cells.

Additional beneficial effects noted in that study included reductions in serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, urea, creatinine (a measure of kidney dysfunction when elevated)—and also uric acid.12

Other studies have shown that T. bellerica has protective properties against oxidative stress, which in turn are thought to directly inhibit the action of an enzyme involved in the synthesis of uric acid.11,13

Human Studies

These findings in diabetic rats led a group of Indian researchers to perform a randomized, controlled clinical trial to determine the efficacy and tolerability of a standardized extract of T. bellerica at lowering uric acid levels in humans.11

For the study, 110 people with elevated uric acid received one of the following: a placebo, 40 mg daily of the uric-acid lowering drug febuxostat, 500 mg of T. chebula extract twice daily, or either 250 mg or 500 mg of T. bellerica standardized extracts twice daily.

After 24 weeks, the uric acid levels in the placebo recipients had risen significantly compared to baseline levels. In contrast, all non-placebo groups showed a reduction in uric acid levels compared to baseline and to placebo subjects.11

The most effective dose of T. bellerica was at 500 mg twice daily, which reduced uric acid levels by nearly twice as much as the lower dose.

And while the T. bellerica treatment was only about 60% as effective as the prescription drug febuxostat at reducing uric acid levels, it achieved these results without the side effects associated with this drug,11 which include liver function abnormalities, rash, nausea, and joint pain.14

Because the other common uric acid-lowering drug, allopurinol, also carries a wide range of side effects—including a potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity syndrome15T. bellerica supplementation offers a leap forward in safely lowering high uric acid levels while reducing risks of the conditions associated with them.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The Dangers of High Uric Acid

  • Uric acid, a byproduct of normal cell growth and turnover, builds up in our bloodstreams as we age, and is exacerbated by the modern American diet.

  • While initially associated with gout, rising uric acid levels are now associated with many dangerous, lifespan-shortening conditions including cardiovascular and kidney disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.

  • While all of these conditions are proving challenging to treat using modern mainstream medicine, most are proving amenable to prevention with natural compounds.

  • Terminalia bellerica is an Asian tree whose fruit contains valuable bioactive compounds long used in Indian traditional medicine.

  • Extracts of T. bellerica have now been shown to safely and effectively reduce uric acid in humans.

  • Given the anticipated benefits of across-the-board uric acid reduction, these findings make T. bellerica extracts an essential part of any disease-preventing strategy.

Why is it Important to Lower Uric Acid Levels?

Our bodies naturally produce uric acid when we break down and recycle the molecules that constitute DNA and RNA. An enzyme called xanthine oxidase is responsible for conversion of those compounds into uric acid, which is then normally excreted in the urine.

But age-related declines in kidney function lead to impaired excretion and gradual buildup of uric acid in the blood, accounting for the elevated serum uric acid levels in up to 25% of adults.16

Making matters worse, a diet rich in red meats and sugars, especially fructose—in other words, the typical American diet—can sharply increase uric acid production, further exacerbating the problem.17,18 In fact, gout has historically been called “the disease of kings” because of its association with rich diets.19

While gout was the original disorder associated with high uric acid, more recent evidence reveals that it is associated with conditions that are far worse.

Uric acid blood levels above 8.6 mg/dL in men or 7.1 mg/dL in women are classified as hyperuricemia (although some laboratories and research groups use different limits).20,21 High uric acid levels have now been found to be significantly associated with risks for:

  • Decreasing kidney function22
  • Chronic low-level inflammation, itself a major risk factor for many chronic disorders23
  • Metabolic syndrome18,24,25
  • Type II diabetes26-28
  • A wide array of cardiovascular risks, including elevated blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, and risk of death from heart attacks and strokes.1,29-35

TABLE: Risk Elevations Associated with High Uric Acid Levels

Condition Risk Increase With Elevated Uric Acid
Kidney failure 7% per 1 mg/dL increase22
Chronic inflammation as measured by hs-CRP 52%23
Metabolic syndrome 410%25
Diabetes 18% per 1 mg/dL increase26
Unstable lipid-rich arterial plaques 143%36
Prehypertension 44%34
Atrial fibrillation (cardiac arrhythmia) 67%35
Heart muscle enlargement 96% in highest vs. lowest uric acid levels;
26% increase per 1 mg/dL elevation of uric acid31
In-Hospital death from heart attack 432%32
Major adverse cardiac event (death,
congestive heart failure, repeat heart attack, stroke)
184%33

 

The Table above shows elevations in risks associated with high uric acid levels in blood.

If recent findings are any indication, these conditions may represent only the tip of the uric acid iceberg.

For example, in 2016 and 2017, a group of Italian researchers published several papers demonstrating that elevated uric acid levels play a role in bipolar disorder,6-8 while a 2015 study related high uric acid with depression in adolescents.37

Several drugs can be effective for many cases of major depression. Yet very few drugs are helpful with bipolar disorder, a condition that’s possibly even more heartbreaking than depression.

Together, the evidence that uric acid plays a major role in so many human disorders presents an opportunity for intervention with a safe, effective, plant extract, T. bellerica.

Summary

Levels of uric acid rise with age, exacerbated by declining kidney function and our meat- and sugar-rich diets.

Formerly associated mostly with painful gout, we now know that uric acid elevations threaten millions more people with elevated risks for kidney disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and a wide range of cardiovascular disorders.

Exciting research has revealed the potent uric acid-lowering effect of extracts from the fruits of the Terminalia bellerica tree, a South Asian shade tree long used in traditional medicine.

These findings suggest one more natural way to combat the risks of so many age-related disorders—and they make T. bellerica an important weapon in our arsenal against premature aging and death.

 

References

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Article By:By Stephen Curtis

Article Source: http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2017/7/Surprising-Facts-About-Uric-Acid/Page-01?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=normal

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