3502 Scotts Lane, Bldg 17,
Phila PA, 19129
P: 267-338-9455

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Autopsy Confirms Heart Attack Killed "Sopranos" Star

"Ummm. Don't we realize that 51 years old is young? I thought we were 50 & fly! Yet, we still die so young. I mean like: do we aspire to be great-great grandparents? Or, are we content with suicide-by-lifestyle, thus we never get to meet our grands & great grands & great great grands. We always make excuses for why we cant eat healthy or workout. But, aren't we really cheating our descendants out of their history?"
 - From Infinity Health and Wellness Owner, Cheryl Tyler

ROME, June 21 (Reuters) - An autopsy on the body of James Gandolfini, star of the U.S. Emmy-winning series "The Sopranos," confirmed on Friday that he died of a heart attack, a hospital source said.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said Gandolfini's death late on Wednesday in a Rome hotel was the result of "natural causes, a heart attack".

Gandolfini, 51, whose performance as Tony Soprano made him a household name and help usher in a new era of American television drama, was vacationing in Rome and had been scheduled to attend the closing of the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily on Saturday.

The actor's 13-year-old son, Michael, found him collapsed in the bathroom of his Rome hotel room, Gandolfini's manager, Mark Armstrong, said in an email.

Doctors at the Italian capital's Umberto I hospital were due to announce the autopsy findings later on Friday after officially informing the U.S. embassy and family members, the hospital source said.

Claudio Modini, the emergency room chief, told Reuters on Thursday that doctors had tried to resuscitate Gandolfini for 40 minutes when he arrived at the hospital before declaring him dead.

(Reporting By Steve Scherer and Antonio Denti, writing by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, June 16, 2013

EZ Detect - Testing Your Colon at Home

Colon (colorectal) cancer, often called the "silent killer" ranks as the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Colon cancer affects both men and women about equally and kills more people annually than either breast cancer or prostate cancer.

Some reasons: neglect, lack of awareness, lack of media attention, embarrassment, the "yuck" factor, too few people taking an active role in monitoring their own health to prevent this disease.

Whatever the reason, the good news is that no one has to die from colon cancer. With over a 90 percent cure rate caught early enough, colon cancer is preventable and treatable. Early detection through screening is the key.

Colon cancer deaths could be nearly eliminated if most people learn the basics, talk to their family and physicians about it, and take action to prevent it. Unfortunately, as recent government surveys and studies show, less than 40% of people who should be screened have been screened. Respondents age 50 and over to a recent survey on this site said only 51% of their doctors discussed colon cancer screening with them.

Buy it Here on Amazon!

Labels: , , ,

The Many Incredible Health Benefits of Coffee Enemas

Thursday, June 13, 2013 by: Dr. David Jockers

(NaturalNews) A common saying in natural health is that "Death begins in the colon." Enemas have been a key tool to cleanse the colon by many cultures all around the world throughout history. Organic coffee beans were originally cultivated and used as a powerful liver cleanser by native American tribes. There are many incredible health benefits of doing coffee enemas.

The ancient Egyptians, Hindus, Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Sumerians have all used colon cleansing techniques such as enemas to improve their health. The ancient dead sea scrolls which are said to have been written during Jesus day detail the importance of regular enemas for good health as well.

In the U.S., up until the 20th Century, enemas were known to be one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle. The famed Dr. Kellogg reported to the Journal of American Medicine in 1917 that in over 40,000 cases of individuals with gastrointestinal disease he had seen remarkable results using a regimen of diet, exercises and enemas.

Digestive health in the 21st century

Life in the 21st century is extremely challenging to our liver and colon. We are inundated with chlorinated and fluoridated water, chemicals everywhere and antibiotics in everything. Processed foods have very slow transit time and they very often will stick to the sides of the gut and become encased in a mucoid plaque creating toxic ridges in the colon. These ridges are incredibly tough to remove and they limit the amount of feces moving through the bowel and provide an optimal environment for parasites to thrive.

When food sits in the colon it rots and putrefies and releases toxins into the bloodstream that make their way to the liver. The liver does its best to cleanse and purify the bloodstream but when the gut continues to release toxins it creates an excessive burden on the body. This eventually leads to a state of disease as the body is accumulating more toxins than it can remove.

The benefit of colon therapies and enemas

Colon therapies and enemas help to remove the toxic mucoid plaque around the colon walls and the elimination of parasites in the gut. They also facilitate better gut mobility and the frequency of healthy bowel movements.

Coffee enemas give an added benefit over typical water-based colonic therapies by stimulating the liver to produce greater amounts of glutathione. Glutathione is the body's master anti-oxidant and helps protect the intracellular DNA and eliminate toxins from within the cells. Studies have found that green coffee bean increased glutathione production in the liver by 600 percent and by 700 percent in the small intestine. The enema is the most potent way to gain these powerful effects because the enzymes of the digestive tract do not interact with the nutrients before they reach the liver.

Coffee enemas are known to help individuals with gallstones and cholecystis, liver problems, digestive problems, low energy, auto-immune diseases and cancer. They are used in almost every natural health retreat center around the world for their remarkable ability to cleanse and detoxify in a short period of time.

Individuals with chronic disease often do up to four coffee enemas a day while those who want to live a healthy lifestyle are encouraged to at least do this weekly to reset the colon and filter out any toxic debris that has been stagnant over the course of the week.

Labels: , , , , ,

Prevent Breast Cancer by Any Greens Necessary

June 13, 2013 by Michael Greger M.D.

Recently a study of 50,000 African-American women was published, a sadly neglected demographic when it comes to nutritional science and, in fact, medical research generally. Certain African populations were among the healthiest on earth, inspiring one of America’s lifestyle medicine pioneers Nathan Pritikin. Sadly, African-Americans currently suffer disproportionately from chronic diseases. The good news is that many of the diseases—such as high blood pressure and diabetes—can be prevented, stopped, and even reversed with a healthy plant-based diet.

The Black Women’s Health Study investigated fruit and vegetable intake in relation to risk of breast cancer. Those who listened to mom and ate their veggies had a significantly lower risk of the most difficult type of breast cancer to treat (estrogen-receptor negative). Were any plants found particularly protective?

Which was associated with lowest breast cancer risk in African-American women? Apples, bananas, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, grapefruit, oranges, spinach, tomatoes, or sweet potatoes? Check out my 3-min. video Preventing Breast Cancer By Any Greens Necessary to find out the answer.

For more on breast cancer prevention and diet, see my posts from last week Mushrooms For Breast Cancer Prevention and Why Less Breast Cancer in Asia?

More on broccoli and breast cancer:

  • DNA Protection From Broccoli
  • Broccoli Versus Breast Cancer Stem Cells
  • Sulforaphane From Broccoli to Breast

More on carrots in:

  • Benzene in Carrot Juice
  • Crop Nutrient Decline
  • Best Cooking Method

More on collards in:

  • Eating Green to Prevent Cancer
  • Prevent Glaucoma and See 27 Miles Farther
  • Egg Industry Blind Spot

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Colon Hydrotherapy for Cancer

Colonic Hydrotherapy, also known as Colonic Irrigation, is a natural way to aid health and feel clean and balanced. Colon therapy has been used for centuries by European, Middle Eastern, and Far Eastern people for personal purification, health, and religious pursuits. Today, it is being used in alternative and naturopathic therapies for cancer treatment, candida and constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and to ease labor and childbirth.

Benefits of Colon Hydrotherapy for Cancer
Colonic Hydrotherapy is especially useful in treating cancer patients. Colonics improve circulatory functions, stimulate the immune system, remove toxic waste, stimulate appetite, eliminate headaches, and boost energy.
When we eat a nutritionally deficient diet, the unused waste stagnates in the colon and the body absorbs these toxins. The organs in the body responsible for purification, such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin, work overtime trying to purge the waste. This can result in a variety of illnesses.
Removing carcinogenic toxins from the body and boosting the immune system are paramount during illness, especially cancer. With cancer, large tumors can break and cause necrotic areas, formed of dead tissue. Since the body expels these toxic byproducts through the colon, it’s vital to keep the colon flushed out with a cleansing colonic irrigation.
If a patient is weakened from the disease, frequent colonics help relieve the colon’s toxic burden during the patient’s healing process. But remember, colonic hydrotherapy is not a cure, nor should it be the only treatment for cancer. With a disease as serious as cancer, concurrent care under a physician is advisable.

Why Use Colonics for Cancer?
The American diet—full of processed foods, saturated fats, salt, bleached bread, additives, and artificial colors—leaves the colon clogged and stressed. Undigested food in the colon can ferment and putrefy, encouraging bacteria and toxins. Add to that a habitual lack of exercise and not drinking enough water and the result is constipation or diarrhea.
Colon Hydrotherapy releases congestion in the bowel, encourages beneficial intestinal flora, and detoxifies the body to improve overall health. After a colonic, people report feeling lighter in body and spirit, clean, clear headed, healthy, and even euphoric. Other benefits of colonics include less headaches, better mental clarity, better weight management, and relief from abdominal cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergies.
The colonic procedure involves insertion of a disposable speculum connected to a hose into the rectum and the release of a solution, usually made of warm water or water and baking soda, to flush out the intestinal tract and upper bowel. The colon is flushed repeatedly to gently loosen fecal matter and flush away toxins.

Colonics for Cancer Prevention
Colonic Hydrotherapy can also be used as a preventative measure for cancers of the colon, liver, and digestive system, as well as for general health. When we normally move our bowels, we do not entirely empty the colon and material is left behind. A colonic flushes away what is left over, cleaning the body of waste and toxins that can build up and promote the growth of cancer cells.
Along with a healthy diet and exercise program, regular colonics are part of a proactive plan to ward off disease and promote well-being. A generally healthy person can undergo a colonic once every few months to maintain good health.

Home Colonic Kits
Many naturopathic companies sell home colonic kits for patients who prefer privacy but also want the benefits of a colonic. The kits typically use a sodium phosphate solution and come with pre-lubricated nozzles for gentle insertion. The bags and the tubing are disposable, or, if properly cleaned and used by a single person, can be used for several sessions. While home colonics are effective and affordable, receiving a professional colon hydrotherapy session will provide the best results. Most professional colon hydrotherapy equipment includes pressure gauges, closed water flow systems, and back flow prevention systems to provide a more comfortable experience.

Choosing Colonics Over Enemas
To achieve the most benefit, choose Colon Hydrotherapy over a simple enema. An enema is only able to cleanse the lower bowel, while a Colonic cleans the entire bowel and gastrointestinal tract. This treatment has been shown to improve the health of liver cancer patients specifically.

Colonics and Fasting
In some colon hydrotherapy treatments, before a Colonic is performed the patient fasts with no food and only liquids, such as water, fruit juice, and vegetable broth. The fasting and the Colonic are part of an overall regimen to cleanse the body and boost the immune system. Fasting assists the body in detoxifying more effectively.

Risks to Colonics
Except in the State of Florida, practitioners of Colon Hydrotherapy are not required to have a license to practice. While the FDA requires the legal sale of Colonic Irrigation systems only for medically necessary colon cleansing (such as before an endoscopic exam), it has not approved any colon cleansing system for use on patients who are well.
Any kind of medical treatment carries some risk. In rare cases, colonics performed with unsanitary materials can introduce bacteria and disease. Colonics, which soften the stool, can result in seepage from the anus, causing soiled clothes and embarrassment. Habitual overuse of colonics can cause irritation in the rectum, bleeding, infections, tears, electrolyte imbalance, and even constipation. Always seek an experienced Colon Hydrotherapist for your treatment.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mushrooms For Breast Cancer Prevention

June 6, 2013 by Michael Greger M.D.

Breast cancer can take decades to develop, so “early” detection via mammogram may be too late. The breast cancer you may feel one day as a lump in the shower, may have started 20 years ago.  We now suspect that all the epithelial cancers: breast, colon, lung, pancreas, prostate, ovarian—the ones that cause the vast majority of cancer deaths—take up to 20 years or more to manifest. By the time it’s picked up it may have already been growing, maturing, scheming for years, acquiring hundreds of new survival-of-the-fittest mutations to grow even quicker and better undermine our immune system. Early detection may in effect be really, really late detection.

People are considered “healthy” until they show symptoms, so if we’ve been harboring a malignancy for 20 years we may feel all right, but we haven’t been. Thus, many people who do the right thing and improve their diet in hopes of preventing cancer may, at that very moment, be treating it as well. In this way, cancer prevention and treatment may sometimes be the same thing.

What new developments are there are in the battle against breast cancer? Well, most breast tumors are estrogen receptor positive, meaning they respond to estrogen; estrogen makes them grow. The problem for tumors in postmenopausal women is that there isn’t much estrogen around—unless of course you take it in a drug like Premarin (so-named because it’s made from pregnant mare urine). Premarin appears to increase the risk of breast cancer (as well as strokes, heart attacks, and blood clots). Unfortunately, the plant-based bioidentical hormone replacement therapies don’t appear any safer (see my 4-min. video Plant-Based Bioidentical Hormones).

Thankfully millions of women stopped taking Premarin in 2002, and we saw a nice dip in breast cancer rates. Unfortunately, those rates have since stagnated. Hundreds of thousands of American women continue to get the dreaded diagnosis every year. So what next?

Well, with no estrogen around, many breast tumors devise a nefarious plan—they’ll just make their own! Seventy percent of breast cancer cells synthesize estrogen themselves using an enzyme called aromatase. In response, drug companies have produced a number of aromatase inhibitor drugs that are used as chemotherapy agents. Of course by the time you’re on chemo it can be too late, so researchers started screening hundreds of natural dietary components in hopes of finding something that targets this enzyme.

To do this you need a lot of human tissue. Where are you going to get it from? To study skin, for example, researchers use discarded human foreskins from circumcision. They’re just being thrown away–might as well use them! Where are you going to get discarded female tissue? Placentas. They got a bunch of women to donate their placentas after giving birth to further this critical line of research.

After years of searching, they found seven vegetables with significant anti-aromatase activity. You can see the graph in my video Vegetables Versus Breast Cancer. Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, celery, green onions, and spinach dropped aromatase activity by about 20%, but mushrooms forced down the estrogen-producing enzyme more than 60%.

Labels: , , , , ,

How to Promote Healthy Bowel Movements

Posted By Dr. Ben Kim

To have healthy bowel movements, it's essential that you support colon and rectal health with all of your daily choices. Keeping these areas clean and healthy provides the following benefits:

  1. A lowered risk of developing colorectal cancer, one of the most common types of cancer in industrialized countries.
  2. A lowered risk of experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, and chronic diarrhea.
  3. A lowered risk of developing hemorrhoids.
  4. Less gas production.
  5. More efficient absorption of water and minerals.
  6. A feeling of lightness, comfort, and well-being in your abdominal region.

Before we discuss specific choices that you can make to keep your colorectal region healthy and to have comfortable bowel movements, let's review some basic anatomy and physiology of this area.

Your colon and rectum are collectively referred to as your large intestine, which is the last part of your digestive tract.

A Journey Through Your Large Intestine
After food passes through your stomach and small intestine, the remaining material, mostly waste products in liquid form, move on to the your colon, which is the first part of your large intestine.

Your colon is approximately six feet long and serves primarily to dehydrate liquid waste material.

Your colon begins at the lower right hand corner of your abdomen, where it's called your cecum. Attached to your cecum is a twisted, worm-shaped tube called your appendix.

From your cecum, your colon travels up the right side of your abdomen, where it's called your ascending colon. When it reaches your lower right ribs (just below your liver), it turns to travel across your abdomen to just below your lower left ribs; here, it's called your transverse colon.

Just below your lower left ribs, it makes another turn and travels down the left side of your abdomen - this portion is called your descending colon.

Your colon then makes one last turn toward the middle of your lower abdomen, forming an "S" shaped segment that's called your sigmoid colon.

Your sigmoid colon empties waste materials into your rectum, which is like a storage pouch that retains your feces until contractions in your large intestine stimulate a bowel movement.

To understand how to keep your colorectal region clean and healthy, let's go over a few key details on how your large intestine works.

Large Intestine Physiology
Movement of Waste Material
After you eat a substantial meal, your stomach expands enough to trigger a reflex that causes a contractile wave (called a peristaltic wave) to travel through your small intestine and push any liquid waste material (chyme) that is sitting in the last part of your small intestine into your large intestine.

Once enough liquid waste material accumulates in your cecum (the first part of your large intestine), the waste material begins to move up your ascending colon.

Movement of waste material through your colon is facilitated by something called "haustral churning." Your colon is divided along its length into small pouches called haustra. When a haustrum is filled with substantial waste material, its muscular walls contract and push the waste material into the next haustrum. The contractile reflex that allows haustral churning is regulated by your enteric nervous system, which is a division of your autonomic nervous system.
Your autonomic nervous system is regulated involuntarily (without regular conscious input on your part), and is intertwined with your emotional health. This is why bowel movements and colon health are intricately tied to emotional states like feeling calm or anxious.
On average, your colon experiences anywhere from three to twelve moderate waves of contractions every minute. After every substantial meal, your colon experiences a much larger contractile wave, called "mass peristalsis." Mass peristalsis serves to push waste materials from your transverse colon all the way to your rectum. In most people, mass peristalsis occurs about three times a day.

Water and Nutrient Absorption
The mucosal lining of your large intestine is lined with tiny pits that open into long, tube-like intestinal glands; these glands are lined with specialized cells that absorb water, and other specialized cells (goblet cells) that release mucous into your large intestine to lubricate your stools and to protect the lining of your large intestine against acidic substances and potentially harmful gases.

The specialized cells that absorb water from your waste materials are responsible for about 10 percent of the water that you absorb from the foods and beverages that you ingest; the remaining 90 percent is absorbed by cells that line your small intestine.

This 10 percent of water absorption in your large intestine amounts to anywhere between a pint and a quart of water, and represents a significant portion of your body's daily intake of water. As water is absorbed from the waste material in your colon, so are some nutrients, mainly minerals like sodium and chloride.

It takes anywhere between three to ten hours for your large intestine to absorb enough water from waste material to turn it into solid or partially solid stools. Your stools consist mainly of water, mucous, fiber, old cells from your intestinal lining, millions of microorganisms, and small amounts of inorganic salts.

When your rectal pouch is distended with enough feces to trigger a contractile reflex, your feces are pushed out through your anus. When you consciously contract your abdominal wall, your diaphragm moves downward and helps open up muscles that line your anal sphincter.

Your rectum is lined with three horizontal folds, called your rectal valves; these valves are what prevent stools from passing through your anal sphincter when you pass gas.

If you choose not to release stools when you experience the urge to do so, your reflex contractions may stop, in which case you likely won't have a significant bowel movement until the next mass peristalsis occurs.

Diarrhea and Constipation Explained
When waste material travels through your digestive tract too quickly for sufficient water absorption to occur, your stools will be runny and more frequent than normal.

Three main causes of diarrhea are:

  • Undesirable microorganisms
  • Food intolerances (like lactose intolerance)
  • Stress

In the first two cases listed above, it makes sense that your body would want things to move quickly through your system; your body doesn't want to spend time digesting foods that it can't properly extract nutrients from or that are laced with disease-causing microbes.

Stress can cause transit time to shorten by messing with your enteric nervous system; please recall that your enteric nervous system controls the reflex contractions that mark "haustral churning." Your enteric nervous system is a part of your autonomic nervous system, and your autonomic nervous system regulates your physiological responses to emotional and physical stress.

When waste material travels through your colon more slowly than it should, enough water is extracted from your waste material to cause your stools to become uncomfortably hard.

Five main causes of constipation are:

  • Eating sporadically, or eating meals that are too small to elicit mass peristalsis.
  • Not going when you feel an urge to go.
  • Lack of a healthy intestinal lining that is capable of producing enough mucous to properly lubricate your stools (vitamin A deficiency is a potential cause of this situation).
  • Insufficient intake of water, water-rich foods, and/or fiber-rich foods.
  • Stress.

Steps You Can Take To Have Healthy Bowel Movements
Eat substantial meals; don't nibble on small amounts throughout the day.
Each time you eat a substantial meal, you stimulate stretch receptors in your stomach that are responsible for triggering normal and mass peristaltic waves throughout your small and large intestines. These natural contractile waves promote regular movement of waste material through your colon and rectum.

Also, eating substantial meals allows significant boluses (roundish masses) of waste materials to travel together through your colon, turn into well formed stools, and get eliminated from your body in an efficient manner.

Don't suppress the desire to go.
If you regularly suppress the urge to have a bowel movement, waste materials spend more time than is optimal in your colon, causing excessive dehydration of these materials and formation of hard stools.

Avoid anal intercourse if possible.
Your anus is designed to be an exit, and your anal sphincter is not naturally inclined to comfortably allow external objects to enter your rectal pouch. Your anal sphincter is designed to stretch to allow passing of stools when your rectal pouch accumulates enough waste materials to illicit contraction of its walls.

Repeated anal intercourse can lead to a loss in anal sphincter tone, which may lead to incontinence issues, if not now, then in the future.

Repeated anal intercourse can also lead to regular injury of the mucosal lining in your rectal pouch, anal canal, and in some cases, the distal region of your sigmoid colon. Repeated injury and healing of these areas may increase your risk of developing polyps, which can increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer.

Ensure adequate intake of water and/or water-rich foods.
Water helps to move waste materials along, and is absorbed throughout the entire length of your colon. Insufficient water intake can cause stools to form far before waste materials reach your rectal pouch, which can cause constipation.

This doesn't necessarily mean that you need to drink several glasses of water per day. If you eat plenty of water-rich plant foods, then you can rely on your sense of thirst to dictate how much water to drink. 

Eat fiber-rich foods regularly.
Fiber adds bulk to the boluses of waste material that travel through your large intestine, and this bulk is essential to your colon's ability to turn waste materials into well formed stools.

A diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains ensures high fiber intake.

Ensure optimal vitamin D status.
Optimal vitamin D status significantly lowers your risk of developing all types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

Ensure adequate vitamin A status.
As mentioned earlier, glands that line the mucosal lining of your colon are responsible for releasing mucous that is needed to lubricate your feces; vitamin A is needed to maintain the health of these specialized cells that release mucous.

It's best to ensure adequate vitamin A status by eating healthy foods that contain vitamin A.

Ensure adequate intake of healthy fats.
All of your cells, including those of your large intestine and nervous system, require a constant influx of undamaged fatty acids and cholesterol to remain fully functional. If you don't ensure adequate intake of healthy fats, your nervous system and the smooth muscles that surround your digestive passageway - both of which are responsible for creating peristaltic waves throughout your digestive tract - may deteriorate in function.

Also, intake of healthy fats is necessary for optimal absorption of fat-soluble vitamin A, which, as mentioned above, is critical to building and maintaining the mucosal lining of your colon.

Healthy foods that are rich in healthy fats include: avocados, organic eggs, olives, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, coconuts, raw nuts, raw seeds, and cold-water fish.

Build and maintain a population of friendly bacteria in your digestive tract.
Large populations of friendly bacteria can keep your digestive tract clean and healthy by:
  • Promoting optimal digestion, thereby preventing build-up of toxic waste materials.
  • Taking up space and resources, thereby helping to prevent infection by harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
Work at feeling emotionally balanced.
Stress can interfere with your ability to clean your colon through its effect on your enteric nervous system. I can state with certainty that the majority of people who have come to me over the years with a chronic colon-related health issue have had significant anxiety in their lives.

If you have a challenge with colon and rectal health, I encourage you to take a careful look at ways that you can minimize the amount of stress and anxiety you experience.

Closing Thoughts On Having Healthy Bowel Movements
Please remember that healthy bowel movements are generated by good overall health. Chronic constipation is the single greatest cause of having an unclean and unhealthy colorectal region because over time, constipation causes your bowel walls to face excessive pressure. This pressure is created by you straining to go and by your colon walls creating stronger contractions to help eliminate hard stools.

Excessive pressure on your colon walls can cause little pouches called diverticuli to form. Sometimes, small bits of waste material can get lodged in diverticuli, which can lead to diverticulitis and other potentially serious health challenges.

Please also note that nowhere in this article have I mentioned how many bowel movements you should have daily. How many you have isn't important compared to the quality of each movement. If you focus on making food and lifestyle choices that produce comfortable bowel movements, you can have peace of mind in knowing that your colon and rectum are in likely in good health.

Labels: , , , ,

Does Exercise Help Bowel Movements?

Jun 14, 2011 | By Carol Sarao

Constipation, usually defined as having less than three bowel movements a week, coupled with stool that is hardened, dry, or difficult or painful to pass, can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, some simple lifestyle changes, including regular aerobic exercise, can usually alleviate this common condition. If constipation persists for longer than three weeks or if you experience severe abdominal or rectal pain, blood in your stools, thin, pencil-like stools or unexplained weight loss, see your doctor.

Constipation occurs when stool remains too long in the large intestine, which is responsible for removing water from stool and changing it to a solid state. The longer stool stays in the large intestine, the drier it becomes, and the more difficult it is to pass. A change in normal dietary or exercise habits can cause constipation. Stress, a low-fiber diet, being pregnant and not drinking enough fluids can also play a role. Certain medications, including calcium or iron supplements, narcotic analgesics, antacids, diuretics and antidepressants, are common culprits as well. Medical conditions that cause constipation include nerve or muscle dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and hypothyroidism. 

Constipation is diagnosed by physical examination. Your doctor may also do a sigmoidoscopy using a thin, flexible tube to view the lower third of the large intestine, or a colonoscopy, in which a camera displays images of the entire large intestine on a TV screen.

Exercise Benefits
Regular aerobic exercise, such as cycling, swimming, walking, dancing and running, promotes efficient function of the large intestine and can help ease constipation. According to The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, you should try to perform at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day. Try brisk walking with long strides and shoulders back for 35 to 45 minutes a day. 

There is scientific research supporting the beneficial effects of exercise on constipation. In a review published in the July 2010 online version of "Clinical Evidence," the authors cited a study in which patients with constipation who participated in a 12-week exercise program saw symptoms such as straining at defecation and hard stools decrease significantly. Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

Abdominal Lift
In addition to regular aerobic exercise, you can perform specific exercises such as the abdominal lift to strengthen your abdominal muscles and promote healthy elimination. Begin by standing with your feet apart at shoulder-width and your hands on the insides of your thighs just above your knee; this will cause you to bend over slightly. Breathe out forcefully through your mouth and immediately suck your abdomen in and up, towards your spine. Hold this position -- without breathing in -- for five to 10 seconds, then relax your abdomen and breathe in slowly. 

Repeat the sequence two more times; eventually, you can build up to five or six times. Finish the exercise by standing fully upright and raising your arms straight over your head as you breathe in. Stretch, hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale and bring your arms down.

Lifestyle Changes
Other lifestyle changes you can make to combat constipation include eating more vegetables, grains and fruits. The fiber in these foods helps to form soft, bulky stools that are easier to pass. Your doctor may also advise taking fiber supplements. Drinking plenty of liquids can help you avoid the dehydration that can cause constipation.

Labels: , , , , ,

Three Health Boosting Summer-Time Tips

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 by: Kyle Price

(NaturalNews) As the temperature outside rises, cubical dwellers start to dream of pristine, sandy beaches and begin carefully plotting how many vacation days they can afford this year. Many others plan a last ditch effort to lose some weight before they have to wear a bathing suit in front of friends and family. Most of these people are missing out on three essential health tips that boast powerful benefits for little to no money. Vitamin D, fish oil, and coconut oil are absolutely essential for people looking to maximize their health without spending a lot of money this summer.

Vitamin D
Most people have heard about vitamin D but not enough people take advantage of its powerful benefits. Vitamin D helps to absorb calcium from the diet, creating strong and healthy bones. There is also research that suggests vitamin D plays a role in reducing the risk of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other medical conditions. There is very little vitamin D in the standard American diet and even eating a healthy diet will not provide the adequate levels required for optimal health. For this reason people must get out into the sun.

Summer time is the easiest time of the year to get natural vitamin D from sunlight because it is warm and more enjoyable to spend time outdoors while wearing less clothing. When people go outside and their skin is covered with clothing or sunscreen the vitamin D is not able to enter the body. The sunlight must reach exposed skin where it quickly converts cutaneous 7-dehydrocholesterol to the previtamin D3 that later is turned into vitamin D3 that the human body can use. It is recommended that everyone get at least 20 minutes of natural sun exposure 2-3 times a week to ensure optimal vitamin D levels. Please understand that this is not a suggestion to spend unreasonable amounts of time baking in the sun unprotected. Sunburn is dangerous and should be avoided. That being said, before you hit the shade or slather on protection, give a little thought to vitamin D.

Fish oil
Fish oil is well known for having a plethora of health boosting properties but it may also help protect people from sunburn. Rhodes et al conducted a study that examined the effect of fish oil on the risk of sunburn. They found that people who took fish oil were less likely to get sunburned than those not taking it. Because of this they also extrapolated that people habitually taking fish oil would have a lower risk of developing skin cancer over their lifetime. Although more research needs to be done on fish oil and photocarcinogenesis, this is an exciting point to add to the already impressive resume for fish oil.

Coconut oil
When spending an extended amount of time in the sun, sometimes protection is needed in order to avoid skin-damaging sunburn. The best protection is either to cover the exposed skin with clothing or use topical protection such as sunscreen. The problem many people run into is that conventional sunscreen products are loaded with dangerous toxins and chemicals. One alternative option is coconut oil. Coconut oil can be used alone as a barrier for sun protection (blocks up to 30 percent of UV radiation), taken internally, and is also the main ingredient in many homemade and natural store-bought sunscreen products. After sun exposure coconut oil is also useful as a skin moisturizer and sunburn ointment. Coconut oil has amazing anti-fungal and skin rejuvenating properties that make it perfect for this role.

Labels: , , , , ,

Four Herbs to Reduce Stress

by Elizabeth Renter / June 5th, 2013 

Stress can come from work and school, or home and family life. It can be the crushing stress of a pressing deadline or past due bills, or it may be that constant low-grade stress of not be able to get everything done in a day’s time. No matter where the stress comes from, however, it can be seriously damaging.

You don’t have to have a stress headache to be experiencing the physical effects of mental stress. As a matter of fact, stress puts you at risk for far worse than an occasional headache. Depression, heart disease, and even infectious diseases are more common among the seriously stressed.

Managing stress isn’t as simple as taking a vacation, though that might help temporarily. No, managing stress requires ongoing effort. A proper diet, regular exercise, and meditation are a good place to start. But there are also herbs that can provide effective stress-busting benefits.

4 Stress-Reducing Herbal Remedies
Here are 4 herbs you can use to reduce stress.

  1. Valerian Root - This herb has been used for centuries as a mild sedative. It works great if stress is keeping you up at night or you need a way to wind down that doesn’t involve a glass of wine.
  2. St. John’s Wort - Another popular stress-buster, St. John’s Wort is probably the most popular choice. It can usually be found in a tea at most grocery stores. It combats stress, anxiety, and depression.
  3. Ashwagandha - Also called Indian Ginseng, ashwagandha can combat stress at the cellular level while also regulating cortisol, known as the “stress hormone”. Steer clear of this one if you are pregnant, however.
  4. Chamomile - This is the go-to end of the day tea for many people. Chamomile tea’s relaxant properties are so well known that one of the most popular mainstream tea companies calls their chamomile tea “Sleepy Time Tea”. This isn’t a plug for that particular tea, but the herb is effective at reducing stress levels.

Managing stress is often easier said than done. We frequently look for quick solutions because when we are stressed, we are often also strapped for time. The key to relieving stress, no matter which herb you use, is taking the time to breathe, relax, and enjoy some downtime. Taking care of your physical and mental health puts you in a better place to handle stressors in a more effective manner.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Attn: Women! Need more lust in your life? There's a pill for that, too

Friday, May 31, 2013 by: Mike Bundrant

(NaturalNews) Big pharma is reaching into your lust life - or lack thereof - with Lybrido.

Touted as the female Viagra, Lybrido aims to chemically arouse women who 'lack lust,' breaking through their resistance or malaise toward sex. Lybrido is currently in clinical trial, with hundreds of women donating their body to research.

Of course, you can't justify a pharmaceutical without a disease. In the case of Lybrido, it's Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, otherwise known as, "I have a headache again, dear."

Lybrido is shooting for FDA approval by 2016. Millions of men are praying the FDA throws them a bone with this one.

Another pill, another pile of dirt swept under the rug

What's the dirt in this case? Decades of clinical experience among counselors and coaches who have a clue suggest that it is resentment that plagues women who lose their sexual desire toward their mate.

Interestingly, this experience is backed by a logical deduction from a particular research anomaly. Research suggests that, while men tend to maintain their sexual desire in marriage, monogamous women steadily lose that desire, with the exception of women who do not live with their husbands.

This insight comes from Dietrich Klusmann, a psychologist at the University of Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. Klusmann shows that both women and men in new relationships show equal lust for each other. Women who've been with their partners between one and four years, however, begin to lose their desire compared to men. Yet, women who don't live with their partners retain their desire much more than women who do.

In other words, women who do not deal with the day-in-day-out grind of being in a relationship fare much better sexually.

Shall we all just separate, then?

No. But, before you turn to a pill to artificially crank up your sexual appetite, why not be honest about what is bugging you?

Watch out men, here it comes!

Do you really believe that a video game obsessed, chubby, lazy, belching, farting, man-child should arouse you?

Do you seriously want to artificially jack up your desire for that unemployed couch potato?

How about the workaholic who ignores his children and won't mow the lawn but still expects his nightly privilege? Is this the guy you want to lust after by popping a pill?

Care to give yourself to the guy who sides with his mother over you?

How about the guy who cheated on you and hides his porn addiction?

Finally, perhaps you want to make yourself completely vulnerable to that emotionally unavailable man who won't listen to your heart, but feels entitled to your body.

This is the stuff missing from the medical community, who wants to take ownership of your mental health.

There is a reason for your lack of desire, most likely, that goes beyond a physical explanation. Before you mess with your libido, delve into your psyche. Explore the reasons for what may be happening in your mind and body.

We are barely scratching the surface here for what may be behind a lack of sexual desire, but in the end, it is usually something quite simple. The tough part is getting past the denial and calling a spade a spade.

Give him a reality check

One particularly healthy woman dealt with her lack of sexual desire by being honest. Her husband had let himself go a bit, gaining 40 pounds. The bigger he got, the less attracted she became.

As her libido waned, she struggled with whether or not it was fair to refuse her husband in bed just because she was repulsed by his body. After all, he was the breadwinner in the family.

At length, she decided not to betray her genuine sense of attraction and informed him that she couldn't have sex with him until he lost weight.

Extreme? I don't know. He lost the weight.

Of course, every case is different. The point is, if you have lost your sexual appetite, don't assume a pill is the healthiest way to get it back. Look for the deeper cause. Once it is resolved, sexual desire usually returns naturally.

Labels: , , , ,

The Four Essential Vitamins for Radiant Skin

by CARLA HERNANDEZ, on MAY 31, 2013
Healthy, radiant skin
The beauty business, a $43 billion industry, is filled with topical solutions to make skin healthier and clearer. Improvements in complexion and tone and even promises of miracle anti-aging effects lure consumers to buy, buy, buy.

As large as the beauty industry is, however, only a very small part is focused on the very important internal factor that contributes to skin health.

As a Nutritional Therapist, skin care is a subject near and dear to my heart. For years I suffered with skin issues, specifically acne and red, dry bumps, also known as keratosis pilaris, on the back of my arms and upper thighs. It has taken me years to understand the cause of my skin issues, even with a healthy diet in place.

It is my most passionate subject to address and work with in regards to health. The one thing I have learned from clients with skin issues is that there is no one way to address them, yet I have always seen improvement when targeting internal health rather than the pure focus being externally.

Addressing deficiencies of particular nutrients beneficial to skin health is a great starting point, but may not be the sole answer.  Any internal inflammation can also affect the appearance of the skin. This could include consuming inflammatory foods, food sensitivities, parasites or digestive distress that can lead to leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth, malabsorption, and make one more susceptible to infections.

Dr. Georgiana Donadio, founder of the National Institute of Whole Health states:
“Your skin is the fingerprint of what is going on inside your body, and all skin conditions, from psoriasis to acne to aging, are the manifestations of your body’s internal needs, including its nutritional needs.”
The first step to start working on improving your skin is most definitely through diet. This will begin to address the root problem, as using special creams and soaps is only treating symptoms, and even then does a minimal job at best. Poor nutrition in many cases can be the answer for many people. Even if it may not be the only solution one may need, it is crucial for allowing the skin to heal and reduce inflammation.

Your skin needs many nutrients: vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and antioxidants to keep it looking it’s best.  Lets take a look at four specific vitamins to make sure you are getting in your diet as they are critical to skin health.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, also known as retinol is frequently used in conventional skin treatments, both topically and internally, especially in regards to acne.  Deficiencies of vitamin A can exacerbate skin conditions and can cause symptoms such as dry, flaky, rough and scaly skin. A common sign of vitamin A deficiency is keratosis pilaris, which results in red bumps on the back of arms. I personally had this for years, and recently have been able to successfully address it by supplementing with vitamin A, but also by treating the deeper cause of why there was a vitamin A deficiency in the first place.

Beta carotene is commonly mistaken as true Vitamin A. The main difference is that true vitamin A is the active form that can be used by the body, where beta carotene needs to be converted into the active form.  The conversion of beta carotene to retinol in the body is inefficient at best and in those with gut problems, may not occur at all.

In marketing there is no distinction between these forms and therefore many people think they are getting vitamin A through plant foods, such as carrots, leafy greens and sweet potatoes, when they are really only receiving beta carotene.

Food Sources: True sources of vitamin A come form animal sources such as organ meats like liver and kidney, pastured cream, butter and egg yolks, as well as cod liver oil. It is also important to note that vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin which means you need to consume fat with it to absorb it, especially with plant sources. It is much easier for the body to use the straight form of vitamin A, rather than relying on needed co-factors to make the conversion from plant sources. It is these nutrient dense sources of Vitamin A from animal foods that can really help to improve overall skin health with increased dietary intake.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has many benefits and truly is a super nutrient. Being an antioxidant, it helps to repair damage caused by overexposure to sun or toxins, especially when consumed with vitamin E. It also helps to support collagen and overall skin tone- a natural anti-ager and rejuvenator. You can safely take a whole food vitamin C as a supplement from 500 to 1,000 milligrams per day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Just be aware that high dosages of vitamin C can cause loose bowels, so adjust accordingly.

Food sources: Citrus, acerola cherries, camu camu berries, bell peppers, guava, leafy greens, broccoli, parsley, strawberries.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another common nutrient and antioxidant in mainstream skin treatments. It is helpful in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, and like whole food based vitamin C, helps to repair damage. Like vitamin A, it is a fat soluble vitamin, but the most abundant found in the skin. Be sure to eat whole food sources with healthy fats to absorb and utilize.

Food sources: Wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, chard, prunes, tomatoes, cabbage, asparagus, avocados and olive oil.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 is a lesser known vitamin in mainstream health, and therefore has been a missing link in the modern diet. It is known to help with calcium utilization and absorption, the key factor in maintaining both bone and cardiovascular health.

More recently research has shown Vitamin K2’s importance in activating proteins responsible for healthy tissues, making it imperative to prevent and reduce wrinkles. It is also critical for the proper absorption of Vitamins A and D. Vitamin A is recommended frequently by dermatologists, but when was the last time you were told to supplement with vitamin K2 in conjunction? Food sources are best as they will have a natural synergy with vitamin A and D.

Food sources: Fermented foods like sauerkraut and natto along with full fat pastured dairy products such as butter and cream, egg yolks, and liver. Note that conventional dairy products from grain fed animals will NOT contain vitamin K2 unless they are fermented which adds K2 via the fermentation process. Fermented cod liver oil mixed with butter oil is a great way to supplement.

Make sure that you take into consideration food sensitivities, as many people may not be able to tolerate some food sources of these vitamins, such as pastured dairy. Always listen to your body and watch for reactions, immediate and delayed.  Stay tuned for more nutrients and underlying causes of skin conditions to come!

Labels: , , , , ,

Broiling Point - A Broiled Eggplant Burger that doesn't Pretend

No matter how hard they try, most veggie burgers cannot masquerade as meat. That’s why we love our Test Kitchen’s eggplant burger: It doesn’t try to be something that it’s not. To make the sandwich, thick slices of eggplant are brushed with garlic oil, blasted in the broiler until browned, then stacked with slabs of tomato and sweet onion on a whole-wheat bun anointed with tofu-basil sauce. Whether you’re eating indoors or out, it’s a burger you can sink your teeth into all summer long.

Eggplant Burgers with Tofu-Basil Sauce
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 4 burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 20 minutes 
Total Time: 30 minutes

Eggplant Burgers

  • ½ large eggplant, sliced crosswise into four ¾-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • Nonstick pan spray
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 whole-wheat burger buns
  • 1 large tomato, sliced crosswise into four ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 sweet onion (such as a Vidalia or Maui), sliced crosswise into four ½-inch-thick rounds

Tofu-Basil Sauce

  • ⅓ cup silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Salt the eggplant: Place the eggplant slices on a large plate. Use ½ teaspoon of the salt to season both sides of each slice.
  2. Make the tofu-basil sauce: To the bowl of a small food processor, add the tofu, olive oil, rice vinegar, basil and salt. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  3. Make the eggplant burgers: Place the oven rack in the upper-middle position and preheat the broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with nonstick pan spray. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and the pepper. Place the salted eggplant rounds on the prepared baking sheet and brush both sides with the garlic oil. Broil until the eggplant starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Use a metal spatula to turn the eggplant slices over and continue to broil the other side until that side is browned, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the baking sheet from the oven.
  4. On a clean baking sheet, place the halved burger buns cut side up. Toast under the broiler until the buns are golden, 3 to 5 minutes (watch the buns closely, as broiler intensities vary).
  5. Divide 1 tablespoon of the tofu-basil sauce among the tops of the 4 buns. Place a tomato slice on each bottom bun half, cover with an eggplant slice and top with a few onion rings. Cover each sandwich with the top bun and serve. Calories per Burger: 270; Sodium: 900mg; Total Carbohydrate: 35g; Fiber: 7g; Protein: 7g; Fat: 13g

Labels: , , , , , , ,


One-third of preschoolers in the United States are now constipated due to the under-consumption of plant foods. Americans, and especially New Yorkers, are among the most constipated people on earth. Not surprisingly, then, constipation is the most common gastrointestinal complaint in the United States. The minimum fecal output should be about half a pound per day for cancer prevention. Larger bowel movements have also been associated with lower rates of appendicitis, colon cancer, constipation, and diverticulitis. Vegetarians and vegans, on average, have the healthiest stools and are the most regular.

Certain artificial sweeteners can have a laxative effect. In Latin America, greta, made almost of pure lead, is alarmingly used to treat constipation.

Click here to view videos about constipation!

Labels: , , , , ,

Breast Cancer and Alcohol: How Much is Safe?

Nearly 5,000 breast cancer deaths a year may be attributable to just light drinking (up to one drink a day).

Labels: , , ,

How Mood and Gut Health are Linked

The entire gut is lined by an extensive network of neurons embedded directly into the walls of our esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum and colon.  This is called the enteric nervous system, which consists of more neurons than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system.  This network of neurons is so extensive, that it has been coined the “Second Brain”.  It has the very important job regulating all the various aspects of digestion, from breaking down food, to absorbing nutrients, to expelling waste.

It may not be surprising that the brain has a direct effect on the digestive system.  For example, thinking about food can release digestive enzymes into the stomach before you even eat.  If you’re nervous or stressed, your stomach may feel upset.  But how does this work?
  • Your brain sends signals to all of the nerves in your body.  These signals are essential for everything from breathing to moving your legs so you can walk.  A very large portion of your brain’s output is directed into the vagus nerve, the nerve which innervates (which means branches into the nerves controlling) most of the thoracic (chest) and abdominal cavities.  The vagus nerve thus controls a wide variety of functions, from your heart beating, to the secretion of digestive enzymes, to the peristalsis of your intestines.  The important part here though, is that the vagus nerve innervates the digestive tract. 
  • Stress, anxiety, depression and strong negative emotions decrease your brain activity, which decreases activation of the vagus nerve.  This will reduce pancreatic enzyme secretion and cause poor gallbladder function, thereby reducing stomach acid production, as well as decrease gut motility, decrease intestinal blood flow, and suppress the intestinal immune system.  
  • When this reduced vagus nerve activation is persistent, the slowing down of so many digestive functions results in something called Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), an increased growth of pathogenic yeast and bacteria in the gut (specifically the small intestine, the longest section of our intestine responsible for nearly all digestion).  These are not the beneficial bacteria that we are supposed to have lower down in our digestive tract.
  • These “bad” yeast and bacteria (which are also too high up) contribute to an increase in intestinal permeability (a.k.a. leaky gut) beyond what is already caused by the lectins and saponins in dietary grains and legumes.  Even in the absence of dietary grains and legumes, SIBO can cause a sufficiently leaky gut to produce systemic, chronic low grade inflammation.  This effect of the brain on the gut is why people who suffer depression so often also have constipation or suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
I know this is dense, but the basic point is that stress, anxiety and depression result in a leaky gut.

What you might not already know is that the gut has a direct effect on the brain.  A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut.
  • Actually, about 90 percent of the fibers in the vagus nerve carry information from the gut to the brain and not the other way around.  There is scientific evidence to suggest that the gut can communicate directly with the brain, perhaps having a direct impact on emotions and moods via the nervous system.
  • Better understood though, are the chemical signals that are sent to the brain from the irritated/damaged gut.  When the gut becomes leaky and inflamed, the inflammatory cytokines (chemical signals of inflammation) that are produced in the gut travel through the blood to the brain. 
  • These inflammatory cytokines cross the blood-brain barrier and activate the resident immune cells of your brain, the microglial cells.  Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like: a leaky gut causes body-wide inflammation, including inflammation in the brain.
Now, for the vicious circle part:  an inflamed brain has decreased nerve conductance which manifests as stress, depression and/or anxiety.

This is the Gut-Brain Connection.  Stress, depression and anxiety lead to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth which leads to increased inflammation including inflammation in the brain which leads to stress, depression and anxiety.  Which comes first?  It’s probably different in different people, depending on your own physiology, diet and life circumstances.  Truthfully, once you are in the vicious cycle, it doesn’t really matter what started it.  What can you do about it?  I will delve deeper into healing the gut (and healing the brain) in future posts.  For now, these are the major points:  manage stress, sleep well, and eat a paleo diet that also includes bone broths and fermented foods like kefir (you can make your own coconut milk kefir if you can’t tolerate any dairy), homemade sauerkraut (and other fermented vegetables), and kombucha tea.
For more information, I recommend checking out Chris Kresser’s blog: www.chriskresser.com

Labels: , , , , , ,

What is Andropause?

Published on March 28, 2013, Last Updated on May 28, 2013

The phenomena of the biological clock isn’t exclusive to women, it seems men also are prone to age related changes in hormone levels, sexual function, physical features, and quality of life. These changes, dubbed “andropause” (and sometimes “male menopause”) are due to a progressive decrease in testosterone production. As men near middle age, the process speeds up and so may the frequency and effect of the symptoms. Common symptoms include fatigue, reduced muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, and even depression.

Occurrence and Background
How common is andropause? Baylor College of Medicine reports that at least 30% of men 60-70 years of age and 70% of men 70-80 years of age have low testosterone levels. Although the root cause of reduced testosterone availability is decreased testicular function, pituitary problems may also be a factor. [2] While andropause is a fairly new term, the concept is not. In China, observations have been reported for over 50 years.

Symptoms of Andropause
The symptoms of andropause include loss of energy, depression, sluggish libido, sexual dysfunction, decreased muscle mass and strength, increased body fat, and overall weakness. While the symptoms of andropause might sound like another word for “aging,” it’s important to note that low testosterone can produce effects far more serious than a new set of aches and pains. According to Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas, the likelihood of heart disease, osteoporosis, and bone fractures all increase as testosterone levels decrease.

Dangers of Testosterone Replacement
One of the most common treatments for andropause is testosterone replacement therapy. There are significant marketing forces at work to promote the use of testosterone therapy and they’ve made it available as a pill, injection, gel, or patch. Certain symptomatic improvements have been reported from hormone replacement therapy but artificial replacements do not mimic the body’s natural rhythms. The long-term safety of hormone replacement therapy has not been established and it is especially not recommended for men with prostate cancer or cardiovascular diseases.  Furthermore, questions have been raised regarding a potential correlation between long-term testosterone therapy and breast cancer in men.

Can the Symptoms of Andropause be Reduced?
As men age, experiencing the symptoms of andropause may be unavoidable. However, there are steps you can take to lessen the severity. Most of the unpleasant symptoms of andropause get worse when compounding factors are involved. Smoking, being overweight, or having high blood pressure will all exacerbate the symptoms of andropause. If you smoke, stop. If you don’t exercise, start. If you could stand to lose a few pounds, lose them. Andropause is change, and change can be difficult. Men who are at their best, physically and mentally, will be the best prepared to face andropause.

Labels: , , , , , , ,