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What are the main health concerns for men?

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There are a variety of health concerns that affect a man©s overall health. Issues such as heart disease, arthritis, prostate cancer and other forms of cancer, sexual health and vigor all comprise the top concerns men face today. And, unfortunately, most are age related.

As a man ages he is subject to several conditions that can affect his mortality. The most common cause of morbidity in the aging man is cardiovascular disease, be it heart attack or stroke. (Please refer to the Cardiovascular Health concern section for further details).

The second leading cause of death is cancer. This may be due to the oxidative stress that our bodies are under, and the inability of our diets to provide us with enough antioxidants to combat these effects. In particular, prostate cancer seems to be on the rise. The cause of this is uncertain. Part of it may be related to improvements made in early diagnosis of the disease. There is a clear correlation with prostate cancer and aging.

Likewise, prostatic enlargement known as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy) also increases with advancing age. BPH has been reported in over 90% of men over the age of 85, although it is relatively uncommon before the age of 35. BPH is in large part related to hormonal changes that occur with aging which relates to male hormonal function (androgens).

Significant BPH can lead to obstruction of urinary function and potential renal failure if untreated. The risk and prevalence of osteoarthritis increase with age as well. Pain and swelling of the joints due to the deterioration of cartilage between bones occur, as well as decreased ease of mobility. Please refer to the Bone and Joint Health section for more information about osteoarthritis.

Men, in their youth and prime, are very active. Maintaining that level energy and vigor is of great concern to men of all ages. An overall nutritionally balanced diet plays an important part in a man's readiness and ability to perform well, athletically and romantically. Better nutrition results in better performance, and nutritional deficiencies can often result in reduced endurance, fatigue, or inability to perform as well as you might have previously.

What are key essential nutrients for men to maintain my health?

A well-balanced diet is essential for any active male. However, even with the most balanced food intake, strenuous exercise can often cause rapid use of nutrients; in these cases, supplements may be necessary to help improve performance.

It is vitally important to maintain adequate amounts of vitamins and antioxidants. B vitamins are important to decrease levels of homocysteine, which has been linked to heart attack and stroke.

Antioxidants are important to combat the diseases of aging, to minimize oxidation of cholesterol (which can lead to heart attack) and to maintain proper immune function.

Here are Important Nutrient Facts and Recommendations for Men:

Amino Acids, the components of protein, appear to act as performance enhancers. In specific, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) appear to help reduce muscle loss and speed muscle build-up. Most active males receive enough amino acids in their regular diet; however, BCAA supplements may be helpful for those doing intense training.

Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E, are an important part of the body©s defense against muscle damage from exercise. Strenuous exercise increases the body©s production of free radicals, which, in turn, can cause muscle damage which manifests as swollen or painful muscles. While exercise increases the body©s natural defense against free radicals, active men who are doing intense training may benefit from the addition of antioxidant supplements to their diets.

Antioxidants also may slow the rate of joint deterioration in osteoarthritis patients. Vitamin E in particular has been shown to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis, as well as reduces the risk of prostate cancer by 32%.

A recent study found that patients who consumed fish once or more per week had a 60% reduced risk in developing Alzheimer's disease. The omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, which is found in Fish Oil, works well as an anti-inflammatory in the treatment of arthritis.

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, the amount of which decreases with age and when taken as a dietary supplement may assist with adrenal deficiency, Lupus, depression, diabetes, HIV, AIDS, asthma, osteoporosis, improve sense of well-being, increase energy, enhance libido, improve erectile function, lower fat mass, affect blood sugar levels, boost immunity, promote deeper sleep, enhance memory, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease.

A study looked at levels of DHEA in men over the age of 60. It was found that those with erectile dysfunction (ED) had lower levels of DHEA then in those without ED. Supplementation with DHEA at a dose of 50 mg daily improved symptoms of ED in a small group of patients with this disorder.

DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide: non essential, but an important side note) has anti-inflammatory properties when applied to the skin; it can help ease the pain of muscle injuries and arthritis pain. DMSO has the ability to absorb through semi-permeable membranes like the skin and act as a carrier for other chemicals of lower molecular weight. For this reason, we must be immaculately clean and sterile when applying DMSO because it can potentially carry poison into the blood stream.

Gamma Oryzanol is a naturally occuring plant sterol deriving from rice bran oil. It has long been popular among athletes. Gamma Oryzanol, comprised of sterols and ferulic acid esters, appears to increase testosterone levels and the release of endorphins, as well as the growth of lean muscle tissue.

Your body uses glucosamine, a natural compound, to create one of the main building blocks of joint cartilage -- proteoglycans. As you age, the amount of glucosamine created by the body decreases. This causes cartilage and bones to scrape against each other. Joints become damaged, and the lubricating synovial fluid in joint spaces becomes thin and watery. Supplementing your diet with glucosamine will help to replenish these fluids.

Glucosamine Sulfate contains components that aid the repair of joint cartilage. Patients who take a supplement of 500 mg three times daily may notice that their arthritic symptoms lessen.

Green tea extract and its components such as epigallocatechin gallate have been shown in some studies to inhibit tumor cell growth. It may have benefit against metastasis.

Clinical studies conducted on ginkgo biloba extract show that it supports circulation to the brain, as well as the extremities. This is achieved by maintaining healthy blood vessel tone and reducing blood viscosity, which may enhance memory and brain function.

Ginkgo biloba appears to help increase arterial blood flow, and may have a beneficial effect on sexual function in men with impotence. One study in men with ED secondary to medication revealed a 76% improvement in sexual function. The dosage used in this study was 200 mg per day in divided doses.

HMB, part of the amino acid leucine, appears to also increase the growth of lean muscle tissue. Athletes using the supplement have shown more muscle gain than those not taking the supplement over a comparable time period under the same exercise regimen.

Horny Goat weed (Yin Yang Huo) is an herbal agent. It derived its name from the observation of when goats were grazing on this weed, they became sexually aroused. It has several uses in Traditional Chinese Medicine, including impotence, involuntary ejaculation, fatigue, cardiac disease polio and hepatitis. It contains a number of active constituents, and some of those appear to have both hormonal and blood vessel dilating properties. The usual recommended dosage is 0.5 to 1.5 mg per day of a formulation standardized to 5% icariin flavonoid. Animal studies have shown it to be basically safe. TCM manuals indicate some side effects including dizziness, nausea, dry mouth and nosebleed.

Creatine is the best researched and most effective sports supplement on the market today. Creatine has been shown to enhance lean muscle mass, strength, muscle size, and energy.

Iron is critical when exercising, as it is necessary for the body©s transferal of oxygen through the blood to muscles. Low iron levels can result in muscle soreness, fatigue, reduced endurance, and more injuries. If an iron deficiency is found, adding supplements to the diet will help increase performance ability.

L-Arginine is required for the body to synthesize nitric oxide, which enables the arterial system to retain its youthful elasticity, thus promoting healthy blood pressure and sexual function. L-Arginine also promotes natural growth hormone release from the pituitary gland, which enhances a healthy anabolic metabolism throughout the body, and is a key building block to repair damaged tissue and bone; this amino acid is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO).

High dose arginine (5 grams per day given for 6 weeks) has been shown to improve erection in men with ED. It is generally safe and well tolerated. Doses of 3 grams per day also seem to be beneficial. Arginine at doses of up to 3 grams three times daily has beneficial effects on cardiac blood vessel reactivity. It also may improve cardiac function in those with congestive heart failure. Therefore, it is much safer than Viagra for treating ED, especially in patients with a history of heart disease.

Vegetables containing large amounts of Lycopene appear to be protective against prostate cancer and promote good general health.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant carotenoid which has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, prevent LDL cholesterol from being oxidized (LDL oxidation leads to heart disease and strokes), and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Lycopene is the source of the red coloring of tomatoes, red peppers, red grapefruit and watermelon. For years it was ignored by nutritionists because it can not be converted into the essential vitamin A.

Lycopene may offer significant benefit. Lycopene is found in high concentrations in tomato products, especially when processed. Men who ate at least 10 servings of tomato products per week were shown to have a 41% decrease in prostate cancer.

Magnesium is a mineral needed by every cell of your body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, and bones strong. In addition it is often called an anti-stress mineral as it has a calming effect and can assist in inducing restful sleep. Magnesium is necessary for muscle contraction, heart rate regulation, and muscle growth. Strenuous exercise can rapidly deplete the body©s stores of magnesium; supplements are often helpful.

Prostate Cancer Test Is Useless, Warn Scientists
Provided by Daily Mail on 9/11/2004
Back to Healthy News

THOUSANDS of men may have had needless surgery because the test commonly used to diagnose prostate cancer is flawed, scientists revealed yesterday.

They warned that the prostate specific antigen ( PSA) test was ' all but useless' for predicting the risk of the disease becoming serious.

But doctors still use it to test for early signs of cancer, and the discovery of raised levels of the protein PSA can lead to men having radical surgery, sometimes leaving them incontinent or impotent.

A study by experts at Stanford University Medical School of Medicine in the U.S. suggests the test can no longer be relied upon to produce accurate results. The authors declared: 'The PSA era is over.' Experts increasingly believe the test leads to needless treatment such as radiotherapy, when men could be monitored and live with the cancer without it ever causing a problem. Researchers studied prostate tissues collected over 20 years, from the time it first became standard to remove prostates in response to high PSA levels to the present.

The team, led by Professor Thomas Stamey, said in the Journal of Urology that, as a screening test, the PSA indicated nothing more than the size of the prostate gland.

Professor Stamey added: 'Our study raises a very serious question of whether a man should even use the test for prostate cancer.' PSA screening has become more commonplace in the U.S. In the UK there is no screening programme, with men only having the test at their own request. But nonetheless thousands have opted for it on the NHS with the number rising.

Cancer experts here have voiced concerns that the test could not distinguish between cancers which were 'tigers' and those which were 'pussycats,' leading many men into treatments they did not need. Professor Stamey said raised levels of the protein PSA reflected only a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia - a harmless increase in prostate size.

Prostate cancer was a disease all men developed if they lived long enough, so, given the chance to carry out a biopsy, doctors were likely to find it.

The Institute of Cancer Research in the UK advocates a system of 'active surveillance' whereby men with slightly raised PSA levels could be monitored for further increases which would warrant treatment.

The Department of Health said: 'We recognise the PSA test is not as accurate as some screening tests for other cancers, and is available on the NHS only by request if a man has been counselled on the risks and limitations.' Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease to affect men in Britain, with 27,000 cases diagnosed each year and around 10,000 deaths.


Vitamin D, NSAIDS provide double whammy against prostate cancer, Stanford study finds

STANFORD, Calif. - The growth of prostate cancer cells can be halted by combining a form of vitamin D, available only by prescription, with low doses of an over-the-counter painkiller, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found. The combination reduced prostate cancer cell growth in a laboratory dish by up to 70 percent, according to the findings, published in the Sept. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

The study's senior author, David Feldman, MD, professor of medicine, who has been studying vitamin D for 25 years, had shown in previous studies that a form of the vitamin, known as calcitriol, limits the growth of prostate cancer cells. Calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, is the metabolite that is created in the body after consumption of vitamin D-containing food or exposure to the sun.

Feldman wanted to see if he could boost calcitriol's effects and lower the dose by using it in conjunction with another drug. He and his colleagues, including professor of urology Donna Peehl, PhD, who specializes in developing models of prostate cancer in cultured cells, found that by using calcitriol with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, they could suppresses prostate cancer growth in vitro even more-and with smaller doses-than using either drug alone.

"There is great enhancement when the drugs are given together, using what we think is a safe dose in humans," said Feldman. "It's hard to make an exact comparison, as we are talking about cells in a dish and not a person." Still, based on the findings, he and his colleagues have already begun a clinical trial in men who have a post-treatment recurrence of prostate cancer. Both calcitriol and nonselective NSAIDs have been used in humans for years, and the safety and risks of these drugs are well known.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30,000 men die annually in the United States from prostate cancer. Among cancers, only lung cancer kills more men. Although prostate cancer is often a slow-growing, noninvasive type of cancer, there are some cases where a deadly migration of cancer cells invades other parts of the body. The standard treatment for such cases is hormone therapy, but that treatment ultimately does not work for most patients. Slowing the growth of the prostate cancer cells could buy time for patients before beginning this last-ditch therapy.

Over the course of Feldman's years of vitamin D research, he and others had determined that the vitamin has several actions that make it useful in cancer therapy. While a great deal is now known about these effects, there is still much to be learned about how the vitamin stymies tumor growth.

To get an idea of what calcitriol does on a genetic level to halt tumor growth, the researchers used a cDNA microarray, a tool that provides an overview of the genetic changes that occur when prostate cancer cells react to calcitriol. The researchers discovered that two of the affected genes are critical in the production and breakdown of prostaglandins - hormones that cause a range of physiological effects, including inflammation. Inflammation, in turn, is also associated with cancer growth.

Like calcitriol, NSAIDs also block prostaglandin production. Thus, it seemed logical to test calcitriol in various combinations with NSAIDs to see if the double whammy could knock out prostate cancer better than either drug alone, explained study leader Jacqueline Moreno, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in Feldman's lab.

When the researchers began the study, which was done on cells in culture, they were using selective NSAIDs, such as Vioxx and Celebrex. These drugs specifically target the prostaglandin pathway, reducing the gastrointestinal side effects of the nonselective NSAIDs. But after Vioxx was pulled from the market last year due to cardiovascular risks, the researchers switched to using two nonselective NSAIDs, ibuprofen and naproxen, so that the controversy over selective NSAIDs wouldn't cast a shadow over their work.

The group saw a 25 percent reduction in prostate cell growth using only calcitriol, and approximately the same reduction using only ibuprofen and naproxen. But when they combined calcitriol and an NSAID, they saw up to a 70 percent reduction. This result was obtained using from one-half to one-tenth the concentration required for either of the drugs used alone.

The group's findings are the basis of a new clinical trial Feldman has begun with oncologist Sandy Srinivas, MD, assistant professor of medicine. Men who have been treated for prostate cancer, but who are experiencing a recurrence, take naproxen twice a day combined with a high, once-weekly dose of calcitriol. Weekly administration of calcitriol avoids a pitfall of earlier studies that used daily dosing: too much calcium in the blood, a condition called hypercalcemia, which can lead to kidney stones.

Feldman's group uses calcitriol for both the cell culture studies and the clinical trial to ensure that enough of the active form of vitamin D is in the patients to be effective. Feldman emphasized that calcitriol is available by prescription only. "We don't want the patient to think that if they take over-the-counter vitamin D, it will work in the same way," he said.


Staff research scientist Aruna Krishnan, PhD, research associate Srilatha Swami, PhD, and urology postdoctoral scholar Larisa Nonn, PhD, also contributed to this work, which was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication & Public Affairs at

PRINT MEDIA CONTACT: Mitzi Baker at (650) 725-2106 (mabaker @
BROADCAST MEDIA CONTACT: M.A. Malone at (650) 723-6912 (mamalone @

How to Increase Sex Drive And Get Harder Erections, Naturally

Have you ever wanted sex to last longer than you could go? If you answered yes, then you are probably among men who encounter the same problem in bed.

Indeed, the inability to last longer is something that many men regard as their biggest sexual problems. While most may view erection as dependent on sex drive, this is not always the case- sometimes the drive is present but the penis just does not cooperate. A decrease in sex drive and a not-so-firm erection can be caused by several factors.

First on the list and the most popular among the biological problems of a man is a low libido. Libido is considered the sex drive of the body and is primarily influenced by the brain, which, in turn, dictates what the body does. Generally speaking, the conditions of the libido are dependent on the four sexual stimuli distinguished by doctors:

  1. visual stimulus, which depends on the physical appearance
  2. tactile stimulus, which depends on touch- particularly in the sensitive areas like the nipples and penis
  3. auditory stimulus, which is the main reason behind the success of phone sex
  4. olfactory stimulus such as titillating perfume scents

When a man's libido rises, according to the aforementioned stimuli, the sex drive correspondingly follows and increases.

Another biological cause of erection problem is premature ejaculation, wherein the man comes too soon even though his partner has not reached an orgasmic state yet. This situation usually results in sexual dissatisfaction and frustration, which eventually causes break-ups among some sexually active relationships. Of course, this situation does not naturally happen without reasons.

Premature ejaculation is commonly brought about by the excitement. His excitement causes him to ejaculate quickly because even before he begins penetrating his penis, his sexual fantasies stimulate his sex drive. Premature ejaculation can also be caused by sexual taboos. In some cultures, sex is prohibited so men are forced to ejaculate quickly. More commonly in North America, ejaculating too soon can be the result of frequent masturbation or anxieties.

Sex drive and erection problems can also be influenced by erectile dysfunction or what doctors call weak erection, wherein the penis is often flaccid and is always unable to attain erection. Unknown to many men, erectile dysfunction is not only manifested in not having an erection in the first stages of the sexual experience. Conditions wherein the man is able of erection but does not sustain until his partner reaches orgasm can also be counted as instances of erectile dysfunction. Because of the extent of such sexual problem, it is not surprising that this particular erection dilemma is rampant among men nowadays.

Fortunately, today, lots of supplements and methods are produced to revitalize men and improve their sexual performance. Compared to penis pumps and other penis enhancement devices, doctors recommend more supplements and pills that are helpful in any erection problem. Usually, these supplements, like VigRX Plus™, are rich in natural ingredients such as Saw Palmetto Berry, Extract, Asian Red Ginseng, and others---all of which smoothen blood circulation, increase stamina, and produce more energy hormones.

Experts combine these natural ingredients in just one capsule to produce a supplement that contains the necessary factors to help a man become stronger and long-lasting in bed, naturally. Pills like VigRX Plus™ can relieve men of their erection problems, given that they keep to their intake schedule. These supplements typically have ingredients such as Epimedium Leaf Extract, Icariin, and Cuscuta Seed, all of which help enhance the libido, promote erectile function, and treat premature ejaculation.

If the customer is lucky enough, he can also take advantage of the benefits of other contents in penis enhancement pills, including blood flow increase, revitalized performance in bed, and other aphrodisiacal effects. According to Dr. Khalid Alzwahereh of VigRX Plus™, the herbs contained by such supplements have the ability to help balance the cardiovascular and the nervous systems, which are the main parts that keep the body healthy.

The results of natural sexual enhancement pills like VigRX Plus™ are not without proof. Users of such supplements and even doctors have been sending in testimonies and great reviews about these products, deeming them as the kind of solution that people were looking for. Even professional endorsers have experienced positive changes, not only in their sexual lives, but also in their relationships with other people. Luke Adams, for instance, has achieved a longer-lasting and much firmer erection with his frequent use of VigRX Plus™. His libido also increased and so did the duration and volume of his ejaculation.

With these claims, modern pills and supplements really must work to increase sex drive and get harder erections for men. By just adhering to the regular consumption of penis enhancement pills like VigRX, men do not need to experiment on tools like penis pump or undergo a surgery to increase their libido and achieve hard erections. Instead, they can simply go for the safer, trouble free method.

Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, a Nazi type organization which would prefer to favor the greedy pharmaceutical companies. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication.

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