Testosterone, prostate gland, muscle foods, Vitamin D, drug overdose

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A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

… low testosterone levels put men at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and early death? One study shows that testosterone treatment reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol and increases HDL (good) cholesterol. Another study looked at the causes of death in almost 2,000 men aged 20 to 79. The men with low testosterone at the start of the study had a 250 percent greater risk of dying during the next 10 years compared with men with higher testosterone levels. These studies, and more, will be presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco, and suggest that testosterone therapy has several positive effects. (Vitacost.com Daily Health Tip; June 2008)

… some prostate specialists and pathologists believe the prostate gland is the most commonly diseased organ in the human body? After the age of 50, hypertrophy of the prostate gland occurs in almost all men because of age-related hormone changes like increased estradiol and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and a decrease in free testosterone. Researchers have extensively studied beta-sitosterol, saw palmetto, stinging nettle, pygeum and lycopene for their prostate-supporting properties. Using these nutrients will help reduce prostate enlargement, lower PSA levels and encourage normal growth and development of prostate cells. Other nutrients that have been shown to increase the health of this important gland are vitamin D3, vitamin K, selenium and zinc. (VRP online Newsletter 2008;22(6))

... there are “muscle foods” that taste great and are high protein substitutes for the same old chicken and beef?

  1. Clams – Loaded with iron and one of the few meats high in vitamin C.

Prep: toss on the grill and cook until they pop open.

  1. Lobster – Lower in fat than pork or beef with a higher dose of calcium.

Prep: Cut in half and brush with olive oil or butter. Place cut side down on very hot grill for three minutes. Flip and grill for another four to five minutes.

  1. Venison – Fewer calories than chicken breast and twice as much iron as beef.

Prep: Marinate in red wine or olive oil. Grill to medium rare over high heat.

  1. Ostrich – Lean with a large amount of iron.

Prep: Marinate in olive oil. Lean meats need added fat to stay moist. Grill over high heat.

  1. Swordfish – Same calories as chicken or beef but higher in omega-3 fats.

Prep: Brush with olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice. Grill over high heat.
(Men’s Fitness June/July 2008)

... a U.S. study shows vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of heart attack in men? Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, analyzed medical records and blood samples from 454 men, aged 40 to 75, who had a nonfatal heart attack or fatal heart disease, and compared them to 900 men who had no history of cardiovascular disease.

Men with a vitamin D deficiency (15 nanograms or less per milliliter of blood) had a higher risk of heart attack than those with a sufficient amount of vitamin D (30 nanograms per milliliter of blood or more).

After additional adjustment for family history of myocardial infarction, body-mass index, alcohol consumption, physical activity, history of diabetes mellitus and hypertension, ethnicity, region, marine omega-3 intake, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, this relationship remained significant, the study authors concluded. (The Archives of Internal Medicine)

... deaths caused by drug overdose have more than tripled in less than 20 years? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that drug overdoses killed 33,000 people in 2005, second only to car accidents in the category of accidental deaths. In 1999, the number was 20,000, and in 1990, 10,000 died.

As this excellent commentary in “Better Body Journal” points out, the huge increase in people dying is not because of a heroin or crack epidemic. These deaths are largely due to prescription drugs.

Consider that 46 percent of Americans take at least one prescription pill daily. Are these drugs really solving all your problems? If so, then why is the pharmaceutical industry growing every single year, with some of the biggest profit margins of any industry?

Big Pharma spent $12.7 billion promoting its products in 1998. The amount has vastly increased since that time. Do you ever get the feeling that you’re being sold many of these drugs just to make you think that you’re sick with something? (betterbodyjournal.com)

Questions or comments? Send them to mike@bullz-eye.com.

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