Archive for 27th March 2009

SEXUAL SUCCESS: KEEP THE DIET

There is little doubt that some individuals who change their diet can reduce their cholesterol levels and, over a period of time, even decrease arterial blockages. (Sometimes medication combined with diet is needed.) Canadian doctors, for example, put 50 patients with blockages in their leg arteries on a low-cholesterol, low-fat diet. Some used the American Heart Association’s program, others the Pritikin maintenance plan. Despite their leg pain, all participants were supposed to exercise regularly, cut out smoking as much as possible, reduce their intake of salt and caffeine (both of which can raise blood pressure) and limit alcohol consumption.

After one year on the program, all participants had lower levels of cholesterol and blood fats, and higher levels of highdensity lipoproteins (HDLs), an all-important cholesterol-remover .The researchers also found that the more fiber an individual ate, the more likely he was to have lowered his cholesterol. As an additional benefit, everyone lost weight. All were better able to exercise, as measured on a treadmill. This improvement may reflect increased blood flow to the legs, resulting from fewer blockages in the arteries. Many participants said they felt better. Unfortunately, the researchers did not report the program; effect on erection.

Obesity is bad for your arteries because it promotes in creased fats in your blood, high cholesterol, and keeps you body from producing enough HDLs. And if you are prone to diabetes, overweight will make you more susceptible to it—and the erection difficulties that can follow. So, for heavy men, taking off pounds is a necessary part of any plan for improving the health of the arteries and prolonging potency. A high-fiber diet can help you lose weight, and oat bran in particular may help lower your cholesterol. In addition to limiting your fat intake, exercise is important to losing weight.

Losing weight and keeping faithful to a low-salt, low-fat diet can also help lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure and many medications used to treat it can sap potency. You should have your blood pressure checked at least once a year, more often if possible. Another aid to controlling high blood pressure is exercise.

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REIGNITING YOUR SEX LIFE: TESTOSTERONE RESEARCHES

Research at the St. Louis University School of Medicine has found that giving men an injectable form of testosterone for three months increases their sex drive as well as augments muscle strength. And a study conducted in 1995 at the Chicago Medical School found that a low dose of testosterone given regularly for two years seemed to cause no side effects. According to a researcher involved in the study, the men receiving injections felt better, had denser bones, lower cholesterol readings, and a greater sexual appetite than men who weren’t getting the supplementation.

But, hypogonadism aside, I don’t believe that there is sufficient scientific evidence to warrant testosterone boosting in men with normal levels. If a man is given testosterone supplementation when he really doesn’t need it, his pituitary and hypothalamus—which would normally signal testosterone production—slow down or stop. Once the pituitary gland is suppressed, the testicles begin to atrophy and the man becomes sterile. Another side effect is blood thickening, which can lead to a greater risk of stroke. Extra testosterone can also promote prostate cancer.

If you feel that your libido is drooping, you can raise your testosterone levels naturally. Start a strength-training program that works the muscles of the torso and legs. After a few workouts, there will be a short-term surge of testosterone. This natural boost can be maintained by continued exercise and you will have the added benefit of a stronger body and finer muscle tone. Another factor to consider when evaluating yourself is stress. When pressure starts to rise, testosterone levels begin to fall.

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THE VIRILITY-ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM: THE COENZYME Q EFFECT

A mighty antioxidant with the capacity to help prevent and combat heart disease—and therefore protect the vessels of the penis as well— coenzyme Q (Co-Q-10) is actually present in every cell of the human body. Critical to the conversion of food to energy, it is found more abundantly in some tissue cells than in others. Concentrations of the enzyme are particularly high in the heart, researchers believe, because that organ requires an enormous amount of energy to pump blood throughout the body.

First isolated in this country over forty years ago, the workings of Co-Q-10 are still not fully understood. Animal studies have shown that, by stabilizing cell membranes and keeping them from being destroyed, Co-Q-10 acts as an effective antioxidant that prevents free radicals from attacking and damaging cells.

Various research has revealed that as we age, we lose significant amounts of this enzyme in the heart muscle. In some elderly patients, the levels are as much as 75 percent lower than those of healthy patients. In fact, these diminished levels may be a strong indicator of impending death from heart disease. In one Swedish study, ninety-four hospital patients aged fifty years and older who had died within the prior six months had considerably lower Co-Q-10 than the surviving patients.

Co-Q-10 can also have a dramatic impact on elevated blood pressure. In a study conducted by cardiologist Peter Langsjoen, along with researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, 109 patients with hypertension were administered 225 milligrams of Co-Q-10 every day. After a few months, this quantity significantly lowered the blood pressure of more than half of the test subjects, enabling many to stop taking between one and three blood-pressure drugs.

The patients who showed improvement rallied within four months of daily use. Their systolic (upper number reading) pressure was down, from an average of 159 to 147, as was their diastolic (lower number reading) pressure, from an average of 94 to 85. With the Co-Q-10 supplementation, more than forty of them were able to stop taking one or more of their hypertension medications. Another twenty began using the enzyme alone to manage their conditions.

Remember: 1/you are currently using antihypertensive medication, do not stop taking it. Consult with your physician about starting supplementation of Co-Q-10 in addition to your medicine.

Co-Q-10 is found in small quantities in seafood, eggs, and in all fruits and vegetables. The average person consumes approximately five milligrams of Co-Q-10 daily. Many experts believe that this amount is much too low to meet the needs of the body—especially after the age of fifty. As we age, Co-Q-10 levels begin to drop; by the time we reach middle age, many of us have barely 20 percent of the amount we had in our twenties. This steep drop-off may be due to free radical activity in the mitochondria, the area in the cells where nutrients are converted to fuel for the body’s use.

For men in their forties and fifties 1 recommend daily supplementation of at least 30 milligrams of Co-Q-10. A more accurate dosage recommendation is based on your body weight: 2 milligrams of Co-Q-10 for each kilogram (2.2 pounds) body weight. If you already have heart disease, or risk factors for it, I suggest you take higher dosages after consulting with your physician. Co-Q-10 is available in health food stores and many pharmacies. I find that the softgel, mixed with oil, is more easily absorbed than the dry tablets.

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ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION: SYMPTOM CHECKLIST

Anger, disappointment, sadness, concern, and the urge to help are all appropriate reactions to ED. These feelings apply whether a woman is encountering a male with ED for the first time or whether the condition is within the context of an ongoing relationship. However, when living with his disorder begins to produce disruptive physical and emotional symptoms in her, it’s time for a woman to seek professional help.

A symptom checklist follows. Some of these symptoms may have causes other than your partner’s ED, but are nevertheless having a negative impact on your relationship.

The symptoms are:

? Anger

? Sleep problems

? Fearfulness

? Eating problems

? Stress

? Difficulty concentrating

? Lack of self-esteem

? Feelings of hopelessness

? Troubling thoughts

? Depression

? Anxiety

? Alcohol or drug use

? Problems at work

? Memory loss

? Distractedness

? Health problems

If a woman identifies more than three of the above symptoms in her partner, she should consider seeking professional help. Having a relationship with a man suffering from ED is no easy matter. Talking over the problem, and how it makes her feel, is a big step toward helping herself, as well as her partner.

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POTENCY: WHY DIABETICS ARE MORE AT RISK

Diabetics are more at risk because they often develop blocked arteries (arteriosclerosis) at an earlier age than non-diabetics. And these blockages can occur in those crucial arteries that supply the penis with blood during an erection.

Nerve damage is another potency troublemaker for diabetics. Diabetes can cause a man to lose sensation or trigger a “tingling” in his arms and legs. And this same damage can affect the part of the nervous system that controls erection.

It’s not uncommon for a man diagnosed as diabetic to go for many years without any erection problems. Then difficulties may develop, sometimes slowly, sometimes more quickly. Daniel, for example, is in his mid-30′s and has been diabetic since he was 13. The diagnosis came as a shock, but he took to heart the advice his doctor gave him. “He told me to live life as fully as possible.”

An attractive man who is successful in his work, Dan takes obvious pride in his appearance and keeps himself in shape by lifting weights at a health club. But despite his seemingly carefree demeanor he has a lot of experience dealing with and adjusting to his diabetes. In the last few years, for instance, he’s had some problems with numbness in his legs.

Daniel didn’t have any problems with erections until about three years ago. But then, in less than a year, he went from having no problems to losing his ability to become erect. “First, I had semierections. Then, no erections. I knew diabetes could be a factor, I knew that was probably why this happened.” Daniel made the connection between his illness and the potency problems, and, in so doing, suffered less anxiety. His doctor confirmed that diabetes was indeed the culprit, and offered Daniel a choice of treatments.

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