“ Low T Syndrome: Male Menopause”May 12, 2013
Advertisers are busily trying to convince males that they are suffering from so-called “low T syndrome.” “Andropause” is now euphemistically being called male menopause or low T syndrome. Studies have shown that after the age of 30 years, males naturally have a decline in testosterone levels. However, that does not mean that all males should receive hormone replacement therapy or take testosterone supplements, as suggested by wide scale prime time commercials. Some say this is just part of the normal aging process. Still, testosterone can be a friend or a foe, dependent upon its levels and the health condition of the recipient. Some studies show that only 25% of males ever experience symptoms of depression, erectile dysfunction (ED), loss of libido, lethargy, sleep disturbances or bone loss and fractures.
” Caffeine and Energy Drink Safety “May 05, 2013
Despite the decrease in soda consumption, sales of energy drinks are soaring. Many of these so-called energy drinks (Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar) rely on caffeine to produce the notion of increased energy and it does so by stimulating the central nervous system. The only time Food and Drug Administration (FDA) explicitly approved the added use of caffeine in a food or drink was in the 1950s for colas. The current popularity and expansion of caffeine added to foods is “beyond anything FDA envisioned or recommended.” Food companies are investing in snacks like potato chips, jelly beans and gum, with a caffeinated kick, to boost your energy level. However, the FDA is taking a close look at this bothersome trend. There have already been consumer reports of deaths from overuse of energy drinks or energy shots. These caffeine containing products are also being pushed and marketed to children.
“Antibiotic Overuse Increases”Apr 28, 2013
Antibiotic overuse may be a much larger problem than the much sensationalized overuse of antidepressants and pain medications. Many patients can be very persistent in their desire to acquire a prescription for an antibiotic, especially if it is for a child. With increasing frequency, we hear about the escalating spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria, especially Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It kills about 19,000 Americans annually, which is more deaths than from AIDS. It is believed to be due to inappropriate use of antibiotics. Reports show there’s one type of drug that seems to be everywhere: antibiotics. Perhaps it is too easy to get your hands on a prescription for azithromycin or penicillin. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), backs this up with alarming numbers: Four out of five Americans got a prescription for an antibiotic in 2010, which amounts to 258 million courses of the drugs (there are only about 309 million Americans in our population).
“Fish Oil Failures”Apr 21, 2013
Attention, pill poppers of America! Television, radio and printed advertising is saturated with convincing complimentary ads for fish oil supplementation, but scientific studies are showing either no beneficial effects or they show a downside. When scientifically tested, fish oil supplements (omega-3, PUFA) does not live up to the exalted claims of advertisers. In 2005, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that fish oil does not prevent cancer. In 2006, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reported that omega-3 fatty acids have no heart-health benefit. Among nearly 4,000 heart attack patients, no difference was seen between those who consumed omega-3 supplements and those who took dummy pills. In 2009, other investigators agreed, when they found that consuming fish does not reduce the risk of heart failure.
“Prostate Cancer Problems”Apr 14, 2013
As regards prostate cancer, in the United States there were about 240,000 new cases and 28,000 deaths from the disease in 2012. According to the American Cancer Society, one in six American men get prostate cancer at some point in their life. Since some of the tumors may never become deadly, there is debate over the best way to treat them. Between 25 and 35 percent of men aged between 30 and 49 years of age will have cancer observable in their prostate at autopsy if they die for some other reason. Some 30 percent of all men in their 50s will also have cancer observable in their prostate at autopsy and as many as 70 percent of all men in their 80s will have cancer in their prostate at autopsy. Sadly, both surgery and radiation therapy are plagued with post-treatment problems.
“Louisiana, Hypertension And Baldness”Apr 07, 2013
Louisiana has done it again. We have the second highest percentage of adults suffering from high blood pressure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that one-third of U.S. adults have high blood pressure. The state with the highest percentage of adults who said they have high blood pressure is Mississippi, with 35.9 percent and Minnesota had the lowest rate, with 20.9 percent. Over all, states in the South had the highest rates, and states in the West had the lowest rates. The CDC conducted its latest 2009 national survey in which respondents were asked if they had ever been told by a health professional that they had high blood pressure. Hypertension (high blood pressure) rose in nearly every state the CDC said, since its 2005 survey. The overall rate of high blood pressure in the U.S. rose from 25.8 percent to 28.3 percent. Hypertension is a significant risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
“Losing Weight Is A Huge Problem”Mar 31, 2013
Obesity is a very serious health problem in America. About 100 million adults in the United States are “fat,” overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity has doubled in adults in the U.S. in the last 30 years and has tripled in children. As a consequence, there is convincing evidence that obesity increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis and cancer. The American Institute for Cancer Research has said, “Having too much body fat causes nearly half the cases of endometrial cancer (a type of cancer of the uterus) and a third of esophageal cancer.” It is estimated that there are now more people on the planet at risk from obesity-related diseases than there are people suffering from starvation but there is a significant portion of the population that seems immune to the obesity phenomenon.
“Alzheimer’s Disease 2013 Update”Mar 24, 2013
A frightening scenario is the loss of one’s memory. An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or some other form of dementia and those numbers will jump to 13.8 million by 2050. If 70-year-olds have dementia, 61 percent are expected to die before their eightieth birthday; whereas, deaths will occur in only 30 percent who don’t have Alzheimer’s. According to the CDC, nearly 85,000 people died from Alzheimer’s in 2011, which makes Alzheimer’s the sixth leading cause of death. That death rate rose 39 percent in the past decade. Experts calculated that health and long-term care services will total $203 billion this year. Shockingly, 1 in 3 seniors dies with (not necessarily from) Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.
“Niacin Fails To Protect Against Heart Disease”Mar 17, 2013
Heart disease is a major problem and there are many unfounded claims about how to prevent or treat vessel blockage or hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis). Heart disease has even been found in 4,000 year old mummies. Cholesterol-lowering statins have been pushed on the public for years. But, according to Johns Hopkins investigators, giving these strong drugs for “preventative-measures only” to healthy adults is not recommended and only those with calcium buildup in their arteries have a clear benefit from statin therapy. They said, “The statin drugs should not be approached like diet and exercise as a broadly based solution for preventing coronary heart disease.” A JAMA report found in statin users, “Only one fewer patient would experience a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem for every 155 patients treated for a year — and there would be one additional case of diabetes for every 498 patients treated.” Statins have long been known to cause severe muscle pain that can lead to breakdown of muscle with kidney failure and even death.
“Even Light Drinking Increases Cancer Risk”Mar 10, 2013
Louisianans are faced with alcohol consumption under many circumstances, including, Mardi Gras, football games, crawfish boils and all forms of social gatherings. For many years, we have known of the link between moderate to heavy alcohol drinking with cancer. Because there are so many alcohol drinkers in the United States, this topic is of considerable public interest and importance. There has been convincing evidence that alcohol consumption increases the risk of cancer of the colorectum, breast, larynx, liver, esophagus, oral cavity and pharynx. However, until now, there have been scant studies on the effects of light alcohol consumption. But, a new study in Annals of Oncology has shown us that even light drinking increases the risk of cancer of oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus and the female breast. Light drinking was defined as up to 1 drink/day.