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Men’s Health

(No) Sex, drugs & excess alcohol

(No) Sex, drugs & excess alcohol

With the start of Alcohol Awarenesss Week, this is the perfect time to look at how excess alcohol intake can impair health. New research has found that men who drink heavily or regularly take recreational drugs are more likely to have performance issues in the bedroom. The bad news is that these problems can last even after years of stopping heavy drinking and drug use. This study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The research was conducted on 906 men of which 550 (the study group) had been diagnosed with alcohol, cocaine, cocaine and alcohol, heroin, marijuana and speedball (cocaine and heroin) addiction. At the time of the study, the men were not dependent on drink or drugs. The other 356 men (the control group) had never taken drugs nor drank alcohol heavily. Researchers from the University of Granada, Spain, and Santo Tomas University in Colombia investigated four areas of sexual performance: sexual desire, sexual satisfaction, sexual arousal and orgasm. The results of the study found that the study group had a “moderately to significantly impaired sexual performance”, compared to the control group. The findings of this study contradict that of other studies which have reported that men spontaneously recovered their normal sexual performance a few weeks after stopping substance abuse. The researchers also found that alcohol was mainly responsible for causing erectile dysfunction. Men who had taken heroin, cocaine, alcohol and speedball had difficulty in achieving orgasm. If you have found our health article “(No) Sex, drugs and excess alcohol” useful, please rate it...

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Male Pattern Baldness

Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, accounts for the majority of baldness in males. This condition has a heriditary predisposition, but is mainly caused by a hormone imbalance. Hair loss usually starts at the temples and the crown. The hair initially thins over a number of years before causing baldness. The hormone Testosterone, which is present in high levels in males after puberty is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. High levels of DHT are responsible for causing hair loss and baldness. The hormone DHT attaches itself to the hair follicles and blocks blood flow to the follicle. This deprives the hair follicle of vital nutrients that are required for hair growth. This leads to a slowing of hair growth and eventually complete hair loss. There are a number of natural medicines that can be taken to stop the enzyme, 5-alpha reductase and therefore decrease the amount of DHT, the main cause of male pattern baldness. Studies have shown that the herb Saw Palmetto is an effective natural anti-androgen. It lowers levels of DHT by blocking the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Zinc can also be taken to stimulate hair growth by stimulating the immune system aswell as lowering levels of DHT. Essential fatty acids from flax seed oil or fish oils are also very important to treat hair loss. Other important natural supplements include anti-oxidants such as Selenium, Acai, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Co-enzyme Q10 and Silica. For maximum benefit it is important to combine these products or to take a combination...

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Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction (E.D):  Part 1

Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction (E.D): Part 1

There are a number of natural herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction or E.D. This is not just a condition that affects older men. It can affect men at time of their lives. There are many potential causes of this problem, and these natural remedies all work in a slightly different way. There are several herbal remedies for erectile dysfunction available. Long term smoking, high alcohol consumption and the use of recreational drugs all contribute to developing E.D. Obesity and lack of regular exercise are also factors that can lead E.D. So if you think that you may have E.D the first thing is to cut out smoking and recreational drugs, cut down on alcohol consumption and start regular exercise. Anxiety and stress can also lead to men developing E.D. Certain prescribed medications have side effects that can also cause E.D. There are also certain illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure that can cause E.D. If you have diabetes or are on prescribed medication, please contact your G.P to discuss the natural remedies that are safe for you to take. It is also important to have your cardiac system checked before taking any herbal remedies for E.D. The following natural remedies can be taken for erectile dysfunction: Damiana. This herbal remedy is native to Mexico and other parts of Central America. It has been associated with improved sexual function in both men and women. This remedy works by improving blood circulation and stimulating the nervous system. Damiana should be taken for a few weeks before its beneficial action is seen. This natural remedy is often combined with Muira Puama to improve the stability of erections during intercourse. Damiana is available as a tincture, tea, tablet or capsule. If you have diabetes, you should not take this herb as it can also lower blood sugar levels. A common side effect of Damiana is mild indigestion. Muira Puama. This natural remedy originates from the Amazon rain forest. The herbal tincture is made from the tree, using the bark, root, flowers and fruit. Muira Puama has been used as an aphrodisiac historically. It is also used to treat nervous exhaustion and mild depression.  Studies have found that this herb has helped...

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Natural remedies for impotence (erectile dysfunction)

Today marks the start of Men’s Health Awareness Month, so to kick off this article explores the alternative remedies for this distressing condition. Erectile Dysfunction (E.D) or impotence is a common health problem amongst men of all ages, but is especially prevalent in those over 60 years. There are many potential causes of E.D. Chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure can cause impotence. Certain prescribed medications can also cause a man to become impotent as part of their side effects. If you think this may be the case, do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. However, there are many natural remedies for impotence available. Long term smoking, high alcohol consumption and the use of recreational drugs all contribute to developing E.D. Obesity and lack of regular exercise are also factors that can lead E.D. So if you think that you may have E.D the first thing is to cut out smoking and recreational drugs, cut down on alcohol consumption and start regular exercise. Anxiety and stress can also lead to men developing E.D. This can be helped by taking time to relax, or consulting a homeopath for treatment. Homeopathic and herbal remedies such as Avena Sativa and Passiflora can be taken to help relieve strees. These natural remedies can be taken to help with short term stress that may be causing E.D. Bach Rescue Remedy or Ainsworths Recovery Remedy can also be taken to help with short term anxiety that may be causing E.D. The following natural remedies may help treat Erectile Dysfunction (E.D): Catuaba is a Brazilian herb that is a natural aphrodisiac and supports the nervous system. The herb Gingko Biloba improves circulation and blood flow. The nutrients Zinc and Selenium are important in the healthy function of the male reproductive sysytem, and are also good antioxidants. The amino acid L-Arginine is used to treat E.D. It works in a similar way to the drug Viagra, by enhancing the action of Nitrous Oxide, which causes the smooth muscle to relax. This results in improved blood flow to the penis. The drug Viagra works by breaking down the enzyme which destroys Nitrous Oxide, whereas L-Arginine helps to produce Nitrous Oxide. Other health benefits of L-Arginine are improved circulation which can help maintain a healthy cardiovascular...

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Foods to Halt Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is generally an illness that affects men over the age of 50. According to Prostate Cancer UK, about 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. NHS figures indicate that around 40,000 British men are diagnosed every year. As this cancer usually develops slowly, there may be no signs for many years. Common symptoms for prostate cancer include: Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine Weak or interrupted flow of urine Painful or burning urination Difficulty in having an erection Painful ejaculation Blood in urine or semen Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs You should consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you are over 40 years. These statistics may sound very daunting to most men, but there are a number of measures that we can take to minimise our risk and keep our prostate’s healthy. As with good general health, regular exercise, a healthy diet and a combination of supplements can help to keep this illness at bay. Even if you are unfortunate to have a positive PSA (prostate specific antigen) score, alongside a CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to confirm the diagnosis, there are still a number of natural approaches that can be adopted alongside conventional treatment. Lycopene is a carotene in tomatoes that gives it the red colour. The lycopene component actually becomes more effective in cooked and ripened tomatoes. Three or more servings of tomatoes per week have been found to dramatically reduce the risk of this disease. Other good sources of lycopene are pink grapefruits, watermelons, red cabbage, chillies and papayas. These foods are also excellent sources of antioxidants such as vitamin C, which help to neutralise the effects of free radicals. Antioxidant foods also reduce general inflammation in the body and therefore help to improve overall health. Curcumin is the active ingredient of turmeric, which is thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal properties. Curcumin has been shown to be a potent ant-inflammatory agent, as it blocks the action of enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. Recent studies have found that this spice can prevent the onset and...

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Cancer in Men

Cancer in Men

A report published by Cancer Research UK has produced a startling statistic for cancer in men; “men are 35% more likely to die from cancer than women”. Lifestyle is one of the major factors as men are likely to smoke, drink and overeat.  Another cause is the reluctance for men to self check and to see their GP as soon as symptoms occur.  Below are 3 of the most common cancers that affect men: Prostate Cancer Men over 50 are most at risk as are African/Caribbean men who are up to three times more likely to get it.  Family history and genetics can also be contributing factor, a man with a brother or father who has contracted prostate cancer is twice as likely to contract the disease. Common symptoms for prostate cancer include: Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine Weak or interrupted flow of urine Painful or burning urination Difficulty in having an erection Painful ejaculation Blood in urine or semen Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs You should consult with your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms above. Testicular Cancer It usually affects younger men between the ages of 15 and 44.  The most common symptom is a painless lump or swelling in the testicles. Other symptoms can include: a dull ache in the scrotum (the sac of skin that hangs underneath the penis and contains the testicles) a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum Unlike prostate cancer, testicular cancer usually affects men between the ages of 16 and 44.  Rates of testicular cancer are five times higher in white men than in black men. The reasons for this are unknown at the moment. Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer. Over 95% of men with early stage testicular cancer will be completely cured.  Even cases of more advanced testicular cancer, where the cancer has spread outside the testicles to nearby tissue, have an 80% chance of being cured.  Compared to other cancers, deaths from testicular cancer are rare. Cancer Research UK say that around 70 men die from testicular cancer every year in the UK. It is very important that men check their testicles on...

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Foods to Improve Fertility

Foods to Improve Fertility

Infertility is an increasing problem for many couples. The causes of infertlity range from genetic complications, hormone imbalances, life-style and diet. A healthy diet for both the male and female partner is very important especially if you are having trouble conceiving. Adding certain foods and removing others from your diet can actually improve fertility and raise your chances of getting pregnant. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can have a detrimental effect on your chances of conceiving, so should be avoided. The more alcohol that both partners consume – the lower the chance of getting pregnant. The odd drink is fine, but binge drinking is not recommended if you want to get pregnant. Excessive alcohol can lower zinc levels, which can lower sperm counts in men. Alcohol can prevent implantation in women. Sugary snacks such as chocolates, biscuits and cakes can affect hormone balances in the body. These foods should not totally be cut out of your diet, but keep to a minimum. Foods high in saturated fat, ready meals and junk foods deplete the body of essential nutrients that are needed for conception. These foods are also generally high in sugar and salt. Caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and many carbonated drinks, can reduce your chances of conceiving. It is worth noting that the odd caffeinated drink or bar of chocolate is fine, but when these foods are eaten in excess, fertility can be affected. In males, excess caffeine intake can cause impotence by reducing blood flow. This lack of blood flow also affects the motility of a fertilised egg in females. The following foods, aside from improving your general health, can help you to conceive: A diet that is high in antioxidants will improve the reproductive function of both partners. Antioxidants are present in coloured vegetables, such as peppers and green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach. Strawberries, blackberries, pomegranates and raspberries are examples of fruits that are high in antioxidants.  Antioxidants are natural substances that help to protect the body from the harmful effects of free radical damage. Free radicals can be formed by factors such as exposure to radiation (including over exposure to the sun’s rays), cigarette smoke, air pollution, exercise, processed foods, household cleaners and stress. Zinc is...

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Supplements for Male Infertility

Health supplements can be very effective in many cases of infertility in men. These supplements can help men at any age as male fertility is not age dependent, unlike females, whose fertility declines after the age of 35. There are a number of supplements for male infertility available. You should consult your doctor before starting treatment with any supplement. This is important a low sperm count could be a due to an underlying illness. The supplements mentioned below should be taken regularly for up to three months. The amino acid arginine, is essential for creating and maintaining an erection. It works in a similar way to the drug Viagra, by enhancing the action of nitric oxide, which causes the smooth muscle to relax. This results in improved blood flow to the penis. The drug Viagra works by breaking down the enzyme which destroys nitric oxide, whereas arginine helps to produce nitric oxide. This amino acid has also been shown to increase both the sperm count and quality. Avoid this amino acid if you have a history of developing cold sores. Selenium is usually combined with vitamin C and vitamin E. This combination is a very effective antioxidant that can help to prevent damage that is caused by free radicals. Free radicals can affect the production and quality of sperm. Omega 3 oils such as fish oil and flax seed oil are essential for the production of healthy sperm. These oils are also important for the healthy development of the reproductive system. Zinc increases levels of testosterone and semen levels, resulting in increased sperm counts. High doses of zinc (more than 25mg a day) can reduce levels of copper in the body. You should only take high doses of zinc under the supervision of a qualified nutritionist. Vitamin E has been found to increase male fertility and sperm counts in men. Consult your doctor if you are taking any anticoagulant medication. Carnitine is another amino acid that is needed for sperm production. Studies have found that carnitine supplementation may be of value in improving sperm count and sperm motility. Vitamin B complex should be taken over a period of two to three months. This vitamin has the added benefit of...

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Male Infertility

Male Infertility

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a child a year after having unprotected sex during the most fertile times of the menstrual cycle. Infertility can result from a problem with the male or female partner. For male infertillity, this can be due to a lack of sperm or a lack of motility of the sperm. Sperm counts have reduced over the past 50 years resulting in 1 in 4 couples having problems conceiving. In most cases the precise cause of infertility in men cannot be identified. Some cases are linked to scar tissue from previous infections such as Chlamydia. This scar tissue can block the exit of sperm. Male infertility can also be a result of low levels of testosterone. Low levels of this hormone can result in low sperm counts as testosterone stimulates the testes to produce sperm. A low sperm count can also be due to a poor diet, lack of important nutrients and a lack of regular exercise. Other factors that can contribute to infertility are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, recreational drugs, certain prescribed medications and stress. Modern farming methods and the use of pesticides and herbicides have also contributed to this problem. Nutrients such as selenium, which are essential for the male reproductive system, are no longer obtained in enough amounts from the soil through grains such as brown rice and oats. Modern farming has also resulted in an oestrogen boosting effect. This counteracts the production of testosterone within the body. Stress, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption will increase the levels of free radicals in the body. Free radicals in the body are very reactive and will react with other compounds leading to chemical changes in the body. It is these changes that can lead to conditions such as infertility. It is therefore important to cut out smoking and reduce alcohol intake during this time. Stress will have a dramatic effect on your chances of conception, but this can be a vicious cycle. Not being able to conceive can increase levels of stress, and compound the problem! Regular exercise, yoga, breathing exercises or meditation can help to reduce levels of stress. Please read Natural Remedies to help with Stress, for helpful supplements. Therapies...

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Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction (E.D)

Herbal Remedies for Erectile Dysfunction (E.D)

The herbal remedy Tribulus Terrestris has recently been marked as a “mens” remedy by many well known health companies. This natural remedy has been marketed as a sport’s supplement as well as improving sexual performance. It is believed that the active components of Tribulus work by increasing levels of testosterone, although these results have not been verified scientifically as yet. This remedy has been used successfully by many men for E.D and low libido. Tribulus is thought to increase the release of nitric oxide and increase blood flow to the penis. Gingko Biloba is a commonly used herbal remedy. It generally works by dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow throughout the body. Gingko stimulates circulation and stops blood clotting. Gingko is used to treat a variety of conditions, ranging from tinnitus, improving memory through to E.D. Gingko contains compounds that cause the blood vessels to relax, which in the case of E.D results in an increased blood flow to the penis. This herbal remedy should be used with medical supervision if you are taking Aspirin or Warfarin.  Gingko has been shown to be particularly helpful in men who suffer with E.D as a result of being on antidepressant medication. Several studies have found that Gingko helped to reverse E.D after four to six weeks in men who were talking antidepressants such as fluoxetine and sertraline. This herb is generally available as a tincture or in tablet form. Ginseng is a Chinese herbal medicine that has been used for over 2,000 years. This is another natural herbal remedy that has multiple uses. For example, Ginseng is used as a support remedy for the adrenal glands, for menopausal symptoms and E.D. Ginseng is also commonly used to increase energy and enhance physical performance. It is also referred to as an adaptogen. This means that it can increase the body’s ability to deal with both mentally and physically stressful situations. This remedy works by acting as an aphrodisiac.  Ginseng has been found to stimulate the area of the brain that is responsible for stimulating growth and healing of the sex organs. Studies have also found that Ginseng increases blood flow to the penis. This herbal remedy is found in many vitamin...

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