Monthly Archives: February 2014

Understanding Sex Hormones in Men

Molecular Structure of Testosterone

As the second most common cancer among men in the U.S., prostate cancer claimed about 29,720 lives in 2013.  Although we don’t know the precise causes of prostate cancer, for years, a vast number of studies have pointed to testosterone as a cause; however, a newcomer on the scene has also been implicated as a possible contributor to prostate cancer—estrogen.  In fact, testosterone-estrogen balance doesn’t only play a role prostate cancer but in other diseases too.

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Skipping Breakfast—Is it Bad for Your Health?

If you take an unofficial poll of your family, friends, and coworkers about whether or not they eat breakfast in the morning, you may find that most of them don’t eat breakfast (and if they do eat breakfast, it’s hardly a healthy one).  What about you? Is eating breakfast a part of your morning routine? It’s not. Well, you’re not alone.  In fact, the 2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) shows 18% of adults skip breakfast while a whopping 86% of adults snack.1

As you know, nutrition plays an important role in your health. And some studies report that skipping breakfast is associated with poor cardiovascular factors (e.g., insulin sensitivity, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension).  Looking further at the effects of eating habits on heart health, a prospective cohort study evaluated the eating habits of men.2 The researchers found a 27% increase risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) among men who didn’t eat breakfast compared to those who ate breakfast; they also found that men who ate late-night meals had a 55% increased risk of CHD compared to men who did not eat late at night.  At first glance, your first reaction may be to start eating breakfast.  And while making time for a morning meal isn’t a bad thing, simply skipping breakfast won’t put you on the fast track toward heart disease.

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Hibiscus Tea: Sip to Your Health

Foods—fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, and fish—are a significant part of a healthy diet. Beverages, too, play an important role in health. Red wine, for example, contains resveratrol, a potent antioxidant. Natural fruit and vegetable juices are also an easy way to get important nutrients in your body. And let’s not forget about the most important beverage of all—water, which is required for survival.

Teas are another healthy drink option that contains antioxidants. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea has many health benefits: it upregulates genes that block cancer; it enhances cognition; it improves cardiovascular health; it protects the liver, a major detoxifying organ; and it promotes weight loss. Other healthy teas include oolong, black, and white tea—all of which have been shown to prevent  disease and improve pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and even cancer due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

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Gene Linked to Heart Disease

Heart Disease

Duke University researchers conducted a study in which a gene variant was linked to an increased risk of heart disease. In fact, the study showed carriers of the gene, under stressful situations, released about twice the amount of cortisol. Cortisol, better known as the stress hormone, is responsible for many functions in the body such as regulating immune function, controlling blood pressure, and releasing insulin.

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Outwit Your Cravings

Are you frustrated every time you look down at the scale? Because no matter how hard you try, you just can’t shed those extra pounds. While there are various reasons why some people lose weight easier than others, metabolism plays a major role.

Some people have a faster metabolism than others. Everyone knows people like this: friends who eat whatever they desire without packing on the pounds. Yet, you’re always watching your weight and carefully selecting what to eat. And no matter how hard you try, the number on the scale just doesn’t add up. Frustrating, right? The answer is not only what you’re eating, but how often are you eating.

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