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Osteoporosis is a quiet condition that occurs slowly over time as we all get older. It is usually not discovered until we start breaking bones from simple falls or less.

All of us are born with thin bones, and as we grow, our bones grow and thicken. So, when Mom said eat your veggies and drink your milk to grow up big and strong, she was telling the truth.

Microscopically, bones are built like steel-girder bridges or scaffolds, lots of bone girders holding up our bodies. Our bones should be their strongest by about age 30. After that, our bones gradually lose their strength, and the bone girders are taken away till we cannot support ourselves.

Why is this important? Osteoporosis is a treatable condition, but in the United States:

Three-fourths of women will not be treated even a year after their fracture.

One-third of women over age 50 will develop an osteoporosis fracture.

Those with one osteoporosis fracture have a five-times higher risk of a second fracture within a year.

Thirty-three percent of women and 50 percent of men who experience an osteoporosis hip fracture die within a year due to complications.

Many things affect our bone strength. Factors that increase bone loss include age, being underweight, Caucasian, female, sedentary, having a family history of fractures, low estrogen and testosterone levels, smoking, using steroids and excessive alcohol.

Medical conditions also can decrease bone strength, such as thyroid and other endocrine diseases, liver or kidney disease, kidney stones, malnutrition, malabsorption of nutrients, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, seizure disorders and cancers.

Diagnosing osteoporosis is easy and painless. Your medical provider can order a DEXA scan of your low back and hip. This screening measures bone density and provides a T-score that can help identify those at risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures:

Osteopenia (thin bone with an increased risk of fracture) is -1 to -2.5.

Osteoporosis (with a high risk of fracture) is any score less than -2.5.

It is recommended that all women over age 65 and men over 70 should get a DEXA scan. Others who should be screened include postmenopausal women under age 65 with significant risk factors and men age 50 to 69 with risk factors. Risk factors include:

Family history of osteoporosis.

Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Low body mass index (BMI).

Height loss of more than one inch.

Use of tobacco and alcohol.

Use of corticosteroids and some other drugs.

Another tool is FRAX, or Fracture Risk Assessment Tool, which can be completed online in seconds and gives a 10-year risk assessment for an osteoporosis fractures. To assess your 10-year risk, search for FRAX and select the appropriate region from the websites calculation tool menu.

People with osteoporosis should be on 1,000 mg of elemental calcium and 2,000 to 5,000 units of vitamin D per day. Depending on past fractures and risk of future fractures, medications, including oral bisphosphonates and biologic therapies, also can be used to slow bone loss and thicken bones.

Reduce your risk for osteoporosis fractures by stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake and including at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise in your schedule three times per week to strengthen bones and improve balance.

Dr. J. Harrell Docherty Jr. joined HopeHealth in 2019 as a rheumatologist. He is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and completed his internship in internal medicine, his residency and a fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. He serves patients at HopeHealth on Palmetto Street in Florence and HopeHealth in Manning.

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What is osteoporosis and why should I care? - SCNow

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Jan 25th, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband and I are very fortunate to have had a happy relationship for many years. Our lovemaking has always been a pleasure for both of us. Now, we have to add Viagra to the mix. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesnt, which is a disappointment to both of us. Is there anything we can do to enhance its effectiveness? Or is there something else you can recommend that would do what we wish Viagra would do consistently? Anon.

ANSWER: Sildenafil (Viagra) and similar medicines have been very effective treatment for many men who have difficulty achieving and maintaining adequate erections for sexual intercourse. However, they are not effective for all men, and many people have a misunderstanding about how they work.

Most importantly, Viagra does not increase libido, the desire for sexual contact, in men or women. It works by changing the way blood flows in and out of the penis. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by circulation problems such as blockages in the arteries; neurological problems; endocrine problems, especially low testosterone; and relationship issues. Viagra helps to some extent for men with any of these problems, but its worth reconsidering whether there is an underlying medical issue going on, both before prescribing it and periodically while taking it, especially if it doesnt seem to be working as well.

Still, oftentimes the problem with Viagra working intermittently is that it is affected by food, which many men dont appreciate fully. Food slows down absorption of the medication, making the optimal time of administration more difficult to determine. I have often repeated the advice I heard from a urologist: Take Viagra at 6, have dinner at 7, and you are good until midnight. Viagra does become progressively less effective in some men, requiring higher doses to have the same results. Or, your husband could switch to one of the other Viagra-like drugs, which have greater flexibility with timing and food. They work better for some men.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old male in good health except for a low testosterone count of 109 on a recent test. I am wondering about the benefits and risks of therapy. I have read that injection can lead to very high and then very low counts, but the patch can be potentially dangerous to my spouse. Can you clarify these issues for me? A.D.

ANSWER: Testosterone is an important hormone for men and women, although men have much higher levels. It has many critical functions. This includes promoting bone and muscle strength, and generally favorable effects on blood cholesterol types and levels. Plus, it is necessary for healthy sexual function.

Although very high levels of testosterone, such as those taken illegally by athletes, are associated with significant risks, replacement of testosterone in a man with low levels and symptoms of low testosterone has not been shown to be risky, and most evidence suggests an overall benefit from getting the testosterone back into the normal range. There are oral forms, injection and transdermal (patch and gel) formulations. Early injections showed problems with high levels after the injection followed by low, but there are better formulations to minimize that risk. Most men now prefer the gels or patches, which tend to have pretty consistent levels.

Women and children should not handle the medication directly. Your spouse is at low risk if you wash your hands carefully after application and avoid skin contact until it has dried completely, such as by wearing clothing. You should avoid getting the area of application (usually the shoulder) wet for five hours after application.

* * *

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to [emailprotected] or send mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

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Timing and food can be important in effectiveness of Viagra - Lewiston Sun Journal

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Jan 25th, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

Fort Wayne News-Sentinel

The premise is that female sports are endangered because of the new reality that females may be forced to compete against biological males who claim to be female an unfair biological advantage.

An Indiana House bill introduced by Rep. Christy Stutzman, R-Middlebury (wife of former 3rd District Congressman Marlin Stutzman), would prohibit any biological boy who says he is a girl from competing in sports against a girl in the public schools.

HB 1088, the Fair Play for Female Sports Act is reportedly being held up for a committee assignment. It comes on the heels of a recent study that matches seemingly obvious truths about the common advantages of biological males in sports.

A December story by the Alliance Defending Freedom reported that a study by three New Zealand scholars published in the Journal of Medical Ethics concludes biological males possess physiological, and therefore performance, advantages over biological females in sports.

The story says the studys authors address the fairness of International Olympic Committee guidelines, which allow men who identify as women to compete in womens sports if they have a certain level of testosterone.

Those male athletes are permitted to have a testosterone level nearly six times higher than that of a normal healthy female.

Besides the obvious unfairness of this trend, according to an article by the Indiana Family Institute, such a policy also creates additional barriers for women who want to win a championship, use athletics to earn a scholarship to college or compete on the world stage.

Bottom line: the three scholars say the trendy issue of inclusion does not trump the importance of fairness for female athletes.

But the study wont mollify the critics. Gender identity ideology denies basic biological realities and common sense.

The Alliance Defending Freedom points out that the American Civil Liberties Union insists there is no research to support the conclusion that men who identify as women competing in womens sports maintain a competitive advantage.

Meanwhile, an article on lgbtqnation.com states, While the LGBTQ and international sports communities are still learning more about the science behind trans competitors, bills like Stutzmans treat trans female athletes like unstoppable competitors when in reality trans athletes often lose, just like their cis counterparts. (Cis, or cisgender, is a term for those whose gender identity matches the sex they were born with.)

The article goes on to quote Stutzmans Facebook post about her bill in which she wrote, Support the cause of protecting the integrity of female sports . . . We must protect the opportunities and scholarships of our hardworking female athletes in junior high and high school!

In that post, Stutzman included a link to the article by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which lgbtqnation.com says has been designated by the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBTQ hate group.

But we maintain science and common sense outweigh the nonsense that disregards the biological differences between men and women. And we think Stutzmans bill, whether it makes any progress in the Indiana Legislature or not, is merely an attempt to protect the existence of female-only sports and the opportunities for female athletes in junior high and high school in Indiana.

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ANOTHER VIEWPOINT: Bill seeks to ensure fairness in girls' sports - Daily Journal

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Jan 25th, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

Last week, we looked into some background information for Iran and its neighbors. Now we can discuss the presidents decision to take out Irans General Soleimani with a drone strike. At this writing, it is unclear what urgent reasons we had to justify assassinating a major figure of a sovereign nation on the territory of another sovereign nation, but evidently we had a clear opportunity to do it.

Soleimani has long been a threat to our national interests, so weve had decades to strike and did not. Trumps decision to take out Soleimani is an expression of his America First philosophy, summarized by a White House official as, Were America, bitc*. From this vantage point, previous administrations have suffered from a testosterone deficiency. Its really very simple. Soleimani was a bad guy. We came. We saw. We blew him up. Any reprisals and well blow you away, too.

Iran caved, nervously shot down a Ukrainian airliner, lied about it, and its citizens hit the streets protesting their own government. So far, this is a round Trump has certainly won. Whats not to like?

Democrats reflexively condemned Trumps actions, exposing themselves to charges of lacking the manhood and patriotism required to defend the country and its interests. Knee-jerk partisanship aside, what, if anything, was wrong with what we did?

Its always been America first. Trump didnt invent that. But formerly, its been America in concert with a team of allies with whom weve made mutually beneficial agreements. Its in the nature of collaboration to make deals in which all parties give something, get something, and walk away content their collective national interests are served. In a dangerous world, its good to have friends. We could have gotten consensus internally and with allies about acting when opportunity presented and didnt.

Osama bin Laden and Al Baghdadi were terrorists, citizens of nowhere. Soleimani was an Iranian national official and we had not declared war. Its not that anyone here is sympathetic to the man; its that if America violates its own protocols as well as international understandings, we open our own leaders to similar attacks. When we threaten to destroy a nations sacred sites and historical treasures, we threaten to commit war crimes our country previously agreed to avoid. These things should matter.

Its understood that there are short-term opportunities that do not permit extensive consultation with allies or Congress, but what Trump did was an act of war and may still precipitate one. No party should want to give the chief executive powers they wouldnt be willing to live with if they lost the next election. This time, it worked. But civilization is all about rules, about process, checks and balances, treaties, consultations and consensus.

The main problem with Trump is that he has contempt for due process in almost any form. He boasts of acting impulsively, unilaterally, and encourages his supporters to feel good about it, too.

History is a long game. Weaken due process and we strengthen Russia and China, enemies of democracy and human rights. Surrender the moral high ground and no nation, no population anywhere will look to us with hope or trust. God forbid the only reason other nations have to prefer America over these other actors is that we have troops on their soil, or have them by the throat.

Despite the administrations protests to the contrary, the impeachment process is about more than cut-throat partisanship. Trumps public utterances, his erratic behavior and indifference to the truth are genuinely terrifying to a broad segment of the country. He shot from the hip and hit his target, but that doesnt mean shooting from the hip is good governance or safe practice in a dangerous and complex world.

Lawrence Brown of Centerville teaches humanities and is a columnist for the Cape Cod Times. Email him at columnresponse@gmail.com.

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Caught in the middle between process and opportunity - Cape Cod Times

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Jan 25th, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

Ponce de Lens search for the fountain of youth in Florida is just a legend.

But about 1,500 miles to the north, in the icy waters of Cedar Lake in Minneapolis, dozens of people think theyve found the next best thing.

On a recent Sunday around 9:30 a.m., a diverse group of about 20 people dressed in swimsuits trekked to a spot near the shore on the west side of the lake and immersed themselves in an 8-by-12-foot rectangular hole cut in the ice. Later in the day, another group of people gathered to do the same thing.

This isnt a once-a-year, get-in, get-out, New Years Day plunge for Instagram bragging rights.

This is something that happens every Sunday throughout the winter.

Some people come several times a week, and stay for a good, long soak of five, 10, 15 minutes or more. Except for the knit hats, they look like they could be relaxing in a hot tub as they stand in water that ranges from waist- to neck-deep.

Called cold therapy or cold thermogenesis, ice-water bathing is a practice that biohackers and assorted others believe makes them healthier.

The Twin Cities Cold Thermogenesis Facebook group, which was created in 2016, claims the frigid dips do everything from increase testosterone in men to boosting brown adipose tissue. (The so-called brown fat or good fat may be helpful in combating obesity because it burns calories to create heat.)

Cold-water immersion also strengthens the immune system, according to Svetlana Vold, a part-time firefighter and ultramarathon winter bike racer from St. Louis Park, who organizes the Sunday morning cold-immersion session.

Vold and others say chilling out in the water combats inflammation, helps them sleep better and improves their focus and endurance. Some said theyre inspired by Wim The Iceman Hof, a Dutchman famous for his breathing and cold exposure technique called the Wim Hof Method.

The Cedar Lake group would probably meet the approval of David Sinclair, a Harvard genetics professor and longevity expert who thinks that cold exposure may help slow the aging process.

Maria OConnell, the organizer of the afternoon session, has been immersing herself in an ice-filled horse trough in her backyard since 2011. Initially its a little uncomfortable, she said. You end up getting better the more you do it.

But many say the frigid dunks are a mood-altering, even pleasurable experience.

It hurts so damn good, said Stephen McLaughlin, a 61-year-old Minneapolis resident. You are just completely present.

It makes me happy. I think its adrenaline, said Allison Kuznia, 42, of Minneapolis.

Its kind of a treat to go out and get really cold, said Nick White, 46, of Minneapolis. It gives you a feeling of euphoria.

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Meet the people who think soaking in a frozen Minneapolis lake is the secret to good health - Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Jan 25th, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

Specialty retailer launches premium offerings across multiple categories for knowledgeable consumers seeking elevated health and wellness solutions with clean formulas

SECAUCUS, N.J., Jan. 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --The Vitamin Shoppe, an omni-channel specialty retailer of nutritional products, announced today the launch of Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe brand, a new line of premium vitamins, minerals, supplements, and essential oils for wellness consumers seeking simply clean formulas with the highest quality ingredients.

Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe brand products feature simply clean formulas, high potencies and clinically-tested ingredients.

Offering high-potency wellness solutions, the entire Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe brand is free of artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Each of the vitamin, mineral, and supplement formulas contain no magnesium stearate, stearic acid, or titanium dioxide. The 14 essential oils are made from 100 percent pure, USDA-certified organic oils.

Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe brand encompasses a broad assortment of products, including multivitamins, fish oils, whey proteins, joint support, testosterone support, and essential oils. More information on the complete range of products can be found at http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/lp/vthrive.

Sharon Leite, Chief Executive Officer of The Vitamin Shoppe, commented: "We are excited to introduce Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe brand to knowledgeable wellness consumers who take a proactive approach to their health and prioritize clean formulas and clinically-tested, branded ingredients. These new offerings bring another option to our growing lineup of proprietary brands, which are all backed by The Vitamin Shoppe's quality promise. We are committed to being a trusted and comprehensive resource for our customers, providing them with a variety of high-quality products to meet their personal health and wellness goals, however they define them."

As one of The Vitamin Shoppe's proprietary brands, consumers can feel confident that all Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe brand products meet or exceed industry quality standards. Every product from The Vitamin Shoppe family of brands is put through 320 rigorous quality assurance steps, and ingredient purity and potency are verified by independent, third-party labs.

The Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe brand includes the following products:

Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe brand products can be found at over 750 locations of The Vitamin Shoppe, Super Supplements and at http://www.vitaminshoppe.com.

About The Vitamin Shoppe

The Vitamin Shoppe, a subsidiary of Franchise Group Inc. (NASDAQ: FRG), is an omni-channel specialty retailer and wellness lifestyle Company with the mission of providing customers with the most trusted products, guidance, and services to help them become their best selves, however they define it. Based in Secaucus, New Jersey, the Company offers a comprehensive assortment of nutritional solutions, including vitamins, minerals, specialty supplements, herbs, sports nutrition, homeopathic remedies, green living products, and natural beauty aids. In addition to carrying products from approximately 700 national brands, The Vitamin Shoppe offers products from its proprietary brands within its owned and wholesale channels, including: The Vitamin Shoppe, BodyTech, BodyTech Elite, True Athlete, plnt and ProBioCare. The Company conducts business through more than 750 company-operated retail stores under The Vitamin Shoppe and Super Supplements banners, and via its website, http://www.vitaminshoppe.com.

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The Vitamin Shoppe Launches New Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe Brand Line of Vitamins, Supplements and Proteins that Answer the Needs of Advanced Wellness...

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Jan 25th, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

Not mentioned in any official statements was the actual illegal substance found in the system of WBC/WBO female super middleweight world champion Alejandra Tigre Jimenez. Fightnews.com has confirmed that the substance is Stanozolol, a synthetic derivative of testosterone.

Photo: Stacey VerbeekJimenez is aggressively looking to clear her name. She stated, On December 15, 2019, VADA took urine and blood doping samples, which turned out to be negative. On January 10 of this year, I was subjected to another anti-doping test only of urine, which was positive, a fact that surprised me since I have never used any illegal substance for my preparation. However, the next day, that is, on January 11, I had another blood and urine test, and it was negative again, so I consider that there is an error in the test that tested positive. An error that affects my image and is detrimental to the example that I seek to present as an athlete.

I will immediately request the analysis of the B sample, to prove credibly that there has been an errorI trust the due process of the investigation carried out by the World Boxing Council, which Im sure will be resolved in my favor.

PLEASE READWe have a few rules to make our comment section more enjoyable for everyone.1. Keep comments related to boxing.2. Be respectful, polite and keep it clean.3. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.Offending posts will be removed.

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Boxing News: Tigre: I've never used any illegal substance January 25, 2020 - Fight News

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Jan 25th, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband and I are very fortunate to have had a happy relationship for many years. Our lovemaking has always been a pleasure for both of us. Now, we have to add Viagra to the mix. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesnt, which is a disappointment to both of us. Is there anything we can do to enhance its effectiveness? Or is there something else you can recommend that would do what we wish Viagra would do consistently? Anon.

ANSWER: Sildenafil (Viagra) and similar medicines have been very effective treatment for many men who have difficulty achieving and maintaining adequate erections for sexual intercourse. However, they are not effective for all men, and many people have a misunderstanding about how they work.

Most importantly, Viagra does not increase libido, the desire for sexual contact, in men or women. It works by changing the way blood flows in and out of the penis. Erectile dysfunction can be caused by circulation problems such as blockages in the arteries; neurological problems; endocrine problems, especially low testosterone; and relationship issues. Viagra helps to some extent for men with any of these problems, but its worth reconsidering whether there is an underlying medical issue going on, both before prescribing it and periodically while taking it, especially if it doesnt seem to be working as well.

Still, oftentimes the problem with Viagra working intermittently is that it is affected by food, which many men dont appreciate fully. Food slows down absorption of the medication, making the optimal time of administration more difficult to determine. I have often repeated the advice I heard from a urologist: Take Viagra at 6, have dinner at 7, and you are good until midnight. Viagra does become progressively less effective in some men, requiring higher doses to have the same results. Or, your husband could switch to one of the other Viagra-like drugs, which have greater flexibility with timing and food. They work better for some men.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old male in good health except for a low testosterone count of 109 on a recent test. I am wondering about the benefits and risks of therapy. I have read that injection can lead to very high and then very low counts, but the patch can be potentially dangerous to my spouse. Can you clarify these issues for me? A.D.

ANSWER: Testosterone is an important hormone for men and women, although men have much higher levels. It has many critical functions. This includes promoting bone and muscle strength, and generally favorable effects on blood cholesterol types and levels. Plus, it is necessary for healthy sexual function.

Although very high levels of testosterone, such as those taken illegally by athletes, are associated with significant risks, replacement of testosterone in a man with low levels and symptoms of low testosterone has not been shown to be risky, and most evidence suggests an overall benefit from getting the testosterone back into the normal range. There are oral forms, injection and transdermal (patch and gel) formulations. Early injections showed problems with high levels after the injection followed by low, but there are better formulations to minimize that risk. Most men now prefer the gels or patches, which tend to have pretty consistent levels.

Women and children should not handle the medication directly. Your spouse is at low risk if you wash your hands carefully after application and avoid skin contact until it has dried completely, such as by wearing clothing. You should avoid getting the area of application (usually the shoulder) wet for five hours after application.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or send mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

2020 North America Syndicate Inc.

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To Your Good Health | Timing and food can be important in effectiveness of Viagra - Kilgore News Herald

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Jan 23rd, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

Staff ReporterJan 22, 2020 07:57 PM EST

As people age, their bodies start to change. This includes issues related to hormones. One of the most common hormonal issues that men face has to do with low testosterone, also called low T. As a common male health issue, there are many people who would like help addressing this issue. For those who would like to learn more, read more about testo boosters and some of the signs of low T.

One of the most common signs that someone has low levels of testosterone is sexual dysfunction. Testosterone is the main male sex hormone and controls factors such as libido and the ability to both achieve and sustain an erection that is suitable for intercourse. When someone has low levels of testosterone, they are going to notice issues with their reproductive system. Men will notice that they just don't "feel" like having sex. Their libido has dropped due to a lack of testosterone. They will also notice that they don't have spontaneous erections like they used to. This can be incredibly frustrating and can lead to serious mental health issues. Therefore, the issues of low testosterone need to be addressed.

Next, men with low testosterone are going to notice that they don't have as much lean muscle mass as they used to. Testosterone plays a key role in someone's ability to put on lean muscle by working out. Even though someone puts in the hours at the gym and eats a healthy, well-balanced diet, they just can't seem to put on the same amount of lean muscle they used to. One of the possible reasons why is that someone has low testosterone. Testosterone is required for the body to respond to the stimulus produced by working out regularly. Without testosterone, lean muscle is not going to stick.

In addition, another common sign of low testosterone is hair loss. Testosterone is responsible for keeping hair follicles healthy and full. If someone has low levels of testosterone, people may notice bald spots starting to appear on the scalp. Hair may also fall out when someone uses a comb or brush. Finally, men may also notice more hair on the floor of the shower. Addressing low testosterone can help someone prevent hair loss.

Finally, one of the most important signs of low testosterone is reduced bone mass. Bones are made up of a calcium network that gives bones their strength and durability. Without testosterone, the bones are going to start to weaken. While this might lead to pain and discomfort, it may also cause someone to be more susceptible to bone fractures. This presents a serious health complication that might land someone in the hospital. In order to avoid this, those who have low testosterone need to make sure this problem is treated.

Anyone who thinks they might have low testosterone should know that there are treatment options available. This comes in the form of testosterone boosters. This is a great way for someone to restore their testosterone levels back to normal. Then, they can enjoy life just as they did during their younger years.

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The Signs a Testosterone Booster is Needed - Science Times

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Jan 23rd, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone

Taking fish oil supplements was associated with better testicular function in healthy young men, according to results of an observational study.

Among more than 1,600 young Danish men, those who reported taking fish oil supplements had larger testes (=1.3 mL, 95% CI 0.5-2.1 mL), higher semen volume (=0.49 mL, 95% CI 0.18-0.80 mL), and higher total sperm count (=0.39 million, 95% CI 0.03-0.76 million) compared with men who did not use supplements, reported Tina Jensen, PhD, of the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, and colleagues.

Men who used fish oil supplements also had 20% lower levels of follicle stimulating hormone (95% CI 9%-31%). Their luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were 16% lower (95% CI 8%-24%), and their free testosterone to LH ratio was 8% higher (95% CI 0%-17%), they stated in JAMA Network Open.

However, there were no differences in inhibin B or testosterone levels, the authors reported.

They also found a dose-response relationship, with testicular function stronger in men reporting supplement use on 60 or more of the past 90 days compared with those who said they took supplements on fewer than 60 days. For example, men with intake on 60 or more days had 0.6 mL larger semen volume, 1.5 mL bigger testis, and a 15% higher free testosterone to LH ratio, a difference that could be clinically relevant, they said.

"To our knowledge, no studies on the association of intake of -3 fatty acids supplements with semen quality among healthy men from the general population have been performed," the authors wrote. "These findings suggest that intake of fish oil supplements was associated with better testicular function, which is less likely to be due to confounding by indication as no associations of intake of other supplements with testicular function were found."

Previous research has shown the rich fatty acid content of the sperm membrane is critical for sperm function, Jensen's group said. However, acids such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources, they added.

The cross-sectional study included 1,679 Danish men (average age 18.9) who had undergone an examination to determine fitness for military service. The men were approached after the exam and invited to participate in the study, regardless of their fitness for service. Participants completed a questionnaire on health, lifestyle, and diet. They also underwent another physical exam and provided blood and semen samples for analysis.

Human semen quality has been declining worldwide, especially in developed and industrialized countries, Albert Salas-Huetos, PhD, of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, said in an accompanying editorial.

Studies suggest the reasons for the decline may be environmental and lifestyle factors such as pollution, smoking, lack of physical activity, stress, and unhealthy diets, he said.

"The evidence supporting an association of diet with sperm quality is growing very rapidly. In fact, dozens of observational studies have concluded that diets rich in foods such as fish, shellfish and seafood, poultry, cereals, vegetables and fruits, low-fat dairy, and skim milk were positively associated with several sperm quality parameters," Salas-Huetos wrote.

"This is the first well-designed study from a general population and including healthy individuals published to date, making the findings more interesting," he added. "Another strength of the study is the number of individuals analyzed ... Furthermore, the study ... included an adequate phenotypic evaluation of the men, which is uncommon in similar articles. It is important that future studies consider phenotypic and lifestyle characteristics, including but not limited to diet, obesity, medications, smoking, and physical activity, as Jensen et al did."

However, the dose-response relationship the researchers claimed to find is less clear, Salas-Huetos said. This is because only two cutoff points were used (less than 60 or more than 60 days of supplement use). Jensen's group acknowledged this as a study limitation, along with the fact that there was lack of information on the concentrations of -3 fatty acids in the fish oil supplements the men took.

"While these limitations are significant, the study is meaningful and insightful," Salas-Huetos said. "Jensen et al are to be commended for their creative study. Moreover, the article contains very interesting observational data that could affect assisted reproductive clinics if the findings are reproduced in the future by well-designed randomized clinical trials."

Last Updated January 22, 2020

Disclaimer

The study was supported by ReproUnion, Copenhagen University Hospital, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the European Union, a Developmental Effects of Environment on Reproductive Health grant agreement, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Danish Ministry of Health, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, the A.P. Mller and wife Christine McKinney Mllers Foundation, and the Svend Andersen Foundation.

Jensen and co-authors, as well as Salas-Huetos, disclosed no relevant relationships with industry.

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Fish Oil Supplements Tied to Better Testicular Function - MedPage Today

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Jan 23rd, 2020 | Filed under Testosterone
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