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Spotlight on Menís Health
Men: Try These Tips for a Long, Healthy Life

Discover important self-care tips and nutrition basics that may help you stay strong, active, and in control of your health.

Find the Fountain of Youth

According to theJournal of the American Medical Association, a 40-year-long study has identified several key factors that can help men live longer, emphasizing that growing old doesnít have to mean living with disability or disease.

What you can do

The research identified modifiable lifestyle habits that help men age with good health and are attainable by most people. Here are the steps men can take to increase their chances of a long, healthy life*:

  • Get regular exercise: Men in better physical condition live longer, healthier lives
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Leaner body mass is associated with longevity and also helps control blood sugar levels and keep blood pressure in check
  • Keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range: Men with better blood sugar control fare better when it comes to living longer. To improve blood sugar regulation, avoid being overweight, exercise regularly, and steer clear of processed foods
  • Donít smoke:Smoking elevates blood pressure, raises your risk of heart disease, and greatly increases the chance that youíll get cancer or lung disease
  • Donít drink too much alcohol:Men who drink three or more alcoholic beverages per day are less likely to reach old age in good health
  • Further your education: Men with more education are likelier to live longer, healthier lives

Health risk factors

Also keep in mind that the researchers identified the following risk factors to health that may shorten life span:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Consuming excessive alcohol
  • High levels of blood sugar, triglycerides, and uric acid
  • Lower education (did not graduate from high school)
  • Poor physical fitness
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessively high hematocrit (a measure of the volume of red blood cells in the blood; too many red blood cells can increase the chance of excessive blood clotting)
  • Being unmarried

The study authors commented, ďFor all age outcome categories, the probability of survival declines approximately linearly as the number of risk factors increases.Ē Men with no risk factors have a 55% chance of living healthfully to age 85, whereas those with six or more risk factors have less than a 10% chance. By adopting some healthy lifestyle choices, you can expect to add some quality to your years.

Protect the Prostate

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-malignant enlargement of the prostate, a small gland that surrounds the neck of the bladder and urethra in men. Its major function is to contribute to seminal fluid. If the prostate enlarges, pressure may be put on the urethra, acting like a partial clamp and causing a variety of urinary symptoms. Half of all 50-year-old men have BPH, and the prevalence of the condition increases with advancing age.

Symptoms

This common condition is characterized by frequent urges to urinate.

What you can do

According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful in relieving prostate pressure *:

  • See what saw palmetto has to offer:Control BPH symptoms with this effective herbal remedy; take 320 mg a day of a liposterolic extract, standardized for 80 to 95% fatty acids
  • Discover the benefits of beta-sitosterol:Take 130 mg a day of this edible plant compound to improve urinary flow and other symptoms
  • Try flower pollen:Take several tablets or capsules a day of flower pollen extract to reduce symptoms
  • Get to know pygeum:Try 100 to 200 mg a day of this evergreen tree bark extract, standardized for 13% total sterols
  • Focus on physical fitness: Increase your physical activity by walking more or adding other exercise

Address Erectile Dysfunction

Though it can be a persistent condition, almost half of all men experience erectile dysfunction (ED) only occasionally. ED can have physical, psychological, or drug-induced causes. Although some doctors used to believe differently, most researchers and doctors now believe that physical factors are responsible for the majority of ED cases.

Several conditions may contribute to ED by impairing blood flow to the penis. These include atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, and chronic alcohol abuse.

Symptoms

ED refers to a man not being able to attain or sustain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. Symptoms may also include loss of sexual desire (libido), premature ejaculation, or inability to achieve orgasm.

What you can do

Learn more about the cause of erectile dysfunction to overcome this sensitive condition. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful*:

  • Quit smoking: Men who smoke have an increased ED risk
  • Check out Asian ginseng: 900 mg of a concentrated herbal extract two or three times a day may improve libido and ability to maintain erection
  • Give ginkgo a go: Take 60 to 240 mg a day of a standardized herbal extract to increase blood flow to the penis
  • Test your levels: Have your doctor check your blood testosterone level; deficiency is often treated with testosterone replacement (Androderm, AndroGel 1%, Depo-testosterone)
  • Get a checkup:ED can be caused by some diseases and may be a side effect of certain medications

Depending on the cause, therapy may include psychological and behavioral counseling, treatment of underlying cardiovascular disease, and avoidance of medications such as cimetidine, antihypertensives, and MAO inhibitors. Penile vacuum devices and surgical options, such as penile implants and vascular repair, are usually limited to those who have not responded to other treatments.

Understand Male Infertility

Infertility is defined by doctors as the failure of a couple to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected intercourse. In men, infertility is usually associated with a decrease in the number, quality, or motility (power of movement) of sperm. There are multiple possible underlying causes for male infertility, some of which readily respond to natural medicine, while others do not. The specific cause of infertility should always be diagnosed by a physician before considering possible solutions.

Symptoms

The inability of a couple to become pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected sex may indicate infertility of one or both sexual partners. Low sperm count in the semen, decreased sperm motility, or abnormal shape of the sperm are responsible for infertility in about 40% of these couples.

What you can do

Wanting to have a child is easy for many couples. Conceiving, however, may not be so easy. Improve your odds with better sperm quality. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful*:

  • Get a checkup: Visit your doctor to find out whether your infertility is due to a treatable medical condition or to a medication
  • Curb alcohol:Avoid excessive drinking to keep sperm count high
  • Get extra antioxidants: Take a daily nutritional supplement containing 1,000 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, and 200 mcg of selenium to reduce oxidative stresses that damage sperm
  • Think zinc:Improve sperm quality by taking 60 mg of this essential mineral every day, along with 2 mg per day of copper, for three months
  • Add L-carnitine to your daily routine: Taking 3 grams a day of this supplement may improve sperm motility

*These recommendations are not comprehensive and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.


Copyright © 2009 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Aisle7 content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Aisle7.Healthnotes Newsletteris for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Aisle7 shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. AISLE7 is a registered trademark of Aisle7.

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