Volume 18 • Number 3 • March 2017

Last month I blogged on the ill-effects of regularly exercising over ninety minutes a day. I hope nobody interprets it—and the report below—as excuses not to exercise.

Hugo Rodier, MD

Strenuous exercise may dampen libido in men

The New York Times (2/22, Reynolds, Subscription Publication)

“Well” blog reports on a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise finding that “men who exercise strenuously may have a lower libido than those whose workouts are lighter” in what is said to be “one of the first studies” of men, as “most past studies have centered on women.” The study was based on an online questionnaire completed by 1,100 men, most of whom “were experienced athletes who had participated for years in training and competitions.”

BTW, check out the next article reproduced in toto.

Alternative Medicine Might Help Treat Premature Ejaculation Reuters Health Information ,January 30, 2017. “Complementary and alternative medicine options may help men manage premature ejaculation, according to a new review of existing research. The improvements were small, and the studies were of varying quality, but preliminary evidence suggests that acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Ayurvedic herbal medicine and a Korean topical cream may all have desirable effects, researchers conclude in the journal Sexual Medicine, online December 29.

“There are a range of treatments available for premature ejaculation, including drug treatments, behavioral techniques and counseling, however, some men may not want to visit the doctor, take drugs long-term or be on a long wait list for counseling,” said lead author Katy Cooper of the University of Sheffield in the UK. It’s important to evaluate the evidence for other therapies,” she told Reuters Health by email. “To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review to assess complementary and alternative medicine for premature ejaculation.

In the current study, researchers evaluated 10 randomized controlled trials that included comparisons either to another type of treatment or to a placebo. Two studies were of acupuncture, five were of Chinese herbal medicine, one of Ayurvedic herbal medicine and two of Korean topical “severance secret” cream.Together, the two acupuncture studies found that the treatment slightly increased intravaginal ejaculatory latency time (IELT) by about half a minute compared to placebo.Chinese herbal medicine increased IELT by about two minutes, Ayurvedic herbal medicine increased IELT by nearly a minute and topical cream increased IELT by more than eight minutes.

In some instances, a combination of traditional and alternative options was the most effective. For example, Chinese medicine paired with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) increased IELT by two minutes longer than SSRIs alone and nearly three minutes longer than the Chinese medicine alone.”There are no approved treatments for premature ejaculation,” said Donald Patrick, vice chair for research at the University of Washington in Seattle. “This is a common condition that has serious psychological effects on relationships,” said Patrick, who wasn’t involved in the study. “We need treatments to address it, and it should be treated with equal seriousness as erectile dysfunction.

The prevalence of premature ejaculation is difficult to measure because of the differing definitions of the problem and some men’s reluctance to report it. Some studies suggest that between 20 and 30 percent of men report early ejaculation concerns, but the International Society for Sexual Medicine estimates that about 4 percent of men have a lifelong condition.

Although it is not openly discussed in the media – at least not as much as erectile problems have been discussed in the post-Viagra era – numerous studies report men feel frustrated, depressed and anxious because of this problem,” said Ege Can Serefoglu of the Bagcilar Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey.

The main limitation of the study is the underlying weakness of the studies evaluated. Bias was unclear in most of the studies, and only five used stopwatches to measure IELT, which is the “gold standard” for premature ejaculation studies, Patrick said.In addition, the authors write, the studies are so different, it’s tough to draw conclusions about the different options. For example, the five Chinese medicine studies tested different substances, including Qilin pills, Yimusake and Uighur.Some studies, but not all, discussed side effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort, dizziness, mild pain and decreased libido. When they were reported, the adverse effects were generally mild, the study team writes.

Nowadays, I am encountering alternative medicine-obsessed patients more than I used to, and it doesn’t make sense to argue with them about the treatment they want,” Serefoglu told Reuters Health by email. “After all, the placebo is a well-known clinical phenomenon, and some of my patients report surprisingly favorable outcomes.” http://bit.ly/2kCpsdv. J. Sex Med 2016.

Sunshine Therapy

Despite hundreds of articles on the salutary effects of Vitamin D, Big Pharma continues to plant misinformation—fake news—pooh-poohing a natural molecules they have not been able to make significant money on. Will they find something wrong with the study that showed Vitamin D3 1,100 IU + Calcium 1,500mg reduce the risk of cancer?[1] And, what will they say about the ones below?

Two nested case-control studies showed that in young, predominantly white adults in whom samples were collected before clinical disease onset, higher serum levels of 25(OH)D were associated with a reduced risk of developing MS.1,2 In the Nurses’ Health Study cohorts, higher dietary intake of vitamin D was associated with a lower risk of developing MS among American nurses; supplemental intake of more than 400 IU daily was associated with a 40% reduced risk. A gestational dose of vitamin D per day keeps the MS doctor away.” J. Neurology January 3, 2017 vol. 88 no. 1 13-14

Vitamin D3, especially when combined with Omega oils has a significant positive effect on mood, cognition, and assorted mental disorders.[2] Such is the power of natural molecules and nutrition in treating mental issues, including depression.[3] Why, because our brain needs ENERGY and INFORMATION contained in good food. Many researchers are pursuing this line of inquiry for ALL DISEASES. They begin with altered CELLULAR METABOLISM[4] from bad diets, pollution, and stress, the gut being the first organ to be affected.

The Brain-Gut connection continues to amaze with many articles, some of which you have read in this newsletter. The last one I found is on how the gut flora, when healthy, helps us sleep better.[5] Despite so many positive articles on non-pharmaceutical treatment and their safety the Health Care system ignores them, and continues to over-emphasize symptomatic treatment with drugs. While they are necessary in many situations, their ineffectiveness is often kept from the public. Check it out:

Common medical practices continue despite research finding they give no benefit or cause harm

ProPublica (2/22, Epstein) reports in an over-8,000 word story that physicians continue medical practices “years after research contradicts” them, with the result that there is an “an epidemic of unnecessary and unhelpful treatment.” The story says “it is distressingly ordinary for patients to get treatments that research has shown are ineffective or even dangerous.” It cites a 2013 study finding that of 363 studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine from 2001 to 2010 regarding “a current clinical practice,” 146 of them “proved or strongly suggested” the practice was of no benefit or inferior to the previous practice, while 138 found a practice to be beneficial.” Medscape 2017

Here is a practical take-home message:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use during acute respiratory infection (ARI) increases the risk for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) 3.4-fold if taken by mouth and 7.2-fold with parenteral dosing compared with baseline risk without NSAID use or ARI.”[6]

More food for thought

Check out these last articles … if you are still reading.

Eating ten portions of fruit and vegetables daily may prolong life

CNN (2/23, Vonberg) reports that a new study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology suggests that “eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day could significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.” Specifically, consuming about 800 grams of fruit and vegetables daily, twice the World Health Organization’s current recommendation, “was associated with a 24% reduced risk of heart disease, a 33% reduced risk of stroke, a 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13% reduced risk of total cancer, and a 31% reduction in dying prematurely,” compared to not eating fruits and vegetables at all.

TIME (2/23, Sifferlin) reports that the researchers “didn’t show why higher portions of fruits and vegetables can led to fewer deaths, but some of the basic nutrients in the produce can improve health.”

Homemade baby food may be healthier for infants

Reuters (2/23, Rapaport) reports that, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, “babies who get homemade food may learn to like a wider variety of food types and be leaner than infants who eat store-bought products.” For the study, “researchers examined dietary data on 65 infants and assessments of body fat from exams when infants were 6, 9, 12 and 36 months old.” Reuters says that “when researchers scored babies’ diets based on how many of seven different food groups they consumed, the infants getting only homemade food achieved scores almost a full point higher than babies getting only store-bought foods.” Meanwhile, “at one year of age, babies who ate only homemade food had a lower percentage of body fat than the other infants in the study.”

Only 17 percent of US parents say their child’s diet is very healthy, survey indicates

USA Today (2/23, Choi) reports that while “ninety-seven percent of parents in the U.S. think that childhood eating habits determine children’s health for their lifetime,” just “17% say their child’s diet is very healthy, according to a… poll by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.” USA Today adds, “Sarah Clark, the survey’s co-director…said there should be more understanding that it’s not easy for many parents to provide a regular, healthy diet for their children.”

Fruits, vegetables may reduce COPD risk for smokers

The New YorkTimes (2/23, Rabin, Subscription Publication) reports that, according to a study published in Thorax, “each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables that smokers and former smokers eat is associated with a 4 to 8 percent lower risk of their developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” The Times says the study “looked at more than 44,000 Swedish men, ages 45 to 79, who completed detailed health and dietary questionnaires.” The study found that “men who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day were 35 percent less likely to develop lung disease than those who ate two servings or less.” Meanwhile, the study found no benefit for nonsmokers.”

  1. “A critical review of Vitamin D and Cancer,” J. Dermatoendocrinology 2009 Jan-Feb; 1(1): 25
  2. “Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior,” June 2015 The FASEB Journal vol. 29 no. 6 2207
  3. “A randomized controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the ‘SMILES’ Trial),” J. BMC Medicine. 2017;15:23.

    “Dietary recommendations for the prevention of depression,” J. Nutr Neurosci. 2015 Aug 28. [Epub ahead of print]

  4. Neurometabolic Disorders: Potentially Treatable Abnormalities in Patients With Treatment-Refractory Depression and Suicidal Behavior Am J Psy Volume 174, Issue 1, January 01, 2017, pp. 42
  5. “Ticking in Place for the Microbiome to Message Out,” J. Cell Met 2016;24:775
  6. Report published online February 2 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.”
Hugo Rodier, MD is an integrative physician based in Draper, Utah who specializes in healing chronic disease at the cellular level by blending proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, & allopathic practices when necessary.

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Information on this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this blog for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult your health care practitioner with any questions or concerns you may have.