Multitasking: the Awful Truth

effects of hormone deficiency

How on Earth does your wife get so much done? A research study from the University of Glasgow said that women tend to be better multitaskers than men.

According to their findings, guys reacted slower than ladies when they had to manage several challenges at once. But it’s also important to note that both sexes saw a considerable slowdown, which suggests tackling multiple tasks can be tough for everyone.

And it’s true. Multitasking is a quick way to do a sub-par job on many items at once. Instead of juggling your workload, the key is to eliminate distractions from your workday. Here’s how:

1. Give your day’s schedule an overhaul
Most people check their email first thing in the morning. Or get online in general just to have 20 windows open before breakfast. Instead, use the first hour of the day for tasks that require unbroken concentration. Try cooking yourself breakfast and reading the news on your favorite reader app before opening your social media account or email.

2. Turn off your phone’s notifications
Five deadlines to meet by noon? Make it easier on yourself by cutting out unnecessary time-sucks like Google Talk and Facebook Messenger. Instant messaging programs are the worst distraction. In fact, even a 2.8-second moment of distraction can lead to mistakes, according to a new study from Michigan State University. You can even adjust your phone notifications to only alert you of messages from important people like your boss.

3. Find silence
Shut your office door, move to the conference room, or wear headphones to tune out the office gossip. You don’t have to be a total hermit. Just post a friendly sign on your door that says “On Deadline”, then remove it when you’re ready to hear the world again. People are hugely influenced by their surroundings and cutting out distraction is the name of the game to getting work done.

4. Plan for tomorrow
Every night, write down the main goals you need to complete the following day. Break down complex tasks into manageable parts, so you know specifically what you need to do for each one, and how to prioritize each portion. To keep track of it all, Google Calendar Tasks and Evernote are handy web apps for you to use. It’s a simple cloud-based solution to keep track of your to-do list, whether you’re at work or out and about.

5. Get Regular Exercise
While many people are plagued with decreased motivation, the solution to your hectic day is easier than you think. Testosterone is naturally produced by the body whenever it performs an intense workout. That feeling that working out on a regular schedule is tough is a good thing! This boost of testosterone, if regular, will help increase overall levels, improving energy, mood, and ensuring your successful day.

Myth Busting the Fat Gene

secrets to weight loss

You see it in the news everyday. Genes may be responsible for those extra unwanted pounds. But are “hunger genes”—DNA mutations linked to everything from cravings to a lagging metabolism—the reason you’re overweight?

The bottom line: it’s possible. There’s FTO, commonly called “the obesity gene”, which regulates levels of your hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin. Just two bad copies of FTO could account for up to 7 pounds of extra flab! We have a hard time burning off those extra calories from lunch, much less two bum genes added to the mix!

There’s more. Mutations in a gene called KSR2 produces greater hunger pangs and a slower metabolism in already obese people. And a gene called MRAP2 changes the way your body uses energy, which can also affect weight gain.

With all this emphasis on genes, we miss the bigger picture: Genes don’t account for every extra pound. They don’t even account for a majority of them. While genetic factors do play a role in the development of obesity, they don’t prevent you from getting to the gym or passing on the fries when you’re at the drive thru. The right diet and exercise will lead to weight loss, even in individuals who have obesity in their DNA.

So we’re back where we started right? Wrong.

Even if you’re in the prime of your testosterone-making years and feel relatively healthy, your testicles may not be pumping out enough male hormone for optimum weight loss. Bad diet and exercise paired with genetic disadvantages are a recipe for disaster.

To find out if you have Low T, take this dripping-wet T test: The next time you step out of the shower, stop and stand up straight. Now look down: If you can see your testicles, congratulations, go make an infomercial. But if a big belly is blocking the view of your jewels, it’s likely that your testosterone levels aren’t anywhere near what they should be.

Belly fat is a testosterone killer and it’s secretly turning you into a chick.

Excess body fat makes you look more curvaceous and, if you’re really unlucky, gives you a lovely pair of man-breasts to show off. But that’s not all. Body fat contains aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogens. Having extra estrogens floating around your system triggers your body to slow its production of testosterone even more!

It’s a vicious cycle. Low T will make you fatter than any diet, lifestyle or worrisome gene.

In fact, a beer belly might seem to some like manliness in all its glory, but a man’s waist circumference is the single strongest predictor of low testosterone levels. It’s even more accurate than age or overall health. Low T is marked by low libido, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, depressed mood, lethargy and diminished physical performance. Thinner men simply are manlier men, all the way down to the most insignificant gene.

But there is good news: you can reverse the tide and turn off your body’s testosterone shrink ray by losing weight. Not only that, you can kick start your T production by visiting a testosterone clinic and beginning a testosterone replacement therapy program today!

Testosterone and Male Pattern Baldness

receding_hairlineHair loss is one of the most potent fears for men as they grow older. In fact, men with greater hair loss are more bothered, more concerned about looking older due to their hair loss, and less satisfied with their appearance, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

This is primarily because we’ve come to associate a full head of hair with masculinity. Going bald is often felt as a loss of power, a deficit that can usher in depression or even male menopause. But for a fear that is so common, the actual science of hair loss remains lacking. Many men have been left to believe that washing their hair daily will inherently cause balding or that standing on their head will slow the hair-loss process.

Part of this confusion is due to the sheer number of triggers that can cause hair loss and thinning. There are, of course, genetic factors to consider, but other offenders include reduced blood circulation and inflammation of the hair follicle. There are also studies citing lifestyle choices such as fatigue, stress, and drastic changes in diet as contributing to hair loss. External factors include silicone-based shampoos and heavy waxes, which literally suffocate the scalp. Needless to say, heavy smoking and drinking have threatening effects too.

For some guys, balding can be a deceptively subtle shift that takes place over several decades. For others, it can happen in a couple of years to a man still in his 20s or 30s. The bad news is that the state of your shower floor might be a sign of male pattern baldness, a hereditary hormone imbalance that causes hair follicles to start shutting down. In these cases, testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is your follicles’ enemy, as it slows down hair production and sometimes stops it completely. By about age 70, the decrease in a man’s testosterone level can be as much as 50 percent.

Run-of-the-mill anti-hair-loss products are unlikely to have any real impact in cases of male pattern baldness. The solution involves either a) graciously accepting the hand you were dealt, b) opting for medication or c) surgery. Surgery is a laborious and rather expensive process (about $4.50 a hair) so, unless you happen to be on a soccer player’s salary, it might be worth employing the services of a doctor who can recommend the best therapy.

Failing that, there’s always the option of a good buzz cut.

When Being Fat Is Healthy

fat woman with measuring tapeThere is a medical concept known as metabolically healthy obesity that applies to as much as 1/3 of all obese adults. The term applies to individuals who are significantly overweight but lack the usual health problems associated with obesity like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Recent studies have found that the amount of fat in an individual’s liver indicates whether or not there is a metabolic problem. In healthy obese people additional fat is stored by creating new fat cells. The size of their fat cells remains relatively constant.

In unhealthy individuals additional fat is stored by packing it into existing fat cells to the point that the cells can no longer function properly and the cells begin to die. Fatty tissue becomes inflamed and the body can no longer retrieve energy from their fat stores. When fat cells can no longer function, the body begins storing fat in organs like the liver. A fatty liver becomes insulin resistant and leads to type II diabetes.

Fat biopsies from healthy obese people showed much smaller fat cells than their unhealthy counterparts. Their livers had only 10-20% as much fat. Healthy individuals showed no inflammation, indicating they still had functioning fat cells able to store and retrieve fat.

Much of the recent research findings on obesity have come from studies being carried out on sets of identical twins where one twin was obese and the other was not. Using twins helps to differentiate between hereditary versus environmental and lifestyle factors. Several sets of twins were followed for as long as 10 years and on average there was a 40lb weight difference between the fat and the lean twin. Two distinct groups of obese twins emerged.

Roughly half of the heavier twins exhibited unhealthy symptoms compared to their sibling. Insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol were all a problem. Surprisingly these unhealthy twins had 8% fewer fat cells than their genetic match.

The other half of the heavier twins fell into the healthy obese category and enjoyed equally good health to their thinner brothers and sisters. Healthy obese individuals had 11% more fat cells than their thinner twin. It is not certain however, whether healthy obesity is a metabolic state or simply a stage on the way to unhealthy obesity.

Metabolically healthy obesity is much more common in younger individuals. An Australian study conducted on thousands of people over a span of up to 10 years showed that about 1/3 of those people who were classified as healthy obese at the beginning of the study had gone down the road to unhealthy obesity. There were some indications however that certain individuals were able to carry more weight with no unhealthy side effects.

Studying healthy obese people may contribute more understanding to the mechanisms that cause obesity and how obesity is linked to health problems like diabetes. 

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Low Testosterone Levels Predicts Dementia Risk

low testosterone increased dementiaTestosterone, a male sex hormone, is an essential component in maintaining the health of different body systems in males. Testosterone improves your overall health and decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. However, problems arise when testosterone levels are not properly maintained.

Hormone levels are of grave significance. Any alterations in hormones causing a spike or drop in hormone levels can have adverse effects on your overall health. Hormone levels including testosterone levels tend to vary with age. As men age, their testosterone levels tend to plummet downhill. This is when you should really pay close attention to your testosterone level.

Are you a male over 65 years old? Have you been experiencing a lack of sex drive? Are you beginning to experience increased weight primarily around your midsection? If you answered yes to any of these questions you should call your primary physician and immediately set up an appointment to check your hormone levels.

There are various signs and symptoms which help to alert your body that you may be experiencing decreased testosterone levels. Low testosterone levels are associated with decreased muscle mass, increased weight gain, lack of sex drive, loss of concentration, an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Recent studies have shown that low levels of both total and bioavailable testosterone may be associated with an increased risk of dementia in older men. A study comprised of 3,650 men who were at least 65 years of age was conducted to demonstrate the direct link which exist between decreased testosterone levels and increased dementia.

Total testosterone was responsible for increasing the risk of dementia in elderly men by 2.3 times in the upper percentile and 1.9 times among participants in the lower percentile. These studies also revealed that low levels of bioavailable testosterone correlates to a greater chance of men 80 years of age and older developing dementia. The likelihood that men aged 80 and older will develop dementia showed a significant threefold increase while there was a 7% nonsignificant increase risk of men under the age of 80 developing dementia.

Results obtained through this study reveal that low testosterone levels and concentrations are associated with brain aging, which can eventually cause dementia.

Since hormone levels are very important in improving your health, it is vital that you’re aware of your testosterone level as you age. Total testosterone and bioavailable testosterone has served as a major predictor in dementia. The lower your testosterone levels are the greater your risk of developing dementia. Even a gradual decline in testosterone can negatively impact your health. It is therefore essential that you take the necessary steps to properly maintain your testosterone levels in order to decrease your risk of dementia in the future. 

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Low Estrogen Level Is Responsible For Some Hypogonadal Symptoms In Males

testosterone replacement therapyA new study, which was carried out by Joel S. Finkelstein, MD, and his colleagues at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, has suggested a change in the approach used for the evaluation and management of hypogonadism in males. According to this study – which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2013;369:1011-1022) – while a deficiency in testosterone levels in males result in decrease in muscle size, lean body mass , and strength, deficiency of estrogen in males is primarily responsible for increase in body fat experience by men suffering from hypogonadism. The deficiency of estrogen and testosterone is responsible for the decrease in sexual drive in hypogonadal males.

The researchers discovered that more than 80 percent of male estrogen is derived from the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. As a result, the level of testosterone circulating in the bloodstream is hugely responsible for the amount of estrogen that will be found in the blood. Therefore, a decline in serum testosterone will also result in a deficiency of serum estrogen. Thus, low level of serum estrogen is partly responsible for some of the hypogonadal symptoms in men. However, the role of estrogen as a contributing factor in male hypogonadism is mostly neglected by physicians.

The researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston made use of 400 healthy men between the ages of 20 – 50 years for the study. The subjects were divided into two groups: 198 men were placed in group 1 and 202 men were placed in group 2. Groselin acetate was administered to the subjects in group 1 to suppress the production of endogenous testosterone and estradiol. Group 1 men were further subdivided into 5 groups that were given a placebo gel, 1.25, 2.5, 5, or 10 grams of testosterone gel daily for 16 weeks. The second group was given groselin acetate, anastrozole (to prevent the conversion of testosterone to estradiol in the blood), and placebo gel or testosterone gel.

Group 1 men showed a significant increase in body fat at the end of the study. However, the increase in body fat is more in men that received placebo, 1.25, and 2.5 grams of testosterone gel than in those that received 5 or 10 grams of testosterone gel. There was a significant reduction in lean body mass in the men that were administered with placebo or 1.25 grams than in those placed on higher dosages of testosterone gel. A decrease in leg press strength was observed only in subjects placed on placebo gels.

All men in group 2 show a predominant increase in body fat. The researchers, however, observe a unique trend in the increase in body fats in the men in group 2. The amount of added body fats was similar in subjects placed on placebo gel and 1.25, 2.5 and 5 grams of testosterone gel daily. This finding was attributed to the effect of estrogen on men. Lean body mass decreased significantly in all the different sub-groups in group 2.

The sexual drive of men in group 1 decreases correspondingly with the amount of testosterone doses. However, erectile dysfunction was common in men who were administered with placebo gel than those placed on testosterone gel. The same trend was also observed in group 2 men. 

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Adverse Effects Of Hormone Deficiency

effects of hormone deficiencyHormones have a major impact on our lives as humans as they often affect our emotions, our body, and our mind. Maintaining a proper balance of hormones offers a wide array of benefits to both women and men. The more knowledgeable you become about the hormones prevalent in your body system the more you will be able to minimize the negative effects associated with the lack of certain hormones.

Ever think of what hormones are prevalent in men as compared to women. Hormones present in men and women in include estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone at levels that help maintain the normal functioning of their body. Low estrogen levels tend to explain some of the hypogonadal symptoms present in men.

Hormones have affected our body since infancy. Shortly after birth, newborn baby boys and girls have experienced an enlargement of breasts because the mother’s hormones happen to pass through the placenta during pregnancy. Due to the increases in hormonal levels among mothers, both newborn boys and girls are experienced increases in hormonal levels. A little over a decade later, hormones began to change the body of boys and girls during puberty. Hormones have been a part of your body for quite some time. As a result, hormonal levels have varying effects on your mind and body.

Every hormone has a certain level that needs to be reached in order to sustain development. Any significant deficiency or lack of hormone generally results in negative affects to your body and emotional state of mind. For example, men that are deficient in testosterone experience changes in bone mass, muscle size and strength. On the contrary, deficiency in estrogen levels contributes to increases in body fat. Collectively, declining levels of testosterone and estrogen leads to a decrease in sexual function.

Low hormonal levels can be detected through a blood test performed by a physician in the morning when hormonal levels appear to be the highest.

Research studies have shown that estrogen is crucial in the regulation of body fat, bone metabolism, as well as sexual drive. Estrogen deficiency is accountable for male hypogonadism and the various symptoms that result from decreased estrogen levels. Properly measuring, managing, and maintaining estradiol is useful in evaluation and assessment of the risks involved with bone loss, fat accumulation and sexual dysfunction in men.

Although hormones are present in all men and women, hormonal levels differ from one individual to another. It is therefore essential that you get your hormones tested so that you’re aware of the hormonal levels present in your body. Since hormone levels tend to affect the functioning of your body, emotions, and mind, proper assessment and maintenance of your hormonal levels will decrease your chances of suffering from hypogonadal symptoms. Men should test their hormonal levels regularly especially since low levels of estrogen result in hypogonadal symptoms. 

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The Long Term Benefits Of Testosterone

testosterone word in letterpressIn the recent past, there has not been much research on the issue of testosterone and its effects. However, there has been a keen interest by researchers to understand the key benefits of the same. This has lead to the discovery of iterating aspects regarding testosterone. Based on the results of a study presented at the 33rd edition of Congress of the Societe Internationale d’Urologie, obese hypogonadal men who were given injections of testosterone were able to experience a gradual reduction in their weights and waist circumference. This made the researchers to come into the conclusion that, testosterone can have great benefits for urological problems, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

The study that was pioneered by professor of biochemistry and urology at Boston University School of Medicine, Abdulmaged Traish, MBA, PhD reached the conclusion after tests on 181 men. At the time of study, the men had body mass index of not less than 30 kg/m2 and testosterone level lower than 12.1 nmol/L. The subjects whose mean age was 59.1 years were given one 1, 000-mg of testosterone injection. The same measure was again given after every three months for a period of up to five years. Of all these men, 97%, 39%, 22% and 19% were suffering from high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction respectively. All had dyslipidemia with one testing positive to prostate cancer 10 months after the treatment.

The study established that between the first year and 60 months of treatment, the men’s testosterone levels had shifted higher than those of the baseline. Besides, they had also cut down their body weights and waist circumference, losing an average of 18.83 kilograms. The Boy Mass indexes of the subjects had also fallen drastically. In fact, 99% of the men were able to lose 5 kilograms over the five-year period.

A minimal number of less than 5% gained an average weight of between 1 to 2 kilograms. ‘’This can be attributed to the fact that most of them had inflammatory infections’’, says Dr. Traish.

Additional Benefits

 •  Drop in average residual bladder.

 •  Average prostate volume increase.

 •  Slight but significant increase in average levels of protein produced by the prostate glands.

 •  Significant decline in the levels of C-reactive protein.

 •  Drop in the average score of the International Prostate Symptom.

 •  Improvement in the International Index of Erectile Function subscale score.

From the study, it was also established that long-term treatments using testosterone injections could have positive impacts on lipids by reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while also enhancing HDL cholesterol levels. It can also reduce inflammation, hemoglobin A1c and fasting blood glucose. With these in place you can be assured of the helpful benefits you are bound to get from testosterone. 

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The Super Healthy Advantages Of Having Enough Vitamin D

advantages of vitamin DVitamin D has always been associated with promoting healthy bones and joints. However, it has been recently discovered that it has many other health advantages as well. Some of the health diseases that vitamin D may help include: Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Depression, Cancer, Respiratory Infections and Strokes.

Vitamin D helps Cardiovascular Disease by helping shield blood vessels from inflammation and by reducing the amount of calcium buildup. Vitamin D can also help to preserve good blood pressure readings.

For Diabetes, vitamin D helps lower blood sugar levels and may even be able to stop the onset of Diabetes. A study that was conducted showed that children who had been taking about 2,000 IU of vitamin D supplements daily experienced a much lower chance of developing Type 1 Diabetes. 

A current amount of expanding evidence implies that both Depression and vitamin D are interconnected. There was a study that was conducted that showed that low levels of vitamin D were linked to a higher risk of developing Depression.

Recently, scientists began examining vitamin D’s capability of decreasing the chance of developing 17 different types of cancers including: colon, breast, esophagus, bladder, stomach, uterus, cervix and pancreas cancers.

It has also been suggested that vitamin D may play a role in expanding cancer survival rates. A study that was conducted showed that patients who suffered from lung cancer and had elevated levels of vitamin D and who underwent surgery for their cancer during the summer experienced improved survival ratings.

Vitamin D has also been found to help people fight off Respiratory Infections. Those who have elevated levels of vitamin D in their bloodstreams experience a lower rate of Respiratory Infections because it helps control the immune system.  

It also helps the immune system by triggering supportive gene number 14, which stops the painful and annoying symptoms that you experience with these infections.

 A number of studies have been conducted that imply that diets low in vitamin D suffer from an elevated risk of stroke. A study was conducted that observed more than seven hundred women and men over a period of 10 years and showed that the people who suffered from decreased levels of vitamin D had an elevated risk of stroke, regardless of smoking and age factors.

Some information has even pointed to the suggestion that low levels of vitamin D can increase the harshness of strokes in animals.

Ways to get the recommended levels of vitamin D include: being out in the sun and taking a Vitamin D3 supplement. Normally a decent range is 2,000 to 5,000 IU every day. However, people should get a vitamin D blood test so they know what a good daily IU range for them is. 

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Melatonin Is Known As The Brain Hormone

melatonin brain hormoneMelatonin, a hormone produced in the pineal gland of the brain, was introduced in the United States in 1992 as a “sleep hormone” and originally used as a sleep aid. New studies are pointing to melatonin’s neuroprotective effects which guard the brain from oxidative stress and neurodegeneration related to aging and environmental factors. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant acting to scavenge oxygen and nitrogen free radicals. As a result, melatonin has become known as the “brain hormone.”

The production of melatonin, which is found in high levels in the brain and spinal fluid in younger and middle age people, begins to decline as people age when the chances neurodegenerative diseases increase. As a result, there is scientific evidence showing a strong connection between lower melatonin levels and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, as well as increased stroke risk and susceptibility to brain trauma.

Research has shown that melatonin supplementation, which increases blood and brain levels of melatonin and provides antioxidant protection for the brain, can reverse those and other changes associated with Alzheimer’s such as sundowning and sleep disorders. In order to get the maximum benefits from melatonin supplementation, it is recommended to start taking it as early as possible. Research has also found that melatonin has a role in longevity by increasing SIRT1, the “longevity protein.”

Melatonin has also been shown to prevent and in some cases, reverse, the behavior and motor function behavior associated with Parkinson’s disease. Both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can lead to dementia brought on by an abnormal, oxidizing, and inflammatory accumulation of a protein called alph-synuclein. Melatonin both prevents the production of alph-synuclein in brain cells and attacks existing molecules of the protein. It also reverses the inflammatory brain changes of people with Parkinson’s disease.

Melatonin has been shown to cuts stroke risk and limit stroke damage. Decreased melatonin levels have been associated with a greater stroke risk and put the brain at risk for long-term neurological damage. Once a stroke has occurred, melatonin can prevent further neurological damage by preventing the death of neurons and by reducing destructive “protein –melting” enzymes in the stroke area.

In the event of a traumatic brain injury, melatonin has been found to help protect the brain in the same way as a stroke by promoting surviving neurons to take on the function damaged brain cells and promote regeneration of damaged brain tissue. This is related to melatonin’s antioxidant effects and its ability to induce dormant cellular antioxidants. 

Because of melatonin’s powerful protective effects on the brain and how it can offset oxidative damage related to neurodegenerative diseases, stroke and brain injury it has become more than just a sleep aid, it is a “brain hormone.” 

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