Monday, December 31, 2007

Can Smokers Get it Up?

During an annual physical exam, a doctor once asked if I smoked. When I said no, he said, "Good. Smoking is the single worst health habit anyone can have."

Maybe it was an exaggeration, but not much of one.

Today, I read a report on smoking and erectile dysfunction, or ED, as they call in the TV ads about Viagra and similar pills.

Whenever I see those ads I notice that the actors are usually middle-age and fit looking people. Then I wonder why so many people these days need pills to do what should come naturally.

Does smoking play a role? even though fewer people are smoking now. I don't know the answer.

What I do know is that smoking is bad for your circulation, and poor circulation to certain appendages can contribute to ED.

So here's my anti-tobacco thought for the day:

If you smoke and heart disease, stroke and certain cancers haven't been reason enough for you to quit, consider this: The habit also increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.

Read all about smoking and erectile dysfunction here.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Are Fish Oil Capsules as Good as Fish Itself?

As far as omega-3 fatty acids are concerned, you get as much benefit from fish oil capsules as you get from the fish itself. This according to a researcher at the University of South Dakota, Dr. William S. Harris.

Nevertheless, Harris said he would encourage people to eat fish rather than relying on fish oil capsules. "Fish of course brings with it proteins and minerals and other factors that are good for our health that the capsules don't bring, but we weren't able to measure any of those things," he said.

Read the full report here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Coffee is a "Good Guy," Too

Remember not long ago folks were told to dump coffee and drink tea instead? Tea, especially green tea, provides all those wonderful antioxidants. Well, tea's antioxidants are still there. But guess what? Coffee it turns out has beneficial antioxidants, too. So pick your favorite. As usual, moderation is the key. Too much of a good thing can lead to the caffeine jitters.

Read this report on how both coffee and tea may be protective against kidney cancer

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Big Medical Myth Busters

Does shaved hair will grow back faster, coarser and darker. That it does seems to get passed along from generation to generation. The fact is, controlled studies done as long ago as 1928 showed no difference in the growth and texture of shaved and non-shaved hair. So go ahead and shave and pluck with total abandon and be guilt free.

Still, don't believe it? That and six other big medical myths are exposed here: Read all about it!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Soft Drinks are Yuck

Just a quick note about soft drinks and sodas: They are bad for you, really BAD. And it doesn't take much to put your health at risk. Think I'm over-reacting, being an alarmist? Read what the doctors say. So moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, get that junk out of the house. It's bad for you and it's bad for the kids.

Read the full story here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Case for Less Intense Cardio

Here's a study from Duke University Medical Center that says 30-minute walks six days a week are more likely to make you trim and fit than more intense workouts practiced a few times a week. Now this, of course, goes against what many fitness gurus are preaching these days. So what does Gray Iron think? Thirty minute walks plus shorter more intense sessions in the weight room may combine the best of both worlds.

Read the full story here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Protein & Prostates

Gray Iron Newsletter reader, John C., says an annual physical examination revealed a steep rise in his PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test. As you know, an elevated PSA can lead to more expensive and invasive tests. Before having those, he decided to examine his dietary habits and realized his only recent change was adding a daily protein shake. (I do not know how many total grams of protein he was ingesting daily. He is not a regular exerciser.) He eliminated the protein shakes and says his PSA gradually returned to a normal range. I had never heard of anything like this before. Have you?

The debate among bodybuilders, lifters and other athletes about the amount of protein needed while training is ongoing. It won’t be settled today. PSA tests aside, certainly there is a protein upward limit that when exceeded it becomes unhealthy. If you have any experience or knowledge of elevated PSA as related to protein consumption, please comment below. As I said, I have never heard of this before. I didn't come with anything doing a Google search.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Studies Show How Fruits and Veggies Reduce Cancer

Yes, we’ve heard it before. But more evidence is in that fruits and vegetables are preventative of many types of cancers. If you aren’t getting your daily portions of fruits and vegetables, maybe this will nudge you in the right direction.

Full story from Reuters here.