sexual dysfunction

  1. Too much sugar can caus sex problems and early death

    A little sugar, a lot of damage

    You can eat right, get regular exercise and keep a healthy weight. You can look good, feel good and even pass every mainstream measure of health.

    But if you have a regular soda habit, there's a good chance you're not healthy -- because even moderate amounts of soda can have too much sugar and can increase your risk of death and disease in ways that aren't always obvious.

    One new study on mice shows that millions of Americans get too much sugar each day causing very different -- and very serious -- consequences in men and women.

    Male mice given sugary drinks had serious reproductive problems. They fathered fewer pups, had fewer mates, controlled less territory, and were less likely to defend the territory they did have.

    In female mice, the consequences were even worse...MUCH worse: Sugar-fed mice were twice as likely to die during the 32-week study as female mice fed no sugar.

    What's really concerning here is that this is not the effect of obesity, which can strike when you get too much sugar. No, the mice in this study weren't obese and weren't even overweight.

    In fact, they actually ate completely healthy foods.

    The one exception was the sugary drinks, which made up roughly a quarter of their calories.

    That may sound like a lot, and it is. It's just too much sugar.

    But that's also the same level of sugar roughly 25 percent of all Americans get each day, with most people getting all that sugar from soda.

    Now, I realize this is a study on mice, and we humans are certainly not mice. But there are good reasons we do so much research on mice -- starting with the fact that 80 percent of things that are toxic to mice are also toxic to us.

    I personally don't think it's a stretch to believe sugar is part of that 80 percent, especially when you consider the undeniable fact that the white stuff can cause or contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, cancer and more.

    Having too much sugar can even change behavior, especially in children, with another new study showing that kids who drink soda are more prone to violence.

    And in adults, sugar can cause depression and other mood disorders.

    It's tempting to think the answer here is to switch to diet sodas and sugar substitutes instead of real sugar.

    The soda companies certainly want you to think that. Coca-Cola has even launched a new ad campaign touting the supposed safety of aspartame and the other sweeteners used in its diet soft drinks.

    But don't be misled by marketing.

    Science shows that aspartame can cause everything from cancer to migraines, and studies have shown that switching from regular soda to diet won't even do much to improve your health.

    One study I told you about just a few months back found that just three bottles of diet soda a week can actually increase your risk of diabetes by 60 percent.

    If you're thirsty, there are better, safer, healthier and tastier options than soft drinks. I recommend teas such as green tea and herbal tea as well as filtered water and seltzer, infused with fruit if you want some flavor.

    And if you need a sweetener, stick to natural options such as lo han and xylitol.

  2. New risks linked to common chemicals

    'Everywhere' chemicals in new disease links

    You can't see them, feel them, smell them or even taste them -- but there's a good chance you're rubbing toxic chemicals onto your skin and even putting them in your mouth every single day.

    They're the "everywhere chemicals" used in everything from soaps to cosmetics to food containers, and new research shows new dangers for two of the most common ones.

    Let me start with the one you haven't heard too much about.

    It's called triclosan, and it's a pesticide used to make products resistant to bacteria. You'll find it in antibacterial soap, of course, but you'll also find it in many of the products with the word "antibacterial" or "antiseptic" on the package -- and that includes everything from bedding and clothing to toys and toothpaste.

    Sounds convenient, right? Of course it is -- but all that convenience comes at a terrible price, as new research finds that triclosan could prevent the brain from communicating with muscle, including the crucial muscles that power your heart.

    In one set of experiments on mice, researchers found that exposure to triclosan reduced heart function by 25 percent and grip strength by 18 percent. In another set of experiments, fish in water laced with triclosan swam slower.

    By itself, the study is worrisome. But when you consider the rest of research on triclosan, it's positively alarming -- because other studies have found it can mimic the thyroid hormone and alter thyroid function as a result.

    That's bad news when you consider that up to 75 percent of us have measurable levels of triclosan pumping through our bodies right now, according to CDC estimates.

    But of course, that's not the only dangerous "everywhere chemical." Bisphenol-A is the one that usually gets most of the press, and for good reason: It's the most dangerous of the lot.

    We're learning of new risks linked to BPA almost every day, and the risk du jour is a narrowing of the arteries -- a condition that could cause serious heart problems and even death.

    British researchers examined close to 600 men and women and found that those with the most clogged-up arteries had 20 percent more BPA in their urine than those with healthy arteries, according to the study in PLoS One.

    BPA is of course used in the packaging of the worst processed foods and canned goods, including soda, so it's quite likely that a lousy diet high in packaged foods is also playing a big role here.

    But since other studies have consistently linked BPA exposure to heart disease, I think it's also very likely that the chemical itself is also damaging those arteries. Throw in the fact that BPA has been linked to obesity, developmental problems, sexual dysfunction, and more, and I say it's time to stop waiting to see what tomorrow's risk will be.

    Take action today to limit exposure.

    One study last year found that switching to a diet of natural fresh foods and using only metal and glass for food storage cut BPA levels by 60 percent over three days.

    That's not 100 percent, but it's a good start. And while you're at it, don't forget to ditch the antibacterial soap.

  3. Feeling tired? Could be your statin

    Women who take statins have a higher risk of fatigue, with up to 40 percent experiencing the condition while on the cholesterol-lowering meds.
  4. The hair-raising side effects of Propecia

    If you were to make a list of "male worries," baldness would come in at a solid number two -- right after sex problems.
  5. High-tech doesn't mean low-risk

    I wouldn't wish prostate surgery on my worst enemies. Not only is it often completely unnecessary since prostate cancer isn't nearly the killer it's been made out to be -- but the treatments themselves are often worse than the disease and come with more risks than your surgeon will ever let on.
  6. BPA in everything

    By now, you've heard of bisphenol-A -- the dangerous estrogen-like chemical used in plastics and can linings that's been linked to diabetes, sexual dysfunction and more. But eating packaged and canned goods isn't the only way to get exposed to this junk and boost your risk.
  7. Canned soups cause dramatic BPA surge

    Soup is good food? Not if it comes from a can! I'm sure you already know all about the preservatives, artificial flavors, and just plain low-quality ingredients that fill each can of soup. But believe it or not, that's not even the worst of it.
  8. A not-so-fond farewell to the PSA test

    The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has urged docs and patients to put the kibosh on the PSA test -- because after some 2 million prostate surgeries and procedures based on that screening, the disease's death rate has remained unchanged.
  9. The real reason for Prozac Nation

    Who's responsible for the antidepressant frenzy that's led to 10 percent of all Americans taking these dangerous meds? If you guessed shrinks, you're only partly right. Fact is, there's been a stunning rise in the number of non-psychiatrists dishing out mood drugs.
  10. Statins linked to low testosterone

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    Looks like those statin drugs lower a lot more than just cholesterol levels--a new study finds that men who take these meds face shrinking testosterone levels, too.
  11. New questions over sex drugs

    Headaches are one of the common side effects of sex drugs like Viagra, along with vision problems, hearing loss, difficulty breathing and more – including those infamous painful prolonged erections.

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