sexual health

  1. Herpes simplex virus can lead to dementia

    Cold sore virus linked to memory problems

    They're not just ugly and embarrassing. They're painful, too -- and cold sores might not be done with you yet.

    The same herpes simplex virus responsible for those unsightly sores could also increase your risk of something far worse: memory loss, and possibly even dementia.

    New research links cognitive decline to the herpes simplex 1 virus responsible for cold sores as well as herpes simplex 2, cytomegalovirus, chlamydia pneumonia, and Helicobacter pylori (the stomach bacteria responsible for many ulcers).

    The more of these infections you have -- and many people have more than one, or even all five -- the higher your risk, with the highest "infectious burden" increasing the risk of low scores on cognitive tests by 25 percent.

    If there's an upside, it's that the infectious burden didn't increase the risk of further decline over the eight-year study period -- only the risk of starting out with a lower score.

    The study is part of a growing body of evidence linking chronic infection to memory loss and cognitive decline, especially infection with the herpes simplex virus. One recent study found that herpes simplex virus 1 damages nerve cells in ways that could lead to dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

    The problem with the herpes simplex virus is that it never really goes way -- it just goes dormant.

    But if you have it, you can keep it dormant and prevent unsightly breakouts and maybe even slash your risk of memory loss at the same time -- and you can start by increasing your levels of L-lysine, an amino acid that can stop the virus from reproducing.

    You'll find it in legumes as well as fish, turkey, and chicken, but you'll need a supplement if you want to fight off herpes. I recommend 1,000 mg two to three times a day between meals during an outbreak, or half as much to prevent outbreaks.

    For more on the herpes virus including prevention and the best ways to limit outbreaks if you are infected, see my book, "Prescription for Natural Cures."

  2. Obesity linked to erection and urinary problems

    Big bellies lead to problems below the belt

    Tell a man his big belly will lead to heart disease, diabetes, hormonal problems, and even dementia down the road, and you'll barely get his attention.

    So I take a different approach with my overweight patients -- I tell them how obesity boosts the risks of sex problems, urinary dysfunction, and prostate problems.

    Those'll always get a man's attention.

    It's no exaggeration, either, and a new study confirms all that and more as researchers find that men with oversized belts have a higher risk of big-time problems below the belt.

    Researchers in New York divided 409 men between the ages of 40 and 91 with various urinary tract symptoms into three groups based on their waist size: less than 36 inches, 36-38 inches, and 40 inches or more.

    Sure enough, those with the biggest numbers had the highest risk of any number of issues -- including a complete inventory of all the problems men fear most.

    For example, 74.5 percent of men with waistlines of 40 inches or more had erectile dysfunction, more than double the 32 percent of men with waistlines of less than 36 inches.

    The big-bellied men also had triple the risk of ejaculation problems, with 65 percent of them battling those embarrassing issues, versus just 21 percent of men with waistlines of less than 36 inches.

    Men in the 36-38 inch group fell in the middle, with half of them suffering from erectile dysfunction and 40 percent experiencing ejaculation problems.

    Other "down there" functions also got worse as waistlines got bigger. Men with waistlines of 40 inches or more made the most trips to the bathroom, with 40 percent experiencing frequent urination versus 16 percent of those with the smallest waistlines.

    And of course, men with the biggest waistlines were also more likely to face everything from high blood pressure and high cholesterol to heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

    Obviously, if you're big in the middle and experiencing any of those problems you need to lose the weight pronto. The researchers say shaving just 2.5 inches off an oversized waistline could be enough for most men to overcome these and other issues.

    And for those of you who are big around the middle and not battling sex problems or urinary issues yet, lose the weight now... or suffer later.

  3. Testosterone can help with obesity and other health problems

    Testosterone can help men overcome everything from obesity to sexual dysfunction -- and even lower levels of cholesterol and reduce blood pressure.
  4. New erection pill packs the same old risks

    The last thing we need is yet another erection pill with the same risks as the old ones -- but that's just what the FDA is giving us.
  5. Obesity kills sperm

    Time for some tough talk about the male waistline -- specifically what's right above it... and what's right below, because the two are more closely linked than you might think.

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