Archive for the ‘Vitamin D’ Category

Non-Medical Solutions to Raising Your Low T Level

March 23, 2017

I am often asked by patients what can a man do to raise his testosterone level without taking testosterone replacement therapy?  Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful.

  1. Exercise and lift weights

If you want to increase your testosterone levels, you will need to increase your exercise frequency. Regular exercise will not only help you by preventing different lifestyle related health problems, but it will also help you by boosting your testosterone levels. Men who regularly exercise have a higher testosterone levels. Even elderly men will also have higher testosterone levels if they regularly exercise.

  1. Reduce stress and cortisol levels

If you are suffering from long-term stress, it can increase the levels of cortisol hormone. If your cortisol levels are high, testosterone levels will decrease.

That’s why, you need to reduce stress as much as possible and which will also decrease the cortisol levels in your body. Regular exercise, whole foods, good sleep, balanced lifestyle and laughter can help you to reduce stress and also improve your overall health.

  1. Get more Vitamin D

Vitamin D offers several health benefits and it boosts testosterone naturally. If you consume just 3,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day, it can increase testosterone levels in the body by 25%.

You can get more vitamin D by increasing your exposure to sunlight regularly. You can also take a daily supplement of 3,000 IU of a vitamin D3 supplement.

4. Get Enough Sleep.

A lack of sleep affects a variety of hormones and chemicals in your body. This, in turn, can have a harmful impact on your testosterone.

The time honored goal is try for 7 to 8 hours per night.

5. Keep a Healthy Weight.

Obesity can have a deleterious effect on your testosterone levels.  Exercise and diet can improve your testosterone and also is good for your heart to avoid obesity.

6. Review Your Medications.

Some medicines can cause a drop in your testosterone level. These include: pain medications, steroids (prednisone), anabolic steroids such as those used by athletes and body builders, and anti-depressants.

7. Deep 6 the Supplements.

You may be bombarded with unsolicited snail mail and E –mail offering testosterone boosting supplements such as DHEA.  Let the truth be told, you are wasting your money as these supplements will not boost your testosterone.

Bottom Line:  Although these suggestions are helpful, they are just a step in the right direction.  For more information about testosterone replacement therapy, speak to your physician.

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Boosting T Levels Without Medication

February 3, 2017

Testosterone is the male hormone produced in the testicles that is responsible for sex drive, energy, muscle and bone mass.  Testosterone decreases slowly in the late 20s and becomes symptomatic in men around middle age.  This blog will discuss natural ways of preserving and increasing your testosterone levels.

Get Moving: Drop 10, 15, or more pounds

Overweight men are likely to have less testosterone, which means less energy and increased susceptibility to depression.  If you shed pounds, you can cause your T levels to surge.

No Zinc In the Sink

Research has shown that supplementing your diet with zinc can improve testosterone levels. According to the National Institutes of Health, 45 per cent of us aren’t getting enough of the stuff.  Protein-rich foods like meat and fish are packed full of zinc, along with raw cheese, beans and natural yoghurt.

Sweet Nothings

In addition to causing you to pile on the pounds, sugar can also wreak havoc on testosterone production. Regular intake of the sweet stuff can cause insulin to spike, which is a factor leading to low levels of testosterone.

To counteract the effect, simply limit your sugar intake – the overall health benefits far outweigh a quick dopamine hit from a soft drink.

Take D and See

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone, which means it boosts your sperm count, , libido and  testosterone.  You can increase your vitamin D by being exposed to sunshine.  Since I don’t condone exposure to sun as it causes skin cancers, then vitamin D supplementation is in order, 1000 IU\day.  This is available in most nutrition and drug stores.

Stress Less

Kicking back is easier said than done, but a reduction in stress will work wonders for your testosterone production. Cortisol (the stuff your body makes when you get hot under the collar) actually blocks testosterone. Chronic stress has actually been shown to stop testosterone production, which translates to bad moods, fatigue and decreased libido.

Exercise and weight loss are beneficial in reducing stress levels so this is another reason to getting moving!

Fat and Fit

Eat ‘good’ fats of the monounsaturated variety. You can find a high dose of these fats in foods like olive oil, almonds, avocados and grass-fed meats.

Going From ZZZZZ to T

Men who got a full eight hours sleep had 60 per cent more testosterone than their sleep-deprived counterparts.  I recommend stop looking at screens, i.e., computer and TV screens at least an hour before bedtime as screen watching affects melatonin which if decreased can make it difficult to have a good nights sleep.

It’s Quicker Without Liquor

We all know that alcohol consumption is bad for us – but it’s bad for your Johnson. Not only does too much booze lower growth hormone levels and increase cortisol, it will reduce your testosterone levels for up to 24-hours.  I recommend 1-2 glasses of alcohol a day and definitely avoid binging.

Bottom Line:  Testosterone is a necessary ingredient for your sex drive, your energy level, and overall body metabolism.  The hormone also affects our moods and psychological well-being.  I have provided you some suggestions for boosting this very important hormone.

ED (Erectile Dysfunction) May Be Prevented With Vitamin D

January 28, 2015

Erectile dysfunction affects millions of American men and also has an impact on the man’s partner. Often times non-medical treatments are available. One consideration is the use of vitamin D.

A new research out of Italy is suggesting that low levels of vitamin D may increase a man’s risk of erectile dysfunction. Called the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is the only vitamin that is formed in the body by the rays of the sun.

It has long been touted that an adequate supply of vitamin D is necessary for optimum health and to ward off diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. But now researchers are showing its importance in helping men to maintain their erection.
According to the study, the researchers tested 143 men with varying degrees of erectile dysfunction, and they found that nearly half of them were deficient in vitamin D, and only one in five had optimal levels of the nutrient.

Additionally, men with severe cases of erectile dysfunction had vitamin D levels that were about 24 per cent lower than those with mild forms of the condition.

Insufficient levels of vitamin D may encourage the production of free radicals called superoxide ions. These free radicals deplete a person’s nitric oxide, a molecule that helps blood vessels function properly. As a result, it makes it difficult for a man to get a firm erection.

Nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to relax, which increases blood flow and causes an erection under normal circumstances.
Without the necessary amounts of nitric acid, your blood vessels may not relax enough to allow for an erection.

How can men increase their vitamin D intake? There are two recommendations.

1) Get sun exposure at least 30 minutes per day. The best source of vitamin D is optimal sun exposure. You don’t have to be completely nude, but expose as much skin as possible for better absorption. Exposing the skin to sunlight’s UV-B for vitamin D3 production is best obtained between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

2) Men can also take vitamin D supplements. For those with low levels of vitamin D, the study recommends taking supplements to get back to the optimal level of 30 ng/mL or above.

As for men with normal erectile function, research is currently studying whether vitamin D supplementation may act as a preventive measure to delay erectile dysfunction.

Bottom Line: I always suggest that men lead a healthy life style including good nutrition, exercise, get adequate sleep and now I’d like to add get plenty of vitamin D.

Bones Break Just Like Hearts-Strengthen Yours With Calcium and Vitamin D

November 13, 2012
Fracture of Hip

Fracture Of Hip

Although bone-weakening osteoporosis is quite common among older people, it isn’t an inevitable part of aging. There’s a lot you can do to shield your bones from this disease.
The best insurance against osteoporosis is building the strength of the bones by increasing the calcium content of the bones. There is still much you can do to preserve the bone you have and perhaps even to replace lost bone. Daily weight-bearing exercise, like walking, is the best medicine. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are two other critical strategies for keeping bones strong.

Calcium
Calcium is an important nutrient for building bone and slowing the pace of bone loss. How much calcium? The recommended daily intake for calcium is 1,000 milligrams (mg) a day for adults up through age 50 and 1,200 mg a day for people ages 51 and older, when bone loss accelerates. With age, the intestines absorb less calcium from the diet, and the kidneys seem to be less efficient at conserving calcium. As a result, your body can steal calcium from bone for a variety of important metabolic functions. If this happens bone suffers and bone loses its strength and is at risk of falls and fractures.

Vitamin D
In building bone, calcium has an indispensable assistant: vitamin D. This vitamin helps the body absorb calcium, and some researchers think that increasing vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis. Milk sold in the United States is fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D is also prevalent in fortified breakfast cereals, eggs, and vitamin supplements. Some brands of yogurt are fortified with it, as well as some juices.

If possible, a small amount of sun exposure can help your body manufacture its own vitamin D — about five to 30 minutes of sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. twice a week to your face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen will enable you to make enough of the vitamin. People with fair skin that burns easily should protect themselves from skin cancer by limiting sun exposure to 10 minutes or less.

Food and sun exposure should suffice, but if not, some experts advise getting 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily from a supplement.

Bottom Line: Take 1000mg of calcium and 1000units of vitamin D and you will take good care of your bones and prevent bone fractures.

Vitamin D May Reduce Your Risk Of Prostate Cancer

June 15, 2012

A new study suggests that vitamin D may protect against prostate cancer. Men around age 65 who had a positive biopsy for prostate cancer who took 4000 IU/day of Vitamin D for a full year had a 55% decrease in the number of follow up positive prostate biopsies. Men who did not take vitamin D, 2\3 had progression compared to only 1\3 who took vitamin D.

Bottom Line; This is a report of a small study and certainly the results are encouraging but preliminary and more testing needs to be done. But as my wise Jewish mother would say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

Nutrition for Your Prostate Gland

January 9, 2012

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men causing nearly 250,000 new cases each year. It is the second most common cause of death in American men, killing nearly 40,000 men annually. However, with regular examination consisting of a digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test, prostate cancer can be detected early and treated. There are other healthy life-style changes that can be easily done that may even help prevent prostate cancer.
1. Start taking vitamin D, E and selenium supplements. Although further research is needed to confirm their effectiveness, studies have demonstrated that all three, vitamin D, E and selenium, show promise with regard to prostate cancer prevention when taken regularly.
2. Eat more soybeans (or soybean products) and other legumes. Elevated levels of testosterone may increase your risk for developing prostate cancer. The phytoestrogens-nonsteroidal plant compounds that act like estrogen in the body and thus can help to regulate imbalanced hormone levels-contained in these foods may help to prevent prostate cancer; genistein, an isoflavone also found in soy foods, helps to normalize hormone levels and thus may reduce prostate cancer.
3. Drink green tea. Antioxidant compounds in green tea may help prevent prostate cancer; some have even been found to kill prostate cancer cells in test tubes, while others have blocked enzymes that promote prostate cancer.
4. Get plenty of fiber. Fiber can eliminate excess testosterone in the body; thus, a high-fiber diet can aid in the regulation of your body’s hormone levels and may help reduce the risk for prostate cancer.
5. Reduce your intake of meat and saturated fats. Follow a low-fat diet: diets high in saturated fat ¬animal fat in particular-and red met have been found to increase the risk for prostate cancer. Eating a low-tat diet also helps to prevent obesity, a condition that may also increase prostate cancer risk.
6. Eat more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and greens. A recent study found that men who ate cruciferous vegetables more than once a week were 40% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who rarely ate them.
7. Eat cooked tomatoes. Lycopene, the carotenoid pigment that makes tomatoes bright red, possesses powerful antioxidant properties and has been linked in some studies to a decreased risk for prostate cancer.
8. Limit your dairy consumption. Diets high in dairy products and calcium may be associated with small increases in prostate cancer risk. Moderate your dairy consumption, and don’t overdo calcium¬ supplements or foods fortified with extra calcium.
9. Get regular aerobic exercise. Regular aerobic exercise has been associated with reduced risk levels for prostate cancer: exercise also helps prevent obesity and other health-related complications that obesity causes.
10. See your physician for prostate cancer screenings regularly. While regular screenings can’t reduce your risk for prostate cancer, changes in diet and exercise can. They help ensure early diagnosis so that prostate cancer can be treated as effectively as possible. My best advice is to get screened annually if you are over the age of 50, if you have a family member who has prostate cancer, or if you are an African-American man.

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer may have a relationship with diet. I cannot tell you for certain if you follow these instructions you will not develop prostate cancer. But as my wonderful Jewish mother would say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

Vitamins May Not Be All That Helpful

December 28, 2011

It is not unusual to view an advertisement for a vitamin that suggests it helps people with cardiovascular problems, cancer, diabetes, or other chronic diseases. Judging the validity of these advertisements is often difficult due to what often appears to be conflicting data, and the use of personal anecdotes.
What is the evidence? A study was conducted by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and published in 2006. (The complete report, Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements and Prevention of Chronic Disease can be viewed here)
The study examined the use of vitamins for the prevention of the following:
• breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, or any other malignancy (including colorectal polyps)
• myocardial infarction, stroke
• type 2 diabetes mellitus
• Parkinson’s disease, cognitive decline, memory loss, dementia
• cataracts, macular degeneration, hearing loss
• osteoporosis, osteopenia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis
• hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty-liver disease
• chronic renal insufficiency, chronic nephrolithiasis
• HIV infection, hepatitis C, tuberculosis
• chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The results of the study
The authors concluded there is limited evidence to date suggesting potential benefits of multivitamin/mineral supplements in the primary prevention of cancer in individuals with poor nutritional status or suboptimal antioxidant intake.
The evidence also indicates that multivitamin/mineral supplement use does not have significant effects in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cataracts.
Regular supplementation of a single nutrient or a mixture of nutrients for years has no significant benefits in the primary prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataract, age-related macular degeneration or cognitive decline.
A few exceptions, that were reported in a single reviewed study included a decreased incidence of prostate cancer with use of synthetic α-tocopherol (50 mg per day) in smokers, a decreased progression of age-related macular degeneration with high doses of zinc alone or zinc in combination with antioxidants in persons at high risk for developing advanced stages of the disease, and a decreased incidence of cancer with use of selenium (200 mcg per day).
Supplementation with calcium has short-term (particularly within one year) benefit on retaining bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, and a possible effect in preventing vertebral fractures. Combined vitamin D3 (700–800 IU/day) and calcium (1000 mg/day) may reduce the risk of hip and other non-vertebral fractures in individuals with low levels of intake. Supplementation with β-carotene increased lung cancer risk in persons with asbestos exposure or cigarette smoking.
Users of Vitamins Beware
The overall quality and quantity of the literature on the safety of multivitamin/mineral supplements is limited. Among the adverse effects reported were vitamin A supplementation may moderately increase serum triglyceride levels. Calcium supplementation may increase the risk of kidney stones. Vitamin E supplementation was associated with an increased incidence of nosebleeds but was not associated with an increased risk of more serious bleeding events.

Bottom Line: Vitamins may be helpful for a few conditions. Nothing beats a good diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, plenty of exercise, and adequate sleep. Vitamins and supplements are not the cure all for many diseases or the major source of disease prevention.

Alternative Treatments of the Enlarged Prostate Gland

November 13, 2011

Most men will have symptoms of prostate gland enlargement after age 50 Those symptoms include frequency of urination, getting up at night to urinate, urgency of urination, and dribbling after urination. There are numerous medications that are effective in reducing the symptoms of the enlarged prostate gland. There are large numbers of men who find that their symptoms are not of significance that require treatment or they are using so many medications that the men don’t want to add any additional medications to their already lengthy list of drugs. There are supplements and vitamins that can be used that may have a role for men who do not want to take additional medications.

Beta-sitosterol

Beta-sitosterol is the main active ingredient in the herbs saw palmetto and pygeum. Both of these herbs do not have enough beta-sitosterol to be of real value in giving you prostate health. Now, beta-sitosterol, which can be obtained from sugar cane pulp, can be purchased in capsule doses of 300 – 600 mg, which gives you an effective dose to eliminate your enlarged prostate. Pygeum can only provide around 30 mg and you need upwards of 600 mg daily.

Flax Seed or Fish Oil

The nutrient to use for the best prostate health diet is flaxseed oil.
Flax seed oil contains more omega-3 than omega-6 and so it makes it a good source of omega-3. The more omega-6 use, from olive oil and other vegetables oils, the more prone you will be to prostate cancer. This is not the case with omega-3 oil and this has been verified through clinical studies.

Omega-3 protects the prostates cells and has anti-inflammatory properties. Using fish oil can also be a better choice than flax seed oil since your body digests it better.

Use 1 – 2 grams of flax seed or fish oil per day.

Soy Isoflavones

Soy Isoflavones have been shown in clinical studies to have good effects on your prostate and should be added to your prostate health diet. These isoflavones are flavones and contain no photoestrogen so the have no estrogen effects in the body.

The active ingredients in the isoflavones are genestein and daidzein.Buy a brand that has up to 40 mg of isoflavones Use this quantity daily.

Ionic Minerals

The prostate needs minerals. Adding these to your prostate health diet is critical. You cannot have good prostate health without plenty of minerals and your regular diet cannot supply what you need.

In addition to these ionic minerals, you need to make sure you get plenty of zinc and selenium. The prostate has more zinc than any other part of the body. So take 15 – 20 mg per day and not to exceed 40 mg.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is another critical vitamin that you want to make sure you get plenty of. If you are out in the sun a lot, then you will not need to supplement with this vitamin. Otherwise, use up to 800 IU of this vitamin.

Vitamin E

This is the next most important vitamin you should supplement with. Use up to 400 mg per day of the natural mixed tocopherols. Clinical studies have shown that vitamin E can reduce and suppress prostate cancer cells.

Bottom Line: Use, beta sitosterol, isoflavones, minerals, vitamin D, and vitamin E in your prostate health diet and see improvements in your prostate symptoms and health.

Want to Improve Your ZZZZZZZZs? Take Vitamin D and Snooze

February 5, 2011

I love it when a medical mystery is revealed, or at least partially explained.

A case study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine and it helped confirm about the importance of vitamins to your sleep.

But a recent case study has shown that a patient with severe sleepiness and a vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation improved daytime sleepiness dramatically. The patient was a 28 year old female. She was suffering for about four months with excessive sleepiness. Her symptoms started slowly and continued to progress. She kept a standard bedtime between 10 and 11 pm, and she reported falling asleep within minutes. She would wake at 7:30 am and reported that she did not think that she was sleeping poorly. She would get her kids ready for school and then be back in bed by 8am until noon. She would then nap from 4 pm to 7 pm. She reported about 14 hours of sleep per day.

Her sleep study showed no signs of sleep apnea or other sleep disorder. During her clinic visit she showed no signs of narcolepsy, depression or anxiety. Her next day nap study was unremarkable. She reported muscle fatigue and pain, as well as headaches. Her lab work showed a thyroid in the low but normal range and she had low levels of vitamin D.

She was started on a vitamin D supplementation at 50,000 units once per week (IV) and within 2 weeks she started to see a decrease in her sleepiness and fatigue.

Vitamin D is actually considered a fat soluble hormone that can be received in foods (dietary sources and fish) or is self-manufactured by the skin after exposure to UVB light. A vitamin D deficiency has been noticed as a global issue and recently found in underserved populations, patients in northern latitudes, people with darker skin tones, the elderly, obese and pregnant or lactating women. Also very common in areas with a high degree of sunshine (this seems counter-intuitive, but think about all that sunblock!). Recent studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to metabolic syndrome, muscle pain, and even type 2 diabetes.

So why do we think it helped her sleepiness? It is really hard to say, but I have seen this in some of my patients. It could be linked to a decrease in sleep disturbing pain. Or vitamin D may be something that will help decrease a person’s drive for sleep. Only more research in this exciting new area can tell us.

Check with your doctor about vitamin supplementation. We all work hard, and eating right isn’t always easy – and even when we do, we may not get what we need from the food we eat. Our bodies actually make vitamin D, but we have to get enough sunlight to make that happen effectively.

Sweet Dreams,

Michael J. Breus, PhD

The Sleep Doctor™

http://biUy/g006uz

 

Take Vitamin D and See-A Vitamin You Can’t Be Without

October 26, 2010

In the past vitamin D was thought to be responsible for growth and stability of your bones.  Now we have found that vitamin D is responsible for a dozen other medical conditions including stroke, depression, asthma, high blood pressure, heart attacks, prostate cancer as well as osteoporosis or weak bones.

Vitamin D is readily available from you skin which makes Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight.  Just 10-15 minutes of sunlight twice a week is usually sufficient to generate all the vitamin D you need.  However, excessive exposure may increase your risk of skin cancer.  Unfortunately as people get older the skin is not as effective to make vitamin D and older people need vitamin D supplements.

Vitamin D is available in cod liver oil, fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna fish.  Egg yolks, cereals, and fortified milk are other sources.  Supplements containing 1000-2000 international units are usually helpful sources of the vitamin if you can’t get adequate amounts through your food.  Vitamin D supplements are best taken with the largest meal of the day as food appears to help the absorption of the vitamin.

Doctors can check your vitamin D level with a blood test.  A blood level of less than 20ng\ml indicates a deficiency while levels 21-29ng\ml indicate a vitamin insufficiency and should require supplementation.

Bottom Line: Vitamin D deficiency is more common than we thought and can lead to more than soft bones.  Get your vitamin D level check at least annually and if you are “down a pint” put some back in your tank with inexpensive supplements.