News You Can Use
From
Janet Alexander and Chris Maund

November/December 2013
  
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Christmas is just around the corner...a time of year when we give each other gifts. Nothing wrong with that but how many of you make any serious effort to give YOURSELF a "gift" at Christmas? How about making a commitment to spending an hour every day exercising? Or getting 8 hours of sleep every night? Or eating vegetables 3 times a day?
Why is it that Westerners find it so hard to reward themselves with these kinds of "gifts"? If you take care of the basics i.e. daily exercise, 8 hours of sleep and good eating habits, you'll be amazed by how much more productive you are during a typical day. Skimping on sleep and blowing off workouts "because I'm too busy" is a classic false economy. If you take care of yourself you can take care of other people much more effectively, you can get more done at work and feel better while you are at it....bargain! So as December 25th approaches, think about what changes you can make to your daily routine, write them down and implement them. This is a gift that will truly last a lifetime.
 
In the January 2014 issue of Vanity Fair there is an article on the birth control ring NuvaRing. For all you ladies on birth control it's worth reading. It now seems fairly clear that the third and fourth generation birth control products (both pills and intrauterine devices) carry with them a much higher risk of venous blood clots. These elevated risks are poorly recognised by most prescribing physicians and that is in no small part due to the "education" that doctors get from drug company sales reps. Read the Vanity Fair article then go to www.bmj.com and put "lidegaard" into the search engine. ějvind Lidegaard is a Danish physician who has conducted some very large studies on the effects of various forms of birth control. If you use oral or intrauterine contraceptives you owe it to yourself to read some of his work.

OK...now something for all you men...and it also concerns hormones!
There is currently an "epidemic" of testosterone prescriptions. Every week we meet men of all ages (some in their early 20s!) who have been put on testosterone patches or injections. In most of these cases a large number of lab tests have been done and a testosterone prescription made based on the lab data. There are several problems with this approach:

1. If your testosterone levels are low, the question you should be asking yourself is "Why are they low?" The answer is NOT "Because I need a testosterone prescription."

2. Testosterone is an end stage hormone i.e. it is at the end of a cascading production line involving many other intermediate hormones like pregnenolone and DHEA. The amazing thing is that most men diagnosed with low testosterone have never had their pregnenolone or DHEA levels measured. If you turned on the garden tap and only a trickle of water came out of the end of your hose, you would not buy a new nozzle until you had checked the tap and the length of the hose for kinks, would you? The same logic ought to apply with low testosterone levels...instead of immediately reaching for a testosterone prescription, how about testing further "upstream" to find out exactly where the problem is?

3. The major precursor to ALL of these hormones is CHOLESTEROL. That's right, cholesterol is converted to pregnenolone which is converted to DHEA which is converted to testosterone. What is the one nutrient that we are all scared to death of eating? That's right...cholesterol...one of the most important nutrients for driving the manufacturing pathway to testosterone. Is it a coincidence that more and more young "healthy" males are being diagnosed with low testosterone...we don't think so. A low fat diet (especially a diet low in animal fats, eggs etc...) will cause a hormonal problem sooner or later. We have NEVER seen low testosterone in any male who has eaten animal fats and eggs his entire life. In our experience this problem only occurs when guys get paranoid about animal fats/cholesterol and start cutting these from their diet.

4. Some of you are probably thinking "But when I took testosterone I started to feel better". Let's go back to our garden hose analogy...taking exogenous testosterone (i.e. testosterone from an outside source) is like throwing buckets of water all over your garden because your hose does not work anymore. What's the point of that? Why not fix the real problem i.e. sort your health out so that your body can start to make testosterone naturally again. Whatever problems you have in your body that led to a fall in testosterone levels will NEVER be resolved with a testosterone prescription. Fix the underlying problem, don't bury the symptom and pretend nothing is wrong. "More stupid than that it is impossible to be"...a favourite quote of ours from Guy Voyer DO.  

5. Exogenous testosterone is often converted to estradiol. This is a hormone in the estrogen family. There are some males who perform this conversion quite aggressively...we're guessing that most of you guys out there are not looking to increase your levels of female sex hormones. Stop and THINK before you start filling your body with exogenous testosterone.

If you have low testosterone and would like more information send us an e-mail...we're here to help you!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!