Men and women truly see things differently

Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
There are still some, particularly ardent feminists, who claim that men and women are innately the same and that gender differences are environmentally acquired. As one researcher wisely observed, "those who still believe this all share one characteristic in common -- they are childless." Now, another study reveals what virtually all of us instinctively understand and appreciate, males and females are as different as night and day. (more…)
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A new use for cranberry … prostate symptoms!

Men's Health
Cranberry is not just for women with urinary tract infections anymore. Men with symptoms of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) (including benign prostatic hyperplasia [BPH]) might also benefit from cranberry. And this is important, because LUTS is a very common condition in older men that can be expensive to treat. (more…)
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FDA advises against purchasing drinks sold as supplements for sexual enhancement

Alternative Medicine, Men's Health, Nutritional Health
It seems that there are new warnings almost weekly from the FDA regarding potential dangers of certain over-the-counter natural medications (herbs, vitamins, or supplements). The reason is that these substances are virtually unregulated here in the United States and unscrupulous manufacturers constantly take advantage of this to make money at your expense. (more…)
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‘Beauty sleep’ turns out to be true, says study

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
The idea of people needing "beauty sleep" has acquired some scientific backing, according to a Swedish study. People deprived of sleep for long periods appear less attractive and more unhealthy than those who are well rested, say researchers. Here are the details from the BBC: Volunteers were photographed after eight hours sleep and again after being kept awake for 31 hours. Observers scored the sleep-deprived participants as less healthy and less attractive, the BMJ reports. The concept of beauty sleep is well known. But, according to researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, it has lacked scientific support. The team asked untrained observers to rate the faces of 23 young men and women who had been photographed after a normal night's sleep and then after a night of sleep deprivation. The photographs were…
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Timely Reminder: Adults urged to get vaccinated against flu and pertussis

Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
USA Today serves up a timely reminder for us adults:  "Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots for everyone over six months old, only a third of Americans in this age group received one in 2009," and "even fewer adults are vaccinated against whooping cough." But, in light of California's current battle against "its largest whooping cough outbreak in more than 60 years, health officials are urging adults to get vaccinated as a way protect babies and other vulnerable patients." Indeed, "while whooping cough may be nothing more than a nuisance for an adult, it is a 'tragedy' for babies, who have no natural immunity against it and whose tiny airways make them especially vulnerable to respiratory bugs." Make an appointment today with your family physician…
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New Guidelines for Antidepressants

Men's Health
New guidelines say to select antidepressants based on side effects, other medical conditions, drug interactions, and cost ... because they're all similarly effective. This means the best bets for initial therapy are usually an SSRI, SNRI, bupropion, or mirtazapine ... along with appropriate counseling. Here are details from the experts at Prescribers’ Letter: Prescribing Antidepressants based upon Side effects: The new guidelines recommend prescribers take advantage of side effects when possible. For patients with insomnia, we prescribers should use a MORE sedating antidepressant, such as paroxetine or mirtazapine. For patients with fatigue or sleepiness we should use a LESS sedating drug, such as fluoxetine, bupropion, or venlafaxine For those who have sexual side effects on an antidepressant, we should try bupropion. For those who want to minimize weight gain on an…
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Vitamin E consumption for stroke prevention may be harmful

Men's Health, Woman's Health
In a past blog I told you, "... a spate of high-profile studies published in the last few years shows that a variety of popular supplements — including calcium, selenium, and vitamins A, C and E — don’t do anything to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, or a variety of cancers.” Also, I said, “In the past few years, several high-quality studies have failed to show that extra vitamins, at least in pill form, help prevent chronic disease or prolong life.” Now there's some evidence of harm, at least with vitamin E. Bloomberg News reports, "Taking vitamin E supplements doesn't reduce the risk of stroke, and may even be harmful, an analysis of previous research found." Vitamin E "raised the risk of a severe type of stroke by 22…
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Regular exercise wards off colds and flu

General Health, Men's Health, Woman's Health
Earlier this week I discussed how regular exercise can reduce your risk of depression. It can also help you reduce your risk or colds and the flu. The CNN "The Chart" blog reported, "Working out regularly helps ward off colds and flu," according to a study published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. HealthDay reported that after collecting "data on 1,002 men and women from ages 18 to 85," investigators "tracked the number of upper respiratory tract infections the participants suffered" over 12 weeks during the fall and winter of 2008. Study participants also "reported how much and what kinds of aerobic exercise they did weekly." The study authors found that "people who were physically fit and who engaged in exercise five or more days per week were…
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Want to Marry Your Soul Mate? Could This Lead An Increased Risk of Divorce?

Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
I must confess: this one surprised me. But, after reading the details, I wonder ... After all, Brad Wilcox is one of my favorite researchers and writers. See what you think ... A surprising new study has reported that the idea of marrying your ‘soul mate’ may be a nice idea in theory and in chick flicks, but may not be such a good idea in real life.  Here are the details from Cosmopolitan: "Couples who believe in soul mates have such high expectations of marriage, and when those aren't met they're more likely to enter into conflict or even end up getting divorced," explains Bradford Wilcox, PhD, Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. He added that these types of couples expect an intense positive…
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More US adults aware they have hypertension. Do you?

Heart Health, Men's Health, Woman's Health
Finally some good news in the recognition and treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension). The AP reports that, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "more American adults are aware they have high blood pressure, and more are taking medicine to try to control it." The report, which included 24,000 adults who underwent blood pressure checks during the period from 1999 to 2008, also revealed that "the proportion of US adults with high blood pressure has actually been holding steady at about 30% for a decade." HealthDay reported that "part of the reason that treatment and awareness of hypertension has increased while the prevalence of the condition remains stagnant is the ongoing obesity epidemic and the aging population, both of which tend to…
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Heavy smoking more than doubles the odds of developing Alzheimer’s

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
USA Today reports that, according to a study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, "heavy smoking in midlife more than doubles your odds of developing Alzheimer's disease." For the study, researchers from Kaiser Permanente "evaluated the records of 21,123 men and women in midlife and continued following them, on average, for 23 years." They found that, "compared with non-smokers, those who had smoked two packs of cigarettes a day increased their risk of developing Alzheimer's by more than 157% and had a 172% higher risk of developing vascular dementia -- the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's." The Wall Street Journal reports that smokers who did not smoke so heavily still faced an increased risk for dementia. For example, even smokers who smoked just half a pack…
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Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 7 – Examine Your Wheels

General Health, Men's Health
Here’s the seventh of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life , was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 7 of 8: THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God? EXAMINE YOUR WHEELS KEY BIBLE VERSE: No matter how much you want, laziness won't help a bit, but hard work will reward you with more than enough. (Proverbs 13:4) Dig Deeper: Proverbs 20:4; James 1:2-4 One day, my wife, Barb, pointed out a nail in one of our car tires. All I could see was the head of the nail. No air was escaping,…
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Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 6 – The Spiritual Wheel of Health

General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health
Here’s the sixth of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 6 of 8 THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God? THE SPIRITUAL WHEEL KEY BIBLE VERSE: "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." (John 10:10) Dig Deeper: Psalm 32 What does it mean to be in a state of maximum well-being as we relate to our Creator? Obviously, for us to be spiritually healthy, any break in our relationship…
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Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 5 – The Relational Wheel of Health

General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health
Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 1 – IntroductioHere’s the fifth of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 5 of 8: Here’s the fifth of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 5 of 8: THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God? THE RELATIONAL WHEEL KEY BIBLE VERSES:…
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Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 4 – The Emotional Wheel of Health

General Health, Men's Health, Mental Health
Here’s the fourth of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 4 of 8: THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God? THE EMOTIONAL WHEEL KEY BIBLE VERSE: A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. (Proverbs 17:22, The Message) Dig Deeper: Proverbs 14:30, 15:13 My friend Ben is a model of emotional health. For years, I've watched him handle whatever life throws at him. He doesn't pretend things are better than they are, nor does he treat the inevitable letdowns…
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Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 2 – The Four Wheels of Health

General Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health
Here’s the second of an eight-part devotional for men based upon my chapter on health in Coach Joe Gibbs best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 2 of 8: THE FOUR WHEELS OF HEALTH THE SERIES’ THEME: Healthy Through and Through. What does it mean to be a truly healthy man of God? WHO SAID IT … WALT LARIMORE Walt Larimore is one of America's best-known family physicians and has been listed in the Guide to America's Top Family Doctors and the Best Doctors in America. He's been a practicing family physician for around three decades—delivering more than 1,500 babies. Walt has been a medical journalist since 1995 and has served as…
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Lactoferrin for Acne. Does It Work?

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Drinking cow's milk enriched with the protein lactoferrin may improve acne by up to 20 percent, researchers report in the journal Nutrition. Here are details from the experts at The Natural Standard: Earlier laboratory studies have suggested that lactoferrin-enriched cow's milk may have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. In a recent study, 36 adults with acne were randomly assigned to drink fermented milk supplemented with 200 milligrams of lactoferrin or non-enriched fermented milk daily for 12 weeks. Every four weeks, the researchers recorded the participants' acne severity and lesion counts. At the beginning and end of the study, the authors evaluated the skin's hydration, sebum (oily secretions), pH, and surface lipids. By the end of the study, the number of inflammatory lesions, total lesion count, and acne severity significantly decreased by 38.6 percent,…
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TV show contestants on “The Biggest Loser” lose fat while preserving muscle mass, study shows

Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Woman's Health
USA Today reports, "The grueling boot-camp workouts on NBC's The Biggest Loser help contestants lose large amounts of body fat while preserving their muscle mass, a new study shows." The "scientists measured the weight, body composition and resting metabolic rate of the 16 participants at the start of the show, at Week 6 and at Week 30, the finale." The findings, presented recently at the meeting of the Obesity Society in San Diego, noted that "overall, the contestants dropped from an average 49% body fat to 27%," and "after 30 weeks, participants lost an average of 128 pounds; 81% was body fat and 19% was fat-free mass, mostly muscle."
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Devotional for Men – Healthy Through and Through – Part 1 – Introduction

General Health, Heart Health, Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health
Here's the first of an eight-part devotional for men. It's based upon a chapter on physical health that I wrote for Coach Joe Gibbs' best-selling book, Gameplan for Life. The devotional series was featured by the Men of Integrity ministry of Christianity Today. That chapter, and this series, are based upon my book, 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and staying highly healthy. I hope you enjoy the series. Here’s Part 1 of 8. I'll be posting a new part each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through the end of November: Taking good care of our bodies should be important to the serious Christ-follower. After all, the believer's body is God's temple (1 Cor. 6:19) and God shouldn't have to live in a shabby, unkempt shack. But as we'll see in this…
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Six doctor-recommended sleep aids

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
Tired of counting sheep? Consider one of these remedies for the possibility of getting a good night's sleep when you have occasional insomnia. These tips were posted on Health.com and are from RealSimple.com: 1) Aromatherapy Try it: When you're drowsy but slightly tense. How to use it: Massage a dab of aromatherapeutic balm or oil into the back of your neck and shoulders (and inhale deeply) before you hit the sack. Certain fragrances, including lavender and lemon balm, promote snooze-inducing relaxation, says Rubin Naiman, Ph.D., a sleep specialist at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, in Tucson. (Try Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Balm, which contains lavender; $25, origins.com.) Good to know: You don't have to stick to traditional aromatherapeutic scents -- any fragrance that makes you…
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The Formula for Good Health = 0, 5, 10, 30, 150

Cancer, Children's Health, General Health, Heart Health, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
An easy-to-remember formula for good health (0, 5, 10, 30, 150) is proposed in a wonderful editorial in American Family Physician titled “Preventive Health: Time for Change.” The author suggests this formula to physicians to “help patients achieve healthy lifestyle goals": 0 = no cigarettes or tobacco products 5 = five servings of fruits and vegetables per day 10 = ten minutes of silence, relaxation, prayer, or meditation per day 30 = keep your BMI (body mass index) below 30 150 = number of minutes of exercise per week (e.g., brisk walking or equivalent) The editorial is penned y Colin Kopes-Kerr, MD, from the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency in Santa Rosa, California: It is time to make a decision. Which will be our health promotion strategy—primary prevention or secondary…
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8 Reasons Sex Is Better After 50 (or, “You can have the greatest sex life on earth”)

Marriage and Family Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
I think one of the best ministry activities in which Barb and I have worked together during our 37 years of marriage and 53 years of friendship, is our book His Brain, Her Brain: How divinely designed differences can strengthen your marriage. (signed copies for gifts are available here). The topic of sex in the marriage relationship is one that is so critical to the health of the marriage, that we spent two (yes, count 'em, two) chapters on the topic. So, to our readers who agree, and who are near or past that half-centrury mark, we thought you might find this article by Amanda Gardner that was posted on Health.com to be both an encouragement and helpful: Sex after menopause? Some experts will tell you it’s a downhill ride of waning…
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Time change tonight offers chance to try to improve on slumber, experts say.

Children's Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
When you turn your clocks back an hour tonight, it might be a good opportunity to think about whether you're getting enough sleep. The switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time officially occurs at 2 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday) morning, and it moves one hour of daylight from the evening to the morning. You'll likely appreciate the extra hour of sleep you'll gain with the return to Standard Time, but it won't be enough to eliminate any major sleep debt you may have accumulated due to a hectic lifestyle, experts say. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Chronic sleep deprivation can affect attention levels, reaction time and mood, leading to decreased productivity at work, increased family stress, and potential health problems, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). "People…
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Replace Smoke and CO Alarm Batteries This Weekend for Daylight Saving Time

Children's Health, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging consumers to replace their smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) alarm batteries this weekend as clocks are turned ahead for Daylight Saving Time. “Safeguard your family by putting new batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms this weekend,” said CPSC’s Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. “Properly working smoke and CO alarms can alert you to a fire or poisonous carbon monoxide in your home and give you valuable escape time.” An estimated annual average of 378,700 fires, 2,740 deaths, 13,090 injuries and $5.6 billion in property losses associated with residential fires were reported by fire departments from 2003 through 2005. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that consumers cannot see or smell. There was an annual average of 171…
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Does MSM Work for Hair Loss?

Men's Health, Woman's Health
Long-time readers know that I think that the Doctors of Pharmacology who publish the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database have one of the best, if not the best (evidence-based, trustworthy, and medically reliable) internet resources for natural medications (herbs, vitamins, and supplements). This month they've sent prescribers a warning about MSM for hair loss. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is best known as a remedy for osteoarthritis. But it's now showing up in products promoted for hair loss including: TriMedica Pure MSM Shampoo, Hair Loss Support Liquid, Hair Loss Alopecia Shampoo, Sulfur Plus, and many more. The thinking is that MSM contains sulfur, which is an element important for hair growth. And, some people who try it often say that it works. But, the NMCD experts tell us prescribers to "explain to patients that…
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Study: Mental Health Deteriorates With Increased Television

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
In many previous blogs I've reminded you of the dangers of television exposure to your children and teens. Now, here's a warning for us adults: a new study has found that watching more than 4 hours of TV a day has an adverse effect on mental well-being. Here are the details from LifeSiteNews.com: The study was conducted by Mark Hamer, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, and research associates Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD, and Gita D. Mishra, PhD. It analyzed the association of leisure-time sedentary behavior in adults, measured by television and screen-based entertainment (TVSE) time, and mental health. The researchers looked at mental health survey data of 3920 men and women between the ages of 35 and 65 years, from the 2003 Scottish Health Survey. The…
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Pre-Run Stretch May Hurt Endurance

Men's Health, Woman's Health
Runners who stretch before a run expended more energy and run shorter distances, according to a new study. Here are the details from WebMD: Some runners swear by their pre-run stretch as a sure-fire way to run better and stronger and reduce their risk of injury in the process. But according to a new study, distance runners who stretch before a run may not perform as well and may spend more energy than runners who skip the stretch. ''Overall, I don’t think it's worth it to stretch before a run," researcher Jacob M. Wilson, PhD, assistant professor of exercise science and sport studies at the University of Tampa, tells WebMD. "After a run, if someone is trying to work on flexibility, that's fine." Although his study was done only on…
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To Not Sleep, Perchance to Shorten Your Life

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
In past blogs, I've discussed the studies showing that if you chronically have a poor night's sleep or you are chronically sleep deprived, that will result in a wide variety of poor health outcomes. Now comes a study showing that insomniac men are more likely to die earlier. Here are the details from HealthDay News: Shortchanging yourself on sleep could shave years off your life if you're a man. So claims a new study that found men who reported having insomnia or who slept for short periods of time were much more likely to die over a 14-year period. "Insomnia has potentially very severe side effects," said study co-author and sleep researcher Edward Bixler. "It needs to be treated, and more effort needs to be put into sorting out better treatments."…
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