Does it mean that people endanger themselves ignorantly?
Does it mean that people endanger themselves ignorantly?
Sex isn’t the only indicator of health or happiness. You can still lead an active and happy life without sex. The benefits of sex come from the feeling of pleasure, which studies show can also come from listening to music, interacting with pets, and having strong religious faith. According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, a long-term study of nuns reported that many of them lived well into their 90s and past 100 years old.
Sex and sexuality are a part of life. Aside from reproduction, sex can be about intimacy and pleasure. Sexual activity, penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI), or masturbation, can offer many surprising benefits to all facets of your life:
Sexual health is more than avoiding diseases and unplanned pregnancies. It’s also about recognizing that sex can be an important part of your life, according to the American Sexual Health Association.
This study suggests that sex can be good cardiovascular exerciseTrusted Source in younger men and women. Though sex isn’t enough exercise on its own, it can be considered light exercise.
Some of the benefits you can get from sex include:
People with active sex lives tend to exercise more frequently and have better dietary habits than those who are less sexually active. Physical fitness may also improve sexual performance overall.
In a study of immunity in people in romantic relationships, people who had frequent sex (one to two times a week) had more immunoglobulin A (IgA) in their saliva. People who had infrequent sex (less than once a week) had significantly less IgA.
IgA is the antibody that plays a role in preventing illnesses and is the first line of defense against human papillomavirus, or HPV.
But those who had sex more than three times a week had the same amount of IgA as those who had infrequent sex. The study suggests that anxiety and stress can possibly cancel out the positive effects of sex.
Your body releases oxytocin, also called the “love” or “intimacy” hormone, and endorphins during an orgasm. The combination of these hormones can act as sedation.
Better sleep can contribute to:
Another study shows that sexual activity can provide full or partial relief from migraines and cluster headaches.
Of people who were sexually active during their attacks:
A recent review found that men who had more frequent penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) had less risk of developing prostate cancer. One study found that men who averaged having 4.6 to 7 ejaculations a week were 36 percent less likely to receive a prostate cancer diagnosis before the age of 70. This is in comparison to men who reported ejaculating 2.3 or fewer times a week on average. For men, sex may even affect your mortality. One study that had a 10 year follow-up reported that men who had frequent orgasms (defined as two or more a week) had a 50 percent lower mortality risk than those who had sex less often. Although results are conflicting, the quality and health of your sperm may increase with increased sexual activity, as some research suggests.
Having an orgasm increases blood flow and releases natural pain-relieving chemicals.
Sexual activity in women can:
The act of sex can help strengthen your pelvic floor. A strengthened pelvic floor can also offer benefits like less pain during sex and reduced chance of a vaginal prolapse. One study shows that PVI can result in reflexive vaginal contractions caused by penile thrusting. Women who continue to be sexually active after menopause are less likely to have significant vaginal atrophy, or the thinning of vaginal walls. Vaginal atrophy can cause pain during sex and urinary symptoms.
Sexual activity, with a partner or through masturbation, can provide important psychological and emotional benefits. Like exercise, sex can help reduce stress and anxiety and increase happiness.
Studies suggest that sexual activity (defined as PVI) may correlate with:
At an older age, sexual activity may affect your well-being and ability to think. Research found that sexually active adults between 50 to 90 years old had better memory. They were also less likely to feel depressed and lonely.
Frequent sexual activity, whether with a partner or alone, can make you look younger. This is partially due to the release of estrogen during sex.
One study found a correlation between frequent sexual activity and looking significantly younger (between seven to 12 years younger). The majority of these individuals were also comfortable expressing their sexuality and sexual identity.
Sex can help you connect to your partner, thanks to oxytocin. Oxytocin can play a role in developing relationships. You may find that consistent, mutual sexual pleasure helps with bonding within a relationship. Coupled partners often have increased relationship satisfaction when they fulfill one another’s sexual desires. You may find positive growth in your relationship when you’re able to express yourself and your sexual desires.
Masturbation can offer many of the same benefits as sex, but also has its own advantages, including:
Masturbation is considered entirely safe and with fewer health risks attached. When practiced alone, there is no risk of pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). According to Planned Parenthood, it increases mental well-being not mental illness or instability like some myths suggest.
Sex is an important part of life and overall well-being. In relationships, orgasms play a significant part in bonding. Physical and emotional benefits like reduced risk of heart disease, improved self-esteem, and more can come from having sex. You can still have similar benefits without sex. Engaging in other pleasurable activities like exercising, interacting with a pet, and having a strong network of friends could potentially offer the same benefits. Sex is just one way of improving your quality of life. But if sex is part of your life, due to a relationship or desire, it’s important to be able to communicate and experience sexual satisfaction. You may find relief and an increase in happiness when you take the time to have sex. (Healthline)
Bottom Line: Ginger is a popular spice. It is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Ginger appears to be highly effective against nausea. For example, it has a long history of use as a sea sickness remedy, and there is some evidence that it may be as effective as prescription medication. Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. But it may be the most effective when it comes to pregnancy-related nausea, such as morning sickness. According to a review of 12 studies that included a total of 1,278 pregnant women, 1.1-1.5 grams of ginger can significantly reduce symptoms of nausea. However, ginger had no effect on vomiting episodes in this study. Although ginger is considered safe, talk to your doctor before taking large amounts if you are pregnant. Some believe that large amounts can raise the risk of miscarriage, but there are currently no studies to support this.
Bottom Line: 1-1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent various types of nausea. This applies to sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery and morning sickness.
Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. In one study, consuming 2 grams of ginger per day, for 11 days, significantly reduced muscle pain in people performing elbow exercises. Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain. These effects are believed to be mediated by the anti-inflammatory properties.
Bottom Line: Ginger appears to be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain, and may reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness.
Osteoarthritis is a common health problem. It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms like joint pain and stiffness. In a controlled trial of 247 people with osteoarthritis of the knee, those who took ginger extract had less pain and required less pain medication. Another study found that a combination of ginger, mastic, cinnamon and sesame oil, can reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients when applied topically.
Bottom Line: There are some studies showing ginger to be effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is a very common health problem.
This area of research is relatively new, but ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties. In a recent 2015 study of 41 participants with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of ginger powder per day lowered fasting blood sugar by 12% (11Trusted Source). It also dramatically improved HbA1c (a marker for long-term blood sugar levels), leading to a 10% reduction over a period of 12 weeks.
There was also a 28% reduction in the ApoB/ApoA-I ratio, and a 23% reduction in markers for oxidized lipoproteins. These are both major risk factors for heart disease.
However, keep in mind that this was just one small study. The results are incredibly impressive, but they need to be confirmed in larger studies before any recommendations can be made.
Bottom Line: Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion. Interestingly, ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with this condition. After eating soup, ginger reduced the time it took for the stomach to empty from 16 to 12 minutes. In a study of 24 healthy individuals, 1.2 grams of ginger powder before a meal accelerated emptying of the stomach by 50% .
Bottom Line: Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.
Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) refers to pain felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle. One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain. In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period. Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen.
Bottom Line: Ginger appears to be very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period.
High levels of LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. The foods you eat can have a strong influence on LDL levels. In a 45-day study of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, 3 grams of ginger powder caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers This is supported by a study in hypothyroid rats, where ginger extract lowered LDL cholesterol to a similar extent as the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin. Both studies also showed reductions in total cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
Bottom Line: There is some evidence, in both animals and humans, that ginger can lead to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.
Cancer is a very serious disease that is characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer. The anti-cancer properties are attributed to 6-gingerol, a substance that is found in large amounts in raw ginger. In a study of 30 individuals, 2 grams of ginger extract per day significantly reduced pro-inflammatory signalling molecules in the colon. However, a follow-up study in individuals at a high risk of colon cancer did not confirm these findings. There is some, albeit limited, evidence that ginger may be effective against pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. More research is needed.
Bottom Line: Ginger contains a substance called 6-gingerol, which may have protective effects against cancer. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can accelerate the aging process. They are believed to be among the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Some studies in animals suggest that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain. There is also some evidence that ginger can enhance brain function directly. In a study of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to improve reaction time and working memory. There are also numerous studies in animals showing that ginger can protect against age-related decline in brain function
Bottom Line: Studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also improve brain function in elderly women.
Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections.In fact, ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. It is very effective against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. Fresh ginger may also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections. (HEALTHLINE)
Garlic (Allium sativum), is used widely as a flavoring in cooking, but it has also been used as a medicine throughout ancient and modern history; it has been taken to prevent and treat a wide range of conditions and diseases. Garlic belongs to the genus Allium and is closely related to the onion, rakkyo (an onion found in Asia), scallion, chive, leek, and shallot. It has been used by humans for thousands of years and was used in Ancient Egypt for both culinary purposes and its health and therapeutic benefits. This article will look at the potential health benefits of garlic and cover any research that supports the claims.
Garlic has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Records indicate that garlic was in use when the Giza pyramids were built, about 5,000 years ago. Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (circa. 460-370 BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine,” prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Hippocrates promoted the use of garlic for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion, and fatigue. The original Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece were given garlic – possibly the earliest example of “performance enhancing” agents used in sports. From Ancient Egypt, garlic spread to the advanced ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley (Pakistan and western India today). From there, it made its way to China.
According to experts at Kew Gardens, England’s royal botanical center of excellence, the people of ancient India valued the therapeutic properties of garlic and also thought it to be an aphrodisiac. The upper classes avoided garlic because they despised its strong odor, while monks, “…widows, adolescents, and those who had taken up a vow or were fasting, could not eat garlic because of its stimulant quality.” Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), TB (tuberculosis), liver disorders, dysentery, flatulence, colic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, and fevers. The French, Spanish, and Portuguese introduced garlic to the New World.
Currently, garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high cholesterol, heart attack, coronary heart disease, and hypertension. Garlic is also used today by some people for the prevention of lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, rectal cancer, and colon cancer. It is important to add that only some of these uses are backed by research. A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology warned that short-term heating reduces the anti-inflammatory effects of fresh raw garlic extracts. This may be a problem for some people who do not like or cannot tolerate the taste and/or odor of fresh garlic. Below are examples of some scientific studies published in peer-reviewed academic journals about the therapeutic benefits (or not) of garlic.
People who ate raw garlic at least twice a week during the 7 year study period had a 44 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study conducted at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China.
The researchers, who published their study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, carried out face-to-face interviews with 1,424 lung cancer patients and 4,543 healthy individuals. They were asked about their diet and lifestyle, including questions on smoking and how often they ate garlic.
The study authors wrote: “Protective association between intake of raw garlic and lung cancer has been observed with a dose-response pattern, suggesting that garlic may potentially serve as a chemo-preventive agent for lung cancer.”
Organo-sulfur compounds found in garlic have been identified as effective in destroying the cells in glioblastomas, a type of deadly brain tumor. Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina reported in the journal Cancer that three pure organo-sulfur compounds from garlic – DAS, DADS, and DATS – “demonstrated efficacy in eradicating brain cancer cells, but DATS proved to be the most effective.” Co-author, Ray Swapan, Ph.D., said “This research highlights the great promise of plant-originated compounds as natural medicine for controlling the malignant growth of human brain tumor cells. More studies are needed in animal models of brain tumors before application of this therapeutic strategy to brain tumor patients.”
Women whose diets were rich in allium vegetables had lower levels of osteoarthritis, a team at King’s College London and the University of East Anglia, both in England, reported in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Examples of allium vegetables include garlic, leeks, shallots, onions, and rakkyo. The study authors said their findings not only highlighted the possible impact of diet on osteoarthritis outcomes but also demonstrated the potential for using compounds that exist in garlic to develop treatments for the condition. The long-term study, involving more than 1,000 healthy female twins, found that those whose dietary habits included plenty of fruit and vegetables, “particularly alliums such as garlic,” had fewer signs of early osteoarthritis in the hip joint.
Diallyl sulfide, a compound in garlic, was 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics in fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, according to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. The Campylobacter bacterium is one of the most common causes of intestinal infections. Senior author, Dr. Xiaonan Lu, from Washington State University, said, “This work is very exciting to me because it shows that this compound has the potential to reduce disease-causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply.”
Diallyl trisulfide, a component of garlic oil, helps protect the heart during cardiac surgery and after a heart attack, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine found. They also believe diallyl trisulfide could be used as a treatment for heart failure. Hydrogen sulfide gas has been shown to protect the heart from damage. However, it is a volatile compound and difficult to deliver as therapy. Because of this, the scientists decided to focus on diallyl trisulfide, a garlic oil component, as a safer way to deliver the benefits of hydrogen sulfide to the heart. In experiments using laboratory mice, the team found that, after a heart attack, the mice that had received diallyl sulfide had 61 percent less heart damage in the area at risk, compared with the untreated mice.
In another study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists found that garlic oil may help protect diabetes patients from cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of death among diabetes patients. It is a chronic disease of the myocardium (heart muscle), which is abnormally thickened, enlarged, and/or stiffened. The team fed diabetic laboratory rats either garlic oil or corn oil. Those fed garlic oil experienced significantly more changes associated with protection against heart damage, compared with the animals that were fed corn oil. The study authors wrote, “In conclusion, garlic oil possesses significant potential for protecting hearts from diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy.” Human studies will need to be performed to confirm the results of this study.
Researchers at Ankara University investigated the effects of garlic extract supplementation on the blood lipid (fat) profile of patients with high blood cholesterol. Their study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.The study involved 23 volunteers, all with high cholesterol; 13 of them also had high blood pressure. They were divided into two groups:
They took garlic extract supplements for 4 months and were regularly checked for blood lipid parameters, as well as kidney and liver function. At the end of the 4 months, the researchers concluded “…garlic extract supplementation improves blood lipid profile, strengthens blood antioxidant potential, and causes significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It also leads to a decrease in the level of oxidation product (MDA) in the blood samples, which demonstrates reduced oxidation reactions in the body.” In other words, the garlic extract supplements reduced high cholesterol levels, and also blood pressure in the patients with hypertension. The scientists added that theirs was a small study – more work needs to be carried out.
Doctors at the Department of Urology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China, carried out a study evaluating the relationship between Allium vegetable consumption and prostate cancer risk. They gathered and analyzed published studies up to May 2013 and reported their findings in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention. The study authors concluded, “Allium vegetables, especially garlic intake, are related to a decreased risk of prostate cancer.” The team also commented that because there are not many relevant studies, further well-designed prospective studies should be carried out to confirm their findings.
Alcohol-induced liver injury is caused by the long-term over-consumption of alcoholic beverages. Scientists at the Institute of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, China, wanted to determine whether diallyl disulfide (DADS), a garlic-derived organosulfur compound, might have protective effects against ethanol-induced oxidative stress. Their study was published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. The researchers concluded that DADS might help protect against ethanol-induced liver injury.
Microbial infections during pregnancy raise a woman’s risk of preterm delivery. Scientists at the Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, studied what impact foods might have on antimicrobial infections and preterm delivery risk. The study and its findings were published in the Journal of Nutrition. Ronny Myhre and colleagues concentrated on the effects of Alliums and dried fruits, because a literature search had identified these two foods as showing the greatest promise for reducing preterm delivery risk. The team investigated the intake of dried fruit and Alliums among 18,888 women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort, of whom 5 percent (950) underwent spontaneous PTD (preterm delivery). The study authors concluded, “Intake of food with antimicrobial and prebiotic compounds may be of importance to reduce the risk of spontaneous PTD. In particular, garlic was associated with overall lower risk of spontaneous PTD.”
A team of researchers from St. Joseph Family Medicine Residency, Indiana, carried out a study titled “Treatment of the Common Cold in Children and Adults,” published in American Family Physician. They reported that “Prophylactic use of garlic may decrease the frequency of colds in adults, but has no effect on duration of symptoms.” Prophylactic use means using it regularly to prevent disease. Though there is some research to suggest that raw garlic has the most benefits, other studies have looked at overall allium intake, both raw and cooked, and have found benefits. Therefore, you can enjoy garlic in a variety of ways to reap its advantages. (Medical news today)
A tomato is a nutrient-dense superfood that offers benefit to a range of bodily systems. Its nutritional content supports healthful skin, weight loss, and heart health. Despite the popularity of tomatoes, it was only 200 years ago that they were thought to be poisonous in the United States (U.S.) This is likely to be because the plant belongs to the toxic nightshade family. Tomatoes are now the fourth most popular fresh-market vegetable behind potatoes, lettuce, and onions. This article will examine their powerful health benefits, nutritional content, ways to include more tomatoes in the diet, and the risks of tomato consumption.
Tomatoes are an intensely nutritious plant food. The benefits of consuming different types of fruit and vegetable are impressive, and tomatoes are no different. As the proportion of plant foods in the diet increases, the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer decreases. There are different types and sizes of tomato, and they can be prepared in different ways. These include cherry tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, raw tomatoes, soups, juices, and purees. The health benefits can vary between types. For example, cherry tomatoes have higher beta-carotene content than regular tomatoes. High fruit and vegetable intake is also linked to healthy skin and hair, increased energy, and lower weight. Increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables significantly decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants. With these components, tomatoes can help combat the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are known to cause cancer. A recent study in the journal Molecular Cancer Research linked the intake of high levels of beta-carotene to the prevention of tumor development in prostate cancer. Tomatoes also contain lycopene. Lycopene is a polyphenol, or plant compound, that has been linked with one type of prostate cancer prevention. It also gives tomatoes their characteristic red color. Tomato products provide 80 percent of dietary lycopene consumed in the U.S. A study of the Japanese population demonstrates that beta-carotene consumption may reduce the risk of colon cancer. Fiber intake from fruits and vegetables is associated with a lowered risk of colorectal cancer. Diets rich in beta-carotene may play a protective role against prostate cancer. Further human-based research is needed to explore the possible roles of lycopene and beta-carotene in preventing or treating cancer.
Maintaining a low sodium intake helps to maintain healthful blood pressure. However, increasing potassium intake may be just as important due to its widening effects on the arteries. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), fewer than 2 percent of U.S. adults meet the recommended daily potassium intake of 4,700 milligrams (mg). High potassium and low sodium intake are also associated with a 20 percent reduced risk of dying from all causes.
The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and choline content in tomatoes all support heart health. An increase in potassium intake, along with a decrease in sodium intake, is the most important dietary change the average person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. Tomatoes also contain folate. This helps to balance homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that results from protein breakdown. It is said to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. The management of homocysteine levels by folate reduces one of the risk factors for heart disease. Not only is high potassium intake also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, but it is also known for protecting the muscles against deterioration, preserving bone mineral density, and reducing the production of kidney stones.
Studies have shown that people with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels, while people with type 2 diabetes may have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels. One cup of cherry tomatoes provides about 2 grams (g) of fiber. The American Diabetes Association recommends consuming around 25 g of fiber per day for women and an estimated 38 g per day for men.
Eating foods that are high in water content and fiber, such as tomatoes, may help hydration and support normal bowel movements. Tomatoes are often described as a laxative fruit. Fiber adds bulk to stool and is helpful for reducing constipation. However, removing fiber from the diet has also demonstrated a positive impact on constipation. More research is needed to confirm the laxative qualities of tomatoes.
Collagen is an essential component of the skin, hair, nails, and connective tissue. The production of collagen in the body is reliant on vitamin C. A deficiency of vitamin C can lead to scurvy. As vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, a low intake is associated with increased damage from sunlight, pollution, and smoke. This can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, blemishes, and other adverse health effects of the skin.
Adequate folate intake is essential before and during pregnancy to protect against neural tube defects in infants. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate. It is available in supplements but can also be boosted through dietary measures. While it is recommended that women who are pregnant take a folic acid supplement, tomatoes are a great source of naturally-occurring folate. This applies equally for women who may become pregnant in the near future.
Winter is upon us and so is the risk of vitamin D deficiency and infections. Vitamin D, which is made in our skin following sunlight exposure and also found in oily fish (mackerel, tuna and sardines), mushrooms and fortified dairy and nondairy substitutes, is essential for good health. Humans need vitamin D to keep healthy and to fight infections. The irony is that in winter, when people need vitamin D the most, most of us are not getting enough. So how much should we take? Should we take supplements? How do we get more? And, who needs it most? I am a medical microbiologist and immunologist who studies the functions of vitamin D in immune cells. My laboratory has been interested in figuring out why the immune system has vitamin D receptors that determine which cells can use vitamin D. In the immune system, vitamin D acts to improve your ability to fight infections and to reduce inflammation.
Where to get your vitamin D
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin since it is made in the skin after exposure to sun. The same UVB rays that cause a sunburn also make vitamin D. Sunscreen, darker skin pigmentation, clothing and reduced daylight in winter diminish the skin’s ability to make vitamin D. The people who experience the biggest seasonal swings in vitamin D levels are fair-skinned individuals living in the northern regions of the U.S. and at higher latitudes around the globe where there is very little daylight in winter. But those most at risk for low vitamin D levels are people of color and people living at higher latitudes. Dark-skinned individuals are more likely than fair-skinned individuals to be low for vitamin D year-round because the darker skin blocks the UVB rays from producing vitamin D. However, even in dark skinned individuals, vitamin D is lowest in the winter. In the winter, in addition to high vitamin D food, adults should take additional vitamin D from foods and/or supplements to get at least 600 IU per day of vitamin D. People who have dark skin or avoid sunshine should eat more vitamin D year-round.
Vitamin D is important for bones and your microbes
Originally, doctors thought that vitamin D was only important for bone health. This was because the vitamin D deficiency caused bone diseases like rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.. However, in the 1980s scientists discovered that immune cells had receptors for vitamin D. My group’s research has shown that vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining health in the gastrointestinal tract. Higher levels of vitamin D reduce susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease, gut and lung infections in animals and people. My colleagues and I have discovered that one of the ways vitamin D functions is by keeping the microbes in the gut healthy and happy. Vitamin D increases the number and diversity of microbesliving in the gut, which together reduce inflammation throughout the body. Low vitamin D levels are associated with inflammatory bowel disease in humans. Researchers have found that inflammatory bowel disease patients in Japan have more symptoms in winter than during other seasons.
Why is vitamin D more important in winter?
In the winter, humans are exposed to more infections and spend less time outside. Exactly how much vitamin D healthy adults should have is debated. Some authorities recommend from 200 IU per day to 2,000 IU per day. In the U.S., the Institutes of Medicine recommends 600-800 IU per day for adults, while the Endocrine Society states that optimal vitamin D status may require 1500-2,000 IU per day. In the winter, people have a reduced ability to make vitamin D when they go outside, so amounts of at least 600 IU per day of vitamin D from food or supplements would help maintain vitamin D status at summer levels. But, just like many things, too much vitamin D can be harmful. Vitamin D toxicity does not result from too much sun or food. Because of the risk of skin cancer, dermatologists and other health professionals do not recommend unprotected sun exposure to boost your vitamin D. Instead they suggest supplements. But vitamin D toxicity can occur if an individual takes too many. The experts that set the national intakes of vitamin D for the U.S. recommend that adult individuals take no more than 4,000 IU per day of vitamin D to avoid toxic side effects. Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium from your diet, but when vitamin D is too high, calcium levels in the blood go up and that can lead to kidney disease. By consuming more vitamin D during the winter your gut microbes will be healthier and you’ll be more resistant to infection and inflammation year-round. By Margherita T. Cantorna, Pennsylvania State University
Good diet is crucial to your health. Vitamins are so important because your body needs them to function appropriately. Our interest here is vitamin D. Your body needs calcium and vitamin D. Are you getting enough? Many people don’t. The best way to get more calcium is from your diet. You probably already know that dairy products — such as milk, cheese, and yogurt — provide calcium. Other foods that are high in calcium include:
Foods that provide vitamin D include:
To get vitamin D from food, fish is a good option. Three ounces of cooked salmon has more than 450 international units (IU).
Here’s how much calcium and vitamin D you need every day, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Your doctor may recommend higher levels of calcium and vitamin D, especially if you aren’t getting enough of them or are at risk for osteoporosis. (WebMD, LLC)
Lemon is one of the most popular and versatile citrus fruit. Its popularity is owed to it’s refreshing flavor and scent making it a popular choice for flavoring many recipes and perfumes. Lemon is also widely used in all sorts of drinks from teas and cocktails to juices. Along with its obvious use as a flavor, lemon since long has also been used for its medicinal value. A rich source of vitamin C, lemon possess immense health benefits ranging from its antibacterial and antiviral properties to its immune boosting abilities. One of the most common ways to reap the health benefits of lemon is by juicing it. Lemon juice acts as a digestive and a detoxifying agent and helps in cleaning the liver leading to better digestive health.
Lemon juice is also an effective way to reduce weight as it increases the body’s metabolic rate. For people looking to use lemon for its weight loss abilities, drinking lemon juice with warm water on an empty stomach every morning can produce amazing results. Along with the weight loss benefits, drinking warm lemon water every morning also has numerous other benefits. The nutrition experts at Edison Institute of Nutrition have listed some of the most effective health benefits of drinking lemon juice with warm water every morning. Add half of a fresh squeezed lemon to 8 ounces of cool, warm or hot water, enjoy the taste and the benefits!
ONLY men have prostate and ONLY men over 40 years but the healthcare enlightenment is for everyone. There is no woman who does not know a man 40 years and above, father, uncle, brother, son, friend, neighbour, colleague etc. Essentially what I will be doing today is health promotion. Responsible health promotion must provide three things: Information, Reassurance and A plan of action.
Let me start with a background on prostate health.
Everyone has a pair of kidneys. The job of the kidney is to remove waste. It is the LAWMA (waste management company) of your body. Everyday your blood passes through the kidney several times to be filtered. As the blood is filtered, urine is formed and stored in a temporary storage tank called the urinary bladder.
If there were to be no urinary bladder, as a man walks on the road, urine will be dropping. Now think of the plumbing work in your house. Think of the urinary bladder as the overhead storage tank. From the storage tank, a good plumber will run pipes to other parts of the house, including the kitchen. God in His wisdom ran pipes from our urinary bladder to the tip of the penis. The pipe is called the urethra. Just below the bladder and surrounding the urethra is a little organ called the prostate gland.
The prostate gland is the size of a walnut and weighs about 20grams. Its job is to make the seminal fluid which is stored in the seminal vesicle. During sexual intercourse, seminal fluid comes down the urethra and mixes with the sperms produced in the testicles to form the semen. So semen technically is not sperm. It is sperm + seminal fluid. The seminal fluid lubricates the sperm.
After age 40, for reasons that may be hormonal, the prostate gland begins to enlarge. From 20 grams it may grow to almost 100 grams. As it enlarges, it squeezes the urethra and the man begins to notice changes in the way he urinates.
If you have a son under 10, if he has a little mischief like we all did at that age, when he comes out to urinate, he can target the ceiling and the jet will hit target. Call his father to do same, wahala dey. His urine stream is weak, cannot travel a long distance and sometimes may come straight down on his legs. So he may need to stand in awkward position to urinate.
Not many men will be worried their urine stream cannot hit the ceiling. Toilets are on the floor and not on the ceiling. But other symptoms begin to show.
The man begins to notice that after urinating and repacking, urine still drops on his pants. This is the reason why after an older man urinates, he has to ring bell. A younger man simply delivers to the last drop and walks away. Just see an older man coming from the bathroom. Sometimes he may clutch the newspaper closely to hide the urine stains, particularly on plain colored trousers.
At this point you wait longer for the urine flow to start. There are 2 valves that must open for you to urinate – the internal and external sphincters. Both open but because of obstructions in the urethra, you wait longer for the flow to start.
You have this feeling immediately after urinating that there is still something left. As all these things happen, the bladder begins to work harder to compensate for the obstruction in the urethra. The frequency of urination goes up. Urgency sets in. Sometimes you have to practically run into the toilet. Nocturia also becomes common. You wake up more than 2 times at night to urinate. Your wife begins to complain. Men being men may not talk to anyone even at this point. Then the more serious complications start. Stored urine gets infected and there may be burning sensation when urinating. Stored urine forms crystals. Crystals come together to form stone either in the bladder or in the kidney. Stones may block the urethra.
Chronic urinary retention sets in. The bladder stores more and more urine. The size of the bladder is 40 – 60cl. A bottle of coke is 50cl. As the bladder stores more urine it can enlarge up to 300cl. An overfilled bladder may leak and this leads to wetting / urinary incontinence. Also the volume may put pressure on the kidney and may lead to kidney damage. What may likely bring the man to hospital is acute urinary retention. He wakes up one day and he is not able to pass urine. Everything I have described above is associated with prostate enlargement, technically called benign prostate hyperplasia.
There are other diseases of the prostate like: 1. Prostatitis – inflammation of the prostate 2. Prostate cancer – cancer of the prostate.
This discussion is on prostate enlargement.
I have bad news and good news.
The bad news is that everyman will have prostate enlargement if he lives long enough. The good news is that there are life style changes that can help the man after 40 to maintain optimum prostate health.
Look at what you eat. 33% of all cancers, according to the US National Cancer Institute is related to what we eat. Red meat everyday triples your chances of prostate disease. Milk everyday doubles your risk. Not taking fruits / vegetables daily quadruples your risk. Tomatoes are very good for men. If that is the only thing your wife can present in the evening, eat it with joy. It has loads of lycopene. Lycopene is the most potent natural antioxidant. Foods that are rich in zinc are also good for men. We recommend pumpkin seeds (ugbogulu). Zinc is about the most essential element for male sexuality and fertility. Men need more zinc than women. Every time a man ejaculates he loses 15mg of zinc. Zinc is also important for alcohol metabolism. Your liver needs zinc to metabolize alcohol.
ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION< As men begin to have urinary symptoms associated with prostate enlargement, it is important they look at alcohol consumption. More fluid in means more fluid out. Drink less. Drink slowly.
EXERCISE< Exercise helps build the muscle tone. Every man should exercise. Men over 40 should avoid high impact exercise like jogging. It puts pressure on the knees. Cycling is bad news for the prostate. We recommend brisk walking.
SITTING< When we sit, two-third of our weight rests on the pelvic bones. Men who sit longer are more prone to prostate symptoms. Do not sit for long hours. Walk around as often as you can. Sit on comfortable chairs. We recommend a divided saddle chair if you must sit long hours.
DRESSING> Men should avoid tight underwear. It impacts circulation around the groin and heats it up a bit. While the physiological temperature is 37 degrees, the groin has an optimal temperature of about 33 degrees. Pant is a no – no for men. Wear boxers. Wear breathable clothing.
SMOKING< Avoid smoking. It affects blood vessels and impact circulation around the groin.
SEX< Regular sex is good for the prostate. Celibates are more prone to prostate illness. While celibacy is a moral decision, it is not a biological adaptation. Your prostate gland is designed to empty its contents regularly.