Sexual Health

Just because you're getting on in years doesn't mean you need to suffer from the "bedroom blues." Your sexual health can be active and vibrant no matter what your age. Learn the latest breakthroughs for natural sexual support on the NorthStar blog on sexual health.

  1. The Six Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking That Could Save Your Sex Life

    quitting smoking health benefitsYou know the health benefits of quitting smoking. You do. And yet it hasn’t quite happened so far.

    As it turns out, quitting smoking may be one of the greatest challenges of your life.

    You’ve heard the statistic: smoking is as addictive – and as hard to quit – as alcohol, heroin, or cocaine.

    And if you’re a smoker, trying to quit, you’ve lived out that statistic more often than you probably want to admit.

    But you’re not alone. In fact, 70% of all smokers wish they could stop.

    And the average smoker tries to quit between eight and eleven times before it finally sticks. Luckily, the more often a person tries to quit, the better their chances of success become.

    Since motivation is a key component of successfully quitting smoking, here’s one more health benefit you might not have thought of – quitting smoking can improve your sex life!

    Check out these six new health benefits of quitting smoking and stay motivated -

    1. Let’s start with a measurable, tangible health benefit to quitting. Smoking restricts blood flow. Now, you may have thought about this in terms of heart and brain health, but it restricts blood flow everywhere. Part of sexual arousal and enjoyment for both of you is caused by blood flow to the genitals. Restrict blood flow and you restrict pleasure.

    2. Smoking decreases sexual performance in men. Yes, this is linked to blood flow, because performance is certainly about being able to achieve and maintain an erection – but it’s more than that, too. Performance is about stamina, desire, energy…all things smoking can diminish in daily life and the bedroom.

    3. Also connected to blood flow and performance – a major health benefit of quitting smoking is it increases firmness of an erection. Let’s be honest, the ability to achieve an erection is only part of the equation. How hard you get and how long you stay hard matter, too. One of the best ways to increase both of those is to finally quit smoking.

    These next two go hand in hand, as well…

    4. Smoking decreases sexual satisfaction. It makes sense once you think about it. Less stamina, energy, blood flow, arousal…It’s not a good combination for high satisfaction. But it will lead to this next one:

    5. A diminished sex drive. While the exact reasons are currently unclear, the results are not. Smokers have and want less sex than nonsmokers. In one study, nonsmokers had sex almost twice as often as smokers did. After all, when any activity becomes less interesting…and less satisfying…and physically challenging, it becomes a chore. Sex is no different. So before you decide that you’re too old, too disinterested, or too tired for sex, quit smoking. And be prepared for your sex drive to return!

    But let’s end the list on a more upbeat note, and a truly worthwhile health benefit of quitting smoking –

    6. Men who quit smoking reached sexual arousal faster and more completely than smokers. But the best news? They didn’t reach orgasm faster, so they were able to extend their – and their partner’s – pleasure.

    And these are just the sexual health benefits of quitting smoking. The overall health benefits of doing so are too long to list.

    Smoking affects every single system in your body and increases the risk of death from every other physical cause.

    Luckily, there’s more support available to you to help you quit smoking than ever before. If you’re part of the 70% of smokers who want to quit, you can.

    Talk to your doctor or call 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669) for more information about the health benefits of quitting smoking. Take back your health, your sex drive, and your life. Quit today.

  2. Is My Heart Healthy Enough for Sex [Take this heart-sex quiz now]

    sex-heartYour heart should be healthy enough for sex – but you’re still a little concerned.

    After all, it’s your heart. And you’re not a kid any longer. It’s easy to still have lingering doubts. How does your doctor know for certain? How do you?

    Well, it helps to know some basic information about your heart and sex, as well as to answer some very specific – but not too personal, don’t worry – questions about how your heart health may contribute to your sex life.

    So, we’re here for you. Take these tests. Between them and your doctor’s advice, you should be able to put aside any last, low-level concerns.

    How Much Do You Know About Sex and Heart Health?

    1. Does your heart count sex as a cardio workout?

    a) Yes
    b) No
    c) Once you have a heart condition, definitely.

    Answer – a) yes – to an extent. The average sexual encounter lasts between five and fifteen minutes. At that rate, your heart would benefit from sex the same way it would benefit from light-to-moderate aerobic activity. Think about it as water aerobics, a slow walk, gardening, or putting away groceries. In other words, it’s better than no exercise, but it shouldn’t be your only source of exercise. Your heart simply doesn’t get that much of a work out during sex.

    2. What is the risk of having a heart attack during sex?

    a) 5%
    b) Less than 1%
    c) It starts at 5% but goes up after a coronary episode

    Answer – b) less than 1%. In other words, incredibly low. In spite of many people’s fears, less than 1% of heart attacks are caused by sexual activity. Technically, yes, sex does raise the risks of having a heart attack – by .01 percent in healthy people and by .1 percent in people with cardiovascular disease. Which is barely statistically significant. When you look at it that way, the risk becomes less frightening.

    3. When should you not have sex?

    a) After the age of 70
    b) If you are, or become, physically uncomfortable
    c) Immediately before sleep or immediately upon waking

    Answer – b) if you are or become physically uncomfortable. Like any other exercise, you should avoid sex if you are having or start to have any signs of cardiovascular discomfort. Dizziness, palpitations, chest pain, or shortness of breath unrelated to your current activities should all be taken seriously. Once you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor about them as soon as possible And of course, if your doctor tells you to refrain from having sex for any reason, including heart health, listen to him.

    Are You Healthy Enough for Sex?

    Now that you know how your heart and sex are related in general, it’s time to see if you personally are ready to have sex.

    4. Can you climb two flights of stairs without stopping?

    This is the quickest way to determine if your heart is ready for sex. If you answered no to this one, definitely talk to your doctor again. But if you can go up and come back down two flights of stairs without stopping, you’re probably good to go! You don’t even have to run up them or take them at every other step. Just walk up both flights. A little winded is even okay, so long as you don’t have to stop.

    5. Has your doctor cleared you for sex?

    If you have concerns about your heart being healthy enough for sex – or if your doctor has expressed concerns – talk to him. Yes, sometimes talking about sex can be embarrassing, but it’s important. Getting the official go-ahead can bring the peace of mind that you need to relax and enjoy yourself.

    6. Can you walk a mile in 20 minutes?

    This is the second quick test for heart health and sex. Find a high school track, map out a mile with your car, or get on a treadmill, and start walking. If you can walk a mile in twenty minutes or less, again, without stopping, your heart is probably healthy enough for sex.

    7. Do you feel healthy enough to have sex?

    Since we live in a world that values youth, it’s easy to simply assume that you’re too old, too out of shape, too over the hill to have sex. But we also have a better understanding of what actually ages us – and how to slow the hands of time.

    Proper nutrition, regular exercise, social outlets, and supplements like Healthy Aging can all keep you feeling as vibrant and alive as ever. So don’t let some outdated notions about aging hearts and sex dictate how you see yourself or your heart health.

    Obviously, these last four, you’re looking for “yes” answers – especially to question 5, because no online test should ever be used in place of medical advice.

    Now, though, you are better prepared to self-assess your heart, your sex life, and all the risks involved. And keep right on enjoying a healthy sex life today and for all the tomorrows to come!

  3. The Risks of Testosterone Boosters

    Testosterone Booster RisksSo you’re considering a testosterone booster… But you’re smart enough to weigh the risks in doing so before actually purchasing one. Like you, many men know to do their research and talk to their doctors before taking testosterone boosters. But not nearly as many think to ask about testosterone supplement risks. After all, knowing the side effect of a medication, supplement, or treatment is just as important as knowing its benefits. Continue reading →
  4. Do Men Go Through Menopause?

    Men’s Menopause AndropauseMenopause. Depending on your generation, you may have heard it whispered about behind closed doors, or you may have seen commercials about it during the nightly news. Regardless of how it was talked about though, menopause was always considered a women’s issue. But more and more recently, people are starting to ask the question – do men go through menopause? What Exactly Is Menopause? While the very existence of male menopause is still under debate, researchers do tend to agree that male menopause – or andropause, as it’s officially known – is different from female menopause. Continue reading →
  5. How to Support an Erection Naturally: 7 Powerful Alternatives

    How to Maintain a Strong Erection NaturallyIf you’re spending night after night frustrated that you aren't able to perform like you used to, it’s time you learned how to naturally support a powerful erection . The very fact that you've spent hours looking for a solution can drive you mad.. After all, you remember what it was like when you could go all night, satisfy her over and over again, and then turn around and be ready the next night, too. Now, the your mind is willing, but the  body… The body has you secretly afraid that those golden years may be behind you. Some of the alternatives are either scary, or humiliating. Sure, you love your wife, but the thought of an erection that lasts longer than 4 hours goes from exciting to painful somewhere around hour 3. And a pump…? You’re not a bicycle or a flat tire. Continue reading →
  6. HPV virus rates plummet in UNvaccinated girls

    Big Pharma’s pals at the CDC released the results of a study last year showing that the HPV virus rates are plunging, essentially proving that unvaccinated girls are actually SAFER than vaccinated ones. Although you certainly couldn’t tell that from the giddy press release the CDC sent out to every news outlet and reporter from coast to coast. According to the CDC, their new study showed that the “HPV virus vaccine”is lowering HPV virus rates in teen girls and proves the vaccine is a success. Except the study doesn't do that at all. Continue reading →
  7. Dangerous ADHD drugs fed to more than 10,000 toddlers

    The Gardasil HPV vaccine has allegedly killed several, may have maimed many more, and it doesn’t even WORK! But you’ve got to hand it to Big Pharma, they’ve never been one to let the facts get in the way of sales. So even after 31,000 young women (or their survivors) have reported Gardasil HPV vaccine reactions to the FDA, the drug pushers behind the so-called “HPV vaccine”have shifted their attention and their tactics. They’re now training their laser focus on your boys. Continue reading →
  8. What are the 10 best prostate health supplements for 2014? Infographic

    This infographic shows the 10 best prostate health supplements for 2014. Are you getting enough of these prostate supporters in your diet? prostate health supplements infographic
  9. BPA affects our health at much lower doses than previously thought.

    A new study has found that BPA (bisphenol A) —the nasty chemical that I’ve been warning you about for YEARS now—is affecting us at much lower doses than previously thought.  Well, I should say at lower doses than the mainstream drones thought. In case you’re not familiar with BPA… or it’s potentially devastating side effects… let me bring you up to speed with a recap. When you open up that can of cranberry sauce today to serve with Thanksgiving dinner you’ll be serving up more than just those jellied cranberries. It will come with an unwanted side dish of a creepy chemical that’s used to make plastics called bisphenol A (BPA).

    BPA wreaks havoc with your hormones

    BPA is found in all kinds of plastic materials including water bottles, cash register receipts, and even the inside lining of food cans. It’s what’s known as an endocrine disruptor and it can wreak havoc with your hormones. Even worse, your body has a heck of a time telling BPA apart from estrogen. As you can imagine, this dual disaster can really do a number on your health, kicking off all kinds of unwanted side effects. And the higher the BPA exposure, the greater the hormone disruption is. With most US adults getting conservatively nearly 5 micrograms a day, and our friends elsewhere getting even more than that, it’s a catastrophe that hasn’t been waiting to happen. Men exposed to high levels of the chemical may have significant erectile dysfunction issues as a result. (Learn how BPA could result in ED on the NorthStar blog.) And for women, excess estrogen in the bloodstream is a big risk factor when it comes to breast cancer.

    Creepy chemical drives up your disease risks

    We’ve known for a long time now that high BPA levels in the body are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. One Yale study linked the chemical to neurological problems in animals, and found a connection between BPA and disruptions in brain cells linked to memory, learning and mood. And some scientists suspect that the chemical may be playing a key role in the obesity epidemic as well as the troubling turn towards early puberty for young girls. In other words, BPA is nothing but bad news. And yet the yahoos at the FDA refuse to admit that the chemical is even a significant threat.  In fact, beyond finally banning it in baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012 (a good, but FAR too late move), the Big Business loving Feds haven’t done a darn thing to protect you from this chemical. According to them, the levels that we’re being exposed to aren’t enough to worry about. And if you believe that one I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

    Low doses still equal HIGH dangers

    That’s why this new research, published in the journal Endocrine Disruptors, is so important. Sure, we already know this stuff is bad for us, but with the FDA burying its collective head somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine, we need as many studies as we can get showing that even at so-called “low” exposures BPA is damaging. A group of scientists that study endocrine disruption set out to build on and refine an earlier 2007 review of the low-dose effects of BPA. What they found was shocking. They were able to confirm reproductive effects in animals after exposure to incredibly low doses of the chemical. We’re talking ten to forty times lower than in the typical studies that have been used to justify keeping BPA on the market. In addition, the researchers identified several dozen “low dose” studies that illustrated the effects that BPA has in amounts that people are being exposed to every single day. In fact, according to the scientists, exposure to BPA likely contributes to a wide variety of health issues including decreased fertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, behavioral problems, breast tumors, obesity, thyroid dysfunction, brain synapse issues and immune response to allergens. And the problems don’t even end with the human population, either. Scientists say that BPA’s effect on wildlife is widespread, too. The bottom line here is that, once again, the very agencies that supposedly exist to protect our health can’t be relied on. We have to fend for ourselves. That means switching to brands that are packaged in non-BPA packaging (stores that specialize in natural and organic foods and online sources are your best bets) and choosing fresh organic foods over packaged ones whenever possible. And make your voice heard. Write the manufacturers of your favorite brands and demand BPA-free packaging and write your representatives in Washington and demand legislation that removes this toxic chemical from our food supply. Maybe by next year on this day we’ll have one more thing to give thanks for… a BPA-free life.
  10. Six great health benefits of sex

    Okay, so you may not need an excuse to want to have more sex, but let’s face it, sometimes life… with all its ups and downs… simply gets in the way. And when that happens, you can find yourself yearning for a nap instead of a roll in the hay. But that’s a shame, because besides the obvious ones, the hidden health benefits of sex are pretty powerful. Yes, it’s true… engaging in more nookie could mean a happier AND healthier you. So grab the love of your life, and dive into these six health benefits of sex…and great reasons to have more sex. (1) Slice heart disease deaths in half: According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, men who did the deed at least twice a week, were around HALF as likely to die from heart disease compared to the poor fellas who only had sex rarely. And in another study, published in the journal Epidemiology and Community Health, researchers concluded that sex may offer some protection from stroke and fatal coronary heart disease. The reason why is simple; Sex, done right, increases your heart rate giving the old ticker a good little workout, while helping to balance out your hormone levels at the same time. Now THAT’S an exercise plan I’m betting most of us can get behind, and a great health benefit of sex. (2) Slash blood pressure: Research shows that a fulfilling sex life and lower blood pressure go hand-in-hand. In one study, researchers say intercourse was shown to slash diastolic blood pressure. And in another study, published in the journal Biological Psychology, researchers concluded that the blood pressure of volunteer’s who were having sex was less reactive to stress. (3) Boost bladder control: This one’s for the ladies. Sex causes contractions of your pelvic floor muscles. Those are the very same muscles that control urine flow, and the ones that can naturally start to weaken with age, leading to incontinence. So think of every orgasm as a good work out as well as a good time, and plan to start having more of them! (4) Reduce prostate cancer risk: Don’t feel left out guys, this one’s for you. According to one study, more sex… or really just more ejaculations in general… could drive down your prostate cancer risk. The study, published in JAMA, found that men who had at least 21 ejaculations a month were less likely to get prostate cancer. (5) Put pain on the backburner: I get it, when you’re hurting the last thing that comes to mind is a rollicking round of sex. But it may be time to change that, because it turns out that sex is nature’s pain reliever. Now pain specialists have been telling us this for years of course, but most people still haven’t yet caught on to the miraculous pain-relieving powers of the humble orgasm. For example, according to a recent study in the journal Cephalalgia, sex can relieve migraines and cluster headaches for some sufferers. (6) Send stress packing: Earlier I mentioned that the roller coaster of life can leave you craving sleep instead of sex. Remember, there’s both good and bad stress, and either kind can leave you feeling tuckered out at the end of the day. Luckily you have unlimited access the ultimate stress reliever.  Yes, you guessed it, it’s SEX! Intimacy with a loved one causes your body to pump out natural feel-good hormones called endorphins. And with lots of endorphins flowing through your bloodstream it’s next to impossible to feel anxious or stressed. (Incidentally, endorphins are a natural pain-reliever to boot!)
  11. Boost your bedroom bliss with herbs for sexual health

    Let’s talk about sex, shall we? I know, it’s one of those subjects practically guaranteed to make you squirm in embarrassment, no matter your gender, and no matter your age. But it’s also one of the number one things people ask me about when I put on my doctor’s cap; and for good reason, since people generally know very little about sexual health and they typically avoid talking about it like it’s the plague. Well, that is until a problem pops up in the bedroom, of course. And that’s a darn shame, because a fulfilling sex life is every bit as important for leading a healthy, happy life as looking out for your ticker, brain and joints. Look, let’s face facts. As we age our bodies go through a lot of changes, both inside and out, and some of those changes are bound to affect our sexuality as well. But it’s important to remember that it’s natural, and not something to feel embarrassed about. After all, we’re ALL in the same boat here… so just relax (which, incidentally, is not bad advice for the bedroom, too.) Now you know that I’m a fan of the natural approach, and luckily Mother Nature hasn’t let us down one bit when it comes to getting our sex lives back on track. In fact, there are three herbs for sexual health that have a great record for reigniting the sparks in many a love life.

    Make out more with Maca

    Let’s start with Maca, which comes to us originally from Peru. This is an incredible herb for sexual health. Maca has been reported to boost libido, energy, stamina, and strength. It’s thought to work this little bit of magic by helping to stabilize the sex-related hormones testosterone, progesterone, and estrogen. This means, of course, that Maca is good for both the guys and the gals. Plus Maca is a natural stress buster, which could help you leave behind your day’s troubles and focus on the pleasant task at hand.

    Get it on with Ginkgo

    When it comes to sex, Ginkgo Biloba is another natural winner as far as herbs for sexual health. This Asian herb has been used for literally thousands of years in Chinese medicine, and its success boils down to its ability to boost blood flow. As we age, gunked-up arteries can become a problem slowing the blood flow through our entire system. For the guys this, of course, means that blood flow to the penis can be interrupted, resulting in erectile issues. Ginkgo’s proven ability to improve blood flow may be able to help reverse this effect, leading to stronger and easier to achieve erections. And ladies, blood flow is just as important for you. Gingko reportedly stimulates the flow of blood through capillaries that are right below the surface of the skin which can increase sensitivity and sensation… definitely a plus between the sheets! I should mention that if you are on a blood thinner you need to be cautious with Ginkgo, since it works on blood flow as well. Check with your doc before trying this one out.

    ALL night lovemaking with Ashwaganda

    Ashwaganda completes our titillating trifecta of herbs for sexual health. Often used in Ayurvedic healing for restoring vitality, in Sanskrit the name literally translates to “the smell of a horse”… referring to the herb’s reported ability to impart the strength of a stallion to those who take it. Vitality and strength are obvious benefits when it comes to lovemaking and, as you might expect, Ashwaganda has long been used to enhance the sex lives of both men and women. But the herb’s abilities don’t stop there. Earlier I mentioned the importance of relaxation when it comes to the bedroom. Let’s face it, “performance anxiety” is a heck of a mood killer. If you’re feeling worried about the ability to get an erection if you’re a guy… or the ability to relax and enjoy yourself if you’re a gal… having a good time is probably not on the evening’s menu. But Ashwaganda comes to the rescue here too. The herb is believed to naturally reduce anxiety and ward off the effects of stress, making it one of the perfect herbs for sexual health. Oh, and whatever you do don’t fall into the Viagra trap. There’s nothing “natural” about how that stuff works. And don’t even get me started on the potential side effects of prescription penis pills. We’re talking everything from a stuffy nose (sounds real sexy doesn’t it?) to sudden vision loss. Visit the NorthStar blog to get the rest of the scoop. Look, these are the best years of your life. You’ve earned them! So don’t let the natural changes in your body put a damper on things. A little intervention with herbs for sexual health could be the key to getting your love life back on track. Why not heat it up in the bedroom by giving one (or all three) of these herbs a try? Just be sure to watch out for the fireworks!
  12. Health risks of sugar--it could turn you into the walking dead

    Ah, Halloween, the unofficial kickoff to what I like to call Sugar Fest. Sure, it all starts out innocently enough when you sneak a couple pieces of the candy you’ve set aside for the Trick-Or-Treaters tonight. But that’s just the start to an out-of-control sugar binge that doesn’t end until you come up gasping for air at the end of the Christmas season. Now if it was just packing on a few pounds that you needed to worry about, I might share my best advice about not over-indulging over the holidays and call it a day. But the health risks of sugar are much more dangerous than you might realize. In fact, weight gain could turn out to be the least of your worries.

     Sugar habit could be deadly

    According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, sugar… in supposedly “safe” doses… may in fact be toxic. Researchers found that male mice fed a diet with 25 percent extra sugar… about what you’d find in three sodas or a couple handfuls of Candy Corn… turned into lazy lumps with no libido. They stopped defending their territory and didn’t show the least bit of interest in the girl mice anymore. But far worse than that, the female mice who were hopped up on sugar died at twice the rate of the female mice fed a normal diet. About 35 percent of the females on the high sugar diet died during the study, while only 17 percent of those in the control group kicked the bucket. That means that if you have a full-blown sugar habit, you may already be suffering from the dangerous health risks of sugar, and not even know it. And if you continue to suck down the sugar, one day soon you could find yourself six feet under and pushing up daisies, according to the study conducted at the University of Utah. (Speaking of the health risks of sugar, did you know that downing just one measly can of soda a day could spike your diabetes risk by 22 percent?! Read the rest of the sickening story on the NorthStar blog.)

    Drowning in a sea of sugar

    Now if you’re not carrying around a bunch of extra pounds, it’s easy to dismiss these findings thinking that the health risks of sugar don’t apply to you. But that would be a big mistake. The mice in the study weren’t fat, either. And their diets were regular, healthy mouse diets besides that added sugar.  In fact, according to researchers the sugar eaters would even have passed physicals. Yet the added sugar still had major and even deadly consequences. And it’s a lot easier to hit the 25 percent mark than you probably imagine. A stop at Starbucks for a Cafè Mocha in the morning, a soda with lunch, and a handful of Candy Corn for a snack in the afternoon and you’re already there. Conservative estimates are that an astounding 18 to 25 percent of Americans are already getting a quarter (or more!) of their calories from added sugars. And the picture is getting worse by the day. An easy way to get an idea of how much sugar you’re eating is to keep a food diary for a couple of weeks. Jot down everything you eat, and record the sugar content next to it. There are a number of websites that can help you figure out the approximate sugar content for both restaurant, and home-cooked meals. Let’s face it, we’re drowning in a sea of sugar, and it’s time to grab hold of the life ring and climb out. Start by saying no thanks to the Halloween candy tonight and keep saying no through the entire holiday season and beyond, to really bypass the negative health risks of sugar. Oh, and while you’re working on cutting down on the sugar in your diet, don’t fall into the artificial sweetener trap. Fake sugars are not a solution. In fact, diet sodas have been linked to diabetes.  And for an explanation of how the diet stuff can send your diabetes risk rocketing visit the NorthStar blog. Now don’t get me wrong, an occasional treat’s not going to kill you, but a regular sugar habit very well could. And, at the very least, it could make life not worth living.
  13. Sleep problems in men can lead to low sperm counts and testicle shrinkage

    Honey I shrunk my WHAT?!?

    I've explained to you many times over the years how important getting enough sleep is to your health. But gentlemen, a new study of sleep problems in men may finally be enough to have you headed to your bed to catch up on some shut-eye. According to the results of a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, sleep problems in men may lead to virility issues. And it isn't just classic insomnia that's threatening your manhood - inconsistent sleep, and even just staying up too late can do a number on you, too. (Got other troubles in the bedroom? Read this to learn how you can skip the Viagra and correct erection problems naturally.) Researchers from the Southern University of Denmark say sleep problems in men can result in a significantly higher risk for lower sperm counts, deformed sperm, and...get this...shrunken testicles! I don't know about you, but I think I'll be turning in a bit early tonight.
  14. Skip the Viagra side effects and correct erection problems naturally

    Nix your bedroom problems naturally

    There must be some hootin', hollerin' and major celebrating going on over in the halls of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer right now. Their cash cow has just turned15, despite Viagra’s horrific side effects And this strapping young teenager sure has made his Big Pharma parents proud. Heck, these days the word Viagra has practically become synonymous with the word sex. And if you believe the hype, everyone over 50 who's having a good time in the sack is downing bottles of this stuff. Well, I hate to rain on anyone's parade...let alone their birthday...but you better grab your umbrella because it's about to get wet in here. The truth is there's very little to be celebrating. Sure, Viagra can help some impotent men get back up into the saddle again. But a slew of unwelcome Viagra side effects could come along for the ride.

    Sex-drug Viagra side effects

    For starters there are the Viagra side effects that, for some inexplicable reason, are labeled "less serious." But I'm guessing they feel pretty darn serious...not to mention distracting...when you're looking for some romance. These include stuffy nose, facial flushing, headache, upset stomach, back pain, and even, frighteningly, memory problems. And, as if those "mild" side effects weren't bad enough alone, we're just getting started. Some Viagra users experience ringing in their ears or sudden hearing loss, and popping a Viagra could reportedly leave you with chest pain or an irregular heartbeat. If swollen ankles, hands, or feet don't sound very sexy to you, then you might want to skip the Viagra, because the side effect has been linked to the drug. Not to mention the possible shortness of breath, nausea, fainting, and sudden vision loss that can occur. And then there's the one potential Viagra side-effect that's sure to send a shudder down the spine of every man who hears it--priapism, a persistent and painful erection that requires a trip to the emergency room and, often, a pressure-relieving operation. And make no mistake about it... it IS just as horrible as it sounds. So with Viagra starting to look more like a juvenile delinquent than a prom king, what's a guy who's experiencing erection troubles supposed to do? I thought you'd never ask.

    Target the cause of erection troubles

    The good news is, in many cases, you can combat impotence naturally and every bit as effectively as a drug. Instead of simply throwing drugs at symptoms the key lies in understanding the cause of your problem. When you target the root problem you can rid yourself of it forever. And the first potential problem starts in the most unlikely of places...your mouth. As I explained just last year, inflamed gums and impotence are linked, according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. In fact, men with the most serious gum and tooth problems had triple the rate of erection issues of men with healthy gums. Fix the periodontal disease, and you very well could fix your erection issues right along with it. It's no coincidence that many men who suffer with impotence are overweight, too. A big belly can mess with your erections in more than one way. One recent study found that 41 percent of overweight guys who suffered from sleep apnea and erection problems saw improvements in both issues when they used a CPAP machine. And while CPAP may be a temporary and non-invasive solution to your impotence issues, the longer term resolution is, of course, to drop the extra pounds. Losing the weight can also help resolve another major cause of erection problems. As we age our testosterone levels naturally drop. This alone can spell trouble in the sack. But being overweight accelerates this natural process with belly fat helping to turn manly testosterone into not-so-manly estrogen. Drop the belly fat and talk with a doctor skilled in natural medicine about returning your testosterone levels to normal. And finally, losing the big belly can help you avoid another erection killer...diabetes. It's estimated that between 35 percent and 75 percent of men with the disease will experience some sort of erection problems. (And, of course, that's just the ones who will admit it.) Losing weight and getting your diabetes under control could be the key to driving your impotence troubles away for good.

    Sexy supplements bring bedroom bliss

    Strong erections depend on healthy, wide open blood vessels that allow good blood flow into the penis. Your body produces an amino acid that does this naturally. It's called l-arginine. If you're running low on this critical nutrient your bedroom action could be running low, too. It's found in red meat, fish, poultry, wheat germ, grains, and nuts, and foods containing citrulline, like watermelon, can help your body produce more of it. A supplement containing the amino acid could also help top off your levels. Supplements that give you an energy boost, like vitamin B12, propionyl-L-carnitine, and acetyl-L-carnitine (PLC and ALC for short), can be a much needed source of stamina. And libido-boosting herbs like horny goat weed, maca root, panax ginseng, Muira puama, Avena sativa, and ashwaganda have hundreds of years of traditional medicine use backing them up. The truth is you don't need to settle for Viagra side effects to get back your glory days in the bedroom. Try the natural...and permanent...approach instead.
  15. Too much T.V. causes up to a 44% drop in sperm count

    Beware the boob tube

    If you're a guy and you find yourself spending too much time in front of the old boob tube, your little swimmers are likely in some serious jeopardy. According to a new Harvard study all that T.V. time could cause a drop in sperm count. And we're not talking a small drop here. According to researchers, if you clock in at over 20 hours a week of tube time your sperm count could be slashed by up to 44 percent! Now here's the part where I tell you that it was a small study, and that just because researchers saw an association between sedentary T.V. time and drop in sperm count, it doesn't prove that too much T.V. caused the drop. But you know what I say: if it's pink, has a snout, and oinks when you poke it, well then, you've probably got a pig on your hands. The solution, of course, is a simple one. Break up with your couch. Do something else during that 20 hours a week instead and your problem's solved. In fact, in the same study researchers found that guys who were exercising a lot...fifteen hours a week or more...had sperm counts that were a stunning 75 percent higher than the guys who got 5 hours or less of exercise each week.
  16. Inflamed gums linked to causes of ED

    Taking a bite out of bedroom bliss

    Having trouble in the bedroom? Quick, grab a mirror and check your gums. According to a new study of causes of ED published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, men with inflamed gums caused by severe periodontal disease were three times as likely to experience erection problems. Researchers compared 80 men between the ages of 30 and 40 who had erection troubles with a control group of 82 men without bedroom issues. It turns out that over half of the men with erection troubles had inflamed gums. But only 23 percent of the men in the control group had gum problems. Even after making adjustments for things like income, education level, age, and body mass index, gum disease was still linked to causes of ED. Other studies have linked troubles in your mouth to troubles with your heart and vascular system. The moral of this story? If you're a guy, for goodness sake take care of your teeth and gums! And if you're just married to one, then you might want to seriously consider giving the gift of a good electric toothbrush this year. There are 12 Days of Christmas, after all.
  17. The link between obesity and low testosterone

    Blame your belly for bedroom troubles

    Chubby, rotund, pleasingly plump, overweight, or just plain fat...it doesn't matter what you call it, the reality is obesity is bad for your health, especially with the new link between obesity and testosterone. I'm sure I don't need to tell you about the strain that extra fat puts on your heart and joints. Or that it causes your risk for diabetes to skyrocket. Heck, it even raises your risk for certain cancers. But if you're a guy you may be surprised to learn the number it can do on your sex life. Yes, believe it or not, your big belly really could be responsible for turning your bedroom time into a bust. Or, to be more accurate, it's what that extra fat could be doing to your hormones that could turn fun in the sack to let's go get a snack. According to researchers at the University of Buffalo's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences  obesity could turn testosterone levels down to a virtual trickle. In fact, one doctor, who admits to being surprised by the results, called the findings "horrendous." It's a strong word. But there's a reason why she used it. You see, because testosterone plays a key role in so many processes in the body it's a lot more than just your sex life you've got to be worried about. (As if that wasn't bad enough news on its own!)

    From lagging libidos to sagging erections

    Both men and women have testosterone circulating in their bodies. But, as you probably know, testosterone...often called the "man's hormone"...is a big part of what makes a guy...well...a guy. The hormone is crucial right from the start of a man's life, helping his testes and prostate gland form properly. And the hormone continues to play a critical role throughout your life spurring muscle growth, increasing your body mass, kick starting body hair growth, and keeping your libido firing on all cylinders. But libido isn't the only bedroom connection to testosterone. Even if there are no problems in the desire department the doing part still might not work out if your levels are low. You see, testosterone is intimately tied (pun intended) to your erections. In other words, if your testosterone's lagging your manly part could end up sagging. Oh, and to add icing onto an already ugly cake, as testosterone levels drop so do your chances of being able to have a kid. Low testosterone can lead to infertility.

    The big tummy low-testosterone link

    Now we already knew that obesity might have some effects on your testosterone levels. In fact, the same team of researchers that brought us this new research conducted a trial a few years back that linked obesity and testosterone deficiency. But that 2010 study was done on obese diabetic men, and we know that diabetes can also have an effect on testosterone levels. This new trial... focused on obese, non-diabetic, young men...showed us that you don't have to be diabetic (or even an adult...the oldest guy in this group was 20) to experience the testosterone-robbing effects of fat. Now, admittedly, this trial was small. It involved 25 obese men and 25 lean men. But the findings were anything but small...they were, in fact, stunning. The researchers found that testosterone levels plummeted by 50 percent in the obese group when compared to the lean group. And don't forget, these were young, non-diabetic men who should have been in the prime of their lives! But the real kicker is that they might not remain non-diabetic for long. Those low levels of testosterone can lead to even more belly fat building up and to loss of muscle mass, setting the stage for pre-diabetes...or insulin resistance. Researchers say they now need to conduct another larger trial to confirm their findings of obesity and low testosterone. And more research is great. But really, there's no reason to wait around for those results. We already know carrying around the extra weight is bad for your heart and joints, and it puts you at an increased risk for diabetes. And now we also know that it has the potential to wreck your love life too. And if you're anything like most guys I know that last bit might be just the motivation you need to work on trimming down that belly. Luckily one of the best ways to do that is also one of the easiest. I wrote about it just last year. Click here for the details.
  18. Boost your bedroom drive naturally with Magnum Drive

    "Shoveling coal on the fire"

    Some people have such a great attitude that they deserve a round of applause. That's how I feel about Timothy K. from Texas who wrote to tell us about his positive experience with Magnum Drive.

    Timothy's email made me chuckle because he seems to be approaching what can be a really uncomfortable problem for guys ...troubles in the bedroom.... with a healthy sense of humor.

    And I'm happy to report, that with the help of Magnum Drive, Timothy seems to be on the right track.

    Timothy wrote "...this stuff seems to be shoveling coal on the fire in the right place so far. I'm going to keep on taking it, and listening to that "bedroom voiced gal" that does the net commercial ;o) and we'll see if that will get all of the starch back in the old "pickle" for me."

    Way to go Timothy!

    And if you do decide to give Magnum Drive a try (and why wouldn't you since your satisfaction is guaranteed, or we'll send you a refund!) be sure to drop me a line to tell me how well it worked for you.

    Oh, and don't forget, I issue "bonus points" if your email is sprinkled with a healthy dash of humor too.

  19. The not so mysterious "mystery" of BPA exposure

    "The next step was to figure out how people are getting exposed to BPA." That laughable line about BPA exposure comes from a recent press release from the Harvard School of Public Health. And, frankly, if I chewed gum I would have choked on it when I read it. HOW people are getting BPA exposure?Really Harvard? Gee...do you think next time you're faced with such a "mystery" you might want to...oh, I don't know...perhaps try a Google search first? The fact is my colleagues in natural medicine and I have been screaming from the rooftops about the dangers of BPA in canned foods and other consumer products (remember it's not just cans that are a problem, plastic food containers and cash register receipts pose a significant BPA threat as well) for literally years now. And although we've thankfully had some impact with consumers demanding more BPA-free products, the mainstream—and its friends over at the FDA and EPA—has remained decidedly reserved on the entire subject.

    The canned soup culprit

    Now, to be fair, the Harvard researchers did readily admit in their press release that previous research had linked elevated BPA levels with adverse health effects. And, also to their credit, the study that they were reporting on is an important one. In fact... The chief finding of the Harvard study is a rather shocking one. After eating canned soups daily for five days volunteers in the study had a more than 1,000 percent spike in concentrations of BPA compared with five days of eating fresh soup. And no, in case you're wondering that's (sadly) NOT a typo. Volunteer's BPA levels literally skyrocketed 1,221 percent in less than a week. So, what this new research provides is yet one more, hefty piece of solid evidence in an already strong case against this dangerous chemical. Plus the findings serve to reinforce the fact that canned foods are indeed a significant vehicle for BPA exposure. And, frankly I must admit that I couldn't be more pleased that the gang over at Harvard has finally clambered on board this soapbox...joining the rest of us who have long been concerned about the effects that exposure to BPA in our food supply is having on our health. (In fact, Harvard, why don't you tell all of your mainstream medicine buddies that we've got plenty of room up here on the box for them also.)

    Sidestepping serious side-effects

    Remember... I've been telling you for years about the dangers of BPA found in the linings of many canned foods, a large number of plastic containers, and even store receipts. Exposure to this nasty endocrine-disrupting chemical has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals, has been connected to sexual dysfunction in men, and has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurological problems, and cancer. Heck, the estrogen mimic has even been implicated in breast growth in men. Talk about an unwanted side effect! So... My advice in the face of this new research remains the same. Toss out your plastic food containers and replace them with glass or ceramic ones if you can. Or, at the very least, throw away any that are stamped with the #7 because that's a sure sign that its got BPA in it. In addition, avoid using canned foods as much as possible. Instead choose fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Just switching to fresh foods can drop your BPA exposure by 60%. (Besides, they taste better anyway and aren't full of icky preservatives.) Plus there are some companies that have switched to BPA-free cans so if you do have to resort to using a canned food just make sure it's one that's clearly labeled BPA free. Oh, and if you're a soda drinker it's well past time to give them up. An often-overlooked source of BPA is soda cans. And it doesn't look like Big Soda is going to be giving up the practice of lining their cans with BPA-containing epoxy any time soon. In fact, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun, when a spokesperson for Coca-Cola was interviewed on the subject he, "...emphasized the beverage giant isn't in the packaging business and takes its direction from regulatory agencies." Hm Coca-Cola, would that be the same regulatory agencies that announced just a couple of years ago that BPA poses no threat to human health? So, in other words, you're asking us to leave our health in the hands of the corrupt FDA and the ineffective EPA? Hmm...I say thanks, but no thanks. Instead it looks like this time I'll be joining my colleagues at Harvard and urging you to cut canned foods out of your life.
  20. BPA exposure may cause even more serious health problems

    Remember a few weeks ago I warned you that 40 percent of store receipts contain residue of BPA or bisphenol-A? It‘s a type of plastic commonly used make plastic food and beverage containers. The problem is, BPA leaches into your food and drinks and can disrupt your entire endocrine system. The FDA has told you time and again that moderate exposure to BPA isn‘t harmful to your health. But a new major study proves otherwise. Scientists from the UK recruited 715 healthy adults to examine the effects of BPA on hormone production. They collected samples of their urine and measured the amount of BPA excreted daily. The scientists found that men and women were exposed -- on average -- to a little over 5 micrograms of BPA per day. (Scientists estimate that in the U.S. men and women on average are exposed to slightly less than 5 micrograms of BPA per day.) The scientists also discovered that the higher the BPA exposure, the greater the hormone disruption. In men, they found higher levels of testosterone. Previous studies have also proven that BPA mimics the action of estrogen in the body. These two disruptions together spell big problems for men and women. As you‘ll recall, last year scientists found that men exposed to high levels of BPA experienced significant erectile dysfunction. And for women, too much estrogen circulating in the blood is a major risk factor for breast cancer.

    Small exposure spells big problems

    According to the study‘s lead author, David Melzer, "This is the first big study of BPA from a European country and confirms that ‘routine‘ exposures in the population are not negligible." So even if you don‘t work in a plastic factory, there are significant risks to limited BPA exposure day in and day out. As I‘ve urged before, throw out any plastic that‘s got a #7 on it. You know it contains BPA. Plus -- it‘s wise to avoid all canned foods, as these are likely to contain BPA as well. Plastics products imprinted with #1, #2 and #4 on the bottom are safer choices and do not contain BPA. To solve the problem altogether, skip the plastic and store food in glass or ceramic containers. That‘s what we used in the good ‘ole days, anyway.

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