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SOME GENERAL THOUGHTS ON TESTOSTERONE


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 29 September 2013

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Testosterone Trivia

Most Americans think about Testosterone and immediately connect it to either aggression or sexuality. Although these are two really huge aspects of Testosterone, it actually has a lot of different purposes in the human body.

Why is Testosterone linked to both sexuality and aggression?

Although there is no way to fully understand the link between these concepts, we can look back at human and evolutionary history in order to try to discern a fairly complete picture. Testosterone, Sex, and Aggression are likely linked because of the competitive nature of mating. Among the vast majority of animals, males are the suitors, and the female chooses a mate.

There are a lot of ways that male animals use Testosterone in order to try to get a leg up on their competition. This is the reason why male and female animals are usually physically different, rather than simply having different sexual organs. Secondary sex characteristics develop largely as a result of competition between males for the affection of a female.

Across a large segment of animals, especially mammals, this pattern of sexual competition results in displays of strength and dominance. As a result, male mammals tend to have larger muscles than their female counterparts, and display more aggressive behavior.

Although we like to think we've developed beyond this evolutionary process, it still plays a certain role in our lives whether we choose to recognize it or not.

Beyond the link between Testosterone, Aggression, and Sexual Competition, Testosterone plays a number of different roles in the health of both men and women. The rest of the article will feature some more information about Testosterone and Health that you may find very interesting.

For Women, Love Induces Testosterone Production

Women that have just entered a new relationship experience a flux of Testosterone Production. This increase in Testosterone Release is much higher than is experienced by either single women or women that have been in a relationship for an extended period of time. One study suggests that women release the highest levels of Testosterone in the initial three months of dating than any other time.

Interestingly enough, men experience the opposite effect. Men that have just entered a new relationship actually experience a reduction in Testosterone production. In a similar fashion, however, after less than a year, Testosterone Levels return to their normal state.

It makes sense, really. If a woman has made her decision on a man, it's in her best interest to compete for his affection. In the case of a man, after he has won a woman's affection, he no longer has to regularly compete with other men for her interest.

Testosterone Burns Body Fat

One of the most noticeable physical issues related to Testosterone Deficiency is that it causes a man to have trouble losing weight. Clinical research has shown that Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy has a positive effect on muscle-fat ratio, increasing metabolism and helping a man lose weight faster and more effectively.

The majority of studies corroborate the same evidence. Testosterone Treatments lead to a noticeable reduction in adipose fat. This is the most unhealthy form of fat that the body stores, as well as the most difficult to burn. Adipose fat pools around the midsection, especially around the hips, thighs, and stomach.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy should not be considered solely for it's capacity to induce weight-loss, however. There is a limited body of research regarding the long-term use of Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy, and should only be used by men that suffer from clinically diagnosed Low-T, that are experiencing symptoms such as Erectile Dysfunction, loss of bone density, muscle atrophy, or fatigue.

Testosterone is Linked to Financial Success

Making money even has a positive effect upon Testosterone Production. One study performed by researchers in Great Britain showed that financial traders experience significant Testosterone boosts solely on the quality of their financial performance that day. Men that experienced a successful day of trading earned a rush of Testosterone as a direct result.

The inverse was found to be true as well, when men produced naturally high levels of Testosterone in the mornings, they made more money on average than when their Testosterone Levels were lower. This is strong evidence that Testosterone can directly influence success.

Researchers also found a correlation between experience and Testosterone Production among these traders as well. Traders that had been at the job longer displayed a stronger correlation between both success and the rush of Testosterone and Elevated Testosterone Levels being a predictor for daily success.

It makes sense. Testosterone is not only linked to aggression, but assertiveness. In the frantic trading atmosphere, it makes perfect sense that assertiveness breeds success. Also, Trading is one of the most competitive atmospheres outside of athletic competition, and studies have repeatedly shown that asserting dominance over others through winning induces an incredible burst of Testosterone.

This creates a positive feedback loop, where those that are successful maintain higher levels of Testosterone than those that are not successful, leading to further success.

Testosterone Can Shrink your Testicles

Although Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy can lead to a number of highly beneficial effects, it does have the potential to lead to a few physical symptoms, the most noticeable is that the Testicles can shrink in size.

There is no health risk associated with this shrinkage, but it does have a negative effect upon fertility. Luckily, this effect is completely reversible, and after suspending therapy, the Testicles increase in size again, and sperm production increases as well. This does mean that men looking to conceive should not use Testosterone Replacement Therapy, however.

Another side-effect that occurs in some cases is that men can develop gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a condition in which excess Testosterone is converted into Estrogen, which promotes an increase in breast size. This issue is also reversible, and can be relieved simply by adjusted the cumulative dose of Testosterone.

Although Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy for Testosterone Deficiency is a safe and effective medical treatment, Testosterone Abuse and Overdose can lead to the development of other symptoms. In women, these changes are exceptionally apparent. Testosterone abuse can cause women to start growing hair across their body, develop temporary male-pattern baldness, increase the size of the clitoris, and cause the voice to deepen. All of these effects can be resolved by suspending abuse, except in some cases the changes that occur to the voice are permanent.

Both men and women that Abuse Testosterone are much more likely to experience issues such as increased aggression, mood swings, acne, and red blood cell count.

For men and women using Testosterone Treatments under the guidance and authorization of a qualified medical professional, the risk of side-effects associated with abuse is negligible, and can be treated quickly and effectively in the case that they manifest.

Even Watching Sports Can Boost Testosterone

Testosterone and competition are intricately linked in males. As men prepare for any form of competition, they experience a sustained boost in Testosterone. This boost in Testosterone occurs regardless of the form of competition in question. Preparing for a high-stakes poker game leads to an increase in Endogenous Testosterone Production in the same way as training for the Olympics.

Men are just naturally wired in this way. It makes sense. Because of our complex and advanced nature, assertiveness and dominance can manifest themselves in countless ways. The brain considers mental competition just as important as physical competition, and adjusts hormone release accordingly.

An amazing side-effect of this pattern of Testosterone Production is that you don't even have to necessarily participate in an event in order to get a burst of Testosterone. Studies show that men that watch sports experience changes in Testosterone Levels in relationship to the success of their favorite teams.

In one particular study, researchers analyzed a group of male fans as they watched a World Cup soccer game between Italy and Brazil. Researchers discovered that after Italy lost, their fans experienced a drop in Testosterone Production, while the Brazil Fans were awarded with a boost of Testosterone. These changes in Testosterone for both parties mirror patterns of Testosterone Release associated with dominance and submission in other species.

Obesity and Fat Limit Testosterone Production

Testosterone Production is strongly correlated with body fat percentage. Men that are of a healthy weight produce more Testosterone than men that are obese, even after other factors have been controlled for.

There are two processes associated with this reduction in Testosterone Production. First, Fat cells have an unfortunate capacity to generate Estrogen. They do this by absorbing Testosterone and Testosterone Precursors, converting them into Estrogen and releasing them into the human body. For men that are obese, this can have a powerful impact on healthy Testosterone production, and can even lead to certain symptoms of feminization.

Obesity is also associated with an increase in general inflammation. Although there are many factors related to obesity which contribute to inflammation, the strongest is that obesity encourages the increased production of cortisol, which is produced from DHEA, a necessary precursor to Testosterone. In addition to this, stress causes an increase in fat storage, which further reduces the body's ability to produce and utilize Testosterone effectively.

Your Hands Explain Your Hormones

In both boys and men, the pointer on the right hand is almost always shorter than the ring finger on the same hand. This is not true to nearly the same extent for girls. This isn't a phenomenon that is specific to humans, however. In many animals (including rats) that have five fingers, this same difference between males and females of the species persists.

Researchers have discovered that among all species in which this phenomenon occurs, it clearly shows that the animal was exposed to elevated levels of Testosterone in utero. The more Testosterone that you receive before you are born, the greater that this difference between the lengths of the ring and pointer finger tend to be.

There is even evidence from a British study that male businessmen with the largest difference between the lengths of ring and pointer tended to be more profitable in business and remained in business longer than their counterparts.

Testosterone Can be Difficult to Measure Effectively

Testosterone Levels are dependent upon a number of different factors, and not all of them are static. For example, Testosterone Production peaks in the morning, meaning that some that display clinically low levels of Testosterone at night may have normal levels during the morning. For this reason, most physicians suggest that blood testing occur in the morning rather than the afternoon or evening.

Also, the thresholds for Testosterone Deficiency are not fully standardized, meaning that what qualifies as deficiency for one doctor may not necessarily hold true for another. The closest to a standard that we have in regard to American Testosterone Treatment is that any level below 300 nanograms per deciliter is generally considered low. The range for normal varies widely dependent upon age, health, and other factors. Normal Testosterone Production ranges from 300 ng/dl to 1000 ng/dl.

Because of this large level of variability, it is necessary to both display signs of Testosterone Deficiency while also displaying low or borderline levels of Testosterone Production. Many physicians also suggest that multiple blood samples may be used to maximize the value of the diagnosis.

The Benefits of Testosterone are Not Established for Healthy Men

It is believed that around three quarters of men over the age of sixty five have hormone levels that are perfectly normal. Although Testosterone Hormone Replacement Therapy can provide amazing and life-changing benefits for men that suffer from Testosterone Deficiency, there has not been sufficient study among healthy patients to recommend the use of Testosterone for men that do not display a physical need.

For men that are experiencing Testosterone Deficiency, Bio-Identical Testosterone can provide numerous benefits, including increased sex drive, sexual ability, and bone mineral density, while also promoting muscle and fat maintenance. It can even improve psychological health, alleviating mild to moderate depression while helping to counteract feeling of stress and anxiety.

Men with Certain Heart Conditions Should Avoid Testosterone Hormone Replacement

Testosterone Treatments are associated with a slightly elevated risk of heart conditions such as stroke and heart attack. This is because Testosterone treatments increase red blood cell counts as a result of therapy.

Testosterone Injections seem to increase RBC Counts more than other forms of therapy. Because of this risk of heart issues, men that are generally in very poor health should avoid Testosterone Replacement unless their doctor recommends it. It appears that the bulk of risk associated with Testosterone effects men that are already at high risk of heart attack or stroke.

Testosterone Replacement Does not Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer

In the past, medical professionals and researchers hypothesized that Testosterone Replacement could contribute to an increased chance of prostate cancer. The main reason why physicians and scientists believed that Testosterone Therapy could cancer is because Testosterone Replacement often leads to an increase in a chemical known as PSA, or Prostate-Specific Antigen.

This chemical is released only by the prostate, and men with prostate cancer produce more of this chemical than healthy males. The last decade of research has shown that, although Testosterone boosts PSA production, this has no association with any enhanced cancer risk.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy can increase the size of the prostate in older males, however, leading to a condition known as Benign Prostate Hyperplasia. The only major symptom of this condition is that it becomes harder to urinate, and there are medical treatments which can alleviate the symptoms of the condition.

There is an ongoing debate among medical professionals in regard to whether prostate cancer should even be treated, because they become very common with age, but develop at an incredibly slow rate. At this point, men with prostate cancer should avoid Testosterone Replacement Therapy.

Sleep Apnea Causes Low-T

Males that experience sleep apnea have a significantly increased likelihood of experiencing Low-T. For men with Testosterone Deficiency and Sleep Apnea, it can be effective to treat both conditions simultaneously in order to promote greater health most effectively.

Although both conditions can be treated at the same time, it is important to realize that Testosterone Treatments can complicate Sleep Apnea if the sleep apnea remains untreated. This is why it is important for men to received a full physical and medical history before initiating Testosterone Replacement Therapy. By ruling out other medical conditions, your doctor can help confirm whether Bio-Identical Testosterone Treatments are the best source of action to improve your health.


B12: PEOPLE WHO HAD HIGHER VITAMIN B12 LEVELS WERE SIX TIMES LESS LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE BRAIN SHRINKAGE


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 30 September 2013

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The Importance of B12 for Energy and Health

Vitamin B12 is one of many important and vital nutrients used by the body to foster optimal health. Vitamin B12 is a vitamin which encourages peak function of blood cells while also maintaining the health of the nerves.

The vitamin also has another function central to human life: it is one of the necessary materials for the construction of DNA molecules, which store all of the data which contribute to human development. This nutrient also helps keep the body energized and strong, and Vitamin B12 Deficiency can lead to a condition known as Megaloblastic Anemia.

How Does the Body Absorb B12?

Vitamin B12 is drawn directly from the food that we eat. It is absorbed through a relatively simple process. The first step takes place within the stomach. The stomach contains powerful hydrochloric acid which has the ability to break down the foods we eat and render them into simpler parts.

When consumed as part of a meal, Vitamin B12 is connected to proteins in the food that we eat, and hydrochloric acid breaks the bonds which connect Vitamin B12 to the protein. After the Vitamin B12 Molecule has been freed, it then reacts with another molecule known as Intrinsic Factor.

Intrinsic Factor is a protein which bonds with B12, allowing the nutrient to be taken in by the body. There are some people that actually lack the ability to make Intrinsic Factor, which causes them to absorb very low levels of B12. This condition is known as Pernicious Anemia.

How Much B12 Does the Body Need?

The human body requires Vitamin B12 at all stages of life, but the requirements vary dependent upon age. Children need an amount which slowly grows from 0.4 micrograms in the first six months of life, to 1.8 micrograms per day at 13 years. From 14 years old through adulthood, the body has a relatively steady requirement for B12 which is around 2.4 micrograms.

Women that are pregnant need a little more in order to promote healthy fetal development, around 2.6 micrograms. Women that are breastfeeding need the highest levels, around 2.8 micrograms. This makes sense, because early in life, the child is completely dependent upon breast milk for nutrition, so the mother must increase her own production to compensate.

What Are the best Sources of Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is one of a number of nutrients that are only available to human beings through either animal or synthetic sources. Below are a number of sources of Vitamin B12:

  • Milk Products

  • Eggs

  • Poultry

  • Meat

  • Fish

  • Some Yeast Products

  • Supplements

  • Fortified Cereals

  • Other Fortified Foods

  • Clams

  • Liver

The final two suggestions, Liver and Clams, contain the most significant levels of B12. B12 is processed by the liver in animals that cannot produce it naturally, and it is synthesized in herbivores that do have the capability to make their own Vitamin B12 from plant material. As a result, aside from clams, liver is the single best source for Vitamin B12.

What is Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

A deficiency of Vitamin B12 brings about a rather particular set of symptoms, among which are:

Physical Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

  • Weight Loss

  • Appetite Suppression

  • Constipation

  • Weakness

  • Fatigue

  • Megaloblastic Anemia

Neurological Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

  • Tingling and Numbness in the Feet and Hands

  • Soreness of the Tongue or Mouth

  • Cognitive Decline

  • Dementia

  • Confusion

  • Depression

  • Balance Issues

It should be noted right away that a deficiency in Vitamin B12 can cause neurological symptoms, even if the physical symptoms do not manifest themselves. Some of the neurological damage resulting from B12 Deficiency is also irreversible, so it is incredibly important to diagnose and treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency as soon as possible.

Although the overall need for B12 is lower for children than adults, severe issues can occur as a result of prolonged Vitamin B12 Deficiency early in life. B12 Deficiency can cause many problems for infant patients.

The Symptoms of Childhood B12 Deficiency include:

  • Megaloblastic Anemia

  • Slow Development

  • Disorders of Movement

  • General Failure to Thrive

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with a pediatrician as soon as possible. The symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency share similarities to other developmental disorders, and it is important to get an appropriate diagnosis as soon as possible.

How is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cured?

Generally, the way to resolve B12 Deficiency is through direct intervention with Injections of Vitamin B12. B12 Injections allow for maximum absorption, because B12 is delivered directly to the body, bypassing more limited digestive absorption. If an immediate injection is not deemed necessary, a physician may recommend taking Vitamin B12 Orally in high doses in order to resolve the Deficiency.

One study compared the effectiveness of Oral B12 versus B12 Injections. Researchers found that oral Vitamin B12 was able to replicate the effectiveness of injections over time. The optimal way to restore B12 through oral supplementation was to take high doses of B12 (2000 micrograms) every day initially, then cutting the dose in half. After cutting down to half doses, it was eventually possible to cut down to weekly, and finally monthly, doses, before simply allowing the patient to proactively make steps to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin B12.

Although both forms of supplementation are effective, the ability of the patient to absorb the nutrient through the digestive tract, and the severity of the deficiency will be the most significant factors which lead the physician to take the appropriate course of action.

How are B12 Shots Injected?

Like Testosterone Injections, B12 Injections are Delivered Intramuscularly.

How are Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid Connected?

Individuals that consume a high level of Folic Acid in their diet can make the dangerous symptoms of severe Vitamin B12 Deficiency less apparent. Folic acid has the ability to resolve Megaoloblastic Anemia without resolving the underlying neurological complications of the condition.

There are even studies which provide evidence that high levels of folate in the blood stream can eventually make anemia worse and amplify the neurological issues related to B12 Deficiency, increasing the risk of cognitive decline.

This combination of Folic Acid Overload and B12 Deficiency can lead to permanent nerve damage. Because of this significant risk, healthy men and women should take no more than 1,000 micrograms of Folic Acid per day.

Who is at Greatest Risk of B12 Deficiency?

There are a number of issues which can lead directly to Vitamin B12 Deficiency. These causes include:

  • Pernicious Anemia

  • Lack of B12 in the diet

  • Inability to appropriately absorb B12

  • Post-surgical inability to properly absorb Vitamin B12

Although these are the four leading causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency, there are many cases in which the cause of B12 Deficiency is unclear.

Who is Most at Risk of B12 Deficiency?

Aging Adults

As men and women grow older, the odds of developing Vitamin B12 Deficiency grow. There is a condition known as Atrophic Gastritis, which causes the stomach to produce abnormally low levels of Hydrochloric Acid. As a direct result of this, B12 Absorption drops.

This condition affects ten to thirty percent of older men and women. This change in hydrochloric acid production can also change the composition of gut flora, leading to the formation of bacteria which consume Vitamin B12 to propagate, reducing the amount available to the body itself.

Because this disorder reduces the body's ability to break down food sources of Vitamin B12, it can be easily treated through direct supplementation. In addition to this, foods fortified with B12 are also a useful source, because the synthetic form of B12 present in most fortified foods is easier to absorb than natural B12 for these individuals.

Because of the risk of Atrophic Gastritis, physicians recommend getting B12 from either fortified foods or supplements after the age of fifty. It should also be noted that elderly men and women that have this disorder should intake more Vitamin B12 than Recommended Daily Values Suggest.

People with Pernicious Anemia

Pernicious Anemia is a medical issue which afflicts between one and two percent of adults over fifty. The main issue with regard to these patients is they either produce no or little Intrinsic Factor, which is necessary in order for the digestive system to properly absorb B12.

The most effective way to treat this medical condition is through the use of Vitamin B12 Injections. Injections bypass the need for Intrinsic Factor and supply usable Vitamin B12 directly to the body. It may also be possible for some patients to use high doses of oral B12 in lieu of Vitamin B12, because around one percent of orally ingested Vitamin B12 can be absorbed even without the agency of Intrinsic Factor.

People with General Gastrointestinal Problems

There are certain diseases of the small intestine and stomach which complicate Vitamin B12 Absorption, including Crohn's Disease and Celiac Disease. These complications can prevent patients from getting the Vitamin B12 that they need from a normal diet.

Because of this inherent deficiency, some individuals with diseases such as these can experience very subtly decreased cognitive ability as a direct result of childhood Vitamin B12 Deficiency. In addition to this, they can also eventually suffer from dementia or Megaloblastic Anemia. For this reason, it is undeniably important for anyone with gastrointestinal disorders to evaluate their B12 Levels on a regular basis as a preventative measure against these conditions.

People that Have Undergone Surgery of the Stomach or Small Intestine

Certain surgeries can impact the digestive system's ability to absorb healthy levels of Vitamin B12. Individuals that undergo gastric bypass surgery or other weight loss surgeries often find that their ability to absorb Vitamin B12 Decreases as a result of less Intrinsic Factor and Hydrochloric Acid release by the stomach.

Any surgery which removes part or all of the stomach also leads to this issue. This has particular effect upon the body's ability to absorb natural forms of B12. Removal of the end of the small intestine, known as the distal ileum, can also inhibit or stop B12 Absorption. Anyone that goes under the knife for gastrointestinal surgery of any kind should be regularly monitored for any nutritional complications.

Vegetarians

Vegans and vegetarians are at a high risk of developing B12 Deficiency if they are not conscientious about their diet. The only natural sources of B12 for human beings are derived from animal products, and, unless vegetarians look to supplemental sources of B12, it will be impossible to get the necessary Vitamin B12 for optimal health.

Vegetarians that still use milk products or eat eggs do not have this same levels of risk, and pescatarians can easily get the B12 they need from fish sources. Luckily for vegetarians, there are now a number of fortified sources of B12, the most common of which is contained within many breakfast cereals.

Lactating and Pregnant Vegetarians, as well as their Infants

During pregnancy, the fetus receives necessary Vitamin B12 through the placenta. After being born, B12 is received through the breast milk. If infants are breastfed by vegetarian mothers, they often receive abnormally low levels of B12, which can hinder their optimal development. If B12 Deficiency is not caught very early, it can cause very serious and potentially life-long problems.

American Dieticians very strongly suggest that both lacto-ovo vegetarians and vegans take ample supplemental B12 during pregnancy in order to ensure the health of the infant. They should also ask their doctors about providing their young children with B12 Supplements to eliminate all potential risk.

Connections Between Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Negative Cardiovascular Outcomes

Among first world countries, heart disease is usually the number one cause of death. In developing countries, the threat of Heart Disease continues to increase as other easily preventable causes of death are eliminated, and changes in diet and lifestyle promote increased odds of the condition. Some major risk factors of Heart Disease are:

  • Diabetes

  • Obesity

  • Low HDL Cholesterol

  • High LDL Cholesterol

  • Hypertension

  • High Homocysteine Levels

Vitamin B12 and Homocysteine

Homocysteine levels are strongly associated with Vitamin B12 Consumption. Homocysteine is an amino acid compound that is necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system, the problem is that a lot of individuals produce way too much of it.

Excessively high Homocysteine production causes a number of issues which reduce the function of the heart and increase the risk of heart complications. It encourages the formulation of clots, prevents proper vasodilation, and changes the muscular composition of veins and arteries. It also causes the breakdown of fat in the blood stream, releasing dangerous free radicals into the body.

Vitamin B6, Folate, and Vitamin B12 are vitally important in the metabolism of Homocysteine. In the result of B12 Deficiency, Homocysteine production can rise in a dangerous manner. Vitamin B12 Supplementation in combination with Folate Supplementation has been shown to have an ameliorative effect on Homocysteine Production, encouraging a reduced risk of stroke.

To this point, the evidence is incomplete in regard to whether providing B12 Supplementation improves other aspects of Cardiovascular Health in at-risk patients. This does not, however, diminish the importance of maintaining healthy B12 consumption throughout the lifespan, because, although Vitamin B12 may be limited in its ability to treat heart problems, proper use of B12 throughout the lifespan can help reduce the risk of developing these complications in the first place.

Vitamin B12 and the Brain

B12 May Protect the Brains of the Elderly

In a recent study conducted by scientists at Oxford, a strong correlation was found between the overall volume of the brain, and healthy Vitamin B12 consumption. In this study, researchers collected data from 107 participants. These participants ranged in age from sixty one to eighty seven. None of the subjects displayed any signs of cognitive decline or issues with memory. The median age of the subjects was seventy three, and 46% of the participants were men.

The scientists then proceeded to draw blood in order to assess the Vitamin B12 levels of each patient. Vitamin B12 is found in highest concentrations in milk, fish, and meat. In addition to blood testing, each subject also underwent annual MRI brain scans in order to visually assess the condition of the brain. They also received a yearly physical and memory evaluation.

Among the 107 men and women, none of them were found to have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Researchers took the data that they compiled from this study and compared it to studies of patients which suffered from Vitamin B12 Deficiency. They discovered that men and women with Vitamin B12 Deficiency were six times more likely to have smaller brain volumes than patients that had healthy levels of B12.

Although they were able to establish this link, the scientists were not able to provide evidence regarding the impact of brain size on cognitive impairment.

Maintaining Healthy Vitamin B12 Levels Helps Prevent Cognitive Issues Later in Life

The project leader, Anna Vogiatzoglou, explains that there are a lot of different factors which contribute to adverse changes in the condition of the brain, but her study shows that there is a powerful connection between Vitamin B12 and the preserving the size of our brains.

Although her study did not have the ability to establish psychological and cognitive changes related to changes in brain size with age, she hypothesizes that making sure that we get enough Vitamin B12 throughout our lives is a thoughtful and productive step in preserving proper and healthy brain function later in life. By taking this healthy and conscientious step, there is a significant chance that we can preserve our memory more effectively with age.

Although the study provides a positive link in regard to Vitamin B12 Levels and Brain Shrinkage, the study did not analyze the effect of Vitamin B12 Supplementation as a preventative treatment for elderly patients.

It appears that, like the connection between Cardiovascular Health and Vitamin B12, there is a limited ability for Vitamin B12 to be a treatment for conditions related to untreated Vitamin B12 Deficiency, but maintaining healthy Vitamin B12 Levels throughout the lifespan can help prevent significant issues later in life.

Does Excessive B12 Supplementation Lead to any Health Risks?

Vitamin B12 has an extremely low capacity for toxicity. Because of this, there is little to no risk of complications resulting from the over-consumption of the nutrient. Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, and nutrients of this type are generally absorbed by the body as needed, then released into the urine. Fat soluble Vitamins generally carry a certain risk of overdose (Vitamin A being one particular example).

Vitamin B12 Final Thoughts

As you can see, it is vitally important to make sure that your body gets a healthy dose of Vitamin B12. If you are conscientious, this is one of the best ways to preserve your cognitive health deep into old age.

There is really no reason to experience Vitamin B12 Deficiency, unless your body is beginning to have trouble processing the nutrient. If you have a feeling you aren't getting enough Vitamin B12 in your diet, we actively encourage you to seek out a supplement. There is absolutely no downside, and it can have a tremendously positive impact upon your cardiovascular system, neurological system and general energy levels.


CHEMICAL POLLUTION IS DESTROYING MASCULINITY


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 07 October 2018

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Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Pesticides and Plastics

Over the last ten years, clinical and ecological research continues to suggest that many chemicals, both synthetic and natural, have the ability to disrupt the hormone balance of the endocrine system, producing various negative effects in all sorts of creatures, including birds, fish, wildlife, and even human beings.

When discussing the hormonal implication of these chemicals, scientists and researchers have labeled these chemicals endocrine disruptors. In today's 21st century world, these products are everywhere in our lives. Some of the most common places where these chemicals exist are pesticides, cosmetics, toys, foods, flame retardants, detergents, metal food cans, and some plastic bottles.

Today, there is a limited body of scientific data available regarding these chemicals, but there is a legitimate concern over how these chemicals may have an impact on human health. In the environment, there are areas which are polluted with endocrine disrupting chemicals to an extent that ecological populations are experiencing deleterious effects directly as a result. These negative health impacts have also been proven in a laboratory atmosphere.

Although it is clear that Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are a health risk under certain circumstances and concentrations, it can be hard to study the health impact of these chemicals, because people are generally exposed to a number of these chemicals at varying concentrations at the same time. There are government and non-profit organizations dedicated to clarifying the health risks and implications associated with Endocrine Disruptors, two of which are the National Toxicology Program and the National Institute of Environmental Health Science.

These groups support and fund scientific studies aimed at fostering a more complete understanding regarding how these chemicals impact hormone balance in an effort to protect both human beings and wildlife from the negative impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. In the near and distant future, these programs hope to minimize the domestic and global environmental and health impact of these chemicals and to discover ways to mitigate the negative effects.

What is an Endocrine Disrupting Chemical?

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are synthetic or naturally occurring chemicals which have the capacity to interfere with the secretion or functional capacity of hormones produced by the endocrine system. These chemicals have the ability to significantly alter hormone balance in both humans and animals, leading directly to negative health consequences. A number of these Endocrine Disruptors have been strongly correlated with immune, neural, reproductive, and developmental issues in both captive and wild animal populations.

Many researchers also believe that these chemicals and compounds also have the ability to negatively impact human health at existing concentrations. There is some correlation between reduced fertility and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. These chemicals also appear to increase the risks of certain health conditions, including several cancers.

In addition to Endocrine Disruptors and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, these chemicals are also referred to by a number of other names, including Endocrine Active Compounds, Environmental Hormones, and Endocrine Modulators.

There are forms of chemical pollution that affect various types of hormone balance, but the group of chemicals that have received the largest body of scientific study are those that increase the physiological influence of Estrogen. A number of other chemical disruptors have been identified however, including those that encourage the production of thyroid hormones, androgens, and progesterone, and those that inhibit the production of Estrogens and Androgens.

What is the Importance of the Endocrine System?

Along with the Neurological System, the Endocrine system is the primary way that the body communicates changes from disparate areas of the body. The Endocrine System also plays a central role in the coordination and control of numerous physiological functions. The Endocrine System produces these changes directly through the secretion of hormones from Endocrine Tissues situated throughout the body, including the pancreas, thyroid, pituitary, testes, and ovaries. These hormones then enter the blood stream where they flow to target organs and affect change.

Hormones are able to conduct the complex orchestra of necessary functions which keep us happy and healthy. One example of how hormones function is the complex way that the reproductive system, nervous system, fat, liver, gut, and kidneys work together in order to control and maintain various metabolic functions, including:

  • Reproduction

  • Development and Growth

  • Energy Level of the Body

  • Hormone Homeostasis

  • Response to Injury, Stress, and Outside Influences

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals interfere with the normally-closed set of signals flowing throughout the body to keep us healthy, leading directly to hormone imbalance which causes a variety of negative consequences.

How do Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Work?

Animal research has provided us with a lot of insight regarding the impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. There are a number of different mechanisms through which EDCs have the ability to alter the normal function of the human body.

Endocrine Disruptors have the ability to:

  • Substitute partially or completely for hormones produced naturally by the human body, such as Thyroids Hormones, Androgens, and Estrogens. These chemicals imbalance the system by overstimulating the body with the effects of a particular hormone.

  • Block the normal and healthy function of a hormone by blocking cell receptors and preventing hormones from making their connections. In these cases, the target organ does not receive the full physiological signal, and the body displays symptoms and signs of deficiency. Chemicals that produce these effects are categorized under terms such as Anti-Androgens and Anti-Estrogens.

  • Other Endocrine Disruptors actually have the ability to block or alter the way that hormones and hormone receptors are controlled or created. One example is that there are certain EDCs which can prevent the proper metabolism of hormones by the liver.

What are Some Particular Examples of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?

There are a large number of chemicals which have the capacity to alter normal Endocrine Function in a variety of ways. A few well known Endocrine Disrupting chemicals are, PCBs, Dioxin, and the medication Diethylstibesterol (also known as DES), and pesticides like DDT .

There are other chemicals, commonly plasticizers and pesticides, which have been shown to have Endocrine Disrupting effects in animal studies, such as Bisphenol A (also known as BPA). Bisphenol A is a synthetic chemical that is in many plastic products such as bottles, which leach from certain products when exposed to heat. BPA has many industrial applications, including the creation of beverage and food containers, and well as an ingredient of resins used in dental sealants.

Another large group of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are known as phthalates. The industrial application of these synthetic chemicals is to improve the flexibility or soften plastics made from polyvinyl chloride. One common phthalate is DEHP. This chemical is used in the production of a large number of polyvinyl products such as food packages, clothes, car products, building materials, children's products, and medical tools. Scientists with the National Toxicology Program have found that there may be a link between DEHP and developmental issues in young children, especially male infants which are seriously ill.

Some of the most common forms of naturally occurring Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals are known as Phytoestrogens. These chemicals are naturally produced in some plants, and have the ability to partially mimic the effects of Estrogen under some circumstances. Some of these chemicals can be found in foods and other products produced from soy, such as daidzein and genestein.

Representatives of the National Toxicology Program recognized the importance of evaluating the risks of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals upon human reproduction, and created The Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction. This group analyzes various products for signs that they may impact normal fetal and childhood development. The Center has determined that seven Phthalate compounds have Endocrine-Disrupting Effects, as well as one particular Phytoestrogen known as Genistein. Genistein is an ingredient in infant formulas derived from soy.

How do People become Exposed to Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals?

There are a number of ways that individuals of all ages can become exposed to EDCs. It can enter through their dietary choices, the medicines they are prescribed, and even the make-up they put on their face. Exposure can occur directly through the skin, through the digestive system, and through breathing.

Many chemicals which have these Endocrine Disrupting qualities take a long time to degrade or otherwise dissipate, such as the pesticide DDT. For this reason, many EDC Chemicals can be a health risk for long after they are initially used.

What is the Current State of Endocrine Disrupting Chemical Research?

The National Institute of Environmental Health Science has spent over thirty years researching the impact of medical Diethylstilbestrol on human patients. This chemical was used from the 1940s to the 1970s because medical professionals mistakenly believed that the chemical had the ability to reduce the risk of miscarriage for patients at serious risk.

In 1972, it was discovered that daughters born to mothers that were treated with DES had a significantly increased risk of experiencing a very uncommon form of vaginal cancer. In addition to this, DES produced many other changes in children of both sexes born to mothers that took the drug. The National Institute of Environmental Health Science performed extensive animal studies which proved the link between exposure to DES and the development of birth defects and increased cancer risk.

Leading directly from this initial, stunning series of discoveries, scientists with the NIEHS have continued to study other chemicals which interact adversely with estrogen receptors. Scientists continue to broaden the body of knowledge regarding Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in a number of different ways, including:

  • Creating new tools and models to reveal new information about how Endocrine Disruptors function

  • Uncovering new techniques to discover which chemicals produce Endocrine Disrupting Effects

  • Studying the impact of EDC exposure throughout the lifespan, and how it impacts health

  • Studying the effects of EDCs in existing human patient populations

  • Creating new tests and biological markers in order to measure both toxicity level and exposure to these chemicals

  • Animal studies created to assess the effects of EDC exposure

  • Developing ways to treat patients exposed to EDCs or learn ways to prevent exposure

When are Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Most Dangerous?

Scientific studies show that EDC exposure produces the highest level of risk before a child is born, or in the period after birth in which the organs of the child's body are still developing. In animal studies, there are a number of different issues related to early EDC exposure, including increased cancer risk and reduced fertility, which may not become an issue until a much later point in the lifespan.

In one case, researchers found that animal subjects which were exposed to synthetic BPA or natural, human Estradiol during prenatal development as well as Estradiol during adulthood were much more likely to develop a particular prostate cancer precursor. This study provides evidence that both natural and synthetic estrogen exposure have the ability to impact the way that the prostate behaves at the genetic level, which increases the risk of prostate disorders and cancer.

Low Level Endocrine Disrupting Chemical Disruptor Exposure

Researchers have found that there is credible evidence that EDCs can impact the physiological function of animals even at very low doses. These doses are significantly below what has traditionally been believed to impact health and physiology.

Even though there has been a limited amount of study in regard to the direct impact of EDCs upon human health and function, the body of animal evidence is quite large, and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals have the ability to cause the following issues in animal populations:

  • Abnormal development of male reproductive organs

  • Drop in male fertility

  • Increased female-to-male birth ratio

  • Increased incidence of sexual issues in female animals, including fertility complications and premature puberty

  • Increased incidence of breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer

  • BPA may also negatively impact diabetes and obesity.

Can Endocrine Disruptors in Pesticides and Plastics Affect Future Generations?

Evidence suggests that Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals not only have a negative impact on individual exposure, but EDC exposure may have a hereditary risk as well. There is some research that provides evidence that a patient exposed to Endocrine Disruptors may pass on their genetic abnormalities to future generations. In laboratory animals, the increased risk of cancer passed on three generations after initial exposure.

Another study found that male laboratory rats exposed to two particular EDCs were found to carry on abnormalities to almost every male in proceeding generations. The researchers hypothesize that these EDCs have the ability to alter gene expression without directly causing genetic mutation.

EDC research is a vastly expanding field, and as our knowledge of the effects of these chemicals continues to grow, it will help us to prevent or mitigate the effects of these chemicals on both human and animal populations.


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