Guys, keep taking those statins

Chances are very high that if you are reading this, you have high cholesterol and are taking the so-called statins with brand names like Lipitor, Zocor, and Crestor.  These drugs are very effective in lowering cholesterol (while you will see better results with diet and exercise, most men don't -- that is how they got fat in the first place and continue to be so) but a lot of us know the secret that simply eating steel cut oats cooked in water, and then all you add is organic milk, resins, and almonds soaked overnight does wonders without any of the side effects.  But this does not excite guys looking for a quick fix and that is why this dude below is dancing like a teenager after watching a report on Crestor (you really have to doubt the intelligence of a middle aged man dancing with joy after listening to a report on a prescription drug), but he maybe dancing for yet another reason and if you have watched this commercial on television, even his wife seems to be happy with the whole thing.  His erectile function maybe slightly better with Crestor.

Image of a middle aged man excited to hear about crestor trial as his wife is embarrassed by his reaction

Dr. John Kostis of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has found that these drugs improved erectile function by about 25%, which is more than the benefit seen from diet and exercise, and of course, testosterone replacement therapy.  The word of caution here is that the improvement is really small that you would hardly notice it.  The second point to remember is that production of testosterone requires cholesterol so if you have high cholesterol and you are taking statins to reduce that, eventually you might have better erections but will not have the libido.  The net conclusion of this research is that if you are obese or overweight with high cholesterol, despite the nasty side effects, you maybe able to have better erections.  Having said that, guys, cut back on that fast food and sign up with a gym that focuses on strength training.  Not only will your body look better, you will have more energy, better erections, and greater desire for that wonderful lady in your life.

TRT drug shills claim no risks

Since billions of dollars are at stake after it was concluded that Testosterone replacement drugs like Androgel are killing men, the same media machine that made an imaginary disease called low-T into a word as popular as selfie or sexting, is now being put into action to attack science that proves that hormone replacement drugs are not only outright deadly, they do nothing to help men (it turns out that there is a huge placebo effect because men who are on TRT are also more likely to eat healthier, exercise, and feel better about themselves -- things that naturally raise Testosterone).

To fight back, an (Androgel maker) AbbVie funded group known by Androgen Study Group (the tactic sounds so similar to all those 501(c)(4) that engage in outright political activity but pretend to be social-welfare groups and typically have harmless names like Americans for Prosperity or Priorities USA Action) is in business.  Harvard Medical School professor Abraham Morgentaler, who is paid by the drugmaker, along with other physicians who are on the payroll of companies that profit from Testosterone therapy, is attacking the methodology (hmmm....sounds similar to all those who attack evolution of climate change by screaming that the methodology was wrong or the data is wrong).  We know how this works: attack science to confuse Americans so that they will revert to the default position (which would be that TRT is awesome, or evolution is only a theory or global warming is a liberal plot to hurt profits of oil companies).

Guys, Phthalates are turning you into a woman

Remember how I warned you about the dangers of BPA and its impact on Testosterone?  While it seems like in order to become manly men we might all have to go back to living in caves, but since that is not possible, at least we need to watch out for dangerous chemicals that are present in products that we use everyday without thinking about.  So phthalates are these chemicals that are added to anything made from plastics and when they enter a man's body, they rewire our reproductive system so that it makes less Testosterone and lowers sperm count (even leading to infertility in men so that they can never become fathers).  I cannot imagine how we can eliminate plastic materials from our lives, but we sure can cut down their use, for example, by storing food in metal and glass containers.  Another thing to never do is to either store hot food in a plastic container or put a plastic container with food in the microwave oven.

The other major source of phthalates is personal care products, so think things like body lotion, lip cream, face moisturizer and shaving gel (four products that I definitely use and use them a lot since here in New England, the skin is drying up so fast).  Remember parabens and phthalates are different chemicals, so you really have to look for products that do not contain both chemicals.  I am yet to find anything that is easily available and affordable, but what I try to do is to use less of them both in amount and frequency.

Alcohol is the enemy

There is a lot of evidence that consuming excessive alcohol can be a contributing factor to low-T and that is why I have been preaching that middle aged and older males significantly lower their alcohol intake.  While I was never an excessive drinker but did enjoy my glass of red wine with dinner and an occasional beer during the (very few) hot summer days here in New England.  As I have written before, I drink only during the weekend and a lot less than I used to.  On other days, I drink plain water.  In fact, the more I read about the dangers of alcohol for older guys, the less excited I am to to drink it, so now even during the weekend, I pour myself smaller drinks and if I really don't feel like, I don't even drink.  To make my life a bit more exciting, I have been drinking a lot of freshly squeezed fruit juices or turning papaya, pineapple, and watermelons into juices.

Image of a male pouring himself jack daniels whiskey in a glass

So how does alcohol harm older men?  You see, for us dudes it is all about getting Junior erect more often.  When alcohol enters the blood stream, it causes dehydration (we all know the symptoms: thirst and frequent trips to the bathroom), and there is a short term drop in blood volume.  Since erection is all about pumping plenty of blood to Junior, with less of it, all you get a lousy, weak, pathetic looking shape that is no good for anything.  Alcohol also boosts production of angiotensin, a hormone responsible for erectile dysfunction.  This discussion applies primarily for men who either have low-T or are simply aging.  Younger men with normal hormones and with less experience in bed may actually benefit from a drink because it helps them to relax and overcome their performance anxiety particularly if they are intimidated by an attractive woman or if she has more experience than them.

Make those erections happen at least daily

It is a vicious cycle.  Your Testosterone falls, the libido drops, you don't feel like making love, so you don't have sex, and the next thing you know you are in a sexless marriage.  What is worrisome here is that the less sex you have, the faster and steeper the drop in Testosterone and this sets downward spiral from which it maybe impossible to recover unless you engage in a full-scale Libido Recovery Program like the one I followed and documented in my ebook.  Among many changes that you will see during middle age and later (or earlier if your Testosterone drop is a result of hormonal imbalance or obesity) is the lack or complete disappearance of night time erections and/or morning wood (the doctors use a more fancy term called nocturnal penile tumescence).  Now, I laugh about it but when I was younger I always thought of this as a nuisance but now I have learned that they are essential for male sexual health.

The reason these happen regularly is that an erection is critical for proper functioning of the male organ (in fact, forget about children getting them, scientists have found that when a baby boy is still in the womb, he will have them).  During the erect position, the body supplies plenty of blood and oxygen to the organ keeping it in shape, literally.  So if you stop having them at night naturally and then you don't have them otherwise because you are sexless, due to disuse, the muscles start to gradually become weak.  The muscle tissue eventually becomes less elastic and starts to shrink (imagine what happens to old people as they age -- the reason they are less flexible and experience pain is because their muscles are in decline due to disuse) and some men will notice that their organ will actually shrink.  So guys, as much as I encourage you to not give up getting active in bed, if for some reason you experience performance anxiety and are staying away from it, don't give up on having regular erections.  If your wife or girlfriend does not want to participate in the act, there is a lot of ways to make Junior wake up by watching something on premium cable or online.

Gradually increasing workout duration

As you have learned from my journey from low-T to normal Testosterone, two things have mattered the most: dietary changes and workouts.  As I told you, I exercise pretty much every day.  That means five days a week I workout in a disciplined manner using a routine, and then during the weekends, I remain active and burn calories in doing chores either inside the house or in my yard.  Not only this has raised my Testosterone levels as documented in my ebook that is available for purchase, I now look a lot more muscular, I have more energy, and I am hoping that in the long run I can live disease free, and probably longer.

Now, I might have mentioned this before, that about 15 years ago in my 30s when I first started an exercise regimen, I could barely run for 10 minutes on a treadmill and that is when I was skinny and had no illnesses.  It is just that if you do not use your muscles they have no strength.  Over the years, I pushed myself to the standard recommendation of 30 minutes of workout five days a week.  However, as you know once you enter middle age that is not enough.  In order to undo the effect of aging, build lost muscles and increase Testosterone, you need to push yourself, and I did.  Gradually, by merely extending the routine by 5 minutes each month, I was able to do it for an hour.  Can you imagine what an improvement?

Well, then came this moment that I decided to learn martial arts and started taking karate lessons at a dojo in Milford, MA.  The classes are 90 minutes each in the night twice a week.  Initially, I thought that I will skip my morning workout (which is such a nice part of my daily routine) but then I noticed that I just did not feel right the whole day.  I missed the workout, the energy I get, the endorphins circulating in my body.  So I decided to workout for at least 20 minutes.  Hmmm.....the feeling was not the same.  In the end, I concluded that I should simply not disturb my daily workout routine no matter what else I do during the day.  I have now observed that despite working out for two and a half hours on a day twice a week does not feel particularly strenuous.  So there it is.  I am now working out following a regular gym routine at least 8 hours a week, not counting the 15 minute walk I always take after lunch and dinner and the physical activity that I undertake during the weekends.  It is three times the recommended exercise but I feel good, my body is not complaining, and I have no pain of any kind.  Is this for you?  Always consult your physician and listen to your body, but what I want you to take from this blog post is that you can train your body to do more, exert it, push it harder, and then enjoy the results.

Aveed available as injectable Testosterone

While the United States FDA considers banning Androgel and Axiron type drugs, and men whose health has been harmed by Testosterone replacement medication are suing AbbVie, Endo International is now authorized to sell Aveed, yet another medication for an imaginary illness called low-T (though the medical term is a lot fancier: hypogonadism).  In FDA's defense, though, well it took Endo three tries to get the approval.  Obviously, it means that the data supporting Aveed was never really convincing and I will take the approval with a bit of skepticism.  Maybe FDA just was under too much pressure from the lobbyists for big pharma and eventually gave in.

Side effects and health risks:  Like many Testosterone replacement therapy drugs, Aveed is a highly dangerous drug.  In the words of the drugmaker itself, Aveed can literally destroy your lungs through a condition called POME.  It gets worse.  Aveed can cause life threatening allergic reactions.  In other words, when you are getting this injection, you want to make sure that you are under the supervision of an excellent physician at a top of the line hospital and the doctor knows how to deal with severe allergic reaction.  So if you are nearing death, someone knows how to fight the reaction.  DO NOT take Aveed outside of a top medical facility equipped with modern equipment and staffed by experts.

In addition the above dangers, Aveed can cause prostate cancer or make it worse.  Liver problems, sleep apnea, acne, swelling, mood swings, insomnia, irritability, acne, more erections or they last a lot longer, and chest pain.  The company goes on to remind us that these are not all the risks.  There could be others that they do not know about and might happen only to you because of your specific health condition.  In light of these dangers, you better consult a highly qualified physician and hope that he knows what he is doing and can give you unbiased advice, because the risks of Aveed clearly outweigh the benefits.  If you ask me, I would rather live without sex the rest of my life than live with so many risks.

Raise testosterone by becoming entrepreneurial

A study conducted at three universities in Australia had an interesting finding.  The researchers concluded that self employed men had higher Testosterone levels.  It is understandable while unemployed guys will have low-T; we all know how low we feel without a job and how or self esteem takes a dive (there is a direct correlation between emotions like self worth and Testosterone).  However, Professors Francis Greene, Gary Wittert, and Liang Han found that men who had regular jobs did not as high levels as those of entrepreneurs.  Since I have been in all three stages, I know how this works.

Unemployment lowers morale:  Well, like any other middle aged male, I too have suffered my fair share of layoffs.  So I have been unemployed at times and I would not be exaggerating if I say that being without a job is such a low point in a man's life. One day, you are sitting in this awesome office on the 33rd floor of a skyscraper managing things that people had to go through a secretary to get to me, but the next day after the layoff, you are at home with a cup of coffee trying to find a copy of your resume so that you could upload it to  Ouch!  You have no office to go to, everyone stops calling, and even friends who were so warm to you, stop treating you with respect once you have been out of work for a few months.

Image of a confident businessman in a power suit working on a pc in a taxi

Working for someone is an endless story of being put down:  Yes, I was an executive with a six-figure paycheck, but I was still working for bosses, colleagues, and clients.  It did not take long to face humiliation or rebuke or taunts from someone.  In the dog-eat-dog world of corporate America, it is all about destroying everyone else around you to go ahead at any cost.  No surprise then that even with a great job, you can still feel like a loser because someone is always bossing around.

Self employment frees your soul:  After being laid off, I started to work full time to what used to be a hobby in the past and a source of pocket money.  I soon found out that I could actually make a living off that.  It was only after doing that I wondered why I did not think of it before.  I still beat myself for not quitting a job earlier and becoming an entrepreneur.  Why?  When you work for yourself, you are constantly taking big risks, competing with others in the marketplace, and when success comes, you get to take all the credit.  Yes, there are moments of failure and lots of sleepless nights, but in general, as a man you feel strong and empowered.  I am sure that being an entrepreneur must be helping me keep my Testosterone levels high.  Remember that it is all in our heads.  Just sitting like a boss in your own humble chair can make your Testosterone level go up.  Or even watching a competitive sport in which your team wins can boost your Testosterone level.