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healthbriefs

PSA Testing Controversy

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en face a new dilemma at their annual physical this year—should they be screened for prostate cancer? Last year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against routine screening for this form of cancer, regardless of age. Some doctors claim this will cause treatable prostate cancer cases to be missed. The level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a protein produced by the prostate gland, can be measured with a simple blood test. Until the USPSTF issued its recommendation, doctors routinely used the test to screen men 50 and older. The task force, however, concluded there is at least moderate certainty that the potential harms of PSA testing outweigh the benefits; many benign conditions, particularly prostate infections and enlargement, can elevate PSA readings higher than normal, prompting more aggressive testing. Before deciding on the test, it helps for men to explore this issue with their doctor. Some physicians take a “wait and see” approach and retest several times over a few months before making a recommendation; others suggest an immediate biopsy if PSA levels are high. While a blood test is a benign procedure, a prostate biopsy is not. A high PSA reading coupled with an overly aggressive doctor can cause anxiety and result in additional—and possibly unneeded—medical treatment.

Flavonoids Protect Men Against Parkinson’s

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indings published in the journal Neurology add to a growing body of evidence that regular consumption of flavonoids, found in berries, teas, apples and red wines, can positively affect human health. According to new research on 130,000 men and women undertaken by Harvard University, in Boston, and the UK’s University of East Anglia, men that regularly consumed the most flavonoid-rich foods were 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those that ate the least. No similar protective link was found for women. It is the first human study to show that flavonoids can help protect neurons against diseases of the brain.

Source: James Occhiogrosso, ProstateHealthNaturally.com

Sports and Music: A Winning Combination

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istening to our favorite music, whatever the genre, can increase both our enjoyment of and performance levels in competitive sports participation. Keele University researchers, presenting these findings at the 2012 British Psychological Society annual conference, noted that playing selected tunes reduces perceived exertion levels, plus increases one’s sense of being “in the zone”. The greatest effects were found with music used during structured training sessions. Previous studies showing that motivational music in general boosts performance did not include exploring the effects of listening to one’s favorite music.

A Father’s Love is Critical

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ased on 36 studies from around the world involving more than 10,000 participants, researchers at the University of Connecticut, in Mansfield, concluded that a father’s love contributes as much—and sometimes more—to a child’s development as a mother’s love. The critical importance of fatherly love to a youngster’s healthy development provides added incentive for men to become more involved in nurturing child care.

Source: Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Excessive Dietary Fat May Hinder Conception

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ne reason for a couple’s inability to conceive could be linked to too much fat in the male’s diet. A study by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital of 99 U.S. men uncovered an association between a high fat intake and lower sperm count and concentration. Results were published in the journal Human Reproduction. Men that consumed the most saturated fats had a 35 percent lower total sperm count and 38 percent lower sperm concentration than men that ate the least amount of such fats. Moreover, men that ate more omega-3 polyunsaturated fats—the type of healthful fat often found in fish and plant oils—had better-formed sperm than men that ate less.

natural awakenings

June 2013

9

Natural Awakenings Magazine ~ June 2013  

Natural Awakenings Magazine is West Michigan's premiere natural health, holistic living, green magazine focusing on conscious living and sus...

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