I came across a few strange-but-true medical stories in the news recently that I thought I’d share with you.
The first had to do with extreme exercise. I periodically point out research showing the hazards of excessive exercise for your joints, your heart, and your overall health. And a new study found another side effect of excessive exercise: a lower libido.
For the first time, this new study explored the link between physical activity and sexual activity in men. Researchers at University of North Carolina surveyed 1,077 healthy adult men about their frequency, length, and type of work-outs. They also asked the men about their libido and sex lives.
Results published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise linked exposure to higher levels of regular, intense exercise, and greater durations of endurance training on a regular basis with decreased libido.
So — the old excuse, “not tonight, I’m too tired” may simply be the whole truth of the matter.
I suspect many of these otherwise-healthy men who over-exercise also seek dangerous “Low-T” treatments — when, in fact, there is nothing wrong with their “T.”
As I always say, moderation in all things, including exercise, is the right prescription.
Another interesting study found that resveratrol produces the same benefits achieved from spending an hour at the gym. In this study, resveratrol supplements improved physical performance, heart function, and muscle strength in the same ways they improve after exercise.
However, I’m always wary of studies that look for the “magic bullet” ingredient in red wine. While taking a resveratrol supplement is more pleasant than spending time working out in a stinky, sweaty gym, it’s certainly not as pleasant as simply having a glass of resveratrol-containing red wine. (Although heed Shakespeare’s warning that wine “increases the desire, but takes away the performance” in excess.)
Furthermore, red wine has additional beneficial ingredients — such as polyphenols and the alcohol itself. In fact, I have always thought the relaxation provided by moderate alcohol is the “secret” ingredient to countering the silent killer of stress.
Plus, many studies show those who drink one or two glasses of wine per day have lower risks of cancer, dementia and heart disease. It can also help regulate blood sugar and promote healthy aging in moderation.
In the third bit of news, as you may know, the actors Carrie Fisher and Bill Paxton both died earlier this year from supposed heart problems.
But there appears to be more to the story in both cases…
Is there more to Fisher and Paxton’s supposed heart problems?
Reports state that Fisher suddenly went unresponsive and stopped breathing while traveling on an airplane. She received CPR. And after landing, they transported her to UCLA Medical Center. But Fisher never regained consciousness and died a few days later.
My colleague, George Lundberg, M.D., a forensic pathologist and former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association, performed an investigation based on available information in the case of Carrie Fisher. He concluded she probably died from low total body magnesium.
It has long been known that low magnesium levels can trigger a range of heartbeat abnormalities, including some that are lethal. As I have reported before, doctors perform emergency intravenous infusions of magnesium to quickly reverse abnormal heartbeats.
I would not be surprised if this were the case with Fisher too. Many Americans are deficient in magnesium today, due to poor diets and the interference by many drugs with absorption of bioavailable minerals.
Bill Paxton’s death, on the other hand, stemmed from too much treatment, not lack of treatment. He had a fatal stroke following heart surgery at the age of 61.
At its best, heart surgery carries a 1 to 2 percent risk of serious complications or death. The procedure is so invasive, it’s no surprise that so many complications occur, including death. And being a celebrity didn’t spare Paxton of such complications.
Furthermore, many studies question whether open-heart surgery for heart disease benefits patients at all.
For a detailed guide on how to take care of your heart, I suggest reading my report The Insider’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy and Statin-Free Life.
“Endurance Exercise Training and Male Sexual Libido,” Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2017 Feb 13.