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March 11, 2011

This week in The News: My Thoughts: Sleep, Testosterone, Weight Loss

This week has been a hot bed for late breaking health news involving sleep, testosterone, and weight loss.

Sleep and Your Health

I recently added an article on sleep and would suggest all of you take a look at it, the link is below. There have been several recent studies on the incidence of sleep disorders in the US . Sleep disorders effect over 25% of the adult population and adds to our overall declining health. The average adult requires 7-8 hours of sleep  to wake up feeling rested. Due to our erratic schedules , computers and our obsesion with our smart phones not only is our quantity lacking but also our quality sleep. The bottom line , it is not healthy to cut short your sleep.  Your productivity will be less, injuries will increase and your overall health will suffer. Do your self a favor, turn off the phone, TV and computer and get some sleep, your body will thank you.

Testosterone Therapy and Prostate Cancer

Recently the Journal of Urology reported an article about prostate cancer and whether it was safe to use testosterone therapy in  men who were hypogonadal (low testosterone, little doctor talk there). Doctors especially Urologist for years thought testosterone was the cause of prostate cancer and  when testosterone levels are decreased to almost zero the patients do better and their cancer regresses.  Now there is new information about this indicating that there is a saturation level and any increase in that level has no effect on the cancer. It just so happens that this saturation level is extremely low. The authors in this study looked at 13 patients with low grade prostate cancer, who chose observation and elected to have testosterone therapy . These men were followed over 8 years. There was no change in PSA and repeat biopsy showed that half had no sign of cancer. Bottom line : Men with low grade prostate cancer who elect observation only and who are suffering from low testosterone may benefit from supplementation . It’s worth discussing.

HCG and Weight Loss

Not to paraphrase a current commercial but you would have to be living under a Rock to have missed this . I can’t even drive to the office with out seeing billboards touting 30 lbs 30 days . Sound to good to be true? let’s look deeper and I’ll explain.  HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, is found in pregnant females.  In a pregnant female, HCG mobilizes fat for the fetus. In this fad diet, which has been around since the 1950s, it is used to decrease appetite and to dissolve fat. The patients are restricted to 500 calories a day and a daily injection of HCG, is anyone surprised there is weight loss?  The problem with this diet is the tremendous calorie restriction, about one third of what is normally required, it leads to loss of lean muscle mass and health problems. The weight loss is temporary because the patient has not changed their life style. Once, off the diet the weight goes up and the friendly physician (Charging 800-1200$) offers another session, duh. When we see these patients at our center we hear stories of severe fatigue and on DEXA scan note accelerated sarcopenia (loss of lean muscle, that’s one for the cocktail party) and low protein levels , with increased  inflammatory markers. Take away message , if it sounds to good to be true, it is . Not a healthy way to lose weight and not a way to obtain your long term goals. STAY AWAY

See related articles.

“Anti Aging Research: the Effects of Lifestyle on Longevity”

“How to Cope with Long Term Memory Loss”

“Diabetes and Lifestyle”

“Stress and Your Health”

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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