Can Ejaculation Contribute To Prostate Health And Prevent Prostate Cancer?
At least some scientists think so. A team of Australian researchers have conducted a study, asking over 2000 men to complete a questionnaire outlining their sexual habits. Half of the 2000 respondents had prostate cancer, while the other 1000 did not.
After analyzing the responses, the researchers found a correlation between an increase in the number of ejaculations in the mid-to-late 20's, and a corresponding decrease in the occurrence of prostate cancer.
They speculate that ejaculation clears the prostate of seminal fluid that may contain carcinogenic substances that enter the body from the environment. Persons who smoke are at a higher risk of prostate cancer compared to those who are non-smokers, but increased ejaculation present health benefits to all, they conclude.
For bodybuilders, prostate health is crucially important. The prostate, along with the testes, is part of the endocrine system, and is an anabolic hormone manufacturing site.
Maintaining high levels of anabolic hormones is essential for building muscle tissue, and increasing muscle mass and muscular density. Thus prostate health should be of concern to every serious athlete.
SOURCE: British Journal of Urology International, vol. 92, p.211
Can Science Predict Your Bodybuilding Success?
Bodybuilding is difficult sport. It demands sacrifice, dedication and motivation. Bodybuilding is also a sport with a high turnover rate. Every year gyms around the world are flooded by people with new year's resolutions. In most cases, by mid-March, many of these people abandon their physical activities. Why do some people fail at exercise, and others not?
In a study conducted at the University of Leuven, Belgium, researchers had 695 volunteers (340 males, 355 females) between the ages 18 and 22 enroll in physical education classes. Although participation was voluntary, the classes were necessary for the students to graduate from teachers College.
The volunteers were divided randomly into three groups of 20 to 26 students each. Each group received different instructions about the task they were going to learn (playing basketball).
One group received instructions emphasizing that learning to play basketball was mandatory. The other group received instructions that learning to play basketball would prove personally important to them. The final group received instructions about how learning to play basketball would prove personally important to them and how it would be important in the future.
When the groups performed the tasks and later filled out reports on the activity, it was found that the group who received instructions emphasizing that the activity was mandatory, performed more poorly and were less motivated than the other groups.
The group that was told of the activity's personal relevance fell in between the two groups in the categories and motivation, satisfaction with the activity, and performance level.
The group that received instructions emphasizing how the activity was relevant to them now AND in the future, were by far the most motivated and performed the best of all three groups.
This study is relevant for bodybuilders in that it points to the underlying psychological processes of negotiated meaning, inner dialogue, and internalization of value messages.
To succeed as a bodybuilder it is best to think about how bodybuilding is relevant to you NOW, AND to think of how it will be relevant to your long term goals, in the future. The study also points out the danger of considering bodybuilding "just a job" (a range-of-the-moment consideration). By making bodybuilding means something to you, you exponentially increase your chances of success.
Gym Fright: Fact Or Fiction?
Ever hear the one about the obese person who is afraid to go to the gym because people might stare? Did you ever chalk it up as just another excuse to be lazy?
Here's the punchline: There may be actually something to it.
A joint study by researchers at East Carolina University and the University of Florida has concluded that some people suffer from a psychological condition known as social physique anxiety (SPA).
This condition involves people feeling emotionally threatened by how they perceive other people to be judging them, based upon their physical appearance.
Apparently, these people want to be like and accepted by other people, to the point that they actually worry about what other people are thinking. This causes them to experience anxiety when they think that other people are evaluating them poorly.
It used to be thought that men were less likely to suffer from this condition than women. As more research accumulates on this condition (and as the revenues of the cosmetic industry continue to increase) it becomes clearer that the numbers are roughly equal amongst the population.
Personally, we think the jury is still out on this issue. The bottom line is that some people ARE lazy, and will use any excuse they can to avoid going to the gym. This condition (SPA) applies only to 5 percent of the population; meaning that the other lazy 95 percent of people out there are still left holding the (cookie) bag of responsibility for being out of shape. In the famous words of doctors around the world: "eat less, exercise more." Old-fashioned advice always does the trick and never goes out of style.
SOURCE: Journal Of Sport And Exercises Psychology, 2003, 25, 123-144.
Obesity Breakthrough: Another Reason To Scream "I Couldn't Help It?"
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine points to the existence of a gene that may be linked to binge eating.
The study, which consisted of 469 obese person's, found that only 5 percent of the participants had a gene that predisposed them to binge eating.
The study also comments that participants were relieved to discover that binge eating is partially caused by a genetic mutation, thereby relieving them from responsibility for their condition. Apparently, some of them reported feeling less guilty about being overweight.
It should be noted, however, that binge eating is not obesity. Binge eating is the uncontrolled consumption of (typically high carbohydrate) foods. Binge eating can be caused by many different things (carbohydrate addiction, etc.).
Obesity is a condition that is characterized by a sedentary lifestyle, and excess calorie consumption. Binge eating would have almost no effect on existing body fat stores or general health if the excess calories were burned off by exercise.
Binge eating is just one of the many psychological aspects of obesity. And, given that this gene is found only in 5 percent of obese person's, this means that the rest of the obese population might benefit from becoming physically active. It's time that the world gave bodybuilders credit for their example of health and fitness, despite their genetic variation and pre-existing susceptibility to various conditions.
Animal Fat: Carcinogenic?
A recent United Nations study has concluded that high animal fat intake can increase the risk of women developing breast cancer.
The issue of a link between facts and cancer is still controversial. Other studies in the past have reached opposite conclusions.
However, we think that regardless of the controversy, bodybuilders know best.
Time and again, a low-fat, high-protein, low carbohydrate diet, consisting of complex carbohydrates and monounsaturated fats, has been shown to be very beneficial to overall health. Such a diet has been shown to normalize sugar levels, promote protein synthesis, and reduce bad cholesterol.
The best way to reduce the risk of cancer is to consume a bodybuilding diet that is high in antioxidants. A variety of fresh vegetables and fruits with every meal will achieve this purpose.
Can Finasteride Prevent Prostate Cancer?
The drug finasteride, more widely known as proscar, is commonly used by bodybuilders to prevent hair loss resulting from a cycle of anabolic steroids. Hair loss occurs when testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone.
Now, researchers suggest that it may be helpful in preventing the onset of prostate cancer. The prostate, along with the testes, is part of the endocrine system, and is an anabolic hormone manufacturing site.
If you do not use anabolic steroids and you do not suffer from male pattern baldness, it is not necessary to use finasteride. Is also worth noting that the absence of finasteride use will not bring about prostate cancer.
SOURCE: New England Journal of Medicine, July 17th, 2003.
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