The Highs and Lows of Testosterone

Supported by Well | Live The Highs and Lows of Testosterone Photo Credit Esther Aarts Getting a high testosterone reading offers bragging rights for some men of a certain age — and may explain in part the lure of testosterone supplements. But once you are within a normal range, does your level of testosterone, the male hormone touted to build energy, libido and confidence, really tell you that much?
Probably not, experts say.
Normal testosterone levels in men range from about 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Going from one number within the normal zone to another one may not pack much of a punch.
“You don’t see the big improvement once men are within the normal range,” said Dr. Shalender Bhasin, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. The largest differences in terms of energy and sex drive are when men go from below-normal to normal levels.
A 2015 study in JAMA found that sex drive improved among men who went from about 230, considere..

Phys Ed: Those 2-Minute Walk Breaks? They Add Up

Supported by Well | Move Those 2-Minute Walk Breaks? They Add Up Photo Credit iStock Walk for two minutes. Repeat 15 times. Or walk for 10 minutes, thrice. The benefits for longevity appear to be almost exactly the same, according to an inspiring new study of physical activity patterns and life spans.
It finds that exercise does not have to be prolonged in order to be beneficial. It just has to be frequent.
Most of us who are interested in health know that federal exercise guidelines recommend we work out moderately for at least 30 minutes per day at least five times per week in order to reduce our risks of developing many diseases or dying prematurely.
These guidelines also recommend that we accumulate those 30 minutes of daily exercise in bouts lasting for at least 10 minutes at a time.
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Continue reading the main story The guidelines, first published in 2008, were based on the best exercise science available at the time, including several studies indicating that i..

For Many Strokes, There’s an Effective Treatment. Why Aren’t Some Doctors Offering It?

Supported by Health For Many Strokes, There’s an Effective Treatment. Why Aren’t Some Doctors Offering It? It was one of those findings that would change medicine, Dr. Christopher Lewandowski thought.
For years, doctors had tried — and failed — to find a treatment that would preserve the brains of stroke patients. The task was beginning to seem hopeless: Once a clot blocked a blood vessel supplying the brain, its cells quickly began to die. Patients and their families could only pray that the damage would not be too extensive.
But then a large federal clinical trial proved that a so-called clot-buster drug, tissue plasminogen activator (T.P.A.), could prevent brain injury after a stroke by opening up the blocked vessel. Dr. Lewandowski, an emergency medicine physician at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and the trial’s principal investigator, was ecstatic.
“We felt the data was so strong we didn’t have to explain it” in the published report, he said.
He was wrong. That groundbr..

Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer.

Medicare Is Cracking Down on Opioids. Doctors Fear Pain Patients Will Suffer. Officials are close to limiting doses of the painkillers, but doctors say doing so could put older patients into withdrawal or lead them to buy deadly street drugs.
Medicare officials thought they had finally figured out how to do their part to fix the troubling problem of opioids being overprescribed to the old and disabled: In 2016, a staggering one in three of the 43.6 million beneficiaries of the program’s drug plan had been prescribed the painkillers.
Medicare, they decided, would now refuse to pay for long-term, high-dose prescriptions; a rule to that effect is expected to be approved on April 2. Some medical experts have praised the regulation as a check on addiction.
But the proposal has also drawn a broad and clamorous blowback from many people who would be directly affected by it, including patients with chronic pain, primary care doctors and experts in pain management and addiction medicine.
Criti..

Public Health: You’d Be Surprised at How Many Foods Contain Added Sugar

You’d Be Surprised at How Many Foods Contain Added Sugar Photo Some pasta sauces have high amounts of added sugar. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times You may know there’s added sugar in your Coke or cookies. But did you know that it’s in your salad dressing, pasta sauce and bread?
The Food and Drug Administration came out Friday with its new template for nutrition labels. One big change was the addition of a line for “added sugar,” to be placed below a line for total sugar. The change is designed to distinguish between sugars that are naturally occurring in a food — like the milk sugar in a plain yogurt — and the sugars that food manufacturers include later to boost flavors — like the “evaporated cane juice” in a Chobani Kids strawberry yogurt.
A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina conducted a detailed survey of the packaged foods and drinks that are purchased in American grocery stores and found that 60 percent of them include some form of added sugar. When the..

The New Health Care: Sorry, There’s Nothing Magical About Breakfast

Sorry, There’s Nothing Magical About Breakfast Photo Our belief in the power of breakfast is based on misinterpreted research and poor studies. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times I don’t eat breakfast. It’s not that I dislike what’s offered. Given the choice of breakfast food or lunch food, I’d almost always choose eggs or waffles. It’s just that I’m not hungry at 7:30 a.m., when I leave for work.
In fact, I’m rarely hungry until about lunchtime. So, other than a morning cup of coffee, I don’t eat much before noon. This habit has forced me to be subjected to more lectures on how I’m hurting myself, my diet, my work and my health than almost any other. Only a fool would skip the most important meal of the day, right?
As with many other nutritional pieces of advice, our belief in the power of breakfast is based on misinterpreted research and biased studies.
It does not take much of an effort to find research that shows an association between skipping breakfast and poor health. A 2013..