Dr. Bray Links

Monday, August 31, 2015

Role of testosterone in women

Functions of Testosterone in Women

Through ongoing research, the medical community is learning that testosterone serves many purposes, ranging from the commonly understood sexual functions to surprising findings that it may help to control blood sugar and may also have an anticoagulant effect. In addition, testosterone's well-known role in building muscles and bones is especially important for women facing age-related disorders such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.


Testosterone's most obvious purpose is sexual, for both men and women. During puberty, it stimulates the physical development of the sexual areas of the body, such as the growth of pubic and underarm hair. Female testosterone receptors are found in the nipples, vagina, clitoris, and brain.

In the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan and Trude Owett, CSW, state that testosterone levels dictate the desire (or lack thereof) for sexual activity. They report that our reproductive behaviors are stimulated in much the same way as our eating behaviors. Our sex hormones drive our "sexual appetite" similar to the way that blood sugar drives our appetite for food. Simply put, testosterone's effect on the brain is to make women more sexually receptive.

Many post-menopausal women lose interest in sexual activity, primarily due to diminished testosterone levels. Yet, research over the last 50 years clearly indicates that testosterone supplementation produces a marked increase in libido for women.

Researchers have consistently reported that women who receive testosterone replacement therapy after menopause have an increase in:

  • Sexual drive and response
  • Frequency of sexual intercourse
  • Number of sexual fantasies
  • Level of sexual arousal.

But, there's no reason to wait for menopause before investigating the issue. Many women may be able to regain a more joyful and satisfying sex life with testosterone replacement.


Medical research has yielded accumulating evidence that testosterone plays an important role in cardiovascular health, especially in protecting us against atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Dr. Wright's summary of Danish research indicates that bioidentical testosterone actually decreases cholesterol levels, improves circulation, and slows the tissue break down associated with aging. As a result, bioidentical testosterone supplements can help to restore the body to a more youthful condition.

Dr. Wright also notes that cholesterol-reducing drugs may sometimes do more harm than good, since testosterone and other steroids are derived from cholesterol. By reducing cholesterol, such drugs can actually throw the body's hormones off balance and lead to other disorders, such as chest pain and impaired cardiac function. Bioidentical testosterone supplements may be able to reduce circulating cholesterol more safely than these drugs.


It's a well-known fact that athletes and body builders have used testosterone-like drugs for years to strengthen and enhance muscles and bones. While we still don't know how it works, recent research suggests that testosterone may increase the bone's ability to retain calcium. What we do know is that women who experience rapid bone loss are typically deficient in both estrogen and testosterone.

According to Dr. Wright, a recent study indicated that "women with osteoporosis who took a combination of estrogen and testosterone increased their bone density, an effect previously only demonstrated with progesterone." In The Testosterone Syndrome, Dr. Eugene Shippen and William Fryer concur that the total hormone picture increasingly shows that both testosterone and estrogen are "independent and additive determinants of bone density."

Muscle Tone (Leaky Bladder)

Testosterone contributes to our overall muscle tone. Well before menopause, some women begin to suffer from the confusion and embarrassment of a leaky bladder. This problem most likely relates to diminished testosterone levels, because the pelvic muscles are particularly dependent on testosterone. Many women find that using a testosterone cream, coupled with Kegel exercises, helps to strengthen and tone those muscles again.



Saturday, August 29, 2015

Long exposure to tiny amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup may damage liver, kidneys

Long-term intake of the Monsanto's most popular Roundup herbicide, even in very small amounts lower than permissible in US water, may lead to kidney and liver damage, a new study claims.

The research, conducted by an international group of scientists from the UK, Italy and France, studied the effects of prolonged exposure to small amounts of the Roundup herbicide and one of its main components – glyphosate.

In their study, published in Environmental Health on August 25, the scientists particularly focused on the influence of Monsanto's Roundup on gene expression in the kidneys and liver.

In the new two-year study, which extended the findings from one conducted in 2012, the team added tiny amounts of Roundup to water that was given to rats in doses much smaller than allowed in US drinking water.

Scientists say that some of the rats experienced "25 percent body weight loss, presence of tumors over 25 percent bodyweight, hemorrhagic bleeding, or prostration."

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dr. Mercola's 2015 Exercise Tips and Update

Our ancestors didn't have to exercise per se because they rarely sat down. They moved all day long, and research shows THIS is absolutely key for health. In fact, studies show that engaging in consistent exercise does not counteract the adverse cardiovascular and metabolic effects of prolonged sitting.

So non-exercise movement is now recognized as being a foundational piece for optimal health — even more so than exercising for an hour a few times a week. Ideally, you'd do them both, but if you're currently sedentary, start by sitting less.

Florida not faring well in spending vs quality of healthcare

The mission of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals can cause fatty liver disease, promote obesity

Exposure to low doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals early in life can alter gene expression in the liver as well as liver function, increasing the susceptibility to obesity and other metabolic diseases in adulthood, a new study finds. Results of the animal study will be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society's 97th annual meeting in San Diego.

Brief exposure in infancy to several industrial chemicals that are common in the human environment, particularly bisphenol A (BPA), caused fatty liver disease in adulthood, the researchers found in rats.

"Even a short exposure to these endocrine disruptors at the wrong time of development has a lifelong effect on the individual," said the study's senior investigator, Cheryl Lyn Walker, PhD, director of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology, Houston.

Because the changes occur at the molecular level, they are not evident until later in life, she said.

Scientists have suspected that exposure early in life to BPA and certain other chemicals that disrupt the action of hormones, called endocrine disruptors, may promote obesity in adulthood, but the exact cause is unknown. In research funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Walker and her colleagues focused on the liver, which plays a central role in fat metabolism and obesity.

The researchers gave groups of newborn rats low doses of one of four different endocrine disruptors during a critical period of liver development: the three days immediately after birth. They then examined liver tissue from these chemically exposed animals either immediately after exposure or 70 days later, when the rats were adults. They compared liver samples to those obtained from nonexposed control rats.

BPA and another endocrine disruptor, tributyltin--an additive in paint and textiles--caused liver damage consistent with human nonalcoholic hepatic steatosis, or fatty liver, the investigators reported.

Analysis of liver gene expression patterns of the exposed rats found that the endocrine disruptors induced developmental reprogramming of the animals' epigenomes. In both rodents and humans, the epigenome programs the genome, our complete set of DNA.

Walker said they suspect that "these chemical exposures interfere with the epigenetic 'programmers' to do their job. It's like a glitch on your computer that causes a software program to get installed incorrectly."

This reprogramming of the liver could potentially drive obesity, she explained. Unlike genetic defects, however, epigenetic programming can be reversed.

"It may be possible to reset the malprogramming, or 'malware', to reduce the risk of obesity and associated diseases," Walker said.

With additional research and knowledge, she said, it may also be possible one day to use these epigenetic changes as markers, which can tell that a child is at risk of obesity and other diseases.


From 371 studies archived in federal databases, 123 unique environmental chemicals were possibly linked to some form of fatty liver disease in rodents. Pesticides composed almost 44% of these chemicals. Thus, >10% of pesticide registration toxicity studies reported the development of fatty liver disease. Some of these compounds were linked to liver disease at very low LELs, ≤10 mg/kg, suggesting that these compounds could contribute to the development of steatohepatitis at environmentally relevant doses. Pesticides and solvents were the most frequently identified chemicals, while PCBs/dioxins were the most potent (e.g., had the lowest LELs). Moreover, 395 chemicals were not associated with fatty liver disease at their studied doses in ToxRefDB. Given the high prevalence of both obesity and alcoholism, coexposure to environmental chemicals, especially pesticides, may contribute to the development and progression of fatty liver disease. However, the effects of diet and alcohol on xenobiotic metabolism impacting TASH require further investigation. Therefore, these findings suggest that more research on the effects of pesticides, solvents, metals, and PCBs/dioxins in steatohepatitis is required.

Antibiotic Use Linked to Increased Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Antibiotic use was associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes in a new population-based, case-control study.

The findings were published online August 27, 2015 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by Kristian Hallundback Mikkelsen, MD, a PhD student at the Center for Diabetes Research, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen (Hellerup, Denmark) and colleagues.

Data from three national Danish registries revealed that prior exposure to antibiotics was associated with a 53% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The finding could mean that antibiotics play a direct causal role in type 2 diabetes or that people with as-yet-undiagnosed diabetes may have a greater risk for infection and therefore are more likely to use antibiotics.

Drink Almond Milk? You Need to Read This

Kelly's clients, Tracy Albert and Dimitrios Malaxianis are suing two of the largest almond milk producers in the U.S., Blue Diamond, and WhiteWave (WWAV), which makes Silk and So Delicious, for improperly labeling their almond milk.

"She (Albert) is angry regarding the lack of almonds and the high amounts of carrageenan [a thickening agent]. She wants labeling changes in the industry.  It will prevent other customers from being deceived and allow her and other consumers to determine how many servings to drink to achieve health benefits," Kelly said.

Albert, who declined to speak with FOXBusiness.com, is urging these corporations to come clean. She wants them to disclose on their packaging and websites that the products contain only 2% almonds, and remove all favorable health claims.

Kelly says there are about 38 almonds in a half gallon of Blue Diamond and Silk almond milks, and there should be 144-192 almonds to achieve the creamy texture. That means 74%-80% of these products are actually made from thickening agents and other additives.

Natural pools without chlorine coming to America

The nation's first all-natural, chlorine-free public swimming pool filtered by rocks, plants and other natural features recently opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home to America's number-one parks and recreation system, as rated by the Trust for Public Land for the third year in a row.

Following the lead of Europe, which currently brags some 20,000 natural pools, the Webber Natural Swimming Pool, located at 4330 Webber Parkway in Minneapolis, sets a new standard for chemical-free wading, diving and lap swimming that those behind its development hope will spread to other towns and cities across the U.S.

Popular in countries such as Austria and Germany since the 1980s, natural swimming pools take advantage of various rock and plant media that naturally filter out harmful bacteria without the need for chlorine, bromine and the many other damaging chemicals commonly added to public swimming pools.

Excessive regulations throughout the U.S. have made it difficult for parks and recreation departments to utilize this natural cleansing method in public swimming pools – until now. Thanks to the forward-thinking minds behind Minneapolis' Webber Natural Swimming Pool, Americans now have the chance to experience what Europeans and others have experienced for decades – clean, chemical-free water.

E-Cigs 95% Less Harmful Than Smoking and Help With Cessation

Electronic (e)-cigarettes are about 95% less harmful to health than tobacco cigarettes, and they might be useful in helping people kick the smoking habit, according to a report commissioned by Public Health England (PHE).

The authors of the report also found that regular users of e-cigarettes are almost exclusively adults who are already smokers. In fact, the rate of youths and adults who smoke cigarettes has continued to decline in England, and there is no current evidence that e-cigarettes are "renormalizing smoking or increasing smoking uptake," they write.

In addition, there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are a "gateway" to tobacco products for teens and young adults. Despite some experimentation among never smokers, e-cigarettes are attracting very few people who have never smoked, the authors, led by Ann McNeill, PhD, professor of tobacco addiction at the National Addiction Centre, King's College, and Peter Hajek, PhD, CClinPsych, director of the tobacco dependence research unit at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London, United Kingdom.

A pint of water before meals is the secret to losing weight, scientists claim

A study in which obese adults consumed 500ml of water half an hour before eating main meals saw them report an average loss of 4.3kg (9.48lbs) over a 12-week period.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham said the simple trick could be hugely beneficial, and easily promoted by healthcare professionals and through public health campaigns.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vitamin B Derivative Reduces Risk for Further Skin Cancer

An inexpensive vitamin B3 product, widely available over the counter, has been shown to reduce significantly the risk of developing further skin cancers in patients who have already been diagnosed with nonmelanoma skin cancer. The product is nicotinamide, taken orally 500 mg twice daily.

"This is the first clear evidence that we can reduce skin cancers using a simple vitamin, together with sensible skin protection," commented senior study author Diona Damian, MBBS, PhD, professor of dermatology at the Dermatology University of Sydney in Australia.

"It is safe and...inexpensive, and this one is ready to go into the clinic," she said.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, she said.

In Australia, it is four times more common than any other cancer, and it affects more than half the population during their lifetime.

The finding, from the Australian ONTRAC (Oral Nicotinamide to Reduce Actinic Cancer) study, was presented during a press briefing held in advance of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 Annual Meeting.

The results released today show that patients who took nicotinamide 500 mg twice daily for 1 year showed a 23% reduction in new diagnoses of nonmelanoma skin cancer, compared with those who took placebo (P = .02). Specifically, new diagnoses of basal cell carcinoma were reduced by 20%, squamous cell carcinoma by 30%, and actinic keratoses by 13%.


Optum Good Sleep and Sleepio

Good Sleep combines a proven online sleep improvement program, personalized sleep support and easy sleep tracking in one effective, integrated program.

1. Sleepio
A six-week online cognitive behavioral therapy program for better sleep. Learn how to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer using exercises and techniques tailored to your needs.

2. Optum sleep advisors
Personal consultations during and after your Sleepio program. When you need a little extra support, sleep advisors are just a phone call away to answer your questions and help you reach your goal of better sleep.

A lightweight, wearable sleep and fitness tracker created by Jawbone. UP MOVE fits comfortably on your wrist while you sleep and automatically sends sleep data to Sleepio.


Colin A. Espie, PhD; Simon D. Kyle, PhD; Chris Williams, MD, et al. authors. Evaluation of online CBT for chronic insomnia disorder: A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of online cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia disorder delivered via an automated media-rich web application, Sleep 2012: 35, issue 06, 769-781

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Low vitamin-D genes linked to MS

People genetically prone to low vitamin-D levels are at increased risk of multiple sclerosis, a large study suggests.

The findings, based on the DNA profiles of tens of thousands of people of European descent, add weight to the theory that the sunshine vitamin plays a role in MS.

Scientists are already testing whether giving people extra vitamin D might prevent or ease MS.
Experts say the jury is still out.

It is likely that environmental and genetic factors are involved in this disease of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, they say

Monday, August 24, 2015

Parent and teen weight relate to feeding practices

"The problem with restricting food from a child or pressuring a child to eat more is that prior research has shown that it may have unintended consequences such as, a child becoming overweight or obese, or engaging in disordered eating behaviors such as, binging or purging," Berge said.

"Rather than restricting or pressuring your child to eat, it is more helpful for parents to make sure that there are a variety of healthy food options in the home, or on the table, for children to eat and then allow the child to decide how much they eat," she said.

Having unhealthy food in the fridge and on the table and telling a teen they cannot eat it is not helpful and sets up food fights, Collins said.

But keeping unhealthy food out of the house in the first place does work and helps keep harmony in your house, she said.

100 Best-selling, Most Prescribed Branded Drugs Through June

Is there any wonder why our healthcare system is so expensive? How much do the drug advertisements on TV cost? How much profit do they generate? What if we spent only 0.1% of this $113 billion for education to prevent disease?


"Through June of this year, the cholesterol-lowering drug rosuvastatin (Crestor, AstraZeneca) was the most prescribed branded drug in the United States, and the arthritis drug adalimumab (Humira, Abbott Laboratories) was the best-selling branded drug, according to the latest data from research firm IMS Health.

Rosuvastatin had about 21 million prescriptions, followed by asthma medication fluticasone propionate/salmeterol (Advair Diskus, GlaxoSmithKline), at about 13.6 million prescriptions; the proton pump inhibitor esomeprazole (Nexium, AstraZeneca), at about 13.2 million prescriptions; the insulin glargine injection Lantus Solostar (sanofi-aventis), at about 11.2 million; and the attention-deficit drug lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse, Shire), at about 10.6 million.

Rounding out the top 10 most prescribed drugs for the period (in order) were the antiepileptic drug pregabalin (Lyrica, Pfizer), the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease medication tiotropium bromide (Spiriva Handihaler, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals), the diabetes drug sitagliptin (Januvia, Merck), the asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease drug budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort, AstraZeneca), and the antipsychotic medication aripiprazole (Abilify, Otsuka Pharmaceutical)."

Sales, $
Lantus Solostar
Advair Diskus
Spiriva Handihaler
Novolog Flexpen
Humalog Kwikpen
Seroquel XR
Namenda XR
Premarin Vaginal
Epipen Jr 2-Pak
Breo Ellipta
Quillivant XR
Anoro Ellipta
Ambien CR
Botox Cosmetic
Grand total