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Not all men with symptoms of an enlarged prostate have an enlarged prostate. What’s going on?

When men middle-aged or elderly men have some difficulty with urination, their doctor’s attention will usually focus on their prostate – the gland that encircles the pipe that takes urine from the bladder to the outside known as the urethra. An enlarged prostate can impinge on the outflow of urine from the bladder and therefore […]

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New study suggests coffee is not dehydrating after all

I am a regular coffee drinker. In fact, I honestly cannot remember the last time I went a day without coffee. I have loved the taste of coffee since childhood, and I expect I do get something from the caffeine too. I appreciate that coffee-drinking does not have a particularly healthy reputation, though there is […]

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Research finds ‘raised’ cholesterol to be associated with a reduced risk of death

In the UK and Europe generally, it is recommended that levels of cholesterol in the blood should not be above 5.0 mmol/l (= about 190 mg/dl). We are given the impression that having levels above this puts us at increased risk of heart disease – a major ‘killer’. However, if this is true, it does […]

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My take on the fish oil and prostate cancer study

Every so often, a piece of health news will make a splash and trigger a mini-deluge of emails in my inbox. This was certainly the case last week, when a study linking certain omega-3 fats (‘fish oils’) with an increased risk of prostate cancer. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, […]

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Avoiding evening eating found to promote weight loss

When I was medical school, I noticed one of my friends had lost a bit of weight (intentionally). Even though I was not really interested in things like weight control and diet in those days, my curiosity got the better of me and I asked him how he did it. Had he cut back on […]

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New data from old study reveals that reducing saturated fat in favour of ‘vegetable’ oils increases risk of heart attack and can have fatal consequences

Conventional nutritional ‘wisdom’ has it that saturated fat (found in foods such meat, eggs, dairy products, coconut and palm oil) is bad for heart health, while ‘polyunsaturated’ fats (including ‘vegetable’ oils) are good. These concepts emerged decades ago and were mostly based on the impact of these fats on cholesterol levels. There’s a big potential […]

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Can statins impair sexual functioning in men?

I’ve noticed a general trend over recent years for increasing scepticism regarding statin drugs. There have been murmurings within the medical community, but where this shift is most readily observable is in the general public. It wasn’t so long ago that it was generally difficult for members of the public to access scientific and medical […]

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Diabetic transforms his health with a low-carb diet, and his doctor urges him to eat more carbs

I got an interesting email over the weekend from a 56-year-old type 2 diabetic. He was diagnosed at age 42. He initially managed this as he was advised: with a high carbohydrate, low fat diet. He moved to ‘healthy’ grains that were ‘less refined’ and ate sourdough bread. In his own words: “And despite all […]

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How often should we eat?

There has been some recent interest, even in the mainstream media, in the practice of ‘intermittent fasting’. Essentially, this means going for extended periods of time without food. It comes in many different guises. Skipping of significantly delaying breakfast is one approach. Contracting the ‘window’ available for eating each day to, say, 6 or 8 […]

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Times article highlights role of leptin in fat control

Last Saturday The Times newspaper featured ‘male dieting’, and included a piece from me in which I highlighted the role of leptin in weight control. The Times has a paywall, so unless you have a subscription, you can’t read it. So I’ve stuck it up here. Many men can find their excess fat to be […]

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