Recently in lifestyles Category

That's Nuts: Walnuts & Pistachios for Sexual Health

Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgLooking for natural ways to bolster your male prowess and fertility? Here's some advice: Go nuts! That's what health researchers are saying - certain tree nuts can ward off prostate cancer, improve sperm health, and even combat erectile dysfunction.

In a 12-week study, men were asked to eat a handful of walnuts (about 2 oz.) daily. At the end of the study, their sperm was found to be healthier than volunteers whose diet did not include walnuts. The semen of those men who consumed walnuts showed a greater concentration of sperm, greater percentage live sperm, better sperm motility, and fewer sperm that were misshapen or had chromosomal abnormalities.

Researchers believe the polyunsaturated fats in walnuts are the effective component. Walnuts are high in linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.

A diet rich in walnuts may possibly shrink or slow the growth of prostate cancer, an effect also credited to the nuts' fatty acids and antioxidants.

If you need some help in the ED department, try some pistachios. A study found that a daily serving of the green nuts (3.5 oz.) for 3 weeks improved the erectile function for men with ED - as well as improving their lipid profile, reducing bad cholesterol levels and raising good cholesterol levels. Researchers say that pistachios are rich in arginine, an amino acid that maintains flexibility in blood vessels, and can boost nitric oxide levels.

So,next time you're packing your lunch, don't forget to grab your nuts.

Erectile Dysfunction Comes Out of the Closet

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgWhen you think of a Viagra ad, what do you picture? A middle aged couple dancing a tango and putting the zing back into their marriage? It goes without saying that it's a heterosexual couple, though, right? Keep the scenario the same, but imagine it with two guys. That's the premise of a new online support community - that gay men get ED too.

Most people assume the average Viagra user to be a straight male. You only hear about gay men using Viagra in the context of partying - using Viagra as a recreational drug, often in combination with ecstasy or amyl nitrite (poppers).

But gay men get erectile dysfunction for the same reasons heterosexual men do: prostate cancer, low testosterone, diabetes, and other physiological or psychological conditions, including normal aging. And for various reasons, including gay culture's emphasis on youth and sexual performance, this can present challenges to getting support or treatment. A lot of money and energy has gone into education and treatment for STDs among gay and bisexual men, but ED has largely been overlooked as a gay men's health issue. The site says that ED is "one of the least discussed and least treated conditions among gay men." is a side project of Malecare, a men's cancer support and advocacy group. Malecare has been around since 1998, but the Gay ED site is brand new, so there's not a lot there yet. Will gay men come out of the closet with ED? Keep an eye on the site and find out. 

Suck on This: Strangest ED Cure Ever?

Thumbnail image for news-icon.jpgWhen it comes to sex and sexuality, people are different, so if you find something that works for you and it's not (unconsentually) hurting anybody, go for it. That said, one man's cure for his erectile dysfunction might turn a few stomachs. Or it might turn some people on, not that we're judging.

TLC's series Strange Sex  is starting its third season with a segment on erotic breastfeeding. (This is not to be confused with adult babies. They have their own episode.)

Jeff discovered his unusual fetish after his wife gave birth to their first child. Now he declares that nothing gets him more aroused than drinking his wife's breast milk, and getting her pregnant.

It's not in the video trailer, but apparently he also claims that breastfeeding cured his impotence. Actually, that might not be as weird as it sounds, since breast milk and breastfeeding are linked to oxytocin, the emotional bonding hormone, and just a couple of months ago, oxytocin was being hailed as the new Viagra.

If there's a scientific explanation for why breastfeeding would cure ED, I think that's it. Or, since breast milk can potentially contain drugs that the mother consumes, maybe his wife is taking Viagra.

The Best Part of Waking Up...Is Morning Wood in a Cup

Thumbnail image for humor_icon.jpgGoogle's full of surprises sometimes. Just on a lark, I threw a couple of words into Google to see if there would be any connections - Viagra (of course) and coffee (because, why not). Up popped several references to a product I'd never heard of - "Magic Power Coffee" - coffee claiming to have Viagra-like properties. Was this stuff for real?

Now, there are a bazillion products and supplements and beverages on the market claiming to increase your libido and give you better erections. But the coffee in question attracted the attention of the FDA a couple of years ago, because it contained a substance - hydroxythiohomosildenafil - that's chemically related to Viagra's main ingredient. So, there could be some medical basis to their claims.

The FDA warned consumers that the coffee could be dangerous, causing abnormally low blood pressure, and asked for a voluntary recall of the product, which it looks like the company actually followed through on, eventually. But the stuff is still on sale online. Maybe they just took out the hydro-whatchamacallit.

I don't see ingredients listed for the coffee, but an Emergen-C type of drink sold on their website lists a bunch of herbs including Horny Goat Weed), Yohimbe, and Tribulus Terrestris. 

The sites FAQ says their products' ingredients are all classified "Generally Regarded as Safe" by the FDA, so unless the FDA changed their position on hydroxythiohomsildenafil, my guess is they took it out.

They also sell a product called "Magic Power Cream", which, silly me, I thought was an accompaniment to the coffee. Well, maybe it could be, but you don't put it in the's, uh, applied topically.

The only thing is, most people drink coffee in the morning, not before bedtime. So this product seems ideal if you want a morning quickie, or some afternoon delight. On the other hand, maybe it makes sense, if you want to keep it up, to take something that will keep you up all night.

Over the (Lunch ) Counter Viagra

Thumbnail image for humor_icon.jpgViagra for lunch? No, it's not the businessman's quickie. Some restaurants aren't shy about putting Viagra namesakes on the on the menu - and apparently diners aren't that shy about ordering them either.

Kanes Diner in Queens offers a Viagra Steak, a marinated skirt steak cooked to melt-in -your-mouth tenderness. The diner's owner, George Kanes, says the that the steak is "always a happy ending," while the chef claims the way he seasons the beef is "best for love life".

Patrons seem to be satisfied in the dining room, if not in the bedroom, and Kanes takes his own "medicine", eating four of the steaks per month.

Another establishment featuring Viagra victuals is Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This nostalgic eatery near the Cambridge campus serves up specialty burgers with famous namesakes like the cheesy "Mitt Romney" and the hot and spicy "Michelle Obama". Their Viagra Burger comes topped with blue cheese dressing and bacon - nothing that provocative, but a waitress reports that the orders provoke lots of giggling.

These blue plate specials sound like they belong in the Pfizer cafeteria, and considering how protective the company is of the trademark, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Pfizer legal team dropped in for a bite and served up a cease and desist order to those chefs.

Viagra Resolutions for 2012

Thumbnail image for humor_icon.jpgA new year is a fresh start that always brings with it good intentions and resolutions to turn over a new leaf. Here's how Viagra can help you reach your goals with some of the most popular New Year's resolutions.

1. Lose Weight/Get In Shape - Viagra can help you get the kind of cardio-vascular workout you'll really enjoy. But like they say: check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if it involves Viagra.

2. Quit Smoking - Honestly, Viagra's not going to help you much here, especially if you like to indulge in a smoke after lovemaking. Maybe try the patch or gum.

3. Help Others - Donate some of your Viagra to a worthy cause. Hundreds of folks sent Viagra tablets to a veterinary hospital to help out Ingrid the pitbull, who must take the drug daily for her heart. Or consider sending some to the poor codgers in the UK, to supplement the paltry two tablet per month ration that the national health plan is trying to impose.
4. Get Out of Debt/Spend Less Money - If you're trying to conserve cash, a romantic evening at home with Viagra is way cheaper than dinner and/or entertainment - a typical dose costs less than the price of a movie ticket

5. Get Organized - You want to always be able to find your Viagra when you need it. So get a little pill canister you can put on your keychain. Clean out your medicine cabinet, alphabetize the contents, get rid of any expired medications, and replace your pill splitter if it's getting dull.

6. Be Less Stressed - Everyone knows sex is one of the best stress relievers around. And you'll have even less stress if you use Viagra, because you won't be worrying about experiencing an equipment failure.

7. Improve Relationship - There are no guarantees, but Viagra has helped bring countless couples closer over the years. If your erectile dysfunction has caused the spark or intimacy to go out of your relationship, Viagra could give it the kickstart it needs.

Oh, and in case the Mayan calendar predictions about 2012 come true and civilization as we know it ends, be sure to stockpile some Viagra for your post-apocalyptic bunker.

Women & Viagra: Wait - They Put It Where?

Viagra can help make babies. Well, duh. Of course it can, for obvious reasons. But I bet you didn't know about another way Viagra leads to conception. Women who are trying to conceive, through in-vitro fertilization or other less high-tech means, use Viagra to stimulate thickening of the endometrial lining of the uterus. This is the blood-rich blanket where a fertilized egg will implant itself and grow during gestation, so if a woman's lining isn't heavy enough to support fetal growth, she may not be able to conceive.

Viagra increases blood to the uterus, which helps build the endometrial lining. OK, that makes sense. So when she's planning to conceive, a woman takes Viagra tablets and - wait, what? They do what with it? Apparently to get the Viagra to work on the uterus, it requires a more localized application, so the Viagra has to be inserted vaginally. Not by sticking a tablet in there, either. It's administered by vaginal sildenafil suppository. Say that five times fast.

For part of her cycle, a woman will insert Viagra vaginally, then switch to progesterone to facilitate ovulation and conception. Women on various fertility discussion boards report good results. Nitroglycerine had previously been used in a similar manner, but its side effects lead doctors to try substituting sildenafil. The Viagra protocol was developed has been tested and shown effective for facilitating IVF and conception.

Not everyone is a fan of the Viagra treatment. It can have some side effects and unpleasantness, as this woman describes.

So, are there Viagra suppositories for men? We found this article claiming that Pfizer Italia was developing Viagra using this delivery method, the supposed advantage being its rapid (30 seconds!?) effect. However, while it's true that drugs absorbed directly through mucosal membranes do get into the bloodstream quicker, a 30 second response seems a bit unrealistic (although for some men, the prostate stimulation might enhance the effect). If you note the byline on the story (April 1, 2011), along with  the name of the Pfizer Italia source quoted (Massimo Bumole), it's pretty clear this is a joke - although the comments indicate there might be some serious interest in such a product.

Boner Appetit: "Viagra Salad" Recipe

Cooking is a little off-topic for a pharma-related blog, but this recipe for "Viagra salad" caught our eye. After all, we've posted a few "Viagra" recipes ourselves - including the unforgettable Viagra SPAM Mousse.


As noted in the article, the salad contains no actual Viagra. You'll only find vegetables in this Israeli side dish.  Its main ingredients are celery root, fresh fennel, and kohlrabi, a bulbous member of the cabbage family that tastes a bit like broccoli stems. All of these vegetables are reputed to be aphrodisiacs, hence the salad's name.

Celery root is supposedly a libido enhancer because it contains androsterone, a metabolic product of testosterone. However, fennel contains phytoestrogens and is said to be a better choice for getting women's engines revving, so wouldn't they cancel each other out?

Regardless, whether or not it has any Viagra-like effects, this is a nutritious dish full of fiber, vitamins, and other beneficial ingredients - and keeping your body healthy is one of the best things you can do for your sex life, so bon appetit. 

Viagra Fuels STD Epidemic in Retirees

Bullying. Drug use. Increasing STD rates. Sound like high school? Guess again. Those are all problems on the rise in retirement communities. And not surprisingly, Viagra is largely responsible for the last one.

Thanks to Viagra and other treatments like hormone therapy, more seniors than ever can now enjoy active (and we mean active) sex lives well into old age. In retirement homes and senior-centric communities, many residents may have lost a spouse, or are divorced, and seek out companionship from their neighbors. And more and more are making use of online dating sites.
Nothing wrong with that, and more power to them. Staying sexually active is a great way to keep your zest for life. But while those little blue pills have been a boon to silver-haired Casanovas, they've had some unanticipated health consequences for the senior population. Unfortunately, many seniors have had less basic sex education than the average teenager, and are less likely to take the sexual precautions considered standard these days.

Unlike those of us brought up post-HIV, they never got indoctrinated with Safe Sex 101, and may not be comfortable talking with a partner about STDs. They're past child-bearing age, so they don't need condoms for birth control. Plus, really, no one expects seniors to be passing around sexually transmitted diseases, right? Well, it happens - HIV rates in those over 50 have skyrocketed in the last decade, and the fact that diseases like chlamydia, herpes and HPV are spreading like wildfire in senior homes is a tip-off that there's some serious swinging going on. After all, the folks hitting retirement nowadays came of age in the Age of Aquarius - they're the free-love generation.

You probably don't even want to think about Grandma getting it on with one of her nursing home suitors. But if you have a loved one who's single and dating in their golden years - a parent, a favorite uncle, your godmother - you might do them a favor and delicately broach the topic.

Another suggestion: the next time you drop by the old folks' home to visit Aunt Marge, drop a a few condoms into the dish of hard candies on the coffee table, or sneak some in with the Sweet & Low packets in the cafeteria.