Rubbing a gel into the nose may be a speedy way to boost men’s libido and tackle impotence — without causing their partners side-effects.
Researchers in Brazil are testing whether the gel, which contains testosterone, can treat men with a hormone deficiency. The theory is that this hormone given via the nose will be active in less than an hour.
Up to 12.8 per cent of middle-aged men in the UK and Europe have a testosterone deficiency, according to the European Association of Urology.
Levels of the hormone fall steadily in men at a rate of less than 2 per cent a year from the age of 30 to 40. This doesn’t tend to cause problems early on, but a testosterone deficiency that develops later in life (late-onset hypogonadism) can sometimes lead to issues such as low libido, impotence, mood swings and irritability, loss of muscle mass and reduced ability to exercise, insomnia, weak bones and man boobs (gynaecomastia).
Rubbing a gel into the nose may be a speedy way to boost men’s libido and tackle impotence — without causing their partners side-effects
A recent study by the University of Edinburgh even suggested that having low levels of testosterone is a risk factor for diabetes — regardless of weight — as it changes the action of genes linked to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels.
Men with a testosterone deficiency, which can be diagnosed with a blood test, may be referred to an endocrinologist for testosterone replacement treatment.
This comes in the form of tablets, skin patches and creams. However, while these can be effective, they have downsides.
The new gel, called Nasotestt, is thought to be more convenient than current skin creams, which can transfer on to anything patients touch (including female partners, where it can lead to an increase in body hair and acne).
It may work faster, too, due to the dense blood supply in the nasal cavity. Researchers say this means lower doses of testosterone can be given, avoiding the side-effects associated with the tablet form, such as mood changes, oily skin and prostate problems.
Past research has shown delivery of testosterone via the nostrils can be effective and safe. A study at the University of Virginia, reported in the journal Andrology, revealed 90 per cent of patients treated with a gel had normal blood testosterone levels after daily use for varying lengths of time.
The study also found that the men’s impotence lessened, their mood improved and the proportion of body-fat tissue dropped over one to three months.
In new research run by FBM Farma Industria Farmaceutica in Brazil, 228 men will be given the testosterone nasal gel or a placebo gel, or a testosterone cream or placebo cream to rub on their arms daily for two months.
Patients using Nasotestt will pump one dose into each nostril three times a day and massage the nostril to spread it so it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Commenting on the study, Professor Raj Persad, a consultant urologist with Bristol Urology Associates, says: ‘Nasal absorption works well, and is less likely to contaminate partners.
‘Not only is it suitable for the ageing male with low levels of testosterone, but also for a large proportion of younger men who have had damage to the testes following cancer and chemotherapy.’
Meanwhile, shockwaves can effectively treat impotence, according to a report in the journal Urology.
Scientists at Beijing Jishuitan Hospital reviewed data from trials involving 637 men treated with low-intensity extracorporeal shockwave therapy for erectile dysfunction, and found it significantly improved performance scores. Improvements lasted for at least three months.
The technique involves a device that releases thousands of energy waves and is thought to help by increasing blood flow.
Can saunas make you breath easy?
Sweating it out in a sauna cuts the risk of pneumonia, suggests research reported in the European Journal of Epidemiology.
In a 25-year study, Finnish researchers investigated the sauna habits of 1,935 men aged 42 to 61 and their admissions for respiratory complaints.
Sweating it out in a sauna cuts the risk of pneumonia, suggests research reported in the European Journal of Epidemiology (stock image)
The men who had regular sauna sessions — two to three times a week — were almost 30 per cent less likely to develop pneumonia, while going four times a week or more cut the risk by 41 per cent.
Saunas also seemed to reduce the likelihood of other chest complaints, too, including asthma. It is thought the heat eases airway obstruction.
However, people who have recently suffered heart attacks are advised to avoid saunas.
Stem cell transplant may reverse anaemia
Stem cell transplants have been used to treat anaemia caused by kidney disease. This can occur if patients don’t produce enough of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), which triggers red blood cell production, in the kidneys.
Synthetic versions are costly and must be given by transfusion. But now, researchers at Kyoto University in Japan have used stem cells from human umbilical cord blood to make cells that produce the hormone.
Four weeks after mice had the transplant, their EPO levels were 20 times higher than in untreated mice, according to research in journal Science Translational Medicine.
Being empathetic is bad for your heart
Being empathetic could be bad for your heart, suggests a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania.
The researchers gave a group of more than 200 students the task of being ‘helpers’ to people who had experienced a tragic event.
Being empathetic could be bad for your heart, suggests a recent study from the University of Pennsylvania
Some helpers were asked to imagine how they would feel in the same situation, others to imagine how the victim themselves felt.
The volunteers’ blood pressure and heart rates were then checked: the former, more empathetic group experienced a physiological change as if they, too, were under threat.
This response is linked with raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which in the long term can lead to inflammation and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Slow walker? It could be down to low vitamin D
Having adequate levels of vitamin D means you can walk faster, according to new research.
Scientists at the University of Angers, in France, analysed 265 studies examining walking speeds and vitamin D intake.
It’s thought that in addition to its known beneficial effects on bones, vitamin D — which we get from sunlight — may boost muscle strength (stock image)
They found that there were ‘clinically relevant’ differences in walking speed between people with low vitamin D levels and those with an adequate amount.
It’s thought that in addition to its known beneficial effects on bones, vitamin D — which we get from sunlight — may boost muscle strength, the researchers write in the journal Maturitas.
This suggests the findings could be significant for older people.
Weight-loss surgery may help prevent dementia, U.S. experts say. It increases levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.
But Cleveland Clinic surgeons write in Medical Hypotheses that GLP-1 can also slow brain cell degeneration, and call for trials to investigate the link with dementia.
How turmeric oil can help treat epilepsy seizures
Oil made from turmeric — the yellow spice used in curry — is being prescribed as a daily treatment for epilepsy in a clinical trial at New York University School of Medicine.
The 20 patients on the trial, which is due to begin this month, will keep diaries of their seizures over three months to see if the treatment reduces their frequency. This follows previous animal studies where the spice was shown to cut the number of seizures.
Turmeric’s main constituent, curcumin, reduces inflammatory compounds called cytokines, which are thought to play a key role in epilepsy.