Dr. Victor Emanuel MD

Wearing a hat or using a blow dryer can cause baldness: MYTH

There’s no evidence to support these assertions. Male pattern hair loss occurs because the hair follicle becomes smaller, resulting in shorter, finer hair and eventually no hair.

Men who wear briefs have fewer sperm: MYTH

Prolonged high temperatures may affect sperm count, but the evidence that wearing briefs leads to lower sperm counts is inconsistent.

The more you shave, the thicker your beard will be: MYTH

The size and shape of our hair follicles determine the thickness and texture of our hair – whether it is thick and coarse or thin and fine. The hair may appear coarser, but shaving doesn’t change the follicle, so frequent shaving won’t make your beard thicker.

The bigger a man’s shoe size, the larger his penis: MYTH

Studies of men by urologists at a major hospital in London found no statistically significant correlation between shoe size and stretched penile length.

Men hit their sexual peak at 18: FACT

This is true, at least regarding a man’s supply of testosterone, which peaks at 18. However, peak hormone levels don’t equate to peak sexual performance.

No pain, no gain: If your workout doesn’t hurt, it’s not effective: MYTH

You do not gain anything from pain. In fact, if you work out until you feel pain (or go past that point), you could injure yourself.

More men die from prostate cancer than from any other type on cancer: IN DOMINICA: FACT, IN THE U.S.: MYTH

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and  women in the U.S. Prostate cancer is second for men. The American Cancer Society estimates that one in 36 men will die from prostate cancer (in the U.S.).

Men can’t get breast cancer: MYTH

Although it’s rare, men can get breast cancer. The lifetime risk in the U.S. is estimated to be about one in 1,000 men. In addition to older age, other risk factors include a family history (male and female) of breast cancer, a genetic condition associated with high estrogen levels, chronic liver disorders, alcoholism, and obesity.

Men don’t have to be concerned about osteoporosis: MYTH

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to weaken and increase the risk of breakage. It is seen less often in men because of their larger skeletons and the fact that they don’t go through menopause, which causes rapid hormonal changes (loss of estrogen) and bone loss in women. However, some men are at increased risk, and their numbers may increase as the life expectancy for men rises. Risk factors for osteoporosis include age, low levels of testosterone, alcohol abuse, smoking, gastrointestinal disease, use of steroid medications, and immobilization

You can break your penis: FACT

There is no “penis bone,” but you can tear the tunica albuginea, which is a fibrous sheath that is stretched during and erection. This is called a “penile fracture,” and it most commonly occurs during sexual activity. Treatment often involves surgery. Fortunately penile factures are quite rare.

Drinking beer can contribute to a “beer belly”: FACT

Excess calories of any kind can increase belly fat, and extra calories from beer can contribute to an increases waistline. It’s easy to overdo the calories from beer – or other alcoholic drinks – and the foods you like to eat while drinking.

Grilled meat contains substances that may increase the risk for cancer: FACT

Two types of potential carcinogens may be found in grilled meats. One type (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs) is found in the flames and smoke that’s created when fat and juices drip from meat onto a heat source. The PAHs then stick to the surface of the meat. The other type (heterocyclic amines, HCAs) is formed when high temperatures cause a chemical reaction between naturally occurring amino acids and sugars in the meat and the creatine found in muscle tissue.

Ways to reduce or avoid these carcinogens during grilling include putting a layer of aluminum foil under the meat to avoid direct contact of the meat to the grill, pre-cooking meat in the microwave then discarding the juices, marinating  meat, reducing cooking time, and removing charred areas, which contain the most HCAs.

See you next week.