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BCOCCA President - Neville Thomas

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As President of British Columbia Organization of Caribbean Cultural Associations, I am grateful for the opportunity to work on behalf of the Caribbean Community to identify and execute Community Building initiatives which embrace BCOCCA'S mandate.



It turns out that men, too, must be aware of their bone health as they age.

Then there's the question of viriliy. Both are addressed in this week's tips.


Breakthrough mineral helps reverse bone loss

No, it's not calcium. While calcium supplements strengthen bone tissue when you're young (under 30), they stop working effectively as you grow older. To make matters worse calcium supplements can increase your risk of a heart attack.

But thanks to research, we have scientific proof that another mineral is a lot more effective than calcium in strengthening adult bones. In fact, it can even help reverse bone loss. To learn more about this breakthrough mineral, Click Here.

Why osteoporosis isn't just for women anymore...

Dear Health eTalk Reader,

The general consensus is osteoporosis, the loss of bone tissue over time, happens to women. Their bones weaken with age, increasing the risk of falls and fractures.

These injuries can be serious depending on the fracture or break because the elderly are much slower to heal and recover.

However, new science is showing that osteoporosis isn't just a woman's disease anymore.

After a hip fracture, men have twice the mortality rate of women
Osteoporosis prevention and treatment have been focused on post-menopausal women historically, but a new study by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery in November, says that we should focus more attention on bone loss and fracture risk in older men, too.

That's because each year, roughly two million Americans suffer osteoporosis-related fractures – a number that's expected to climb significantly as the population grows older. And given that fractures among men are also expected to increase threefold by 2050, evaluating and treating men for osteoporosis has never been more essential.

More than this, information released this year by the Office of Injury Prevention has shown that males have twice the mortality rate of women while hospitalized and during the year following a hip fracture. In fact, the rates of survival after a wrist fracture, which is the No. 1 upper extremity fracture in older adults, are lower among men, too.

Still, screening rates remain unacceptably low, particularly among men, according to the BIDMC. For example, more than 50 percent of women receive Dual X-ray Absorptiometry, a preferred technique for gauging bone mineral density.

That's compared to only 18 percent of all men. Fifty-five percent of women versus more than 20 percent of men also initiated treatment with calcium and vitamin D within six months of their injury. And more than 20 percent of women and 3 percent of men took bisphosphonates, which is a popular drug treatment for increasing bone mass.

'Silent disease' has no symptoms
Generally speaking, osteoporosis is a disease that causes your bones to weaken and even break, especially those in the wrist, hip and spine. It's called a "silent disease" because it advances without any symptoms until a fracture finally happens.

It tends to develop less frequently in men because they have larger skeletons. So their bone loss starts later and progresses more slowly. Plus, men usually don't experience rapid hormonal change or bone loss.

Nevertheless, by the age of 65 or 70, both men and women lose bone mass at the same rate, while the absorption of calcium, which is needed for proper bone health throughout life, lowers in both sexes.

Two types of osteoporosis typically characterize the disease: Primary and secondary. The first one usually is brought on by age-related bone loss; this is called senile osteoporosis. In cases of secondary osteoporosis, which is more common, the loss of bone mass is caused by particular lifestyle behaviors, diseases or medications.

How to protect yourself and strengthen your bones
If all of this news troubles you, don't fret. Osteoporosis can be treated properly if it's detected long before you experience bone loss. Diagnosing osteoporosis involves urine, blood and bone density tests, as well as x-rays.

In the meantime, you can take measures to lower your chances of developing osteoporosis in the first place. For starters, avoid smoking, reduce alcohol consumption and increase your overall physical activity. This means walking, hiking, climbing stairs and lifting weights, as well as playing golf and racquet sports. If you're just starting out with exercise, begin with a short walk and then increase the time and intensity.

Eat your salmon and get outside
Each day, try to ensure you get enough calcium and vitamin D for your age. Sunlight gives you some vitamin D, but that's more of a challenge in the short, darker days of winter. If you're a man under 70, you should aim to get 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D daily. Men over 70, on the other hand, should increase their uptake to 800 IU.

When it comes to calcium, go the food route and aim for kale, spinach, sardines, salmon, white beans and some dairy to boost your intake. Salmon and soybeans are good sources of both calcium and vitamin D.

Remember, if you're a man, your lifestyle habits put you at an increased risk of osteoporosis, too. Treating related bone fractures while not addressing the underlying cause could put you at a greater risk for injury. This can threaten your mobility and independence over time, so give your bone health some much-deserved attention.

Yours in Good Health, 

Victor Marchione, M.D.


Maybe your husband does not seem to care about his health as much as you do. While you are busy scheduling your yearly women check-ups and tests as part of your own preventive health lifestyle, your husband may be too busy or macho to worry about his health. He may even put off going to the doctor when he has a real problem. Maybe his problem is something he is too embarrassed to talk about?

If you want to enjoy his company for many years to come, you may have to take matters into your own hands. Follow these 10 ways to a healthier husband to help guide him to better health, longevity, more energy and a better sex life together.

Exercise together for better sex and communication

Recent studies continue to show that being active lowers the risk for many diseases such as a cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Plus exercise fights obesity and promotes better prostate and mental health. Whether your husband is sedentary or somewhat active, you can both benefit from walking, hiking, or even jogging together. It’s good for your  relationship as well. Exercising together can boost your libido and release hormones that promote better sex. And being on the trail or at the gym together gives you quality time to communicate. So get off the couch, get outside and get moving together.

Help him find a hobby – so he can live longer

Find a hobby or game or sport that interests both of you. It will help you maintain a close bond and keep you active. People who live to 100 have certain qualities in common. Some of those characteristics are having a hobby, engaging socially and being active every day. Help your husband find something that stimulates him to take advantage of those benefits.

Make him tomato sauce to help with his “plumbing”

Tomatoes are high in lycopene, which has many benefits for prostate health and male sexual health, not to mention heart health. Cooked and processed tomatoes are much higher in lycopene than fresh tomatoes.  Just one problem though, canned tomatoes are not good for your husband. The cans are lined with a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) that leaches into the tomatoes and may lead to prostate cancer, testicular cancer, low sperm counts, obesity, erectile dysfunction and low libido. Find tomatoes packed in glass or surprise him by making some homemade tomato sauce and pasta.

Sneak in some cruciferous vegetables to increase his testosterone

Cruciferous vegetables are so-named because of their natural formation like a “cross”; think cauliflower and broccoli as the best examples. They are extremely important for men’s health, particularly when eaten raw. They regulate male hormones promoting better testosterone levels and also help prevent bladder cancer, which affects men three times more than women.

You can lead a man to the dinner table, but you can’t make him eat his vegetables. Hopefully your husband likes some vegetables and is wiling to try some new ones. If he has the taste diversity of a 2-year-old boy, resort to some tricks that work on kids by sneaking some veggies in. Make smoothies at breakfast and toss in some kale, broccoli and cabbage. Serve them with a dip, or cut up greens very finely and cook them in tomato sauce.

Cruciferous vegetables are also great steamed with some curry powder sprinkled on top. Try to eat them in as close to natural state as possible, and don’t boil all the goodness out of them by cooking them for too long.

Get him on the Mediterranean diet for better heart health

Men who eat a Mediterranean style diet have longer life expectancies and lower risks of heart disease, prostate cancer, and other health problems. Reduce the amount of red meat you eat, and increase the amount of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Eat heart healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, seeds, and nuts and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Find out more about the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and the top foods for men over 40.

Feed him foods for better sex

There are foods that help boost testosterone levels or increase blood flow. Strong erections require good blood circulation. Beets, watermelon, pistachios and chili peppers are just some of the foods that can heat things up in the bedroom. Read more about the top foods for better sex. At the same time, help him steer clear of the foods that cause erectile dysfunction. There are also male dietary supplements like EveryDay Male® that can help boost his testosterone production and help with his sex drive and erectile health.

Ditch all the stuff that is messing with his hormones

There are several foods and chemicals that can increase his risk of prostate cancer and hurt his sexual health and hormones. These chemicals can cause men’s testosterone levels to drop, leading to loss of energy, mood changes, lowered libido and an expanding waistline. They can also cause your man to take on more feminine characteristics like “man-boobs.”

If you want to help preserve his manhood, make an effort to avoid products that contain BPA – which is found in canned foods and certain plastics (see below), phthalates, bovine growth hormone (found in some milk and dairy), unfermented soy and fluoride. Avoid shampoos, soaps and skincare products with “fragrance” or “scents” as well as triclosan, which has been shown to alter hormones.  Buying organic produce can help in avoiding chemical pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. Buying hormone-free organic meat can help you avoid synthetic hormones. And when buying products packaged in plastic, avoid those with the 3, 6 and 7 recycling codes. Instead, look for those with the 1, 2, 4 and 5 recycling codes.

Help him to reduce stress

Encourage your husband to reduce stress. Give him a relaxing massage, encourage him to join you at yoga or learn some breathing or meditation techniques. Stress can cause testosterone to drop and can lead to long-term chronic health problems. When you have sex the male orgasm also releases a cocktail of hormones that are great stress-relievers — another reason to have sex as often as possible.

Research and buy only the best prostate supplements

If you husband is struggling with prostate health help him out by researching the best prostate supplements to support and encourage better prostate and urinary health. Chances are if your husband’s enlarged prostate is waking him up at night or interrupting his daily activities to urinate it is affecting your sleep and lifestyle too.  Men are likely to buy the cheapest supplement or the one advertised on TV, but women are often better comparison shoppers and recognize quality products.

Make sure to look for well-researched ingredients or doctor-created prostate supplements. Do the homework for him and shop for a premium prostate health supplement like naturopathic doctor-created Prost-P10x® that will help both of you enjoy more of your life. Speaking of prostate health, be sure to encourage your husband to get a PSA test as well.

Help him sleep better – to promote better testosterone, energy and prostate health

There are many heath problems associated with not getting enough quality shut-eye. Does he snore, pause breathing (sleep apnea), have insomnia or have extreme tiredness during the day? He may have a sleep disorder that can put him a risk for heart attack, stroke, heart disease, diabetes or psychiatric problems.

Lack of sleep is also one of the biggest risk factors for lowered testosterone in men, and it’s a vicious cycle as men age. Your prostate keeps you up at night so you don’t get enough sleep – and as a result your testosterone falls giving you less energy and a lowered sex drive. A double health whammy!

Let him know if he has sleep apnea or is snoring, and encourage him to see a doctor for some testing. In the meantime here are some tips to help men get a better night’s sleep.

Monthly Meeting of BCOCCA Directors

7:00 PM, 3rd Tuesday, each month

Metrotown Community Meeting Room

4650 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC


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"British Columbia Organization of Caribbean Cultural Associations (BCOCCA) is a Leading Advocacy Linkage Community Awareness Umbrella Organization consistently providing reliable and dependable Programs and Initiatives for its Members."