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Jan 3

The Places Where Truth Goes To Die – The Dispatch

Late last week I had an experience thats both completely normal and fundamentally absurd. It was thisI spent a ridiculous amount of time agonizing over the wording of a simple Twitter thread. I struggled to use exactly the right words to express what should be a completely normal and reasonable point.

As some readers may know, after competing for three years as a male swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania (and earning all-Ivy honors) as a male, a transgender swimmer named Lia Thomas is now competing as a female, and dominating the competition. Thomass physical advantage is blatantly obvious. Yes, there are NCAA guidelines mandating testosterone suppressant, but testosterone suppressants dont repeal puberty.

Writing in Swimming World, editor-in-chief Don Lohn describes the problem well:

Despite the hormone suppressants she has taken, in accordance with NCAA guidelines, Thomas male-puberty advantage has not been rolled back an adequate amount. The fact is, for nearly 20 years, she built muscle and benefited from the testosterone naturally produced by her body. That strength does not disappear overnight, nor with a years worth of suppressants. Consequently, Thomas dives into the water with an inherent advantage over those on the surrounding blocks.

So, what was my point and what was my struggle? My point was that it is not invidious discrimination to prohibit a biological male from competing in female sports. Indeed, drawing rational distinctions between biological males and biological females might be necessary to protect equal opportunities for women to enjoy access to athletic opportunities.

As Ive written before, the phrase invidious discrimination is a legal term of art that refers to a classification which is arbitrary, irrational and not reasonably related to a legitimate purpose. Bans on invidious discrimination are legally proper and often necessary. Racial classifications, for example, are virtually always invidious. Sex-based classifications can be invidious as well, but sometimes theyre benign. Sometimes theyre even necessary.

To take an obvious example, segregating bathrooms or showers by race is invidious. By contrast, segregating bathrooms and showers by sex isnt just rational, its prudent.

Theres absolutely such a thing as invidious discrimination against transgender Americansimagine if teachers marked down trans students simply because they were trans, or if employers fired productive employees simply because they were trans. But drawing biological sex-based distinctions in sports not only isnt invidious, it protects women from unfairness.

What was my struggle? I wasnt afraid of cancellation. The Twitter world is full of broadsides against Thomas and the NCAA, and there are legions of right-wing voices who relish taking on this issue, and doing so as contemptuously and snarkily as possible and bask in thunderous applause of their tribe. Besides, thanks to my readers, Im pretty tough to cancel anyway.

No my struggle was simply this: How do I make my point in a way that skeptical and hostile readers will hear it and consider it, rather than simply dismissing it out of hand as the bigoted rantings of a hateful Evangelical? After all, I dont just want to be heard. I want to persuade. I believe what Im saying is true, and I want readers to at least consider my words.

Take transgender rightsor virtually any contentious issueand youll find that there are million different ways that people will not just reject your reasoning but refuse to engage with you at all.

Youre the wrong speaker (who wants to hear from a cishet Evangelical?) You chose the wrong words (did he use the acceptable pronouns? Was his language offensive in any other way?) You have the wrong priorities (American democracy is in peril, and were talking about a single trans swimmer at a single school?)

At any rate, this was my short thread. You can determine whether I made my points in a way that skeptics at least might listen:

Despite that long introduction, this isnt a newsletter about transgender athletes. Its about something much deeper and more consequential. Its about one of the most common and pernicious ways in which we lose the ability to hear the truth. In many ways, its about how we defend ourselves from the truth. Let me introduce you to the process foul.

A process foul is any perceived breach of trust or decorum in the delivery of the message that distracts from the substance of the message. To be crystal clear, Im not remotely arguing that process doesnt matter. Indeed, if youre about to have a tough conversation (say, for example, an intervention) with a person you love, you often obsess about the process, almost to the exclusion of substance.

Do you talk on the phone or gather in person? If in person, where? Who should be in the room? Who should speak first? Who shouldnt speak at all? Indeed, taking exquisite care in the process of communicating difficult truths is an act of love. Were talking to human beings, after all, not factbots who can simply hear a hard word (Dude, you drink too much) and respond accordingly.

Process is so important to persuasion that the persuasion industry is consumed by concepts like manner and method. When I litigated, I didnt just try to master the facts and law of the case, but I practiced my delivery to the judge and the jury. I worried about my ties. I talked to my client about his demeanor on the stand and even while simply sitting at the counsels table.

Why do southern trial lawyers have the most impressive accents in the South? Process, not substance. Its an almost unconscious affectation that says to the jury, Im real. Im you.

The problem, however, should be obvious. Our concerns about process can overwhelm our concerns about truth, and our sense of entitlement about process can completely wall us off from hearingmuch less believingdifficult truths. And once you see the process objections in American politics, you cant unsee them. They dominate our discourse.

In my experience, here are the four most common wrongs that prevent us from hearing and understanding whats right.

Wrong messenger. This is perhaps the easiest and most popular method of discounting uncomfortable information. Once you categorize someone as Never Trump or a warmonger or fake news or then youve put on the bulletproof vest. Nothing that comes out of his or her mouth will penetrate your armor.

Wrong motives. Arguments over, for example, the so-called Evangelical elite often center around motive. We place a condition on truth that says, I will listen to true things only when spoken for the right reasons. After all, why should anyone listen to a grifter? And I definitely shouldnt listen to anyone whos simply trying to curry favor with the left or wants to be accepted by the elite.

And who makes the judgment about motive? How do we have confidence that we can peer into a man or womans heart and know their motivations. I appreciated these words from Thomas Sowell:

Wrong manner. In our populist age, there are few more deadly accusations than condescension or elitism. There are cases where even the assertion of any kind of expertise is virtually self-discrediting.

In far-left spaces, ever-shifting and intolerant language norms can mean that ordinary people can find themselves struggling to even find the right words to discuss contentious topics. Even words like racism are subject to different, evolving meanings, and certain terms of art, like land acknowledgment or BIPOC separate individuals into separate classes of understanding.

Wrong target. This is perhaps the most subtle and versatile of the process fouls. Its how you can still be wrong even when youre right. It encompasses concepts like punching down (people with larger platforms shouldnt take on those with less influence), misplaced priorities (youre squeezing out the gnat and swallowing the camel), and whataboutism (Donald Trump has abused women? What about Bill Clinton? Donald Trump hasnt accepted the results of his election? What about Stacey Abrams?)

The process of communication is laden with reciprocal responsibilities. As a communicator, my job is to do my best to know my audience, to understand them, and to speak in words that I believe theyll hear. In other words, my job isnt to fly over the target, dump my truth bombs like Im a B-52 over Hanoi, and then log off congratulating myself for a job well done.

I especially shouldnt congratulate myself for my bravery when the response is exactly the flak I was told to expector even perhaps hoped to receive.

As a listener, however, I have my own responsibilities. I should do my best to shun the calling of process fouls and listen hard to substance. This is not easy. Some of the most important lessons Ive learned have come from the most unlikely teachers. Some of the harshest words spoken to me have turned out to be the most true.

One way that truth dies is that when we place such exacting preconditions on its delivery into our lives that there is virtually no messenger or message that can penetrate our hearts.

Lets make this lesson a bit personal. Just before Christmas a pastor in my denomination named Kevin DeYoung wrote a piece in a Christian magazine called World called The Temptation of the Jeremiad that gained some traction in my little corner of the world. It was aimed mainly at me and the way in which Ive mounted various critiques of white Evangelical politics and cultural engagement in the age of Trump.

I dont know Kevin, but I have many friends who do. I respect his work a great deal, and so I listen to his critiques carefully. While he agrees with some things I say, these two paragraphs contain his core complaint:

And this is my biggest complaint with the white evangelical jeremiad. It has the same head-shaking you people vibe that prompted the deplorables to embrace Trump in the first place. Its one thing to object to an idea or to a set of propositions. Its another to object to a class of people. Even if French is right, and evangelicals should not have supported (voted for?) Trump and evangelicals should not be skeptical about many of the Covid protocols, there is little sympathy for trying to understand why evangelicals might have behaved in these ways. There is no persuasion, only pique and annoyance.

And:

At the risk of seeming biased toward my own profession, I cant help but notice that the leading voices decrying the moral bankruptcy of white evangelicalism are not pastors but professional writers, academics, and full-time commentators. Given the nature of these vocationsvaluable, honorable vocationsit is easier to produce frequent jeremiads against the church than to produce a positive vision for the church. If your natural rhythm is not the whole counsel of God Sunday after Sunday, but another critique of the church in your inbox on Sunday morning, that should tell you something. The Lord knows there is much to criticize in the church, but I doubt that relentless, unsympathetic, exasperated censure against one specific people is the best way to convince them of your criticisms, let alone build them up in Christ.

These are textbook process fouls. Im the wrong messengernot a pastordelivering the message in the wrong way (with a head-shaking you people vibe). He says that even if Im right there is little sympathy for trying to understand why evangelicals might have behaved in these ways. I write only with pique and annoyance.

But this doesnt mean I should disregard what DeYoung says. If Im trying to communicate things that I believe to be both true and gravely important, and a thoughtful man says Im communicating through pique and annoyance then I need to think very hard about how I write.

In fact, I need to repent of my initial response to this essay. Since I believe he mischaracterized much of my work, my initial response was purely reactionary. I defended myself. But I should have reflected more. I should still reflect. As a communicator, am I failing in my responsibilities? Am I communicating a message that I do not intend?

At the same time, this sentence from DeYoung troubled me greatly: It [my work] has the same head-shaking you people vibe that prompted the deplorables to embrace Trump in the first place.

This is the dark place that an emphasis on process over substance can take you. A distaste for a persons tone should never prompt anyone to embrace a man like Trump. After all, even granting that my tone can be better, is that a reason to embrace a person whose tone is inarguably much worse and whose grasp on the truth is inarguably far more tenuous? Are people placing so many preconditions on critique that theyve effectively walled themselves off from hard truths?

When were communicating, we should care about people, and that means caring about process and truth. We should do our best as fallen and imperfect people to say true things in a careful, compassionate, and persuasive way. But we cannot ever allow often-shifting and sometimes-escalating demands about process to silence the truth.

When were listening, by contrast, we should resist the urge to filter truth through process. Strange messenger? Fine. Heck, even one of Jesuss disciples once tried to reject him by asking, Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Obscure or tough delivery? That can work. Jesus often spoke in parables that few understood, and his own speech could be incredibly blunt and direct. And what about the prophets? Could they rake a man over the coals? Google the etymology of the word jeremiad, and youll find that answer fast.

Wrong motives? Who cares? And besides, how can I presume to know a persons true motivations?

In a recent Atlantic essay I wrote about our incredibly difficult task. In an age of cruelty, how do we open ourselves to legitimate critique? Heres my answer: The best folks I know have achieved the near impossible. Theyve constructed a thick skin while preserving an open heart. Their defense mechanisms are porous enough to allow fair critiques to penetrate while keeping the bad-faith actors at arms length.

Any other approach and our own heart and mind risk becoming the places where truth goes to die.

One more thing

In the lastest Good Faith podcast, Curtis and I talk about how January 6 helped both of us understand that it was time to grow up. We have to be adults now.

What does that mean? Please listen to the pod to find out.

A personal update

I apologize for the lack of a Tuesday newsletter last week. COVID came to our house, and I caught a breakthrough infection, along with three other members of the family. As the old guy of the bunch, I fared the worst, but it was still never worse than a moderate flu (though with quirky and shifting symptoms!), and we all were on the mend by the end of the week.

Im grateful for the vaccine, and Im grateful to have recovered so quickly. Millions have faced much greater challenges.

One last thing

This is a marvelous hymn and feels right for the first days of a new year that already can feel full of more uncertainty than promise:

Originally posted here:
The Places Where Truth Goes To Die - The Dispatch


Jan 3

Features of a new corOnavirUs infection course and optioNs therapy DEpending on the andRogenic status (FOUNDER): androgenic status in men with…

This article was originally published here

Urologiia. 2021 Dec;(6):85-99.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Analysis of androgen status in men hospitalized with a moderate COVID-19 and its relationship with the severity of the disease.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included 152 males with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 based on the results of a positive PCR for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and/or computed tomography of the lungs hospitalized at the MSU University Clinic due to the moderate and severe COVID-19. Examination of the level of biochemical blood parameters (CRP, creatinine, urea, glucose, total testosterone (T)); CT of the lungs. To objectify the severity of the clinical symptoms, the NEWS2 distress syndrome severity scales and the original scale for assessing the clinical condition of patients with COVID 19 (SHOCS-COVID) were used.

RESULTS: The median T level in 152 examined patients was 2.14 [1.21; 3.40] ng/ml. In patients with a T level below the median, the CRP level was more than two times higher, and the D-dimer value was almost two times higher than in patients with T level above median. The duration of treatment in the hospital was longer in men with COVID 19 and an initial T level below the median than in patients with T about the median (13 days vs 10.5 days, p=0.003). Low T level was correlated with lung damage by lung CT. After improving the clinical condition, there was a linear increase in the level of T independent of its initial level.

CONCLUSION: Among men with moderate and severe COVID-19, a decreased testosterone level is detected in 46.7% of cases. Patients with low testosterone levels on admission have more severe COVID-19. A significant increase in testosterone level was observed after successful COVID-19 treatment without any special action regarding testosterone level.

PMID:34967512

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Features of a new corOnavirUs infection course and optioNs therapy DEpending on the andRogenic status (FOUNDER): androgenic status in men with...


Jan 3

Perfect Sting had positive test; Holloway appealing – Harnesslink

It has been discovered that Perfect Sting had a positive test back on June 26, 2021, when he was second then placed first in the $148,332 Pennsylvania Sire Stake for harness racing 3-year-old male pacers at The Meadows.

A split sample was also sent to the labs and was found to be also positive for testosterone.

Before this report was published today, Perfect Sting had gone on to be named the Dan Patch Three-Year-old Pacing Colt of the Year and his trainer, Joe Holloway named as the Dan Patch Good Guy Award Winner.

Mr. Holloway has said that he will be appealing the decision.

Here is the ruling found on the USTA website.

HOLLOWAY, JOSEPH J FREEHOLD, NJ YOB 1956Mea on 6/26/2021 FINED: $500FULL 15 DAYS, 1/17/2022 THRU 1/31/2022HORSE DISQUALIFIED PLACED 9, PURSE REDISTRIBUTIONPOSITIVE TEST- POST RACEPA Code Title 7-203.22,401.2 A(1),401.41, 205.33, 205.501 (14).

Sample #376342 was found to contain testosterone at a level of 3765pg/ml, a class 3 violation.

Sample #376342 was provided by #7 Perfect Sting, who was placed 1st through a disqualification, and was trained by Mr. Holloway. A split sample and DNA was requested and confirmed at a level of 3635pg/ml and a match of DNA.

Thus, #7 is disqualified and placed 9th, the purse ($74,166) is ordered to be redistributed, and Mr. Holloway, the trainer of record, is fined $500 and given a 15-day full suspension.

During his suspension, Mr. Holloway is denied the use and privileges of all the grounds sanctioned by the Pennsylvania SHRC.

All horses owned and/or trained by Mr. Holloway may only be transferred through the Judges office at the Meadows.

The fine and purse return must be paid within 10 days of this ruling.

ViewFines and Suspensions for the week of December 31, 2021,as reported to the USTA by racing commissions in the United States.

This bulletinreports actions that have been taken by the USTA and rulings as submitted by the various racing commissions in an abbreviated form; we are not responsible for the accuracy or timeliness of such information. For full ruling text, or if you have questions or concerns about the information found in this report, please contact the racing commission where the ruling was issued.

All reported rulings, current and past, may be found by usingPathway, the USTAs official database. Although there is no charge for this information, aUSTA accountis required.

For a list of archived bulletins, clickhere.

Looking for Canadian Rulings?

Viewrulingsposted at Standardbred Canada. This information is collected and posted by Standardbred Canada. The USTA assumes no liability for errors or omission.

From the USTA and Harnesslink

Excerpt from:
Perfect Sting had positive test; Holloway appealing - Harnesslink


Dec 23

How effective are testosterone pellets: Side effects and …

Many pharmaceutical professionals promote the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy. They state that administering this hormone in the form of a gel, injection, or pellet can relieve the symptoms of low testosterone.

These symptoms can include:

Using a product such as testosterone pellets may relieve some of the symptoms associated with low testosterone levels. However, testosterone pellets have many risks and side effects. People should discuss these with a doctor before trying this treatment.

Testosterone pellets are a form of hormone replacement therapy. They are about the size of a grain of rice, and a doctor will implant them under the skin.

These pellets contain crystallized testosterone and deliver a steady, low dose of this hormone to the individual for up to 6 months at a time.

Although many people believe that testosterone replacement therapy can be beneficial, it can cause side effects and increase the risk of certain health conditions.

The possible side effects of testosterone replacement therapy include the following:

Too much testosterone can increase a persons risk of the following conditions:

Testosterone pellets also come with specific health risks. These risks include:

Taking testosterone supplements disrupts the bodys ability to make testosterone.

This means that when a person stops taking testosterone supplements, they may feel worse suddenly because their body has not adjusted to making testosterone on its own again yet.

Testosterone pellets work by emitting a steady, low level of testosterone over a period of several months. A doctor will typically implant the pellets under the skin, or subcutaneously, near the hip or on the buttocks. This procedure is quick and can take place in the doctors office.

First, the doctor will thoroughly clean the area where they plan to implant the pellets. They will then administer a local anesthetic before making a small incision in the skin and using a tool called a trocar to insert about ten pellets.

The pellets should release a steady dose of the hormone for several months following the implantation.

Testosterone pellets have received mixed feedback.

Many people who use some form of testosterone replacement therapy, including the pellets, report feeling an immediate boost in energy and sex drive.

In a 2014 study, only 17 percent of people who had testosterone replacement therapy chose to use testosterone pellets. However, of those who did, 70 percent were satisfied. The rate of satisfaction was similar for the testosterone gels and injections.

The same study shows that 64 percent of the people who chose testosterone pellets favored them over the other forms of therapy due to their ease of use.

A 2013 study investigating mens decisions to begin and stop using testosterone pellets reported that there was no difference in the testosterone levels of the men who continued to use testosterone pellets and those who discontinued the therapy.

Even so, many doctors still recommend testosterone pellets as an option for males with hypogonadism, a condition in which the body does not produce enough testosterone.

It can take some trial and error to achieve the correct testosterone dosage in replacement therapy.

However, the dosage is difficult to adjust when using testosterone pellets because adding or removing pellets requires an additional medical procedure each time.

As a result, some doctors recommend that people start with another form of testosterone replacement therapy, such as gels or injections, to get the dosage right before switching to testosterone pellets.

Most doctors will consider using testosterone pellets for a person once they have determined a dosage that alleviates the symptoms of low testosterone without raising red blood cell counts.

Medical professionals remain divided regarding the benefits of testosterone replacement therapy and whether or not it can help alleviate the symptoms of hypogonadism.

Harvard Mens Health advise people considering testosterone therapy to consult a doctor and learn about all of the side effects and risks before making a decision. They also recommend that people interested in this therapy try to boost their energy by making lifestyle changes first.

However, for people using testosterone replacement therapy, testosterone pellets may offer benefits over other forms of this treatment. Potential advantages include:

More research on testosterone replacement therapy is necessary to verify its benefits and minimize its potential risks. Testosterone pellets may be a more convenient treatment option than other forms of testosterone replacement therapy for those with hypogonadism.

However, people should not view testosterone pellets as a quick fix to boost their energy levels and sex drive. It is vital to always speak with a doctor before starting testosterone replacement therapy and to be aware of the potential side effects and risks.

See the rest here:
How effective are testosterone pellets: Side effects and ...


Dec 23

Erectile dysfunction and testosterone levels prior to COVID-19 disease: What is the relationship? – DocWire News

This article was originally published here

Arch Ital Urol Androl. 2021 Dec 21;93(4):460-464. doi: 10.4081/aiua.2021.4.460.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate the relationship between COVID-19 and Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and the effect of serum testosterone level on the disease prognosis.

METHODS: Between April-December 2020, 70 patients who were admitted with a complaint of ED after having COVID-19 and whose serum testosterone level was checked for varicocele, premature ejaculation, and infertility reasons before COVID-19. The patients filled the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF-5) and their testosterone level was checked. The questionnaire was arranged to assess the first month before COVID-19 and after COVID-19. Testosterone levels of the patients before and after COVID-19 were compared. The relationship between testosterone levels and hospitalization in the intensive care was evaluated.

RESULTS: It was revealed that testosterone levels and IIEF-5 scores after COVID-19 in all patients were statisticaly and significantly different compared to the period before COVID-19 (p < 0.05). Testosterone levels of patients in need of intensive care were significantly higher than those without any need of intensive care (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study has presented that COVID-19 may cause ED and high testosterone levels increase the rate of hospitalization in the intensive care by intensifying the disease.

PMID:34933531 | DOI:10.4081/aiua.2021.4.460

More here:
Erectile dysfunction and testosterone levels prior to COVID-19 disease: What is the relationship? - DocWire News


Dec 23

What Is DHEA and How Is It Used? – BarBend

Dehydroepiandrosterone, more commonly known as DHEA, is a hormone that some lifters take in supplement form. Bodybuilders specifically may take DHEA to help them build muscle or maintain muscle while losing body fat. After all, the hormone is linked to testosterone production, so taking extra DHEA, its thought, will help improve the production of T.

But heres the thing, nothing will help you carve out your dream physique if your diet and training program arent in check. Assuming youve got those two things under control, then keep reading on whether or not DHEA can help you reach your physique-related goals.

Editors note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for the diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. Its always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is the second-most abundant circulating steroid in humans, and it serves as the primary precursor for other hormones such as testosterone and estrogens. (2) Most DHEA is made in the adrenal glands, but the testes, ovaries, and other organs can also produce smaller amounts.

Your DHEA production begins at puberty, peaks around age 20, and starts to decline rapidly when youre about 25. (6) By the time youre 75, the amount of DHEA in your bloodstream will be 80% lower than it was when you were 25. Production of testosterone and estrogen also slow down as a result. These changes all play a role in age-related losses of muscle mass and bone density, and could also contribute to cognitive decline (like memory and mood). (1)(6)

DHEA plays many roles in the body, from regulating inflammation to insulin sensitization and muscle growth. Results from animal studies quickly launched supplemental DHEA into the spotlight. In reality, supplemental DHEA is neither a panacea nor total pseudoscience. It could be helpful for some populations (but not the young, recreational exercisers looking for that extra advantage).

Despite its testosterone-enhancing effects, DHEA supplementation doesnt improve performance or muscle mass in healthy, young recreational exercisers. It could be of some use for elderly adults.

DHEA supplementation increases circulating DHEA levels in almost every study, and in many studies, elevations in testosterone also occur. Changes in estrogen and testosterone are less reliable, though, and most of the notable effects are seen in specific populations.

Higher testosterone has been reported in men and women of all ages, but youll see the most significant effects if you are a healthy, premenopausal female under the age of 60. (2)(3)(6)(7) DHEA also raises testosterone levels in elderly women. Regardless of age, men are less likely to see significant elevations in their testosterone levels due to DHEA supplements.

DHEA has also led to elevations in estrogen in young men and women, but most research has been done in postmenopausal women, where DHEA exerts the same effect (though unreliably). (3)(7)(9)

Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) is an anabolic hormone that has also been shown to increase due to DHEA supplementation but only with long-term use in healthy women over 60. (12)

Even though DHEA supplementation often leads to higher testosterone levels, it doesnt have a substantial effect on body composition. Elevations in lean body mass are minimal, and they dont occur at all in young, healthy, active participants.

According to one meta-analysis, DHEA supplementation led to reductions in body weight (about 0.5 kilograms) and elevations in lean body mass (about 0.7 kilograms), but all participants were older women. (6)

In another analysis with a more diverse population, DHEA supplementation was similarly effective for improving lean body mass, but it didnt affect body weight. The analysis also saw an average of one percent reduction in fat mass but noted (rightly) that this probably isnt a meaningful change. (10)

Except for one study (which noted a decrease in fat percentage with no change in body weight), DHEA supplementation has had no impact on the body composition of young, trained men or co-ed recreational athletes. (4) Some authors point out that the lack of effect in young people could be due to the short length of studies, which generally last four to six weeks. Four months of DHEA supplementation did enhance the effects of weight training in an elderly population. (6)

A small body of evidence shows that long-term DHEA supplementation is associated with slightly higher bone mineral density (BMD) of the hip in elderly men and women. Still, more research is needed to confirm these findings. (8)

A recent meta-analysis reported that DHEA reduced cortisol levels enough to have clinical relevance (a meaningful application in the real world). The effects of DHEA on cortisol tend to be more pronounced in women, though, and most of the participants in this analysis were female (many of whom were postmenopausal). So, these results dont apply to a large population. (1)

According to an analysis that included participants with an underlying health condition, long-term, low-dose DHEA supplementation reduced fasting glucose. The change was minimal, though, and other markers of insulin resistance werent affected. (11)

Even though DHEA hasnt been shown to improve body composition or performance in young people or athletes, it is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). (3)(4)(5)(10) So, if you participate in a drug-tested sport, you should not use any supplements that contain DHEA.

A recent meta-analysis noted frequent reductions in HDL cholesterol (the good kind) after long-term DHEA supplementation, but this was only apparent in women. The average reduction was minimal in most cases, but the authors noted a clinical concern in women with lupus whose loss of HDL was much more significant. (9)

DHEA is likely most effective for postmenopausal women and people over 60 years of age because this group experiences clinically-relevant changes in body composition and BMD with supplementation. The relatively larger elevations in testosterone experienced by younger women dont translate to meaningful performance outcomes or body composition.

Since WADA bans DHEA, it should not be used by drug-tested athletes.

Most studies use doses of DHEA ranging from 50 to 100 milligrams per day, and these doses are safe for long-term use in the studied populations. Fifty milligrams per day appears to be the minimum effective dose to support BMD, and 100mg doses result in reliable elevations in hormone levels. These doses have also resulted in improved lean body mass in elderly populations.

Doses up to 400mg per day have been used safely for up to eight weeks in men, but 200mg per day reduced HDL cholesterol in women with lupus.

To reiterate: If youre a drug-tested athlete, you should not take DHEA.

Circulating DHEA the form that exists in our bodies plays integral roles in muscular, metabolic, and cognitive health throughout our lives. Supplementation seemed like a logical intervention, and animal studies showed promise, but in practice, DHEA isnt a fountain of youth or muscle mass.

Though it reliably elevates circulating levels of DHEA and often testosterone, as well any meaningful changes to health are pretty minimal, especially in healthy, young exercisers. Its somewhat effective for producing minor improvements in body composition and bone mineral density in older individuals, but young athletes looking for an advantage should look elsewhere. Despite the lack of evidence supporting any performance-enhancing effects, DHEA is banned by WADA.

Featured Image: restyler/Shutterstock

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What Is DHEA and How Is It Used? - BarBend


Dec 23

College swimming champion Lia Thomas targeted by transphobic rhetoric | TheHill – The Hill

The University of Pennsylvanias Lia Thomas, a transgender female athlete on the Ivy League universitys swim team, this month set three school records and two national records, drawing the attention of international media and the ire of anti-trans groups and, reportedly, two anonymous teammates.

Getty

Thomass times have slowed from what they were when she was swimming on the schools mens team, but her critics say her recent success is proof she still has an unfair advantage.

Thomas has given just one recent interview, with the competitive swimming news site SwimSwam.

Regarding the criticism, she said she and her coaches had anticipated some measure of pushback, but that the response has been much more intense than they had imagined.

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I just dont engage with it, she said. Its not healthy for me to read it and engage with it at all, and so I dont, and thats all Ill say on that.

Thomas told SwimSwam she realized she was a transgender woman during the summer of 2018, but decided to swim out that season on the mens team, which negativelyaffectedher mental health.

I was struggling, my mental health was not very good. It was a lot of unease, basically just feeling trapped in my body. It didnt align. she said.

Despite beginning hormone replacement therapy in the summer of 2019 and coming out to the swim team that fall, Thomas continued to compete on the mens team for the 2019-20 season. She said she trained with the team, but didnt regularly race at meets because she didnt feel comfortable.

A year later, Thomas was approved to swim on the universitys womens team for the 2020-21 season, which was canceled by the Ivy League because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thomas is now more than two and a half years into her hormone replacement therapy.

According to NCAA guidelines, a transgender female athlete can compete for collegiate women's sports teams after completing one year of testosterone suppression treatment.

The assumption that being born with a male body automatically gives transgender women a leg up when competing against cisgender women is not well founded, according to the NCAA, and any strength and endurance advantages a transgender woman arguably may have as a result of her prior testosterone levels dissipate after about one year of estrogen or testosterone-suppression therapy.

The International Olympic Committee in November issued new guidelines for transgender and intersex athletes, rolling back its controversial 2015 framework requiring transgender women to take medication to lower their testosterone to below 10 nanomoles per liter for 12 months.

The IOCs medical and science director, Richard Budgett, said in July that the 2015 guidelines were no longer backed by science.

But critics are still arguing to the contrary, demanding organizations like the NCAA either bar transgender female athletes from competing on women's sports teams altogether or require they take testosterone suppressants for more than one year.

While the NCAAs rules demand the use of testosterone suppressants for a specific duration, the current requirements are not rigid enough and do not produce an authentic competitive atmosphere, John Lohn, editor-in-chief of Swimming World magazine, wrote in a recent op-ed lobbying the NCAA to bar Thomas from competing in the NCAA Womens Championships scheduled for March.

Athletes transitioning from male to female possess the inherent advantage of years of testosterone production and muscle-building, he wrote.

Joanna Harper, visiting fellow for transgender athletic performance at Loughborough University in England, told NBC News that it's important to remember that Thomas is just one woman, and she doesnt represent all transgender athletes. Many transgender female athletes are not nearly as successful after transition as they were before their transition, she said.

Weve never seen a transgender NCAA champion, and Lia is not likely to do it either, she said. But even if she did win an NCAA championship, we should see a few trans women each and every year winning NCAA Division 1 championships. So at some point it has to happen, and this idea that its some horrible miscarriage of justice that Lia is successful just doesnt add up.

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Read the rest here:
College swimming champion Lia Thomas targeted by transphobic rhetoric | TheHill - The Hill


Dec 23

A UFC Fighter Explains Why It’s Fine to Have Sex Before a Fight – menshealth.com

It's one of the most popular and persisting myths in the world of sports and in fighting specifically: that athletes should refrain from having sex or masturbating in the lead-up to a big match. It was even alluded to in the definitive boxing movie, Rocky, by coach Mickey: "Women weaken legs."

But is there any truth to the theory? In a new video on his YouTube channel, fight commentator and retired UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping addresses the long-running superstition. The idea originates all the way back in the ancient world and remains prevalent today, and is rooted in the notion that abstaining helps a fighter hold onto his "life force."

More recently, the language around this is slightly more scientific, and relates to an athlete not depleting his testosterone levels. But Bisping isn't convinced.

"You've got to fucking train," says Bisping. "Spend it! Use that life force." He goes on to say that he "probably" had sex with his wife before multiple fights, and that clearly these encounters didn't have any kind of impact on his winning track record.

"It's a great distraction from the fight," he says. "Actual science says that the more times you release, the more times you climax, it actually helps to increase the testosterone levels in you. And on the day of the fight, you're trying to do whatever you can to not think about the fight, you don't want that nervous energy... You've thought of this day for months, you've trained your arse off for months, you've pushed yourself to the absolute limit... I'm just saying, having a little distraction will take your mind off that."

He acknowledges, however, that there may be a placebo effect for some fighters who choose abstinence in the days before a big fight. Athletes tend to be a superstitious bunch, with all kinds of match day rituals. Whatever works.

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Continued here:
A UFC Fighter Explains Why It's Fine to Have Sex Before a Fight - menshealth.com


Dec 23

On the tail end of the whitetail season – Hornell Evening Tribune

By Oak Duke| Outdoors columnist

Every year a trickle of bucks are taken at the tail-end of the deer season, The Late Season.

Undoubtedly, many of them wear tags because a lucky hunter happened to walk through the right clump of goldenrod in the middle of a field and pushed them out of this unlikely bedding area.

Or another big racker strolled into range because a landowner decided to cut out a few Christmas trees behind the old barn.

Or someone else decided to pull out a seasoned top to restock the woodpile ... and so on.

But most of these late season bucks have "gone nocturnal" and are caught away from their beds and sanctuaries being struck with their third bout of procreation fever.

And it happens every year, but not exactly at the same time on our calendars.

But it's about the same time on their internal time clocks.

Deer researchers attribute late season diurnal (daytime) buck movement to a phenomenon called the "Post Rut." This year, we know it as a third wave of breeding, following the first rut that occurred around Halloween, and a second wave, just before Thanksgiving.

Not only do unbred does cycle again (each month) along with about 30 percent of the doe fawns, but also bucks "cycle" in a way too.

Bucks' testosterone/pheromone production goes in waves and troughs throughout the months.

According to science, studying shifts in deer behavior, the white-tailed deer, along with other related animals, are chained to a phenomenon termed photoperiodism.

Photoperiodism is a big word that conveys a simple concept. Light effects hormone flow and behavior - especially breeding and especially in certain species of animals termed short-day breeders.

How's that happen?

Well, whitetails have a pineal gland in their brain, as do many critters, which processes light. It's a biochemical timer. The shortening days of fall set the timer for not only does to cycle, but also bucks' pheromone levels to increase too as bucks and does exchange pheromones at scrapes.

Melatonin production is a key ingredient to this rut equation. As the Full Moon waxes (getting brighter and reflecting more sunlight) there is also a proportionate increase of melatonin, dripped out of the pineal gland (which, according to researchers, waters down testosterone and other sex hormones) in the whitetail.

Then as the Full Moon wanes towards the dark of the moon or New Moon, testosterone- powered behavior (i.e. rutting) comes to the fore as melatonin production decreases.

And there's a lag time of a few days to almost a week. Seems it takes a while for the hormones or lack thereof to alter behavior.

In a similar way sheep farmers insert melatonin sponges into ewes to time their cycles.

Scientists have artificially skewed the breeding cycles of both bucks and does with injections of melatonin, taking these cues from classic agronomy practices, such as those used in goat and sheep husbandry.

We all know that the "running time" of the whitetail occurs each year sometime in November in the Southern Tier of New York state and northern tier counties of Pa. Sometimes a spike in activity occurs at the start of the month and sometimes almost at the end.

One could say that the moon, with its cycles, fine-tunes the rut.

Nature doesn't put all its eggs in one basket.

A number of does cycle in late October. And some bucks are ready then too, even though it has been termed the Pre-Rut.

Then, usually after a quiet spell, we see scrapes and rubs appearing almost overnight and we term this period as the Rut. And in that window is that ethereal moment we deem, "The Peak of the Rut," though it differs from one hollow to another, and from one year to another.

A month later, the cycle repeats one more time with unbred doe - and that's this Post Rut at the end of the season.

Next year, during the beginning of archery season we will undoubtedly see a couple spotted fawns.

Typically by then, just about all fawns born in the spring have already lost their spots and taken on their grey-brown winter-proof coats.

These little spotted guys were born around four weeks later or more than the majority of their age class, conceived in the prior two breeding windows.

These tiny fawns are the products of the December Post Rut breeding phase.

Oak Duke writes a weekly column appearing on the Outdoors page.

See the article here:
On the tail end of the whitetail season - Hornell Evening Tribune


Dec 23

I am a transgender man & I gave birth to a son heres why I think you should stop linking pregnancy with… – The US Sun

BENNETT Kaspar-Williams says his nurses insisted on calling him a mom during his pregnancy despite being a man.

It was back in 2011 when Bennett first realized he was trans but he didnt begin his transition for another three years.

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He met his future husband, Malik, in 2017 and the two married in 2019. The couple wanted to have children and went over their options until they decided on having Bennett stop taking his testosterone hormone therapy.

Doing this allowed Bennetts ovaries to function as he hasnt received bottom surgery. He said he would be comfortable trying to conceive and carry a child.

Soon after, Bennett became pregnant and he and Malik welcomed their son Hudson in October 2020 via Cesarean section.

In the summer of 2015, Bennett had top surgery to remove his breastspaying $5,000 for the operation.

Bennett called the operation liberating.

I had this feeling that it was something that I needed to do, but I never had a self-hatred of my breasts, like some trans people.

Bennett added that he didnt have dysphoria over certain parts of his body but added that he never could have anticipated the relief of having his breasts gone.

It was a huge weight off my shoulders.

Bennett says that bottom half surgery is off the table because hes not dysphoric about that part of his body.

When it came to carrying and giving birth to his own child, however, Bennett says it wasnt a straightforward decision.

I always knew it was a possibility that my body might achieve pregnancy, but it wasnt something I ever wanted to do until I learned how to separate the function of my body from any notions of gender, he said.

Bennett added that he learned to think of his body as a tool instead of a collection of gendered stereotypes which helped him realize that he wanted to have a child naturally.

No one can ever really know whether having children is possible until you trybeing born with a uterus doesnt make conceiving or carrying a certainty.

Thats why its so important that we stop defining womanhood in terms of motherhood because its a false equivalency that all women can become mothers, that all mothers carry their children, or that all people who carry children are mothers.

Bennett became pregnant in March 2020 without any medical intervention except getting off testosterone.

He says he and Malik expected the process to take longer than it did but the two became worried as the pandemic happened.

This was just about a week before we went into lockdown here in March 2020, so my high spirits were pretty quickly replaced by anxiety around the pandemic and how I would keep myself and my baby safe.

He gave birth to Hudson in October of last year but says that he was constantly misgendered by the nurses despite having a beard and a flat chest.

The only thing that made me dysphoric about my pregnancy was the misgendering that happened to me when I was getting medical care, he said.

Even with a full beard, a flat chest, and a male gender marker on all my identification, people could not help but default to calling me mom, mother or maam.

Bennett says nothing about his pregnancy felt feminine to him and that carrying a child during the pandemic was the bravest thing hes ever done.

Nothing feels stronger than being able to say Im a dad who created my own child.

Bennett says he loves watching Hudson learn and share new discoveries with him, adding that its beautiful to see how children arent clouded by prejudice.

Children are these amazing beings that dont see the world with the same bias and preconceptions that adults do, Bennett said.

To my son, theres nothing more natural and normal than having a Dada and a Papa, and when hes old enough, he will come to know that his Dada was the one who carried him and took care of him so he could come into this world.

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I am a transgender man & I gave birth to a son heres why I think you should stop linking pregnancy with... - The US Sun



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