As a child, I take into account the tune, “June is bustin’ out throughout” from the musical Carousel. These days, June is Men’s Health Month, and with it comes some helpful reminders. But Twitter is bustin’ out throughout with balderdash, baloney, and BS on many men’s health subjects.
If you go to the #MensHealthMonth hashtag on Twitter, you’ll cave in a rabbit hole of Tweets reminding you approximately what’s likely incorrect with you if you’re a person. Behind almost all of those Tweets are product promotions, scientific center advertising, and marketing, physician practice PR, or other approaches to turn men’s fitness problems into money-makers.
There’s no harm in seeking to make a buck, in keeping with se. But there is the harm in selling things that aren’t subsidized up through evidence, and in changing regular states of health into illness by using redefining what it is that human beings have to fear about.
Among the marketing messages that caught our eye on Twitter:
– Research suggests #astragalus might also assist reverse the herbal shortening of telomeres on chromosomes that occurs with #growing old to gradual #hairloss.
– Help the men you understand to live happier, healthier lives! #CheckYourCalcium
– Simple assessments just like the CT Scan may be lifesavers even when you don’t suppose there’s a health situation.
– “Some men worry that their penis is simply too small.”
And what would Men’s Health Month be without warnings approximately low testosterone?
One reader was concerned about the subsequent Tweet from a large call medical middle in Chicago:
There’s not anything tough approximately the Tweet itself. It’s the information within the link that’s provided that goes to a ways.
I asked Dr. Richard Hoffman, professor of inner medication and epidemiology, and director of the division of widespread inner medicine at the University of Iowa – and a longtime contributor to our task – to cope with the claims.
Rush urges men to “Think Zinc” – telling them to “Make positive which you’re getting the encouraged day by day allowance — 15 milligrams consistent with day — of zinc thru ingredients together with pumpkin seeds (inside the shell), oysters, nuts and beans, or by using taking a zinc complement.”
But Dr. Hoffman responded: “The zinc claims are unfounded. Observational statistics (Leitzmann et al in 2003 and Zhang et al in 2008) truly suggest that zinc supplements are associated with an accelerated risk of prostate most cancers, even though proof is insufficient to determine whether or not this a causal impact or due to confounding (such as guys who see urologists are much more likely to be on zinc, screened for, and identified with prostate cancer). I’m now not locating any studies searching at whether or not increasing zinc consumption improves lower urinary tract symptoms in men with prostate growth.”
Rush tells guys to “Eat More Tomato Sauce.” They say, “Research has shown that eating huge quantities of cooked or processed tomato products — which includes tomato paste, spaghetti sauce and ketchup — may be related to a discounted hazard of prostate most cancers.”
But Dr. Hoffman wrote: “This has not been verified in controlled trials. Tomatoes are part of the healthy Mediterranean food regimen, though the advice for eating ketchup reminds me of the school lunch kerfluffle throughout the Reagan management.”
“Most crucial — get screened,” emphasizes Rush. And that is additionally in all likelihood the most repeated recommendation in Men’s Health Month. Rush states: “Most prostate cancers are silent, that means they don’t have signs and symptoms until they’re more advanced. So even if you don’t revel in signs and symptoms of prostate issues, it’s crucial to have regular physical checks and screenings to check for prostate most cancers.”
Dr. Hoffman, who worked on shared decision-making educational materials on prostate cancer for years, wrote me: “When even the American Urological Association shows supporting knowledgeable decision making, the recommendations to get everyday screening with no consideration of overdiagnosis and overtreatment is ludicrous. In catching cancers early, screening unearths substantial proportions of indolent cancer—those cancers will not development so treatments are needless, albeit luxurious and associated with complications adversely affecting urinary, sexual, and bowel characteristic. While recommendations propose DISCUSSING screening with excessive-chance men at an earlier age, there is no evidence (due to the fact those men had been not included in the randomized trials) that screening and early remedy is beneficial.”
This is a reminder that a advertising like the announcement of Men’s Health Month, and all of the advertising and marketing and misinformation that includes it, is not always beneficial. People may be harmed by using misleading incorrect information or claims that move past the bounds of what proof has proven.
When I initially asked Dr. Hoffman to reply, his first remark to me changed into: “Haven’t we commented on all of this before?” Yes, we’ve got. But that’s why it’s essential to keep doing so. The float of polluted records to the general public keeps and it desires to be wiped clean up whenever and anywhere we can.
Addendum on June 29:
Rita Rubin’s recent article in JAMA, “Debating Whether Checkups Are Time Wasted or Time Misused,” further explores some of the identical questions I raised above.