Saturday, September 30, 2006


When sufficient quantities circulate in the blood of men, it turbo charges libido, sprouts beards, beefs up muscles, hardens bones and incline their minds toward the kind of rambunctious, competitiveness that is both the signature blessing and occasional curse of masculinity.

Men start producing testosterone when they’re still in the womb – as early as the twelfth week of pregnancy. But the real tsunami comes in adolescence. Testosterone circulates from the testicles to the blood, turning on the genes that make boys men.

By the time they turn 30, testosterone levels begin to decline at the rate of 1 percent a year, though most men still produce enough for a healthy libido and healthy erections (that said, it’s definitely more a hormone of desire than performance).

The “normal” range for testosterone is quite broad – somewhat between 240 – 1,000 nanograms of the stuff per deciliter of blood. Trying to boost your level within the normal range can backfire.

“The key point to realize is that the human body balances,’ says Harvard researcher Richard Spark, M.D., author of Sexual Health For Men (Perseus, 2000). “When you give a normal man testosterone supplements, it just causes him to shut down his own internal production. Over time, his testicles will start to shrink.”

“I think you can make the case that some young men have too much testosterone and only when they get a little older do they become reasonable,” says Stanley Korenman, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist at UCLA School of Medicine. “Throughout history, the world has been run by older men. Young men make better soldiers because they’re more aggressive, and more impulsive. Older men are wiser, they make more sense, and they are the ones who go into positions of leaderships.”

George State psychology professor James Dabbs, PhD., says his research supports the idea that high testosterone hurts occupational achievement. Unemployed men, he found, have higher average testosterone levels than blue-collar workers, who in turn have higher average levels than white-collar workers. Waning testosterone may also make men better husbands and fathers. “It’s very clear in birds,” says Dabbs, “that the testosterone levels of the males drop dramatically once they start nesting.”

A study presented at the Endocrine Society’s meeting last summer showed a similar drop in men following the birth of a child. Lowering testosterone with age, Dabbs speculates, may help predispose men to the gentler activities of parenthood.

Bottom line: Men may need high testosterone to get a mate – and lower testosterone to keep her.

(Quoted from – Man Power by Jim Thornton )

(American Psychological Association’s Division 20, Adult Development and Aging – http://


Equal Rights In The U.S. – Does it exist?

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
- Mr. Martin Luther King –

It's sad that Mr. King’s dream has yet to be fulfilled, for most Americans, such as the African Americans, Native Americans, Latino Americans, etc are still struggling for their equal rights.

Today African Americans have equal rights under the law, but in fact they are far from equal. Compared with whites, blacks are twice as likely to live in poverty, twice as likely to be unable to find a job, and twice as likely to die in infancy. There have always been at least two Americas, one for whites and one for blacks.

Despite the lofty claim that “all men are created equal,” equality has never been an American birthright.

Recent studies indicate that minority status is still a factor in the lending practices of some banks. A 1998 report of the U.S. Conference of Mayors indicated that, among applicants with average or slightly higher incomes relative to their community, Hispanics and African Americans were twice as likely as whites to be denied a mortgage.

Adrienne Cureton, a plainclothes police officer, who on January 2, 1995, with a uniformed partner, was called to the scene of a domestic dispute. When a struggle ensued, her partner radioed for help. When the officers arrived, Cureton and her partner had already handcuffed the homeowner. The officers barged in and mistook Cureton, an African American for the other person involved in the dispute. They grabbed her by the collar, dragged her by her hair onto the porch, and clubbed her repeatedly with flashlights, despite her screams that she was a police officer.

The realities of everyday American life are still very different for its white and black Americans. For example, a black child born in the United States has more than twice the chance of dying before reaching his or her birthday than a white child does. The difference in the infant mortality rates of whites and African Americans reflects the differences in nutrition, medical care, and education – in other words, differences in their access to the most basic resources of a modern society.

(Quoted from – The American Democracy by Thomas Patterson, Sixth Edition)


Your Unborn Baby

Most people assume that the safest period of one’s life, is the time spent as a fetus in their mother’s womb.

Unfortunately, this is not always true. If a mother smokes, drinks, consumes an unbalanced diet or is prone to “infections in the reproductive tract”, the chances of her baby being born with abnormalities are very high.

“We are never more clever than we are as a fetus,” says Dr. Peter Nathanielz, a fetal researcher, obstetrician, and professor of reproductive medicine at Cornell University. “We pass far more biological milestones before we are born than we’ll ever pass after we’re born.”

Studies show that it’s the fetus, not the mother, who sends the hormonal signals that determine when a baby will be born. And we’ve found out that its health in the womb depends in part on its mother’s health when she was in the womb.

The fetus is strongly affected by the mother’s eating habits. If the mother exercises more than usual, the fetus may become temporarily short of oxygen. If she takes a hot bath, the fetus feels the heat. If she smokes, so does the fetus. One study has shown that pregnant women exposed to more sunlight had more outgoing children.

“Because of genetics, we once thought that we would unfold in the womb like a blueprint, but now we know that it’s not that simple,” says Janet DiPietro, an associate professor of maternal and child health at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health and one of a handful of fetal-behavior specialists. “The mother and the uterine environment she creates have a major impact on many aspects of fetal development, and a number of things laid down during that time remain with you throughout your life.”

Researchers say consuming up to three servings of aspartame (artificial sweetener) a day – in either diet soda or low calorie foods – appears to be safe for the fetus. However, a pregnant woman of average weight who eats ten or more servings a day may put her unborn baby at risk.

Recent studies show that exposure to one of the most common of winter’s ills – influenza – may put an unborn child at risk of cognitive and emotional problems. If flu strikes in the second trimester, it may increase the unborn baby’s risk of developing schizophrenia later in life. While the flu may be a trigger, it’s likely that a genetic susceptibility is also needed for schizophrenia to develop.

Some evidence exists that maternal flu may also lead to dyslexia, and suspicions persist that a first – trimester flu may cause fetal neural tube defects resulting in spina bifida.

“Infections are probably the most important thing for a pregnant woman to protect herself against,” says Lise Eliot, a developmental neurobiologist at the Chicago Medical School.
Some researchers recommend that pregnant women avoid close contact with cats. Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection, can travel from a cat to a woman to her unborn child.

Most humans become infected through cat litter boxes. An infected woman might experience only mild symptoms, if any, so the illness usually goes undetected. If she is diagnosed with the infection, antiparasitic drugs are helpful, but they don’t completely eliminate the disease. The infection is relatively rare, and the odds of passing it from mother to child are only one in five during the first two trimesters, when the fetal harm is most serious. The bad news is that a fetus infected by toxoplasmosis can suffer severe brain damage, including mental retardation and epilepsy. Some researchers also suspect it may be a latent trigger for serious mental illness as the child grows older.

Researchers suspect most cerebral palsy cases are not caused by delivery problems, as has been widely assumed. There’s strong evidence that some cases of cerebral palsy may be linked to placental infections that occur during uterine life. Other cerebral palsy cases may be triggered by oxygen deprivation in early development, but very few appear to be caused by oxygen deprivation during delivery. It’s now estimated that only 10 percent of cerebral palsy cases are related to delivery problems.

Maternal urinary-tract infections have been linked to lower IQ’s in children. Another infection, cytomegalovirus (CMV), has been linked to congenital deafness. Sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia are suspected to be a trigger for pre-term birth.

Women can help prevent neurological and other birth defects by taking vitamin supplements before pregnancy. A daily dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid can reduce the risk of such problems as spina bifida by more than 70 percent as well as prevent brain defects and cleft lip and palate.

To be effective, folic acid should be taken before pregnancy to prevent developmental defects. Folic acid comes in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins and is found naturally in legumes, whole wheat bread, citrus fruits, fortified breakfast cereal, and leafy green vegetables. Despite the proven value of folic acid, a recent March of Dimes survey found that only 32 percent of American women of childbearing age – including pregnant women – took folic – acid supplements.

What is the impact of life in the womb on intelligence? Bernie Devlin, a biostatistician and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh thinks it’s equal to if not greater than the impact of a child’s upbringing. In other words, it’s possible a mother may have more influence over her child’s intelligence before birth than after.

As the brain develops in utero, we know it undergoes changes that affect its ultimate capacity. Nutritional and hormonal influences from the mother have a big impact. And twins studies show that the heavier twin at birth most often has the higher IQ.

The August 1999 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reported that expected mothers with low thyroid function gave birth to children with markedly diminished IQ’s as well as motor and attention deficits. The study said one cause of hypothyroidism _ present in 2 to 3 percent of American women - is a lack of iodine in the American diet. Women whose hypothyroidism was detected and treated before pregnancy had children with normal test scores.

There are companies offering kits so expectant mothers can play music of different sounds to their developing babies – the prenatal “Mozart effect.” One kit promises this stimulation will lead to “longer new-born attention span, better sleep patterns, accelerated development, expanded cognitive powers, enhanced social awareness and extraordinary language abilities.” Will acceptance to Harvard come next?

“The number of bogus and dangerous devices available to expectant parents to make their babies smarter constantly shocks me,” says DiPietro. “All these claims are made without a shred of evidence to support them.”

Adds DeCasper, a professor of developmental psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro: “I think it is dangerous to stimulate the baby in the womb. If you play Mozart and it remembers Mozart, is it going to be a smarter baby? I haven’t got a clue. Could it hurt the baby? Yes, I think it could. If you started this stimulation too early and played it too loud, there is evidence from animal studies that you can destroy the ear’s ability to hear sounds in a particular range. That’s an established fact. Would I take a risk with my fetus? No!”

DeCasper and other researchers emphasize that no devices or tricks can enhance the brainpower of a developing baby. Their advice to the expectant mother: Take the best possible care of yourself.

“The womb is a quiet, protective place for a reason,” DiPietro concludes. “Nature didn’t design megaphones to be placed on the abdomen. The fetus gets all the stimulation it needs for its brain to develop.”

(Quoted from – The Mystery Of Fetal life: Secrets Of The Womb by John Pekkanen)



Have you wondered why some have higher IQ’s than others?

“Stephen Ceci, Ph.D., lays out facts about intelligence that may astound even the experts.’

Fact 1: IQ is affected by school attendance.

Although intelligence does influence the decision to stay in school, staying in school itself can elevate IQ. Or more accurately, prevent it from slipping.

Each additional month a student remains in school may increase his IQ above what would have been expected had he dropped out. The idea that schooling increases IQ may surprise anyone who views it as a measure of innate intelligence.

A few other facts about school attendance:

IQ is affected by delayed schooling. Researchers in South Africa studied the intellectual function of children of Indian ancestry. For each year of delayed schooling, the children experienced a decrement of five IQ points. Similar data has been reported in the U.S.

IQ is affected by remaining in school longer. Toward the end of the Vietnam War, a draft priority was established by lottery. Men born on July 9, 1951, were picked first so they tended to stay in school longer to avoid the draft; while men born July 7 had no incentive to stay in school longer because they were picked last in the lottery. As a result, men born on July 9 not only had higher IQ’s, they also earned more money – approximately 7% more.

Dropping out of school can also diminish IQ. In a large-scale study, 10% of all males in the Swedish school population born in 1948 were randomly selected and given an IQ test at age 13. Upon reaching age 18 (in 1966), 4,616 of them were tested again. For each year of high school not completed, there was a loss of 1.8 IQ points.

IQ is affected by summer vacations. Two independent studies have documented that there is a systematic decline in IQ scores over the summer months. With each passing month away from school, children lose ground from their end of year scores. The decline is pronounced for children whose summers are least academically oriented.

Fact 2: IQ is related to breast-feeding.

My colleagues and I were skeptical when we first heard claims that breast-fed infants grew into children with higher IQ’s than their siblings who were not breast-fed. There are factors that differ between breast-fed and non-breast fed children, such as the amount of time mother and child spend together through nursing and the sense of closeness they gain from nursing.
It turns out, however, that even when researchers control for such factors, there still appears to be a gain of 3 to 8 IQ points for breast-fed by children by age three. Exactly why is unclear. Perhaps the immune factors in mother’s milk prevent children from getting diseases that deplete energy and impair early learning. Breast milk may also affect nervous system functioning. Mother’s milk is an especially rich source of mega-3 fatty acids that are building blocks of nerve cell membranes and crucial to the efficient transmission of nerve impulses.

READ MORE ABOUT IT: On Intelligence: A Bio-ecological Treatise on Intellectual Development, Stephen J. Ceci, Ph.D. (Harvard University Press, 1996)

(Quoted from – Intelligence: The Surprising Truth by Stephen Ceci, Ph.D.)

For information on “Education of Young Children”, visit –

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)



Scientists have found that low-fat proteins tend to stimulate while carbohydrates tend to calm you down.

Among the brain booster foods are low-fat milk, skinned chicken and dried beans.

Mood soother foods include bread, pasta and cereals.

Breads, Cereal, Rice and Pasta -

Enriched and whole grain products are good sources of complex carbohydrates and, iron and B vitamins. You need 6-11 servings daily.

Fruits -

Fruit and fruit juices can be good sources of vitamins A and C and carbohydrates. You need 2 to 4 servings of fruit daily.

Vegetables –

Many vegetables and vegetable juices are good sources of vitamins A or C. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and squash, also supply complex carbohydrates – starch and fiber. Each day eat at least 3 to 5 servings.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs and Nuts –

Eggs, dry beans, nuts are alternates. Theses foods along with meat, poultry and fish are good sources of protein, iron, and B vitamins. At least 2 to 3 servings equal the recommended 5 to 7 ounces (142 to 198 g) daily.

Milk, Yogurt and Cheese –

These foods are good sources of protein, calcium and riboflavin, a B vitamin. You need at least 2 to 3 servings daily.

1 serving of vegetables equals –

½ cup cooked or raw vegetables

1-cup leafy raw vegetables

¾ cup vegetable juice

1 serving of meat, fish or alternates equals –
2 ounces of lean meat

2 eggs

1 cup cooked dry beans

2 ounces peanut butter

1 serving of milk, yogurt or cheese equals –

8 ounces of milk or yogurt

1 ½ ounces natural cheese

2 ounces processed cheese

1 serving of breads, cereals and other grain products equals –

1 slice bread

½ hamburger bun or English muffin

1 small roll, biscuit or muffin

½ cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta

3 to 4 small crackers

1 cup ready to eat breakfast cereal

1 serving of fruit equals –

1 whole fruit (an apple or a banana)

½ grapefruit or melon wedge

¾ cup fruit juice

½ cup berries

½ cup cooked or canned fruit

½ cup dried fruit


(Quoted from - Glencoe Health, A Guide to Wellness, Fifth Edition – M.B. Merki Ph.D. and D. Merki, Ph. D., 1997)

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