Male Health: It’s Not Necessarily (Just) Genetics
A CONSTELLATION OF FACTORS
It is well known that males have a shorter life expectancy (by 5.5 years on average than females) and that males face increased risk of numerous health issues including heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, and other diet-related diseases such as gout, as well as increased risk of certain psycho-emotional issues. Genetics (biology) does certainly play a role, however, according to research from Harvard University, biology does not play the biggest role.
Social-environmental factors such as support networks and environmental stress (e.g., work stress) also play a large role. Though, it appears that behaviors play the largest role. This is great news. This means that, as a male, you have a significant amount of control over your health outcomes.
According to research conducted at Harvard, there are a constellation of biological factors that can contribute to increased health risks for males. Particularly increased risk of heart disease. Testosterone has been linked to increased risk of heart disease – though not as strong of a link as previously thought. Of course, having a prostate creates the risk of prostate cancer. Beyond sex-specific biological factors, there are inherited genetic predispositions to health issues common to both sexes that also contribute.
Our health is not solely the outcome of genetic predispositions. Social-environmental factors also play a role. Males and females are socialized differently. This contributes to the creation and maintenance of social networks and support systems, as well as reactions to common but significant stressors such as work. On average, men tend to have weaker social networks and support systems and tend to react more aggressively to stress, exacerbating the health issues associated with stress and the potential for stress overload.
The Harvard study concluded that the majority of the sex gap in health (with males faring worse than females in a number of health issues) is the result of behaviors that begin during adolescence. Males are statistically more likely to engage in risky-behaviors, more likely to smoke, more likely to drink and/or abuse drugs, and are more likely to engage in aggressive or violent behavior. All of these behaviors contribute to the increased risk of poor health outcomes or premature death.
On average, males experience their first heart attack at younger ages than females (65 versus 72). Essentially, at younger ages (that is, up to before or around retirement age), males have a higher risk of heart attack than females (though females are more likely to die from a heart attack). While heart disease is certainly genetically based to an extent, diet, behavior, and psycho-emotional responses to stress also play a key role in increasing or decreasing the risk.
Statistics for abdominal aortic aneurisms (AAA) show that males have a higher risk of aneurisms than females, particularly at older ages. The peak rate of aneurisms among males (which hits between 80 and 85 years of age) is 1.4% higher than that of females (5.9% versus 4.5%). Further, this peak occurs earlier for males (it occurs after 90 years old for females). As with heart disease, genetic predispositions also contribute to the risk of aneurisms. However, here, diet and behavior (mainly smoking) play a primary role in determining the risk of AAA.
Generally speaking, males have higher rates of cancer. Of course, males also have the additional risk of prostate cancer to contend with. Statistically, males have higher rates of Kaposi’s sarcoma, lip, and thyroid cancers. This sex difference in cancer rates holds steady across age groups. In this case too, genetics plays a role, but behaviors also play a significant role. Particularly, depending on the type of cancer, smoking, alcohol abuse, diet, and exposure to toxic or noxious substances play a significant role in your risk of contracting cancer.
GINSENG FOR OVERALL HEALTH AND BALANCE
Improving your overall health and resilience, as well as your emotional stability and well-being plays an important role in decreasing your risk of numerous health issues. Incorporating ginseng supplements into your diet can help with all these.
Korean red ginseng is the most potent form of ginseng. The preparation process – steaming – activates and retains the highest amount of ginsenosides (the healthful component in ginseng). Korean red ginseng has been linked to a host of health benefits including immune support, improved circulation, improved cellular regeneration, and mood stability.
KOREA GINSENG CORP
Korea Ginseng Corp is your source for an array of the best Korean red ginseng products available. KGC Korean Red Ginseng products include a wide range of cut ginseng root, ginseng supplements – including their new Koreselect line) and tonics, and delicious teas, flavored drinks, and treats that can help you function at your peak performance. KGC also offers a skin care line (Donginbi) that can help you radiate your inner wellbeing for the world to see.
-CheongKwanJang, Health Benefits, Men's Health