Category: Diet

Does Cranberry Juice Work for Kidney Stones?

person pouring cranberry juice into glass

It may seem too simplistic and even ridiculous, but we’ve all been told that cranberries and their juice effectively prevent kidney stones. However, before you go out and drink liters of cranberry juice at a time, we must discuss some other ways to mitigate kidney stones and what you should do if you develop them.

Kidney stones are hardened crystals that develop within the kidneys for several potential reasons. Kidney stones do not cause pain for many as they are small enough to pass through the urinary system without us ever knowing. For some, however, kidney stones can develop to be quite large. While the stones remain in the kidneys themselves, they are usually asymptomatic. However, if they begin to migrate into the ureters – the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder – they can cause significant pain and other complications. For some, kidney stones represent a harrowing circumstance, which may require passing the stone over a day or two or intervention from a urologist using shockwave therapy or lithotripsy. However, it’s important to remember that if you develop a fever or other signs of infection, this is an emergency that must be treated at the hospital. Kidney infections progress very rapidly and can be devastating if not treated early.

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Nitric Oxide and Its Role in Erectile Dysfunction

Man eating healthy trying to increase nitric oxide in body

Several potential issues can cause or worsen erectile dysfunction. Many of these are discussed on our website. However, some are less discussed yet worthy of mention and attention; one such potential cause is a deficiency in nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, or NO, is a gas molecule that most cells in the body produce. It is an integral part of how our body functions and plays a role in activating the enzymes in blood vessels that, among other things, help make a normal erection. As we age, however, the body produces less nitric oxide (which is the case for many essential bodily functions).

While the prevalence of erectile dysfunction continues to be researched, studies have shown that about 20% of the United States male population and 50% of those aged 40 to 70 years may suffer from moderate ED. Greater than 60% of men over 70 may suffer as well. This data is from the early 2000s, and the obesity epidemic, for example, has significantly worsened so those prevalence figures may be even higher.

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Should You Drink Less if You Have BPH?

Man drinking from plastic water bottle while working out

While benign is in the name, it sure doesn’t feel like it to patients suffering from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). At first, many patients think they may have prostate cancer. They are relieved to learn that most cases of symptomatic lower urinary tract symptoms are not caused by a malignancy but rather this ubiquitous normal part of the aging process. However, BPH only tends to get worse as the cells in the prostate continue to grow. The result is often nocturia, in which the patient wakes for a visit to the bathroom multiple times each night, often causing disrupted sleep and constant daytime fatigue. As such, many patients think that reducing their water intake will solve the issue.

Ultimately, drinking fewer fluids to try to avoid the symptoms of BPH doesn’t work and may be counterproductive. For one, it is critically important that you stay hydrated for continued health. This is not just the health of your urinary system, but every bodily function depends on proper hydration. Even mild dehydration has significant physical and psychological consequences. Further, dehydration can make your lower urinary tract symptoms worse. Lack of fluid intake can cause bladder irritation as the urine is more concentrated. The result? You guessed it! An urge to urinate more frequently. It can also cause significant kidney issues that, once again, can create problematic urinary symptoms.

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Can “Forever Chemicals” Be Causing Male Infertility?

Several takeout containers including cups and bag lying across a counter

In the spirit of bringing you the latest research that affects male fertility, a Danish study¹ was recently published about the effects of forever chemicals and, in particular, PFAS or per and polyfluoroalkyl substances on sperm count and mobility. The study sought to understand how a mother’s exposure to these toxic chemicals during pregnancy could affect the child’s fertility later in life. Why does this matter? Testicular development in males occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy, and this is also a time when external endocrine disruptors can make a big difference. In this case, PFAS made up of thousands of different chemicals, accumulates in the human body and crosses the placental barrier into the child.

What This Study Showed

Approximately 860 men were evaluated. Their mothers provided blood samples during the first trimester of their pregnancy between 1996 and 2002. The study found that mothers with higher PFAS levels had children who were more likely to have a lower sperm count and mobility issues than adults.

Why This Study Matters

When we look at the increasing rates of male infertility, we know that there is no single cause. Instead, cases of infertility must be discussed and evaluated both from an individual and a societal level. It seems that exposure to these, amongst other environmental chemicals, may be partly to blame for some infertility cases. Most Americans have been exposed to and therefore retain PFAS in their blood – remember, once exposed, the body cannot remove these chemicals (hence the “forever” moniker).

Beyond infertility, these chemicals can also cause significant diseases later in life. Research suggests that these chemicals may cause metabolic disorders, including type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and more, all of which can also affect urinary health.

What’s the Prognosis?

Unfortunately, because of the ubiquitous nature of these chemicals, most pregnant mothers have been exposed to these toxic chemicals. Virtually every adult has been as well. Why? These chemicals are often used in food product packaging to improve their water and grease-resistant properties. The result is that many of your fast food and takeout containers have PFAS. Some of the most egregious packaging includes fast-food wrappers and boxes, popcorn bags, and pizza boxes.

How Can You Avoid These Chemicals?

Unfortunately, we do not yet have a regulatory structure identifying and regulating these chemicals. However, much like BPA and phthalates, consumers and food producers are taking note. Companies like Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Whole Foods, and Burger King have alluded to or promised to remove these chemicals from their packaging. Of course, the time and cost to do so are such that we can expect to be exposed to these chemicals for many more years unless something is done from a public awareness or regulatory standpoint. For the time being, the fact that PFAS is not visible nor has acute effects (that we are aware of) often makes it a lower priority for many people. Regardless, working with a men’s health specialist like Dr. Kapadia is an essential first step to understanding the potential causes of infertility and developing a treatment plan to address it.

In the meantime, do your research to find out if any of the products you or your family members consume contain harmful chemicals. You may even wish to consider choosing products that specifically exclude these chemicals from their packaging. Even though it’s likely that we have all been exposed to PFAS already, reducing our future exposure can only be beneficial. Be your own health advocate by ensuring that what you eat and drink is not tainted by harmful chemicals.


  1. Petersen KU, Hærvig KK, Flachs EM, Bonde JP, Lindh C, Hougaard KS, Toft G, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Tøttenborg SS. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and male reproductive function in young adulthood; a cross-sectional study. Environ Res. 2022 Sep;212(Pt A):113157. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2022.113157. Epub 2022 Mar 19. PMID: 35318009.

New Study Shows the Effects of a High Protein Diet on Fertility and Erectile Function

Man eats a steak as part of a high protein diet that could impact his fertility and erectile function

Male fertility and erectile function are two essential parts of a man’s physical and psychological health. As we age, these functions begin to wane. While we can’t help but think about these issues, many modifiable lifestyle considerations can negatively affect a man’s fertility and even cause ED.

Recent UK research evaluated more than two dozen other studies that included a diet very high in lean proteins. The findings were striking in that these high-protein diets increased cortisol production and lowered testosterone, contributing to erectile dysfunction and even less fertility in men. The average man should consume about 17% of their calories as protein each day as a point of reference—the men who had the worst effects consumed over 35% of their calories as protein. As a result, the study authors suggest that men consume no more than 25 g of lean protein each day even.

Unfortunately, this study suggests that departing from a balanced nutritionally balanced diet can have significant detrimental effects, even on our sexual function.

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