12 Secrets to Virility by Al Sears, MD

The modern world and its lifestyle is making a silent war on the masculinity of the modern man. The Introduction outlines the problem. Men in the developed world have decreasing sperm counts. Rates of erectile dysfunction are making pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars. Prostates are growing while libidos are shrinking. According to Dr. Sears, 10% of his male patients have more estrogen than testosterone.
The first chapter, appropriately enough, tackles the subject of testosterone. Although often unfairly blamed for violence committed by men, it’s what keeps us healthy and strong. Decreasing levels of testosterone cause the “grumpy old man” syndrome.
One additional cause of low testosterone can be a low-fat diet.
Plus, various contaminants in our environment reduce testosterone and increase levels of estrogen. Men are supposed to have some estrogen, but when our levels of estrogen rise too high in comparison to our testosterone, then we’re no longer manly men.
That’s when we begin to suffer from many physical and emotional health problems. Lack of sexual drive is one of them, but so is obesity and chronic fatigue. We should have ten times as much testosterone as estrogen.
As he does throughout this book, after describing a problem and its causes and effects, he goes through the solutions. He recommends various supplements and activities.
Some of these are debatable. For instance, some authorities would not recommend taking DHEA because it’s a hormone. Some claim that the herb Tribulus Terrestris does not raise levels of testosterone, as often claimed.
However, DIM and its precursor Indole-3-Carbinol do help breakdown estrogen.
He goes on to rail against the modern trend of eating large amounts of carbohydrates, especially from grain sources. This is true of the general population eating hamburger buns, pizza crust, spaghetti, rice, beans, soda, and such. It’s also true of the health food population eating whole wheat breads and pasta.
We need carbohydrates from vegetables and fruit — and men need protein from meat, fish and dairy, including the fat that generally goes along with animal protein. Some fat is essential to good health.
Exercise is also important to gain and maintain muscle mass. Dr. Sears advocates a program of progressive sprinting which he calls PACE, rather than the modern trend of long slow “cardio.” Plus he advises performing calisthenics and taking certain supplements such as creatine.
Several chapters address one of an aging man’s primary health concerns — a growing prostate. Closely connected to that is maintaining sexual ability.
Next are chapters in the inflammation which causes joint problems and preventing loss of brain function.
Dr. Sears is not afraid to take on either the conventional medical establishment or the alternative health establishment. That makes him refreshing to read.
There’s a lot of advice here, and certainly many men will not welcome it. They know they should exercise more, but aren’t. Men who are willing to exercise need to find out which kind will help them the most, rather than wasting their time and perhaps damaging their hearts by jogging long distances.
He recommends a lot of various supplements, but doesn’t pretend they’re magic bullets. They need to interact with a good diet (cut out the carbs from grains, increase intake of healthy protein and fruits and vegetables) and proper exercise.
I eat a diet similar to what he recommends, started exercising and taking some of the supplements he suggests. I’m not yet the stud I used to be, but I’m feeling and looking better (I’ve lost 28 pounds).
I have no doubt that men who follow his program will have a big advantage over those who don’t in the years to come.

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