NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Varicoceles do decrease testosterone levels

Many years ago in The Science of Sex, I wrote that varicoceles reduce testosterone levels. At that time, physicians commonly believed that varicoceles lowered male fertility but not testosterone levels. A study (Varicocele as a risk factor for androgen deficiency and effect of repair) published in BJUI (British Journal of Urology International) substantiates my opinion. Researchers found that men with varicocele had significantly lower testosterone levels, which was significantly increased after surgical repair.

I was correct, again. In my books and websites, I made many statements that were subsequently proven to be true by scientific researchers. Another example: I wrote about brown fat (a.k.a., brown adipose tissue or BAT) in adults in Fascinating Health Secrets, published in 1996, at a time when experts thought it was not present in adults. In 2006, researchers began to recognize signs of BAT, and several subsequent studies bolstered my earlier contention that adults possess this type of fat that can be manipulated to burn more calories and hence combat obesity. How did I know? By analyzing the effect of certain drugs and other substances on metabolism.

For many years, when almost every doctor was frightening women away from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), I stuck to what I'd said for decades: that the net benefits of HRT outweigh its risks in most women. Now “a new consensus statement from several doctors' groups … says that while the therapy comes with risks, its benefits generally outweigh the harm …

I was also correct about how non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can slow healing. On October 5, 2010, ScienceDaily posted an article entitled Surprise: Scientists discover that inflammation helps to heal wounds. That wasn't a surprise to me; I wrote about it in 1996 in Fascinating Health Secrets. On May 12, 2014, based on information from Rockefeller University Press, they published another article (Understanding Aspirin's effect on wound healing offers hope for treating chronic wounds) that said aspirin “inhibits wound healing.”

Another example: In 2015, The Lancet published Hormonal contraceptive use and women's risk of HIV acquisition: a meta-analysis of observational studies indicating a link between injectable hormonal contraceptive and HIV risk. A decade or more before, I wrote in The Science of Sex: “Norplant and Depo-Provera can also increase the risk of a woman acquiring HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases through vaginal intercourse. These drugs reduce lubrication and thin the vaginal walls, making them more susceptible to viral penetration.”

“‘The scientific community has a way of remaining skeptical until every last arrow has been drawn, until the entire picture is colored in. Other scientists drew the pencil outlines, and Sarkis is filling in a lot of the color.”
— University of California microbiologist Michael Fischbach, speaking of microbiologist Sarkis Mazmanian, who gave a presentation at the Society for Neuroscience entitled “Gut Microbes and the Brain: Paradigm Shift in Neuroscience,” in Can the Bacteria in Your Gut Explain Your Mood?

Years from now, when I finish documenting all of the instances in which I knew things before other experts did, some people may wonder why I was so far ahead of the curve, such as when I predicted in the mid-1990s that the United States—then seemingly destined to be the world's indomitable economic superpower—was headed for a severe economic crash.

I don't have a crystal ball, but I question everything: from my opinions to “facts” that everyone knows are true. By reassessing everything and putting 2 and 2 together and extrapolating from it, I had a long head start on seeing the truth. For that I can thank my high school biology teacher who taught me the importance of simple observation: seeing the world as it really is, not how it is commonly believed to be. History is replete with examples of how scientific and technical experts laughably clung to ideas that we now know are not true, but were once so obvious to virtually everyone that questioning them automatically made one a crackpot. For examples of this, see my article on Ridiculing good new ideas.

“A man with a new idea is a crank—until the idea succeeds.”
— Mark Twain

Related articles:

The experts admit: diet can affect acne!

Notes:

  1. Graphic pictures on cigarette packs would significantly reduce smoking death rate
    Comment: I suggested this decades ago.
  2. Hypertension Researcher Encourages Colleagues to Expand Their Focus (Sep. 14, 2013)
    Comment: I discussed endothelins (the subject of that article) years ago in The Science of Sex.
  3. Total darkness at night key to success of breast cancer therapy, study shows
    Excerpt: “Melatonin by itself delayed the formation of tumors and significantly slowed their growth but tamoxifen caused a dramatic regression of tumors in animals with either high nighttime levels of melatonin during complete darkness or those receiving melatonin supplementation during dim light at night exposure. These findings have potentially enormous implications for women being treated with tamoxifen and also regularly exposed to light at night due to sleep problems, working night shifts or exposed to light from computer and TV screens.”
    Comment: For many years*, I've preached the importance of sleeping in a totally dark room, yet I've never before heard doctors advising patients about this. Architects seem oblivious, too, with master bedrooms of high-end homes often loaded with large windows—just try blocking all light from them! (* in Fascinating Health Secrets [written in the early 1990s] and The Science of Sex [primarily written 2000 – 2004])
  4. Graphic Warnings On Cigarettes Effective Across Demographic Groups and Graphic Images Influence Intentions to Quit Smoking and Pictures Effective in Warning Against Cigarette Smoking and Graphic Anti-Smoking Ads Increase Attempts to Quit and Graphic Warnings Labels On Cigarette Packs Could Lead to 8.6 Million Fewer Smokers in US
    Comment: I advocated that decades ago in the first edition of Fascinating Health Secrets.
  5. Age-Related Cognitive Decline Linked to Energy Available to Synapses in Prefrontal Cortex
    Excerpt: “… synaptic health in the brain is closely linked to cognitive decline. … estrogen restores synaptic health and also improves working memory.”
The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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