A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
By Nina Pajak
Here’s some good news/bad news for all the men out there. As always, it seems best to start with the bad and work our way up to the good.
Here goes. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, men who watch 20+ hours of television a week are found to have sperm counts 50 percent lower than their less couch potatofaced counterparts. On the contrary, men who engaged in 15 or more hours of moderate to vigorous exercise per week had sperm counts 7 percent higher than their lazier brothers. More specifically: “men in the highest quartile of TV watching (>20 hours/week) had 44 percent . . . lower sperm concentration than men in the lowest quartile (0 h/week).”
So much for the deluded concept that sitting and watching other men play sports or fight aliens or decapitate zombies somehow contributes to one’s virility and masculinity. There’s nothing so bitterly disappointing as having science tell you that you really do need to exercise and be fit to be manly. On the other hand, I suppose this could be seen as good news, or at least ammunition, for frustrated women everywhere. Even if a man has no specific interest in producing offspring, there’s something about attacking a man’s sperm count that really lands below the belt, so to speak.
Now for the good news: Pacific Standard magazine reports on a study out of the University of Washington, which reveals that beer = healthy! Hooray! Well, sort of. Primarily, they were studying “the precise configuration of humulones … that give beer its distinctive flavor.” You know. Standard humulones stuff. Easy peasy. But it turns out that the same compounds that lead to the bitter taste of beer can also help in the treatment of health problems like diabetes, cancer, inflammation and weight loss.
My freshman year weight gain begs to differ on those last two. But science is science.
The better they understand the structure of the molecules and the ways in which they interact most perfectly, the better they can isolate the humulones which not only make beer taste “good,” but which can contribute to medicinal practices. That isn’t exactly a doctor’s note to go out and pound a 30-rack if you’re diabetic or overweight. In fact, I’m pretty sure a chill just went up the spine of every doctor in the Tri-State. But, you know, use your good judgement.
Just stay away from the black label hipster beer. Such things ought not be encouraged, no matter what the reason.