Low Carb + High Fat = Less Prostate Cancer
The high rate of prostate cancercancer in North America is linked to the high fat content of the typical American and Canadian mans diet.
Critics have blamed low-carb, weight lossweight loss diets for encouraging consumption of foods with high-fat content. Are these diets really so bad? No at least when it comes to prostate cancer, suggest Vasundara Venkateswaran, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Venkateswarans team grafted human prostate cancers onto mice. They then fed some of the mice a low-carb/high-fat diet. Other mice got a high-carb/high-fat diet.
The animals on the low-carb diet lost weight. And despite the high-fat content of their meals, the animals prostate tumors grew slower than those in the animals on a high-carb diet. It appears that the low-carb diet lowered the animals insulin levels, thereby slowing tumor growth.
A low-carb/high-fat diet, in addition to helping people lose weight, may play a role in decreasing the risk of prostate cancer, Venkateswaran said, at a news conference. Now clinical trials have to be done.
Benign But Very Bothersome Symptoms
Benign prostatic hyperplasia causes symptoms that force men to consult a specialist due to the alteration in the quality of life that they entail. They can have voiding disorders or storage , for which there are very effective pharmacological treatments, and only if they fail is surgery used.
In another vein, unrelated to prostate antigen, Miñana points out that there are studies that link cycling with the appearance of certain dysfunctions of the male pelvic floor, Especially those related to the compression of the pudendal nerve, which manifest as discomfort in the perineal and genital region. And abounds in that microtraumatismos related to hyperpressure on the perineal area they could be avoided or diminished with the use of bicycle saddles that have an appropriate design.
Why Is This Happening
Male anatomy includes a gland located between the bladder and penis that secretes prostatic fluid, meant to nourish sperm and provide protection for its journey out of the body. Running through the centre of this gland is the urethra, the tube whereby urine exits the body.
When prostate tissue starts to enlarge, it can put pressure on the urethra causing you to experience symptoms associated with a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia . The benign part is important to stress here as it indicates that BPH is a non-cancerous growth of tissue.
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New And Upcoming Tests For Prostate Cancer
The good news about new and upcoming tests for prostate cancer is that they can tell you more specific information than the PSA test alone.
You and your doctor can use the new urine test for prostate cancer to let you know if you have low-risk or high-risk prostate cancer, and this can help you make more-informed decisions about further testing and treatment. Also, a new genetic test that predicts prostate canceris on the way.
This, too, will allow doctors and patients to learn more about how aggressive their tumors are so they can make the right treatment decisions for them.
Talk to your doctor about your risk factors for prostate cancer. Knowing your risk factors along with your PSA level are some of the first steps in getting on track with your prostate health. Just be sure that you avoid doing any of the activities that can affect your PSA level for the 48 hours leading up to your test, and be aware of the other factors that can affect your PSA.
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About Dr Dan Sperling
Dan Sperling, MD, DABR, is a board certified radiologist who is globally recognized as a leader in multiparametric MRI for the detection and diagnosis of a range of disease conditions. As Medical Director of the Sperling Prostate Center, Sperling Medical Group and Sperling Neurosurgery Associates, he and his team are on the leading edge of significant change in medical practice. He is the co-author of the new patient book Redefining Prostate Cancer, and is a contributing author on over 25 published studies. For more information, contact the Sperling Prostate Center.
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Bicycle Riding: Good Or Bad For Mens Health
Urology Times Journal
Cycling has multiple benefits, and steps can be taken to prevent genitourinary injury.
Bicycling across the globe is increasing as a means of exercise and transportation. Clinicians need to be knowledgeable about the health benefits and risks of cycling so they can educate and care for their patients who ride.
The overall health benefits of cycling are tremendous. Cycling reduces the incidence of cerebrovascular accidents, coronary artery disease, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, and diabetes mellitus. Strong inverse relationships have also been demonstrated between commuter cycling and all-cause mortality, cancer mortality, and cancer morbidity among middle-aged and elderly study participants.
Despite these benefits, cycling commonly leads to injury, with up to 85% of all recreational cyclists citing an overuse injury. Given unbalanced pressure distribution when on the bike, the neck, hands, wrists, lower back, knees, and perineum are the regions most frequently affected by cycling.
Cycling has been associated with genital numbness, priapism, infertility, elevated PSA, erectile dysfunction , lower urinary tract symptoms , and prostatitis. Several of the studies that posited these associations, however, were underpowered, did not use validated clinical outcomes, or had insufficient control group comparison. Consequently, the current data on cyclings impact on urologic and sexual function continues to evolve.
Impact of cycling on urologic health
Factors That Can Affect Prostate Health
It may seem cliché, but diet, exercise, and sleep are the main lifetime factors that affect prostatic health. There are many others, such as age and genetics. But you cant do anything about that. They are beyond your control. Thats why we are focusing in this article on those risk factors you can change. These are also known as modifiable risk factors.
As for the diet, antioxidant foods are fundamental to keep all of the body healthy, including the prostate. It prevents many pathologies related to the years passing, especially those that have to do with free radicals. This fact applies to the prostatic gland, too.
One of the best protective defenses against prostatic aging processes is consuming vegetables. We especially recommend those rich in fatty acids and polyphenols.
These polyphenols are also abundant in many fruits, especially cherries and grapes. You can find them in olives and peanuts, too. They have a protective function in plants and may give you the same benefits for your prostate .
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Exercise Cycling And Prostate Health
Despite these reassurances, there are some factors related to cycling which could potentially have an influence on prostate cancer risk, these include:
- Repetitive compression to the perineum from the saddle, leading to recurrent inflammation of the prostate. Chronic inflammation is known to be a risk factor for cancer.
- Intense training increases testosterone levels immediately after intense or unaccustomed exercise, which could encourage early prostate cancer cells to grow. It also can produce reactive oxidative species that damage DNA, the first stage in cancer initiation and progression.
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Habits To Improve Prostate Health
Although today it is not possible to prevent the development of prostate cancer because its causes are unknown, Bernardino Miñana does some recommendations to avoid or delay the worsening of voiding symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Above all, it is about avoiding a worsening of the quality of life of the affected men, who would have to change their habits in four aspects:
Psa Values That Are Considered Normal
Prostate-specific antigen is a molecule present in normal male semen that can be detected in small amounts by a simple blood test. Their plasma levels rise as consequence of benign diseases or malignant and for its correct interpretation it is necessary to consider both the absolute values and their kinetics , Miñana adds, considering that -in general terms- they can be valued as abnormal PSA values above 4 ng / ml, although up to 20% of men with figures below may have prostate cancer.
We need to keep in mind that PSA increases with the age of the male, as a consequence of the increase in the volume of the gland, attributable to benign prostatic hyperplasia. For this reason, a PSA of 3 ng / ml in a young man with a normal-sized prostate, in the absence of other causes, may require an evaluation to rule out prostate cancer , the expert clarifies. Thus he points out that the only way to rule out prostate cancer early It is the determination of the PSA in blood in men from 50 years of age, or 45 if they have a family history.
Being a disease of unknown cause, efforts should be directed to early diagnosis to try to heal men with minimal sequelae. That is why a correct interpretation of the values obtained from the test is so important, being advisable repetition in doubtful cases, such as the one we are commenting on of a cycling activity just before making the PSA determination .
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Is Cycling Bad For The Prostate
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A few years ago there was a certain alarm between cyclists because the scientific literature associated this sport with increased serum levels of the prostate cancer marker . Measure this antigen prostatic specific is very important for the diagnosis and prognosis of Cancer, but high results do not always mean malignancy, since there are other factors that can contribute to a temporary increase in its presence in the blood.
An article published in 2013 in the scientific journal PLos One by researchers from the Department of Medicine of the Victoria Sports Institute was among the first to notice that pedaling long distances increased PSA levels in men over 50 years of age. It was seen that increase was transitory, But it was interesting that bike enthusiasts were aware of this possible distortion of results that could lead to an inaccurate diagnosis of prostate disease if the test is performed after intense pedaling.
At the time, Australian researchers studied PSA levels in 129 cycling men between the ages of 50 and 71. They all had a double antigen determination: before pedaling from 55 to 160 kilometers and 5 min after having made the effort. Thus it was found that the older and the more kilometers traveled, the higher the PSA, that rose an average of 9.5%. Therefore, in the conclusions of the study, they recommended refraining from cycling for 24 to 48 hours prior to the PSA analysis.
What Is Cyclist Syndrome
Cyclists Syndrome is a common term for symptoms of pudendal nerve irritation or pudendal neuralgia. Symptoms can include: pain in sit bones, perineum, genitals, and/or anus, pain with sitting/cycling, urinary, bowel, and/or sexual dysfunction, and/or feeling of foreign object in rectum or perineum.
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How Cycling Affects The Prostate
Based on what I learned, your long cycling commute doesnt mean theres a bigger chance youll have prostate problems like prostatitis or prostate cancer. And there isnt any hard proof that bicycling makes the symptoms of an enlarged prostate worse.
Some studies recommend that men avoid cycling during episodes of prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. This is something you should absolutely speak to your doctor about.
That said, its been documented that there is in men an increase of prostate-specific antigen levels right after a long bike ride.
The higher PSA levels are temporary and any PSA-related cancer test would have to wait a few days.
Something else I was not aware of is that, along with higher PSA numbers, long bicycle rides can also experience genital numbness .
Thats due to the compression of the nerves and blood vessels in the perineal area. And well, it is connected to a higher risk of erectile dysfunction.
Personally, I was glad to learn that a lot of this is temporary and / or can be reversed. There are steps you can take to make things better.
Does Cycling Really Damage Mens Sexual Organs
New research refutes the theory that pressure from saddles can cause erectile dysfunction, and says cycling could actually improve performance in older men
Few doubt that cycling helps you get healthy. One study last year found cyclists are less likely to develop heart disease or cancer, and a 2011 review showed it improves fitness and leads to longer lives. But theres an area of mens health that has been the subject of a persistent question: does time spent in the saddle lead to problems in the sack?
In recent years, scientists have linked cycling with several male health problems, including erectile dysfunction, which they speculate is caused by the saddle decreasing blood flow to the penis. In one study, Norwegian researchers gathered data from 160 men after they took part in a long-distance bike tour. They found that one in five suffered with numbness to the penis that lasted up to a week after the tour, and 13% developed erectile dysfunction that lasted more than a week in most cases.
Another study linked cycling to prostate cancer or at least, thats how some corners of the media reported it. But the researchers admitted their sample was small, that more research was needed, and that their findings did not necessarily mean there was a direct link between cycling and prostate cancer.
I think that the riding behaviours that lead to prolonged perineal numbness should be avoided, he said.
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Blame It On The Bike Seat
When you sit on a chair, your weight is distributed across both buttocks. This takes pressure off the perineum, a region of the body that runs from the anus to the sex organs. It contains the nerves and arteries that supply the penis in men and the clitoris and labia in women. Sitting on a bicycle seat puts pressure on the perineum, compressing those crucial nerves and arteries. This can lead to loss of sensation and other problems.
Nerve damage accounts for the penile numbness that some male bikers experience. Pressure on the pudendal artery can add to this nerve injury to produce temporary or prolonged erectile dysfunction. A narrow bike seat can reduce blood flow to the penis by as much as 66%, and even a broad seat may reduce flow by 25%. The same processes account for bicycling-related sexual problems in women.
Make Sure Your Psa Is As Accurate As Possible
The PSA is never meant to be a one-shot reading its not a constant number, forever set in stone like the Ten Commandments. Instead, its more like a Polaroid snapshot a quick capture of one moment in time. PSA fluctuates thats why its good to follow the general trend of the number over time, instead of just looking at one reading and saying with absolute confidence that a man definitely does or does not have prostate cancer.
That said, if youre getting a PSA test, lets make sure its as accurate as possible. Here are some things that can artificially raise or lower your PSA. A couple of these can be avoided as for the rest, be sure to tell your doctor.
Dont get your PSA tested if you have a urinary tract infection. This will cause your PSA level to be elevated, says New York University urologist Stacy Loeb, M.D. Urinary retention will also cause an elevation in PSA.
Dont ejaculate for at least two days before you get the PSA test. This can send more PSA into the bloodstream and can artificially raise your PSA level.
Dont get the PSA test after your rectal exam. Your doctor should know this, but sometimes it happens. The rectal exam, which stimulates the prostate, can also cause PSA to be released into the bloodstream. This is an avoidable cause of unnecessary worry!
Dont work out right before your PSA test. Vigorous exercise can cause a bump in PSA, with bicycle riding being the biggest culprit.
Do tell your doctor if:
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