Diet and exercise limit the risk of heart disease in men undergoing hormone treatment for advanced prostate cancer

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Men with advanced prostate cancer are usually treated with medications that prevent the body from producing or using testosterone. A testosterone is a hormone (or also androgen) and causes prostate cancer cells to grow faster. Therefore, it is important to turn them off to keep the disease at bay. Nearly 600,000 men with advanced prostate cancer in the United States today undergo such anti-hormonal treatment known as androgen withdrawal therapy (ADT). But even if ADT helps men to live longer, it costs the body. Men can lose muscle and bone mass, gain weight and be at increased risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that some useful strategies can reduce these metabolic side effects. For example, participating in aerobic exercise and weight training has shown that the levels of inflammation in the body that could otherwise cause heart disease are reduced. Quitting smoking is equally beneficial because the toxic effects of tobacco smoke on the heart are more pronounced in the absence of testosterone.

In a new study, researchers have shown that daily walks and a low-carbohydrate diet can reduce ADT damage. During the study, 42 men starting ADT were divided into two groups: half of the men migrated for at least half an hour five days a week and were instructed to limit their carbohydrate intake to a maximum of 20 grams per day. The other half of the men (control group) maintained their usual diet and exercise patterns.

After six months, the typical weight loss in men in the walking / low carb group was about 20 pounds, compared to nearly 3 pounds in men who followed their usual routines diet and exercise. Men in the walking / low carb group had significantly higher blood levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL), which turned off cholesterol and lowered the risk of arteriosclerosis and heart disease. And they also had significant improvements in insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic disease), but not until after three months, and not when the concentrations were rechecked three months later.

The lead author of the study, dr. Stephen Freedland of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, says that exercise in combination with low-carbohydrate diets appears to be a promising strategy for men undergoing ADD. thoroughly. Dr. Marc Garnick, a professor of medicine at Gorman Brothers at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and editor-in-chief of, agreed and found that weight gain can be a real problem for men who persist even after ADT. “The weight loss in the experimental group is encouraging and should be confirmed in larger studies,” he said. “In the meantime, combining exercise with low-carbohydrate diets is a sensible strategy that physicians should recommend to their patients.”