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Dr Russ Blog - Sugars, Diet and Prostate Cancer
Sugars, Diet and Prostate Cancer
Created on 6/26/2013

D sent in an important question - he shared that he has prostate cancer, and is concerned about all the information / misinformation about sugars and artificial sweeteners and their effects on cancer.

First, D, my hope is that the cancer was detected early and that you are under the care of an experienced medical team who will help you stay well for a long time to come.

AND there's a lot you can do on your own to stay well - improving your diet perhaps being foremost.

Many people see articles on the Internet about how "sugar feeds cancer cells" - while simplistic, the statement is true - however, sugar (glucose) also feeds healthy cells.

Glucose is the primary energy source for all cells in the body; thus, sugar is not "evil" and need not be feared. What should be modifed, however, is how much sugar you ingest and how many refined carbohydrates (packaged carbs) you eat regularly.

Artificial sweeteners may be a little better for you if, for example, you drink sweet tea on a frequent basis. I often recommend using just a little bit of the "good stuff" (real sugar) - and I do mean a little bit - instead of artifical sweeteners, but overall the take home message is:

 - enjoy sugar in small amounts
- decrease your intake of highyl processed, manufactured carbohydrate foods

Of note, a study was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Richman, et al that concluded following a diet low in carbohydrates and animal fat, and high in vegetable fat, offers significant benefit to men with prostate cancer. Essentially, the diet described is a heart-healthy diet high in nuts and vegetables - like a tasty, satisfying Mediterranean diet.

I encourage you to speak with a good nutritionist, D, who can help you gently modify your diet in a way that remains satisfying and also helps you stay well. Bring up the JAMA article during your meeting.

A good starting point would be to look over our 7-Day Meal Planner (

Thanks for a great question, D.

Be well.
Dr. Russ
 ** Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. **

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