The Impact of Sugar on Prostate Health: What Every Man Should Know

By Jessica Miller, MDFounder & Medical Director

June is Men’s Health Month, a perfect time to re-focus on prostate health—a critical yet often overlooked aspect of men’s well-being. As an Integrative & Functional Medicine physician, I’ve seen firsthand how lifestyle choices, particularly diet, can protect or adversely affect the health of the prostate.

One major dietary risk factor is sugar. Below, I explain the connection between sugar and prostate health and explore strategies to optimize prostate function:

The Sugar-Prostate-Cancer Connection

Emerging research suggests a strong link between high sugar intake and prostate health issues, including prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and obesity—all factors that contribute to prostate problems.

A diet high in refined sugars can create an environment conducive to cancer cell growth because sugar fuels insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF), both of which can promote cancer cell proliferation. High blood sugar levels can also suppress the immune system, making it harder for the body to combat cancer cells.

Four Simple Steps to Optimize Prostate Health

Integrative & Functional Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach, addressing the root causes of acute and chronic health issues, rather than merely treating symptoms. To offset prostate disease risk, I recommend the following action steps, which are simple, direct and achievable:

I. Reduce Foods with Processed Sugar: Limiting refined sugars and high-glycemic foods can help lower insulin levels and reduce inflammation. Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. (You can quell sugar cravings within about 10 days of reducing intake.)

2. Keep Your Weight in Check: Obesity is a significant risk factor for prostate issues. Regular physical activity and a balanced diet can help manage weight effectively.

3. Anti-inflammatory Diet: Incorporate foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties–berries, leafy greens, nuts and fatty fish. Aim to eat a rainbow of nutritious foods daily.

4. Prostate Screening: Early detection of prostate issues is crucial. Men over 50 or younger with a family history should discuss prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing with their healthcare provider. Learn more here:

READ: “Five Reasons You Need a Functional Health Coach”

Functional Medicine Approach to Address Prostate Conditions

For men diagnosed with BPH or prostate cancer, functional medicine offers integrative treatments that complement conventional approaches:

  • Herbal Supplements: Saw palmetto and beta-sitosterol are known to support prostate health and alleviate symptoms of BPH. Mushrooms such as Lion’s Mane and Turkey Tail help to support the immune system and encourage the body to find/eliminate cancer cells.
  • Nutritional Therapy: Tailored dietary plans focusing on reducing inflammation and boosting immune function.
  • Stress Management: Chronic stress can exacerbate prostate issues. Techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can be beneficial.

Fusion IFM Specializes in Functional Health for Men

As an Integrative and Functional Medicine physician, I aim to empower men with ‘real-life’ education and best practices to take charge of their prostate health. By making informed lifestyle choices and seeking integrative treatments, men can significantly improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of prostate-related diseases.

Protect your prostate—and your overall health and wellness–by breaking the sugar habit once and for all. You’ll be amazed by how much better you look and feel every day. Feel free to schedule a consultation with me or a free Discovery Session with my team for personalized health guidance.

Jessica Miller, MD, is double Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Integrative Medicine. She is also a Certified Institute for Functional Medicine Practitioner, located in Marlboro, NJ. Learn more about her approach and services here.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of an individualized healthcare visit.

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