One of my readers, I’ll call him Roy, sent me this interesting note the other day.
“Dear Dr. Shallenberger,
“It might sound illogical to you, but the more sugar I consume, the more prostate problems I have. I am 84 years old, and I have experienced this since I was 34. The solution to the problem is not as easy as you might think. If you are a sugar addict, you will start cheating on your diet and gradually get back on sugar. The prostate problem does not begin immediately, so you are deceived into believing that you don’t have that problem anymore. In due time, the prostate problem returns with a vengeance. This makes me wonder how many other health problems are due to excessive sugar, but we never make the connection between it and sugar. I found out by accident that my prostate problem was connected to sugar.”
Roy has the right idea! Sometimes you just have to try different things before you figure out what works for your particular body. So, here’s the thing. I have no idea why his prostate is so sensitive to sugar intake. I have not seen this relationship before. But that is not the point. The point is that we are all different, and as Hippocrates said 2,500 years ago, “One man’s food is another man’s poison.” So, I’m not surprised that sugar would cause this problem. A recent review article on the hazards of eating sugar and refined carbohydrate doesn’t mention prostate problems, but it sure gives a hardy warning about sugar and refined carbohydrates in general.
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The author of the article entitled, “A review of excessive sugar metabolism on oral and general health,” has the following to say about sugar. “The first observation about the perils of sugar had to do with dental cavities.” But that is far from all. The author goes on to point out the many studies showing that sugar has also been linked as a major player in virtually every disease there is, including obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and kidney disease. Maybe now, thanks to Roy, we can add prostate problems to the list? But, where is all this sugar coming from?
Obviously, some of it is coming from sweets and sweet drinks like fruit juice and soda. But a lot of it is hidden in processed foods such as cereals, ketchup, BBQ and other sauces, yogurt, frozen meals, dried fruit, and so forth. But hidden sugars are not the only hidden way we can expose our bodies to too much sugar. The other is carbohydrates in general.
When I am talking about carbohydrate foods, I am primarily talking about fruits, grains, and root vegetables. Most people don’t realize it, but when you eat any of these foods, you are basically eating sugar. That’s because all of these carbohydrates don’t get absorbed into the body until your digestive system breaks them down into sugar. So, basically, eating them has the same effects as eating sugar.
So, be careful about sugar and carbohydrates in general. And if you have any kind of medical problem, do what Roy did, and eliminate them from your diet for 30 days. The odds are halfway good that your problem will go away.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
Chow KF. A Review of Excessive Sugar Metabolism on Oral and General Health. Chin J Dent Res. 2017;20(4):193-198.