Diet and exercise limit heart disease risk in men—

Men with advanced prostate cancer are typically treated with drugs that prevent the body from making or using testosterone. A hormone (or an androgen, as it’s known), testosterone drives prostate cancer cells to grow faster, so shutting it down is essential to keeping the illness in check. About 600,000 men with advanced prostate cancer in the United States today are undergoing this type of anti-hormonal treatment, which is called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). But even as ADT helps men live longer, it exerts a toll on the body. Men can lose muscle and bone mass, gain weight, and they face higher risks for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The good news is that a few helpful strategies can lessen these metabolic side effects. Engaging in aerobic exercise and resistance training, for instance, has been shown to drop levels of inflammation in the body that might otherwise lead to heart disease. Quitting smoking is similarly beneficial, since tobacco smoke’s toxic effects on the heart are more pronounced in the absence of testosterone.

In a new study, researchers have shown that taking daily walks and eating a low-carbohydrate diet can also lessen ADT’s harms. During the investigation, 42 men who were just starting on ADT were split into two groups: Half the men took daily walks lasting at least half an hour five days a week, and were instructed to limit their carbohydrate intake to no more than 20 grams per day. The other half of the men (the control group) maintained their usual diet and exercise patterns.

After six months, typical weight loss among men in the walking/low-carbohydrate group was about 20 pounds, compared to a nearly 3-pound weight gain among men who stuck to their usual dietary and exercise routines. Men in the walking/low-carbohydrate group also had significantly higher blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which removes cholesterol and lessens risks of atherosclerosis and heart disease. And they also had significant improvements in insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic condition), but only at three months and not when the levels were checked again three months later.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Stephen Freedland from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, says exercise combined with low-carbohydrate diets appears to be a promising strategy in men undergoing ADT that should be studied further. Dr. Marc Garnick, the Gorman Brothers Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and editor in chief of, agreed, pointing out that weight gain can be a real problem for men that endures even after ADT is discontinued. “The weight loss in the experimental group is encouraging and should be validated in larger studies,” he said. “In the meantime, combining exercise with low-carbohydrate diets is a common-sense strategy that clinicians should recommend to their patients.”

Below are spiritual recipe for health and wellness: Matthew E. McLaren

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIV

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 NIV

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10 NIV

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24 NIV

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV

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