Sugar, beverages, and risk for prostate cancer


A newly published analysis of data from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial has suggested that a high level of sugar in sweetened drinks appears to be associated with an increased risk for diagnosis with prostate cancer.

Your sitemaster is always quick to note that this type of “association” has to be treated with caution since it does not prove a “cause and effect” relationship. However, …

In this particular case we already know that a high level of processed sugar in one’s diet is not a particularly good idea for a whole bunch of other reasons, including the associated risks for things like metabolic syndrome, hypertension, high cholesterol levels, inflammatory conditions, and cancer development in general. Thus, the recently published study by Miles et al. only adds one more possible reason (for men in particular) why limiting one’s consumption of sweetened drinks is almost certainly a good idea. (See also this commentary on the Cancer Therapy Advisor web site.)

2 Responses

  1. I have mCRPC and avoid processed sugar as much as I am able to. Because of the meds that I am on, just about all foods taste terrible and I have a hard time eating. I have been able to eat oatmeal in the morning with 100% pure maple syrup. I realize this is not “processed sugar” but still wonder if that is o.k.

  2. Dear Rik:

    There is no simple answer to that question. The study referred to above states only that there is an “association” when sugar is added to “beverages” (by which I think the authors are generally referring to things like sodas and other high-sugar soft drinks). My general feeling is that, at your stage of disease, if eating oatmeal with maple syrup in the mornings is one of the things you can eat and “enjoy” to some extent — keep doing it. It’s hardly likely that this is doing any meaningful “harm”.

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