Diet and Exercise May Reduce Risk of ADT Side Effects, Study Says

Diet and Exercise May Reduce Risk of ADT Side Effects, Study Says

A small-scale study recently found a possible correlation between a diet and exercise and reduced risk of suffering side effects from androgen deprivation therapy in men being treated for prostate cancer.

No Carbs? No Side Effects

Good physical health, as measured by factors such as body mass index, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol, almost always contribute to a better, more fulfilling life. But researchers have found that taking action to be more healthy by adopting a low-carbohydrate diet and exercising regularly in the form of walking 30 minutes a day can help to minimize the chances men will experience side effects from common prostate cancer treatments.

A new study, published in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, explored this connection, finding that side effects were less severe for men who were undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) if they consumed less than 20 grams of carbohydrates a day and walked a minimum of 30 minutes five days a week. The study, which followed these men for six months, found that these men experienced weight loss, less insulin dependency, and better cholesterol levels — all factors that may play a role in reducing the impact of side effects from ADT.

Problems With the Study

While the initial results were promising, the study does have some major flaws working against it. In fact, the researchers themselves were quick to point out the shortcomings, especially when it came to the sample size of fewer than 50 patients. Scientists were aiming for a minimum of 100 participants but found it difficult to find those willing to deal with the restrictions of a low carbohydrate diet, incorporate regular exercise, and deal with a prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment all at the same time.

Still, the findings indicate that there’s an obvious link between overall physical health and the body’s ability to weather hormone treatments like ADT successfully while battling prostate cancer. Better health, even if it’s not directly connected to reduced risk of side effects, is obviously a contributory factor to a higher quality of life while undergoing prostate cancer treatment.

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