Diet & Dairy Promote Prostate Cancer – new study


Diet & Dairy Promote Prostate Cancer – new study

Takeaway First

Two research articles from the Physicians’ Health Study revealed that the Western diet, which is high in saturated fat, dairy, red meat, and , significantly increases the risk of death from prostate cancer and all-cause mortality (death from any cause). A plant-based, low-dairy diet can help men increase their life expectancy despite a prostate cancer diagnosis.

Study Details

These authors all studied the same group of 926 men, all of whom were members of the Physicians’ Health Study and had been diagnosed with non-metastatic prostate cancer. They completed regular diet questionnaires over a span of 10 years.

The first paper examined the link between diet, prostate cancer, and all-cause mortality.

The authors looked at two kinds of diet:

Prudent pattern: higher intake of vegetables, fruits, fish, legumes, and whole grains

Western pattern: higher intake of processed and red meats, high-fat dairy and refined grains.

The Western pattern significantly increased the risk of prostate-cancerspecific and all-cause mortality.

The second paper looked at just dairy connection with prostate cancer and all cause mortality. The authors found that men consuming three or more servings per day of dairy products had a 76% higher risk of total mortality and a 141% higher risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality compared to men who consumed less than one dairy product per day.

The association between high-fat dairy and mortality risk appeared to be stronger than that of low-fat dairy, but the difference between them was not statistically significant.

My Take on Diet, Dairy, and Prostate Cancer

I work with dietary lifestyle and prostate cancer virtually everyday of my life, so this news is not surprising. It just confirms my belief that, when working with patients to improve their longevity and quality-of-life, nutrition is real medicine. It’s exactly what Hippocrates said two thousand years ago: “let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.”

Why do we forget this? One reason is because medical schools are lacking in nutrition classes. The other reason is financial. In our current medical system, physicians actually lose money when they talk to any patient for more than 12 minutes. Medical reimbursements are only substantial when performing procedures, prostate biopsies, cystoscopy, coronary stents, etc.

This is not a critique of physicians as much as one on the medical system which fails to promote discussions of lifestyle and dietary choices between doctors and their patients.

What Should You do?

Eating well all the time is hard, I know. I live in this world, too, and it’s not any easier for me. My fifteen years of research on lifestyle and prostate cancer tells me that eating well to prevent or survive prostate cancer is not an all-or-nothing scenario.

In other words, the harm is in the amount. Scientists call this a “dose-response relationship.”

Notice the dairy research observed a higher mortality rate in those men who consumed more than 3 servings for dairy. 

One serving of dairy equals 8 ounces of milk or about 2 ounces of cheese.

That means that a little milk in your coffee in the morning isn’t a problem, unless you’re pouring in a whole glass.

Besides, if you are aware of the specific amount at which it becomes “too much,” you’re more likely to stick to the plan, no?

The real issue here is that most people “can’t have just one.”

You know yourself. If you can’t keep yourself from eating excessive low-level foods, then consider abstaining from low-level cancer-causing foods altogether. And yes, you can do it.

These “low-level foods are those on the lower end of the CaPLESS 1 to 5 scale:

A very brief summary

12 foods: all refined carbohydrates, fruit juices (not fruits), well-done meats, non-grass-fed meats.

45 foods: all vegetables, especially broccoli, cauliflower, almost all fruits whole, natural grains. Dirty dozen foods are only in this category when they’re organic.


Yang, M., Kenfield, S. A., Van Blarigan, E. L., Batista, J. L., Sesso, H. D., Ma, J., . . . Chavarro, J. E. (2015). Dietary Patterns after Prostate Cancer Diagnosis in Relation to Disease-Specific and Total Mortality. Cancer Prevention Research, 8(6), 545-551. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.capr-14-0442

Yang, M., Kenfield, S. A., Van Blarigan, E. L., Wilson, K. M., Batista, J. L., Sesso, H. D., . . . Chavarro, J. E. (2015). Dairy intake after prostate cancer diagnosis in relation to disease-specific and total mortality. Int J Cancer. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29608


Growing Short: Little-Known Facts about Small Penises

Growing Short: Little-Known Facts about Small Penises


The Takeaway First

About half of men in the world have penises that are shorter than average (go figure!), but far fewer men have conditions that actually reduce their penile length. Length can be lost as a result of certain surgical procedures, Peyronie’s disease, and possibly erectile dysfunction. This is not the end of the world, however, as women report that girth is more important than length.

Study Details

As you know if you read my previous post, the average penile size is about 3.5 inches (9 cm) in the flaccid state, whereas the maximally stretched flaccid length, on average, is 5.2 inches (13 cm). Average erect penile length ranges from 5 to 5.7 inches (12.8 to 14.5 cm), and the average penile girth is about 4 inches (10.0-10.5 cm). What is the significance of these findings?

Penile shortening is a phenomenon that is associated with certain medical and surgical conditions. These conditions include prostate cancer patients treated with radical prostatectomy, Peyronie’s disease and congenital anomalies. There is also some evidence that erectile dysfunction may be an independent risk factor for shortening.

Results are mixed for penis shortening post-prostatectomy. In one study, 31 men were examined, and most of them demonstrated a significant penile shortening of up to one centimeter. (Not a huge difference in the end, in my opinion.) About half of them lost more than a centimeter. I said the results were mixed because some patients actually increased in girth after the procedure. Weird!

These data were confirmed by Halioglu et al. in 2006. This research team compared the penis lengths of men who had undergone androgen suppression and radiation therapy. Men who underwent both procedures lost significant length, but men who underwent radiation alone also lost some length.

My Take on This

Although 99% of the men I see who complain of a “small penis”, some do have something called congenital micropenis. By definition, a penis is “micro” when it is 2.7 inches or shorter and otherwise normally formed.

The biological causes stem largely from defects in the hypothalamus, specifically when an inadequate amount of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is released. This may be a primary hypothalamic or an anterior pituitary problem. Lastly, the micropenis can result from embryonic testis failure causing insufficient masculinization. Bladder exstrophy and epispadias also can result in penile shortening, thought to be related to a congenitally shortened anterior corporal length.

Although it is possible to have an abnormally small penis, preoccupation with the size of your Johnson can go to dangerous extremes. In Japan, some men are diagnosed with koro, a psychological condition in which a man fears that his penis is actually shrinking back into his body. This is imagined, and their penises stay the same length despite their fears. However, koro can be debilitating for a man’s confidence and disastrous for his sex life as a result. All this to say: don’t worry too much about it.

Another reason not to worry too much about length is this: studies have shown that, in terms of women’s pleasure during vaginal sex, girth is much more important than length. Fifty sexually active female undergraduate students were asked which felt better, penis width or length for their sexual satisfaction. Apparently, 45 reported that width felt better (Eisenmen 2001). Another study asked 375 women if size mattered and again, girth was more important than length (Francken et al. 2002). Why is this the case? My assumption is that penis width may be important because a penis that is thick at the base provides greater clitoral stimulation as the male thrusts into the female during sexual intercourse.

What should you do?

Besides high-risk surgical procedures and drugs that usually don’t work, there is not much you can do about your size. Remember that, when it comes to pleasing your partner, length is not as important as girth. If you happen to have neither length nor girth, that doesn’t mean you and your honey can’t get creative.

A new surgical procedure, known as the Modified Sliding Technique (MoST) is available for men with penile shortening after surgery or with Peyronie’s. One recent study on MoST looked at over 140 patients who underwent this procedure after a penile shortening from either disease or surgery increase in penile length by 3.1 cm (1.22 inches). (Egydio & Kuehhas, BJU int. 2015)

An excellent urologist surgeon (no bias although he is good friend), Dr. Robert Valenzuela is one of the leaders in the United States of this procedure for the very motivated.



Eisenman R.Penis size: Survey of female perceptions of sexual satisfaction. BMC Womens Health. 2001;1(1):1.

Francken AB, van de Wiel HB, van Driel MF, Weijmar Schultz WC. What importance do women attribute to the size of the penis? Eur Urol. 2002 Nov;42(5):426-31.

Egydio PH1, Kuehhas FE. Penile lengthening and widening without grafting according to a modified sliding technique. BJU Int. 2015 Jan 28.


Dietary supplements (DS) story is BS

Why the story on DS (Dietary Supplements) may be BS


This story came out about two weeks ago. I am chiming in a little late but the topic on dietary supplement manufacturing practices is still important. And you need to know about it.

According to the New York Times, GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart have been caught selling mislabeled dietary supplements. Investigators found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.

The story claims that up to 80% of pills that allegedly contain medicinal herbs contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus, pulverized houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.

Further, three out of six herbal products at Target — ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, and valerian root (a sleep aid) — tested negative for the herbs on their labels. But they did contain powdered rice, beans, peas and wild carrots. And at GNC, the agency said, pills contained unlisted ingredients used as fillers, like powdered legumes, the class of plants that includes peanuts and soybeans, a hazard for people with allergies.

Questioning the testing method – DNA bar coding

There are some problems with this report, though. It is worth noting that DNA barcoding has been criticized by botanical scientists who question whether this technology is an appropriate or validated test for determining the presence of herbal ingredients in finished botanical products.

DNA barcoding has strengths and limitations. DNA testing is rarely able to properly identify chemically complex herbal extracts as little or no DNA is extracted in many commercial extraction processes. Processing during manufacturing of botanical supplements can remove or damage DNA; therefore, while a DNA testing method can be useful in some cases, this method well may be the wrong test for these kinds of products.

Also, the DNA testing method does not provide information on the amounts of food contaminants found in the products. This is important because there are well-established legal thresholds that allow for trace amounts of some ingredients, say gluten, rice, pine, etc., which are not considered harmful or required on labels.

Alarming the public by saying that these substances could be dangerous to people with allergies is unnecessary; after all, there was no mention of whether DNA from these substances poses any allergic risk.

Being based on only one testing technology from only one laboratory, the NY AG results are preliminary and require further substantiation. Additional tests using microscopic analysis and validated chemical methods should be conducted to confirm the initial results upon which the AG is acting.

Questioning the tester – Professor James A. Schulte II

Of note, the AG’s office contracted with Prof. James A. Schulte II, PhD, of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, who employed DNA barcode technology to test the supplements. Dr. Schulte has a background in evolutionary biology and reptilian zoology, but he is not considered an expert in botany, pharmacology, or natural product chemistry — three key scientific areas related to herb and medicinal plant research.

[click to continue…]

7 Easy Tips to Stay Healthy During the Super Bowl

7 Easy Tips for a Healthy Super Bowl Party


Odds are there will be a lot of crap for you to eat at the Super Bowl party this weekend. Six-foot long sandwiches, chips, salsa, and beer are the usual grub, right? Those are the “manly” things to eat after all, aren’t they? No. They’re not.

Now, here’s the deal. I know you want to have a good time without having to think much about ‘eating healthy.’ You just want to live the moment and enjoy the awesome super commercials, eat and be merry. I get it.

But eating an excessive amount of toxic foods during the Super Bowl is not worth it. It never is. I am not suggesting to be neurotic and fanatical, but only to be aware. You have one life. Live it right.

OK, I will step off my soapbox now and give you seven good tips that I personally will apply this weekend to enjoy the Super Bowl without paying the price.

7 Health Tips to Enjoy the Super Bowl

  1. Don’t lose sight of the main goal, which is to share good times with family and friends. Talk a little smack and laugh. Food and beer is a small component of that.
  1. Have a great breakfast on Super Bowl Sunday. I’m talking high-octane proteins like a veggie omelet (no bread) or a power smoothie (tips here)
  1. Work out on Super Bowl Sunday. That’s what the football players are doing, after all. Act like you are playing in the super bowl and workout as such. I am half joking here, but if you get in the right state of mind your workout can feel awesome.
  1. Eat right before leaving your home or before everyone comes if you’re hosting. Again, eat a top notch meal. No junk! This will prevent the dangerous situation of starting the party in a hungry state. All bets are off if you start on empty.
  1. Be mindful. It is easy to overeat and over-drink when you get caught up in the moment and eat simply without thinking, so think about it!
  1. Have a veggie platter with hummus dip if you’re hosting. Bring one to the party if you are not. Don’t eat raw broccoli though, it is very hard to digest when it is not at least steamed. (Also, raw broccoli contains goitrogens which damages your thyroid – did you know that?) Carrots and celery are OK to eat raw. Easy on that white creamy dip though.
  1. Root for the Seahawks! Actually, I just want to see a good game. But I really like Russel Wilson. For a relatively short quarterback, that level of talent is an aberration. And I like aberrations. Plus, he is a Wisconin Badger, my favorite college football team. (Don’t discount the rest of my advice if you’re rooting for a different team.)

Who are you going for? Or do you not care? Share your thoughts on the comments section below.

Lastly, here is a sneak preview of this years Budweiser’s super bowl commercial.  It’s a bit of a tear jerker so grab your handkerchief.

Be safe.