The Effects of Sugar on Male Health

Sweeties
Sweet cookies covered in powdered sugar. (Image: Gti861/iStock/Getty Images)

A report given by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2010 states that the amount of sugar used by the average American since 1970 has increased significantly. Excess amounts of sugar, which is often added to processed foods, confectionery and beverages, can elevate your blood fat increasing your risk of heart disease. An overindulgence of sugar can also lead to obesity, which if left unchecked will inevitably increase your susceptibility to a myriad of other debilitating disorders such as diabetes type two and prostate cancer in men. Erectile dysfunction may also be experienced as a consequence of diabetes and cancer treatments.

Added Sugars

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The more sugar you eat, the higher your blood-glucose level will be, which triggers the release of the hormone insulin making your body store fat. Eating a high quantity of sugar in one sitting causes your body to remain in the fat accumulation mode for longer periods. It’s not always easy to detect foods that contain added sugars. Obvious items such as confectionery, cakes and deserts are loaded with refined sugar and provide empty calories. These foods can be reduced in an attempt to manage your health. Being cognizant of other more seemingly innocent foods such as pasta, rice and milk, which sometimes contain considerable amounts of sugar, will help you monitor your health.

Heart Disease

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Large amounts of added sugars reduce high density lipoprotein levels and raise triglyceride levels, These two factors are fundamental to the onset of heart disease. Excessive sugar consumption can cause you to become overweight, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease, which the American Heart Association stated affect a greater number of men in comparison to non-menopausal women.

Prostate Cancer

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The American Cancer Society states that prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in the United States and the second highest cause for mortality next to lung cancer. Sugar is a major source of energy for cancerous cells, and cancer thrives when excess sugar is consumed. Minimal stress, regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet containing fruits, vegetables and fresh fish may help reduce your risks of developing prostate and other cancers.

Erectile Dysfunction

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A common misconception about sugar is that it causes type two diabetes. Although this is incorrect, consuming foods loaded with sugar and fats on a regular basis, coupled with little or no exercise can lead to obesity, a leading cause of diabetes type II. One of the symptoms of diabetes in men is erectile dysfunction, which researchers at the Brady Urological Institute at John Hopkins suggested links to hyperglycemia. When sexual stimulation occurs, the enzyme neuronal nitric oxide synthase or nNOS releases. This activates the release of nitric oxide, or NO, to nerve endings. Penile smooth muscles relax temporarily and blood flow increases rapidly for brief periods, resulting in an erection. As blood vessels continue to dilate and muscular tissue further relaxes, blood flow intensifies and the activation of endothelilal nitric oxide synthase, or eNOS, occurs, appearing in penile blood vessels. This sets off a continual release of NO to maintain the erection. O-GIcNAc blood sugar in hyperglycemia relates to erectile dysfunction, researchers explained, as it interferes with the activation of eNOS, hampering the production of NO to interrupt the vascular erection process. Erectile dysfunction can also manifest in response to cancer treatments.

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