Research: ROHRMANN and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 148


ROHRMANN and colleagues, Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA, have looked at the connection between antioxidant-containing foods and benign prostate enlargement.


Nutrients with antioxidant properties or that influence cell growth and differentiation might reduce the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of fruit, vegetable, and micronutrient intakes with benign prostatic hyperplasia.


The participants were aged 46-81 in 1992. In 1992 and biennially thereafter, the men reported having surgery for an enlarged prostate, and in 1992 and on 3 subsequent questionnaires they completed the American Urological Association symptom index (AUASI). Benign prostatic hyperplasia cases were men who reported having surgery or who had an AUASI score of 15-35 (n = 6092). Control subjects were men who had not had surgery and never had an AUASI score >7 (n = 18 373). Intakes of fruit, vegetables, and antioxidants were assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire in 1986. Odds ratios of benign prostatic hyperplasia and 95% Confidence Intervals were calculated using logistic regression.


Vegetable consumption was inversely associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (fifth compared with first quintile-odds ratio: 0.89; p for trend = 0.03), whereas fruit intake was not. Consumption of fruit and vegetables rich in beta-carotene (p for trend = 0.004), lutein (p for trend = 0.0004), or vitamin C (p for trend = 0.05) was inversely related to benign prostatic hyperplasia. With increasing vitamin C intake from foods, men were less likely to have benign prostatic hyperplasia (p for trend = 0.0009). Neither alpha- nor gamma-tocopherol intake from foods was associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (p for trend = 0.05 and 0.84, respectively).


These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that a diet rich in vegetables may reduce the occurrence of benign prostatic hyperplasia.


Rohrmann S, Giovannucci E, Willett WC, Platz EA. Fruit and vegetable consumption, intake of micronutrients, and benign prostatic hyperplasia in US men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 85 (2): 523-529, Feb 2007.

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