Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Dietary and Lifestyle Considerations
There are many ways men can reduce their risk of developing urinary symptoms associated with BPH.
Low Fat Diet – A diet high in fat can increase the risk of developing BPH. A 2008 study found that men who received more than 38% of their calories from fat are nearly one-third more likely to develop BPH than men who received less than 26% of their calories from fat (Kristal 2008). These findings suggest that lowering one’s overall fat intake may help reduce the risk of developing BPH.
Eating Vegetables – Studies have found that men who eat more vegetables are less likely to develop BPH (Kristal 2008; Rohrmann 2007). In particular, vegetables rich in beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C are associated with a decreased risk of BPH (Rohrmann 2007).
Weight Loss and blood sugar control – There is a direct relationship between body weight and prostate size. Obese men are more likely to develop symptoms of BPH; greater weight, BMI, and waist circumference are all associated with a higher incidence of BPH. One study found that obese men are 3.5 times as likely to develop BPH as normal weight men. Men with diabetes mellitus are likely to have increased prostate volume, and have a 2-fold higher risk of BPH compared to men with normal blood sugar control (Parsons 2007).
Exercise – Regular physical exercise decreases the risk of developing BPH. One study found that men who regularly engage in strenuous physical activity as part of their job have a 30–40% lower risk of developing BPH. Even regular walking can reduce one’s risk of developing BPH. For example, men who walk 2–3 hours per week have a 25% percent lower risk of developing BPH (Parsons 2007).