Moma was right! Eat your vegetables and help your prostate.

Vegetable Intake May Reduce BPH

Urology – November 15, 2007 – Vol. 23 – No. 07

A diversity of plant-based foods are heart healthy and prostate healthy.

Article Reviewed: Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Intake of Micronutrients, and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in US Men. Rohrmann S, Giovannucci E, et al: Am J Clin Nutr; 2007; 85 (February): 523-529.

Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Intake of Micronutrients, and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia in US Men.

Rohrmann S, Giovannucci E, et al:
Am J Clin Nutr; 2007; 85 (February): 523-529

Background: Heart disease and various urologic conditions are both based partially on a chronic inflammatory process. Nutrients in healthy foods may not only be heart healthy but also prostate healthy. Objective: To evaluate the impact of fruit, vegetable, and nutrient consumption on the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Design/Methods: One of the largest prospective epidemiologic studies in the world is the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS). The average age of the men was 52.54 years, and every 2 years, the health status of the participants was determined by questionnaires and medical records for a period of >14 years. BPH cases were men who reported having surgery or who had an American Urologic Association symptom index (AUASI) of 15 to 35 (n=6092). Men without BPH (controls) had an AUASI score of >7 (n=18,373). Men with an AUASI of 8 to 14 were not included in this study (n=7800). Results: Intake of vegetables were significantly (P =0.03) and inversely correlated with BPH, with the highest consumption being associated with 11% reduction in risk. However, fruit intake was not associated with the risk of BPH. The most significant reduction in the risk of BPH was found for increasing vitamin C intake from food (P =0.009). Vitamin E intake from foods was not associated with the risk of BPH. Conclusions: A diet high in vegetable intake may lower the risk of BPH. Reviewer’s Comments: The highest intake of fruits and vegetables was almost 10 servings a day in this study! However, I find it most interesting that men with the highest intake of healthy foods also were less likely to smoke, more likely to drink in moderation, more physically active, and had the highest intake of dietary fiber per day.

In other words, this study sends two very important messages: (1) the sum of what one does in moderation provides a bigger benefit than one or two healthy behavioral changes in extreme, and (2) life is not about pomegranate versus tomato juice but a diversity of fruits and vegetables is the best behavioral method. The patient should pick what they like in terms of fruits and vegetables, and not what just looks good on the nightly news (Reviewer–Mark Moyad, MD, MPH).

 

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