Nutrients with antioxidant properties or that influence cell growth and differentiation might reduce the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
The objective was to evaluate the association of fruit, vegetable, and micronutrient intakes with BPH.
The participants were members of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and were aged 46-81 y 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). BPH 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). Men with a score of 8-14 were excluded (n = 7800). Intakes of fruit, vegetables, and antioxidants were assessed with a food-frequency questionnaire in 1986. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) of BPH and 95% CIs using logistic regression.
Vegetable consumption was inversely associated with BPH (fifth compared with first quintile-OR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.80, 0.99; 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 BPH. With increasing vitamin C intake from foods, men were less likely to have BPH (P for trend = 0.0009). Neither alpha- nor gamma-tocopherol intake from foods was associated with BPH (P for trend = 0.05 and 0.84, respectively).
Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that a diet rich in vegetables may reduce the occurrence of BPH.