Lycopene, zinc and vitamin D show a 'weak association' for protection against benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), a condition said to affect more than half of all men over the age of 50, suggests a new study.
Almost 5,000 men were followed for the new study, published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, which showed a stronger benefit for a vegetable-rich diet, while also indicating that high consumption of red meat may increase the risk of BPH.
"A diet low in fat and red meat and high in protein and vegetables, as well as regular alcohol consumption, may reduce the risk of symptomatic BPH," said researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The new study was epidemiological, and followed 4,770 men participating in the placebo-arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. All the men were free of BPH at the start of the study.
Over seven years of follow-up, 876 incident BPH cases were documented by Kristal and co-workers. Dietary intakes, assessed using a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ), showed that a high-fat diet was associated with a 31 per cent increase in the risk of BPH, while increased protein intake was associated with a 15 per cent reduction in risk.
Moreover, consumption of four daily servings of vegetables was associated with a 32 per cent reduction in BPH risk, compared to less than one daily serving. On the other hand, a daily serving of red meat was linked to a 38 per cent increase in risk, compared to less than one serving per week. Vitamin D, zinc and lycopene were weakly associated with a reduction in the risk of BPH, added the researchers.
Bonnie - what is most exciting about this study is the 15% reduction in risk due to high protein consumption.