Fruit and vegetable consumption, intake of micronutrients, and benign prostatic hyperplasia in US men

Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Feb;85(2):523-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/85.2.523.


Background: Nutrients with antioxidant properties or that influence cell growth and differentiation might reduce the risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Objective: The objective was to evaluate the association of fruit, vegetable, and micronutrient intakes with BPH.

Design: 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.

Results: 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).

Conclusion: Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that a diet rich in vegetables may reduce the occurrence of BPH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Micronutrients / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vegetables*


  • Micronutrients