gms | German Medical Science

Kongress Medizin und Gesellschaft 2007

17. bis 21.09.2007, Augsburg

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

Meeting Abstract

  • Sabine Rohrmann - DKFZ Heidelberg, Heidelberg
  • Edward Giovannucci - Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
  • Walter C Willett - Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston
  • Elizabeth A Platz - Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore

Kongress Medizin und Gesellschaft 2007. Augsburg, 17.-21.09.2007. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2007. Doc07gmds329

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 6, 2007

© 2007 Rohrmann et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Nutrients with antioxidant properties or effects on cell growth and differentiation are hypothesized to beneficially affect benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). For this reason, we examined the associations of fruit and vegetable consumption and micronutrient intake with BPH.

Material and Methods: Participants were members of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, aged 46-81 years in 1992. Starting in 1992 men reported biennially whether they had had surgery for an enlarged prostate, and in 1992 and on three subsequent questionnaires they completed the American Urological Association Symptom Index (AUASI). Men were considered to be cases if they reported BPH surgery or had an AUA score of 15-35 at any time between 1986 and 2000 (n=6,092). Controls were men who had not had surgery and never had an AUASI score >7 (n=18,373). Men with an intermediate score of 8-14 were excluded from the analysis (n=7,800). Intakes of fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants were assessed by a food frequency questionnaire in 1986. We calculated odds ratios (OR) of BPH and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using logistic regression.

Results: We observed an inverse association of vegetable consumption with BPH (5th vs. 1st quintile OR=0.89, 95% CI 0.80-0.99, p-trend=0.03), whereas there was no statistically significant association with fruit intake. Further, the consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in lutein (p-trend=0.0004), in beta-carotene (p-trend=0.004), or in vitamin C (p-trend=0.05) were inversely associated with BPH. Men with a high intake of beta-cryptoxanthin (p-trend=0.002), lutein and zeaxanthin (p-trend<0.0001), or vitamin C from foods (p-trend=0.0009) were less likely to have BPH, but neither alpha- nor gamma-tocopherol intake from foods were associated with BPH (p-trend=0.79 and 0.84, respectively).

Conclusion: Our findings support the hypothesis that a diet rich in vegetables, especially in beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C containing fruits and vegetables may reduce the occurrence of BPH.