Diet, Obesity, and Prostate Health: Are We Missing the Link?
Tewari R, Rajender S, Natu SM, Dalela D, Goel A, Goel MM, Tandon P. J Androl. 2012 Feb 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

Prostate problems such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatic intra-epithelial neoplasia (PIN), prostatitis and prostate cancer (CaP) have been recognized as problems largely related to androgens and genetic factors. They impact a large fraction of elderly population, contributing significantly to morbidity and mortality. Estrogen has also now been recognized as one of the important regulators of prostate growth. Diet, general health and obesity were disregarded as the causative or complicating factors till very recently. Increasing episodes of prostate problems and/or complications in overweight/obese individuals have attracted attention towards these contemporary risk factors. Prostate problems are reportedly less frequent or less severe in the areas using a predominantly plant based diet. Consumption of certain fatty acids, particularly of animal origin has been correlated with increased prostate problems. As adipose tissue is increasingly being regarded as hormonally active tissue, high body fat and obesity need in-depth exploration to understand the associated risk of prostate problems. Adipose tissue is now known to affect circulating levels of several bioactive messengers and therefore could affect the risk of developing prostate problems in addition to several other well-recognized health problems. Nevertheless, increased plasma volume, excess tissue growth and fat deposition could affect resection and number of biopsies required, thus adding further complications due to delayed diagnosis. In short, evidence is gathering to support influence of diet and obesity on prostate health. In this review article, we have tried to make this connection more apparent using supporting published data.