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Diet, obesity, and prostate health: are we missing the link?

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Published:9th Feb 2012
Author: Tewari R, Rajender S, Natu SM, Dalela D, Goel A, Goel MM, Tandon P.
Availability: Free full text
Ref.:J Androl. 2012,33(5):763-76


Prostate problems, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostatic intra-epithelial neoplasia, prostatitis, and prostate cancer have been recognized as problems largely related to androgens and genetic factors. They affect a large fraction of the 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 until very recently. Increasing episodes of prostate problems, complications in overweight/obese individuals, or both have attracted attention toward these contemporary risk factors. Prostate problems are reportedly less frequent or less severe in areas in which a plant-based diet is predominant. 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 because of a delayed diagnosis. In short, evidence is gathering to support the 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.

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