Researchers studied 4,770 men over seven years, 876 of whom developed BPH. They found that a high-fat diet increased the risk of an enlarged prostate by a third, and that daily consumption of red meat raised the risk by 38%.
But the study, published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology, also found that following a healthy diet could help decrease the risk of BPH. Eating four or more servings of vegetables a day reduced the relative risk by 32% and moderate alcohol consumption – no more than two drinks a day – decreased the risk by 38%.
Lead author Alan Kristal, head of the Cancer Prevention Programme at the Hutchinson Centre in Seattle, Washington, said: ‘High fat intake increases the levels of circulating hormones [in the body], such as oestrogens and androgens, both of which may affect prostate tissue.
‘The results of this study clearly show a link between a high-fat diet and increased risk of BPH,’ he said.