Worst foods for an enlarged prostate

What should you NOT be eating?


Dr. Jen Tan
@AVogelUK


23 February 2015

Your diet and your prostate

While the exact causes of BPH are not entirely understood, we do know that what you eat can have a big influence on the health of your prostate. While some foods can help reduce the risk of developing an enlarged prostate (BPH), as well as lessen the severity of the symptoms, there are others which can actually aggravate your symptoms.

The more inflammation present in your body generally, the more likely you are to have inflammation in the prostate, so avoiding or limiting certain foods which trigger an inflammatory response is a good place to start, as well as staying clear of food and drinks which irritate the bladder and cause frequent urination.

Unfortunately gentlemen, it is often some of our favourite foods that can cause inflammation flare ups and bladder problems. Knowing the main culprits however could help you manage your symptoms better.

Foods to avoid

Red Meat

You may love your steak but the problem with meat is that it elevates levels of arachidonic acid in your body, and that, in turn, increases inflammation, the very thing your enlarged prostate does not need. Choosing alternatives such as lean meat and fish is a better option for men needing to reduce inflammation of the prostate.

Eggs & Poultry

A study published in the January 2006 issue of Urology which explored the connection between food and the increased occurrence of BPH symptoms, found that eating eggs and poultry appeared to increase symptoms, so these too should be avoided if possible. Egg yolks also have high levels of arachidonic acid, which, as mentioned earlier, increases inflammation. Try eating only the egg white, as this is a good source of protein.

Processed foods & sugar

Highly processed food (which tends to include junk food and take-aways) and refined sugar all increase inflammation in your system. Cut them down or out to reduce the pressure on your prostate.

Caffeine

Avoiding or limiting your caffeine intake including coffee, tea and fizzy drinks can make a big difference to your urinary health. Caffeine has a diuretic effect, which means it increases your urge to go to the toilet. Because it can be difficult for men with an enlarged prostate to empty their bladders completely, drinking these beverages, especially late at night, can irritate the bladder and increase the need to go to the toilet.

Instead, try drinking chamomile tea which has anti-inflammatory properties, green tea which has antioxidant benefits or caffeine-free coffee alternatives such as Bambu. Another important drink for your prostate is water. It’s vital to stay well hydrated, but remember to try not to drink anything at least 2 hours before bedtime.

Spicy foods

Curries, chilli, hot sauces can make tasty meals but men with an enlarged prostate need to be wary of spicy foods like these, as they can irritate the bladder and prostate, causing urinary symptoms associated with BPH.

Dairy

A low fat diet is a recommended way to help relieve BPH symptoms. Dairy is typically high in saturated fats as well as inflammatory chemicals which can worsen your symptoms. Reducing your dairy intake or switching to soya alternatives are a good idea. Worried about the suspected oestrogenic effects of soya? Read my article on whether or not soya is safe for men to drink.

Alcohol

Avoiding alcohol is recommended as it acts as an irritant in the bladder and prostate, resulting in the need to urinate frequently. There is, however, some evidence that moderate alcohol consumption can help reduce the risk of BPH, but the key word here is moderation!

So watch what you eat and drink, look out for foods which aggravate your BPH symptoms or drinks that make you need the toilet more and try to avoid them if possible or at least eat and drink them less often.

Which prostate hating foods or drinks would you find most hard to give up?

Meet our expert

Having trained as a doctor at the University of Newcastle-on-Tyne, Jen Tan, Medical Director of A.Vogel, has been involved in herbal medicine research over a number of years, coordinating projects both within the UK and internationally.

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  • John's photo avatar
    John — 13.06.2018 17:24
    I have taken Tamsulosin for the last 5 years with positive results. Recently, due to increased pain in my shoulder from injuries, I took a had dropped of hemp oil. I was told it has had a positive effect on inflammation. Within 24 hours I experienced an inability to urinate. Did the one dose of hemp oil cause an enlarged prostate?

    Reply

    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 14.06.2018 07:08
      Hello John. The use of hemp or cannabis oil has recently become very popular and we are still finding out medically what it can and can't do, and what the side effects might be. We have not come across a similar report in the past. It is unlikely that hemp oil will have increased your prostate enlargement. However, it could have interacted with tamsulosin, making it less effective.

      Reply

  • Sylvester's photo avatar
    Sylvester — 07.06.2018 21:13
    All those "informative" websites just reprint same content without a dose of criticism. Example: "Dairy: A low fat diet is a recommended way to help relieve BPH symptoms." So dairy is condemned because it is dairy or because it contains saturated fats? What about Greek fat free yogurt? Is it also bad?

    Reply

  • Robby Valentine's photo avatar
    Robby Valentine — 28.05.2018 12:44
    I've had 2 TURP surgeries in the last 7 years the first one lasted six years the second one lasted 6 months the doctor sucks and we have malpractice lawsuit going on. he messed up a friend that had the same surgery that I had. BPH and PSA all that stuff is no way to control it all this nonsense about eating this and that or don't eat this and that is just so much nonsense it is in your genes or it is not I know people 90 years old that drink booze eat meat everyday smoke and cuss and never had BPH or prostate problems so don't be fooled just go ahead and live your life and watch out for these lying doctors especially here in Austin Texas

    Reply

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What's being asked

Hi, I had a blood test a few weeks ago to check for prostate cancer, which came back as negative. Would this test tell me if I had an enlarged prostate?

No, blood tests are not part of the diagnosis for an enlarged prostate.
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I have an enlarged prostate. I take Saw Palmetto with other ingredients including zinc etc. Any other ideas please?

Zinc is a good supplement to take, as it is thought to benefit the prostate gland generally. You ...
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I have an enlarged prostate and have had a biopsy. All is ok but is there a herbal or other type of product I can take to reduce the size of my prostate?

If you have a diagnosis of enlarged prostate then you can take Prostasan Saw Palmetto capsules to ...
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As the A. Vogel Men’s Health expert, I recommend Prostasan® Saw Palmetto capsules to help relieve symptoms arising from enlarged prostate.

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Did you know?

BPH is a very common problem that increases the older men get, and around half of all men have an enlarged prostate by the age of 50. At the age of 80, this has risen to 80%

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