Worst foods for an enlarged prostate

What should you NOT be eating?

Dr. Jen Tan

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.


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.


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.


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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  • Alejandro M Castro 's photo avatar
    Alejandro M Castro — 13.07.2018 14:57
    Suffering from BPH.


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 15.07.2018 08:51
      Hello Alejandro. BPH is quite a common condition in men over the age of 50 years old. I presume you have had the diagnosis confirmed by your doctor. There are a number of ways of helping the condition, depending on severity of symptoms. As you will have read, dietary changes can help the condition and you may also wish to read the page on the foods to eat (www.avogel.co.uk/health/enlarged-prostate/good-foods-for-your-enlarged-prostate/). In addition, many men with mild to moderate prostate enlargement choose to give Saw palmetto herb a trial before resorting to prescribed medication such as tamsulosin and finesteride. In severe cases, surgery is necessary in order to relieve symptoms.


  • Keith Bintcliffe 's photo avatar
    Keith Bintcliffe — 12.07.2018 07:09
    Can I take prostasan as well as Pamsvax XL capsules


    • Jen Tan's photo avatar
      Jen Tan — 12.07.2018 15:09
      Hello Keith. Pamsvax or tamsulosin should not be taken together with Saw palmetto products such as Prostasan unless your doctor knows and agrees with you taking both. The reason is that both of these medicines work in similar ways and there is a small chance of interaction. If Pamsvax is not working as well as you think it should, speak to your doctor and an alternative treatment might be suitable for you to try.


  • Montie Hyden's photo avatar
    Montie Hyden — 07.07.2018 19:38
    Very helpful information. Thank you for your studies.


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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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Here's what I recommend

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%

What you need to know about BPH

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