Alcohol and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) rises sharply with age. About half of all men will have benign prostate enlargement by age 50. About half of the cases will suffer symptoms.

To examine the association between alcohol consumption and benign prostatic hyperplasia, a meta-analysis of 19 published studies, including over 120,000 men, was conducted.

The investigators found that drinking two or more standard drinks of alcohol was associated with a 35% reduction in decreased likelihood of benign prostate enlargement.

A standard drink is:

  • A 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer
  • A 5-ounce glass of dinner wine
  • A shot (one and one-half ounces) of 80 proof liquor or spirits such as vodka, tequila, or rum either straight or in a mixed drink.



  • Parsons, J., and Im, R. Alcohol Consumption is Associated With a Decreased Risk of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Journal of Urology, 2009, 182(4), 1463-1468.


  • Gass R. Benign prostatic hyperplasia: the opposite effects of alcohol and coffee intake. British Journal of Urology, 2002, 90, 649–654.
  • Kristal, A.R., et al. Dietary patterns, supplement use, and the risk of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2008, 167(8), Advance access publication, February 7, 2008. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwm389
  • Kang D, et al. Risk behaviours and benign prostatic hyperplasia. British Journal of Urology International, 2004, 93, 1241–1245.
  • Lagiou, P., et al. Diet and benign prostatic hyperplasia: a study in Greece. Urology, 1999, 54, 284-290.

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