Alcohol consumption reduces the risk of developing an enlarged prostate and the many problems it can can create.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. The gland is made of two lobes, or regions, enclosed by an outer layer of tissue. It is located just below the bladder, where urine is stored. The prostate also surrounds the urethra, the canal through which urine passes out of the body.
As a man matures, the prostate goes through two main periods of growth. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. At around age 25, the gland begins to grow again. This second growth phase often results, years later, in enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a man's life, the enlargement doesn't usually cause problems until late in life. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of BPH.
As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself, so some of the urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.
Many symptoms of BPH stem from obstruction of the urethra and gradual loss of bladder function, which results in incomplete emptying of the bladder. The symptoms of BPH vary, but the most common ones involve changes or problems with urination, such asimg/
It is important to tell your doctor about urinary problems such as those described above. In eight out of 10 cases, these symptoms suggest BPH, but they also can signal other, more serious conditions that require prompt treatment. These conditions, including prostate cancer, can be ruled out only by a doctor's examination.
Severe BPH can cause serious problems over time. Urine retention and strain on the bladder can lead to urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence—the inability to control urination. If the bladder is permanently damaged, treatment for BPH may be ineffective. When BPH is found in its earlier stages, there is a lower risk of developing such complications.1
The risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) is reduced 35% with the daily consumption of two or more drinks of alcoholic beverages. read more
Consuming alcoholic drinks daily reduces risk of enlarged prostate or benign prostate hyperplasia. Consuming three or more alcoholic drinks per day reduces risk one-third (33%) compared to alcohol abstainers or teetotalers. read more
The alcohol consumption of 29,386 men age 40-75 was studied over a period of eight years. After controlling for age, race/ethnicity, body mass index, physical activity, and smoking tobacco, researchers found that alcohol consumption was associated with reduced incidence of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Moderate drinkers consuming up to about 3.3 drinks per day experienced a 41% reduction in risk of enlarged prostate.2
Random samples of 882 men (aged 65, 70, 75 and 80 years) were studied for the effects of drinking alcohol and coffee on benign prostatic hyperplasia. After controlling for age, relative body weight and education, "There was a strong inverse association between alcohol intake and men treated surgically for BPH or in 'watchful waiting' for surgical intervention, but a positive correlation with coffee consumption."3
The association of alcohol consumption with obstructive uropathy caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia was investigated in a cohort of 6,581 Japanese-American men. After 17 years of follow-up, researchers found that alcohol consumption was inversely associated with the condition. Risk was reduced 36% for men drinking an average of 1.3 drinks of alcohol per day compared with alcohol abstainers.4
A study investigated alcohol consumption in relation to enlarged prostate among 1,369 men in Italy younger than age 75 who suffered symptomatic obstructive BPH. After controlling for age, education, body mass index, physical activity, and family history of prostate cancer, researchers found that alcohol consumption had a significant inverse trend in risk for BPH. Compared with abstainers, men who consumed fewer than three drinks per day had a 12% lower risk and those who consumed seven or more drinks per day had a 35% lower risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia. The patterns of risk reduction were similar for beer, wine, and spirits.5
A population based case-control study was conducted of 100 Chinese patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia who were over 60 years of age and a control group of the same size. Men who consumed alcohol experienced a 35% reduction in risk of developing BPH compared with non-drinkers.6
Clinical benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) refers to the presence of lower urinary tract symptoms and BPH. Clinical BPH is a common disease of the elderly male population with an incidence reaching nearly 70% after the age of 60. In this prospective study a total of 142 patients who were admitted to an outpatient clinic with lower urinary tract symptoms were examined and 68.3% were diagnosed with clinical BPH. Over twice the proportion of patients without clinical BPH were alcohol drinkers, leading the researchers to conclude that consuming alcohol is a protective factor for clinical BPH.7
Data from 34,694 participants in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial were analyzed. Researchers found that greater alcohol consumption was strongly associated with decreased risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia.8
This study analyzed 184 patients who were surgically treated for benign prostatic hyperplasia within one year of its diagnosis and 246 patients with no symptoms of enlarged prostate who were treated in the same hospitals for minor diseases or conditions (controls). There was no evidence that alcohol consumption increased the risk for BPH.9
A hospital-based case-control study was conducted of 334 Chinese men age 56-88 who were surgically treated for BPH and controls who were admitted to the same hospital with different diseases not related with prostatic conditions. Alcohol consumption was inversely related with BPH. Those who consumed about 2-3 drinks per day had a 35% reduction in risk and those who consumed over four drinks per day had a 38% reduction in risk of developing an enlarged prostate.10
A study of 2,797 men age 60 or older participating in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) found that those who drank alcohol daily had a 41% lower chance of lower urinary tract symptoms than non-drinkers.11
The development of benign prostatic hyperplasia among 2,036 volunteers was studied by following individual participants for a period of from 12 to 21 years. The results demonstrated that the risk of developing BPH dropped as the level of alcohol consumption increased.12
This case-control study of 910 Rhode Islanders, plus 2,003 men who served as controls, found that alcohol reduced the risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia.13
Researchers followed for a mean of nine years 1,700 men who were part of the population-based Massachusetts Male Aging Study. They examined numerous physical, medical, and behavioral characteristics but found that virtually none, including alcohol intake, was a risk factor for benign prostatic hyperplasia.14
A community-based cross-sectional epidemiological study of 514 men in Korea found that as the daily consumption of alcohol increased, the risk for developing symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia decreased significantly.15
An analysis of 14,897 men who were members of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program found that those who consumed three or more drinks per day had a 25% lower risk of BPH than non-drinkers.16
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Filed Under: Health