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Studies Bring Focus To Impact Of Plant-based Diet On Men's Health

BALTIMORE, Sept. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Plant-based diets are associated with multiple health benefits. Previous studies suggest a beneficial role of specific plant-based foods on prostate cancer, but little is known about plant-based dietary patterns and prostate cancer risk, PSA levels or erectile dysfunction. Three new studies discussing these considerations were presented during a virtual press session, which was moderated by AUA spokesperson, Dr. Stacy Loeb. The recording of this session is now available for viewing.

Watch Briefing

Abstracts Presented:

Publication # PD65-08
Impact of Plant-Based Diet on PSA Level: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Lifestyle changes, such as diet modification, have become increasingly utilized in order to mitigate PSA levels. Researchers sought to determine the potential association between plant-based dietary content and PSA levels among men enrolled in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Data on demographics, diet, and PSA levels was acquired from the NHANES database. Plant-based diet index (PDI) and healthful plant-based diet index (hPDI) were calculated using food frequency questionnaires.

Key Findings:

  • There is a significant association between increased consumption of a healthy plant-based diet and lower PSA levels.
  • This finding may be incorporated into the shared-decision making process with patients to promote healthier lifestyle choices to reduce the likelihood of prostate biopsy and potential treatment-related morbidity.

Publication # MP32-06
Association of Plant-Based Dietary Patterns with Prostate Cancer Risk

For prostate cancer, previous studies suggest a beneficial role of specific plant-based foods (e.g., tomatoes with lycopene) and a potentially harmful role of specific animal-based foods (e.g., meat and dairy). However, less is known about plant-based dietary patterns and prostate cancer risk. This a prospective study included 47,243 men who were followed for up to 28 years in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Plant-based dietary indices were calculated using data from food frequency questionnaires collected every four years.

Key Findings:

  • There was no association between the overall plant-based dietary index and a man's total prostate cancer risk, although greater overall plant-based consumption was associated with a nonsignificant lower risk of fatal prostate cancer.
  • In addition to well-established benefits for general health and the environment, data from this prospective study provide supportive evidence that greater consumption of healthful plant-based foods may be associated with a lower risk of total and fatal prostate cancer among younger men.

Publication # PD20-05
Plant-Based Diets are Associated with Decreased Risk of Erectile Dysfunction

To evaluate the association between a plant-based diet and erectile dysfunction, researchers collected data from 2,549 men in the national health and nutrition examination survey (NHANES) database. Using the food frequency questionnaire, an overall healthful plant-based diet index (hPDI) was developed. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS 24 and a multivariable-adjusted logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association between erectile dysfunction and hPDI.

Key Findings:

  • It was shown a healthful plant-based diet is associated with less chance of having erectile dysfunction.

"There is a significant association between increased consumption of a healthy plant-based diet and men's urologic and sexual health," Dr. Stacy Loeb said. "These three studies remind us that dietary interventions can make positive impacts not only on overall health, but specific urologic conditions faced by millions of men."

The full abstracts are available for viewing:


About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has nearly 23,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.


Taylor Titus, AUA

443-454-3743, ttitus@auanet.org

SOURCE American Urological Association