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What Causes BPH?

The cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia is not well understood; however, it occurs mainly in older men. Benign prostatic hyperplasia does not develop in men whose testicles were removed before puberty. For this reason, some researchers believe factors related to aging and the testicles may cause benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Throughout their lives, men produce testosterone, a male hormone, and small amounts of estrogen, a female hormone. As men age, the amount of active testosterone in their blood decreases, which leaves a higher proportion of estrogen. Scientific studies have suggested that benign prostatic hyperplasia may occur because the higher proportion of estrogen within the prostate increases the activity of substances that promote prostate cell growth.

Another theory focuses on dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male hormone that plays a role in prostate development and growth. Some research has indicated that even with a drop in blood testosterone levels, older men continue to produce and accumulate high levels of DHT in the prostate. This accumulation of DHT may encourage prostate cells to continue to grow. Scientists have noted that men who do not produce DHT do not develop benign prostatic hyperplasia.

What Are The Risk Factors For BPH?

Risk factors include aging and a family history of BPH. Other risk factors are obesity, lack of physical activity, and erectile dysfunction (ED).

Can BPH be Prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent BPH. Because excess body fat may affect hormone levels and cell growth, diet may play a role. Losing weight and eating a healthy diet, with fruits and vegetables, may help prevent BPH. Staying active also helps weight and hormone levels.