You are leaving Medscape Education
Cancel Continue
Log in to save activities Your saved activities will show here so that you can easily access them whenever you're ready. Log in here CME & Education Log in to keep track of your credits.


Starch Intake May Increase Risk for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

  • Authors: News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
    CME Author:
    Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd
  • CME Released: 6/27/2006
  • Valid for credit through: 6/27/2007
Start Activity

Target Audience and Goal Statement

This article is intended for primary care clinicians, urologists, and other specialists who care for patients with BPH.

The goal of this activity is to provide medical news to primary care clinicians and other healthcare professionals in order to enhance patient care.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • List dietary nutrients that increase or reduce the risk for BPH.
  • Identify nutrients that do not have an impact on the risk for BPH.



As an organization accredited by the ACCME, Medscape, LLC requires everyone who is in a position to control the content of an education activity to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The ACCME defines "relevant financial relationships" as financial relationships in any amount, occurring within the past 12 months, including financial relationships of a spouse or life partner, that could create a conflict of interest.

Medscape, LLC encourages Authors to identify investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration, at first mention and where appropriate in the content.


  • Laurie Barclay, MD

    Laurie Barclay is a freelance reviewer and writer for Medscape.


    Disclosure: Laurie Barclay, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.


  • Gary Vogin, MD

    Senior Medical Editor, Medscape


    Disclosure: Gary Vogin, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

CME Author(s)

  • Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd

    Clinical Professor of Family Medicine; Director, Division of Faculty Development, University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, Irvine, California


    Disclosure: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Accreditation Statements

    For Physicians

  • Medscape, LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

    Medscape, LLC designates this educational activity for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) . Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Medscape Medical News (MMN) has been reviewed and is acceptable for up to 150 Prescribed credits by the American Academy of Family Physicians. AAFP accreditation begins 09/01/05. Term of approval is for 1 year from this date. This component is approved for 0.25 Prescribed credit. Credit may be claimed for 1 year from the date of this issue.

    Contact This Provider

    Contact This Provider

For questions regarding the content of this activity, contact the accredited provider for this CME/CE activity noted above. For technical assistance, contact [email protected]

Instructions for Participation and Credit

There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this online educational activity. For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.

This activity is designed to be completed within the time designated on the title page; physicians should claim only those credits that reflect the time actually spent in the activity. To successfully earn credit, participants must complete the activity online during the valid credit period that is noted on the title page.

Follow these steps to earn CME/CE credit*:

  1. Read the target audience, learning objectives, and author disclosures.
  2. Study the educational content online or printed out.
  3. Online, choose the best answer to each test question. To receive a certificate, you must receive a passing score as designated at the top of the test. Medscape encourages you to complete the Activity Evaluation to provide feedback for future programming.

You may now view or print the certificate from your CME/CE Tracker. You may print the certificate but you cannot alter it. Credits will be tallied in your CME/CE Tracker and archived for 5 years; at any point within this time period you can print out the tally as well as the certificates by accessing "Edit Your Profile" at the top of your Medscape homepage.

*The credit that you receive is based on your user profile.


Starch Intake May Increase Risk for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Authors: News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD CME Author: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEdFaculty and Disclosures

CME Released: 6/27/2006

Valid for credit through: 6/27/2007


June 27, 2006 — Starch may increase the risk for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), whereas polyunsaturated fatty acids may decrease the risk, according to further analysis of an Italian case-control study reported in the June issue of Urology.

"Although BPH is a major public health problem, causing high morbidity and substantial worsening in men's quality of life, little is known about its risk factors, including diet and other lifestyle habits," write Francesca Bravi, MD, from the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri" in Milan, Italy, and colleagues. "In particular, the potential role of specific macronutrients on BPH has received little attention. However, nutritional factors could be important by influencing hormonal concentrations implicated in prostatic enlargement."

This case-control study included 1369 patients with BPH and 1451 controls, who were admitted to the same hospitals for a wide spectrum of acute, nonneoplastic conditions. Using a validated and reproducible food frequency questionnaire, the investigators determined the subjects' usual diet, and they obtained multivariate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) after allowance for energy intake and other potential confounding factors.

Starch intake was related directly to BPH (OR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.15 - 1.99 for highest quintile compared with lowest one), and polyunsaturated fatty acids intake was related inversely (OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.55 - 0.93), as was intake of linoleic acid (OR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.56 - 0.94) and linolenic acid (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.54 - 0.93).

Study limitations include the absence of a clear case definition of BPH, possible misclassification of controls, and difficulty in assessing long-term dietary patterns.

"The results of this study suggest a role for specific macronutrients in the risk of BPH, including, in particular, an unfavorable effect for starch and a beneficial one for polyunsaturated fatty acids," the authors write. "The issue of BPH and diet, however, remains open to discussion, given the inconsistencies of our results with those of a few previous investigations.

The Italian Association for Cancer Research and the Italian League Against Cancer, Unità di Epidemiologia e Biostatistica, Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano, Pordenone; Servizio di Epidemiologia, Istituto Tumori "Fondazione Pascale," Naples; Servizio Integrato di Epidemiologia e Sistemi Informativi, Istituto "Regina Elena," Rome, Italy; International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; and Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria,Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy, supported this study.

Urology. 2006;67:1205-1211