Many people, including urologists, believe that consuming alcohol will irritate and worsen prostate problems. However, according to WebMD, the American Urological Association stated that drinking alcohol actually may have a beneficial affect on the prostate. While people with any health condition should still drink with moderation, the longstanding notion that alcohol irritates the prostate may be unfounded.
The prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut that is a part of the male reproductive system. It is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. According to the National Kidney and Urological Disease Clearinghouse, the prostate assists in the lubrication of the urethra during intercourse, but doctors are still unsure of all of the gland's functions.
Doctors once thought that alcohol not only irritated an enlarged prostate but actually worsened the symptoms associated with the condition. These symptoms include pain when urinating, poor urinary flow and sexual dysfunction. However, new findings indicate that the intake of alcohol doesn't make these symptoms worse. According to the findings, men with prostate issues that drink actually have better sexual function than those who don't drink.
According to Dr. Claus Georg Roehrborn of the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center at Dallas, there is no evidence that supports the idea that drinking irritates the prostate. Commenting on a study that involved 19,000 men, Roehrborn said, "The patients who claim they drank more complained of less irritative and obstructive symptoms. The more alcohol people said they were consuming, the better their urine flow, and the better their libido."
Men who don't drink, should not start based on these findings, according to WebMD. Alcohol consumption can lead to other problems like liver damage or cancer. If you have prostate issues, you should still consult with your doctor before drinking alcohol to see if it counteracts any medication you're taking.
In a 2010 report, urologists found that alcohol may lead to prostate cancer in African-American men. According to Renal and Urology News, African-Americans ho drink are five times more likely to develop prostate cancer than those who do not drink. That is not the case for other races and doctors are still unsure why African-Americans metabolize alcohol differently.