High fat diet increases the weight of rat ventral prostate

Xiaoyan Cai*, Riffat Haleem, Shane Oram, Jomol Cyriac, Feng Jiang, John T. Grayhack, James M Kozlowski, Zhou Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Understanding the mechanisms by which diet influences the prostate may eventually lead to novel approaches for preventing prostate cancer. The objective of this research is to examine the impact of dietary fat, vitamin D, and genistein on prostate weight, serum and intraprostatic androgen levels, and the expression of several androgen-response genes. METHODS. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed, beginning at 21 days of age, for 1 or 3 months of experimental diets with high saturated fat (32.2% calories from fat), low saturated fat (3.6% calories from fat), genistein plus (20 mg/kg), genistein deficient, vitamin D surplus (4,000 U/kg), or vitamin D deficient. The body weight, food intake, the weights of the ventral prostate and dorsolateral prostate, and the levels of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the serum and in the prostate were determined. The expression of androgen-response genes was characterized by Northern blot analysis. RESULTS. The pilot experiments showed that high dietary fat appeared to consistently increase the weight of the ventral prostate, while vitamin D or genistein did not have a consistent effect on prostate weight. Further analysis confirmed that the ventral prostate is 15% (P < 0.001) heavier in the rat on a high fat diet as compared to a low fat diet. Dietary fat had no significant influence on the levels of serum and intraprostatic androgens and the expression of androgen-response genes. CONCLUSIONS. Our results suggested that the ventral prostate weight of the rat is increased without affecting the androgen axis by feeding the animals with high fat diet beginning at 21 days of age. This observation is potentially important since epidemiological data suggest that saturated fat consumption is a major risk factor associated with prostate cancer incidence rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 15 2001


  • Androgen
  • Dietary fat
  • Rat ventral prostate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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