4 Best Supplements for Prostate Cancer (According to the Studies)


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What do you think are the 4 best supplements for prostate cancer? This is an interesting question, and experts don’t necessarily agree on the answer. However, the important thing is, there are numerous candidates, and each of them possess qualities that put them in the running.

You will find the four discussed here on various lists. One relevant finding is that combining these supplements can create a special synergy, where the 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 is greater than 4. Similar synergy may occur if you combine just two or three of the supplements.

What investigators have discovered is that if you combine pomegranate powder, powdered broccoli, powdered turmeric, and powdered green tea concentrate, the combination has an effect on the progression of prostate cancer, even though the actual amounts of each ingredient is small. One reason appears to be that “smaller amounts of many phytochemicals may have a greater potential to exert beneficial effects than larger amounts of fewer phytochemicals.” This means that consuming a small amount of widely varied fruits and vegetables would provide more benefits than eating greater amounts of fewer plant foods.

Investigators also have found that consuming a greater variety of fruits and vegetables is associated with lower inflammation and better cognitive function (e.g., better attention, memory, executive function, and mental status).

Study of best supplements for prostate cancer

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted in which 199 men with early-stage prostate cancer who wanted to avoid surgery were randomly assigned to take either a placebo or a supplement containing pomegranate, broccoli, turmeric, and green tea for six months. Among the men who took the placebo, their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels rose nearly 50 percent, while levels did not rise at all among men who took the supplement. Among men who took placebo and who had more advanced prostate cancer, there was a 70 percent greater rise in PSA.

The four-ingredient supplement used in this study was created solely for the study. However, men may still enjoy benefits by taking each of these supplements individually. Perhaps even better is a diet that includes these four foods as much as possible, even daily.

Pomegranates for prostate cancer

Pomegranates are an antioxidant-rich fruit whose juice, peel (which is not edible), and seeds (which are) have anticancer properties. A recent study, for example, showed that a pomegranate peel extract effectively inhibited prostate cancer cell growth and also prompted apoptosis (cell suicide). Another recent review from the University of Alabama at Birmingham reported that pomegranate fruit, as well as its oil, extract, and juice have anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative features.

Related: Pomegranates, Prostate Cancer, and ED Prevention

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Broccoli for prostate cancer

All of the cruciferous veggies contain a potent cancer-fighting substance called sulforaphane, but broccoli is especially rich in this phytochemical. Sulforaphane enhances the body’s protective enzymes, helps eliminate carcinogenic chemicals from the body, and focuses on cancer stem cells, which are integral in tumor growth.

Two recent studies illustrate the power of sulforaphane in fighting prostate cancer. In one, 18 men with recurrent prostate cancer were given sulforaphane for up to 20 weeks. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels declined in seven men, and PSA doubling time improved from 6.1 months to 9.6 months. In another study, 81 men with recurrent prostate cancer took either sulforaphane or placebo daily for six months. PSA doubling time was significantly better in the treatment group (21.9 months) than in the placebo (12.1 months).

Related: Broccoli and Prostate Cancer Prevention

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Green tea extract for prostate cancer

Green tea extract is a rich source of catechins, especially EGCG, or epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which appears to be green tea’s strongest anti-cancer component. Studies in both animals and people have shown that green tea extracts can delay the development and progression of prostate cancer as well as lower PSA levels. A recent study (September 2017) conducted in Hong Kong found a reduced risk of prostate cancer among men who consumed green tea and that the risk was lower as the amount of EGCG increased.

In a recent review and meta-analysis of 10 studies involving green tea and prostate cancer risk, the reviewers reported that “higher green tea consumption was linearly reduced PCa [prostate cancer] risk with more than 7 cups/day.” They also confirmed that the catechins in green tea are effective in preventing the disease.

Related: Can Green Tea Prevent Prostate Cancer?

Turmeric for prostate cancer

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a yellow spice whose main active ingredient is curcumin, a potent antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. One of the best ways to reap the benefits of turmeric is to add it to certain vegetables. Researchers at Rutgers have found that combining turmeric with cruciferous veggies (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), turnips, kohlrabi, and watercress can significantly reduce the risk of prostate cancer, as well as greatly reduce the growth of tumors.

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A recent international study also found that curcumin nanoparticles (nanocurcumin), which provide the antioxidant in much smaller particles than in conventional supplements, “displayed significant activity against cancer cell line” (prostate cancer cells).

Related: Can Turmeric Treat Prostate Cancer?

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.

References

Adahoun MA et al. Enhanced anti-cancer and antimicrobial activities of curcumin nanoparticles. Artificial Cells, Nanomedicine, and Biotechnology 2017 Feb; 45(1): 98-107

Alumkal JJ et al. A phase II study of sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extracts in men with recurrent prostate cancer. Investigative New Drugs 2015 Apr; 33(2): 480-89

Amiad AL et al. Broccoli-derived sulforaphane and chemoprevention of prostate cancer: from bench to bedside. Current Pharmacology Reports 2015 Nov 1; 1(6): 382-90

Bhupathiraiu SN, Tucker KL. Greater variety in fruit and vegetable intake is associated with lower inflammation in Puerto Rican adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2011 Jan; 93(1): 37-46

Cipolla BG et al. First double-blind placebo-controlled, multicenter, randomized trial of stabilized natural sulforaphane in men with rising PSA following radical prostatectomy. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2014; 32(suppl):5s.

Deng Y et al. The extract from Punica granatum (pomegranate) peel induces apoptosis and impairs metastasis in prostate cancer cells. Biomed Pharmacotherapy 2017 Sep; 93:976-85

Guo Y et al. Green tea and the risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore) 2017 Mar; 96(13): e6426

Jacobs DR Jr, Tapsell LC. Food, not nutrients, is the fundamental unit in nutrition. Nutrition Review 2007 Oct; 65(10): 439-50

Jeong WS et al. Modulatory properties of various natural chemopreventive agents on the activation of NF-kappaB signaling pathway. Pharmaceutical Research 2004 Apr; 21(4): 661-70

Johnson JJ et al.  Green tea polyphenols for prostate cancer chemoprevention: a translational perspective. Phytomedicine. 2010 Jan; 17(1):3-13.

Lee PMY et al. Reduced prostate cancer risk with green tea and epigallocatechin 3-gallae intake among Hong Kong Chinese men. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 2017 Sep; 20(3): 318-22

Sharma P et al. Pomegranate for prevention and treatment of cancer: an update. Molecules 2017 Jan 24; 22(1)

Thomas R et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial evaluating the effect of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement on PSA progression in men with prostate cancer—the UK NCRN Pomi-T study. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Diseases 2014 Jun; 17(2): 180-86

Thompson HJ et al. Dietary botanical diversity affects the reduction of oxidative biomarkers in women due to high vegetable and fruit intake. Journal of Nutrition 2006 Aug; 136(8): 2207-12

Ye X et al. Variety in fruit and vegetable intake and cognitive function in middle-aged and older Puerto Rican adults. British Journal of Nutrition 2013 Feb14; 109(3): 503-10


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