Supplement synergy: the prostate cancer secret

What do you think are the four 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 possesses 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.

1. 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.

2. 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).

3. 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: Why men should drink green tea

4. 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.

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).

Read more in the Prostate Cancer Health Center.


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Craig Cooper

By Craig Cooper

Craig Cooper is a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, and TV host of CNBC's "Adventure Capitalists". He is an “Ambassador” for both the global men’s health foundation “Movember” and 2XU, the performance sportswear company. He is the author of the Harper Collins book “Your New Prime: 30 Days to Better Sex, Eternal Strength, and a Kick-Ass Life After 40“. Follow Craig on Instagram @craigcooperrrr and Facebook.