Food Supplement Linked to Lower PSA in Prostate Cancer

Broccoli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A commercially available food supplement that contains pomegranate, broccoli, green tea, and tumeric significantly lowers prorate-specific antigen (PSA) levels (compared with a placebo) among patients with prostate cancer. The study results were presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). The polyphenol-rich supplement, known as Pomi-T sold out within hours.

The study: Double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial. The study enrolled 203 men (average age, 74 years) who had sustained a recurrence (as defined by PSA) of their cancer following treatment with surgery or radiation therapy. The men were randomized to receive either the supplement three times per day for 6 months, or the supplement.

Results: At 6 months, the median increase in PSA was 64% lower in the supplement group (15% versus 78.5%). Not surprisingly, more men proceeded to treatment in the placebo group. In the supplement group, 7.4% went on to treatment, compared to 26% in the supplement group.

Supplement downsides: More men experienced non-significant bloating or diarrhea, but 15% had beneficial effects such as better digestion and improvement in urination.

The science: In the lab, polyphenols reduce cell proliferation, block blood vessel growth, mage cells more sticky to one another (less likely to break loose and travel), and promote cell suicide (apoptosis). These agents have no hormonal effects.

Bottom line: While more data is needed regarding this particular supplement, it adds to growing evidence that lifestyle matters: A balanced diet (including cruciferous vegetables may avoidance of obesity, physical activity may all reduce the risk of prostate cancer. I’m Dr Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. And have a great day!

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Harvard AB Yale MD UPenn Radiation Oncology Radiation Oncologist, Seattle area

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