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New Study Reveals Four Nutrients that Lower PSA and Slow Cancer Progression

December 2013

By Ramon Gonzales

New Study Reveals Four Nutrients that Lower PSA and Slow Cancer Progression

Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among men. Yet, only about 15% of new prostate cancer diagnoses require immediate and aggressive treatment.1,2

The majority of newly diagnosed prostate cancer cases have low- or intermediate-risk malignancies. For men with low risk malignancies, oncologists sometimes practice “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance,” monitoring parameters such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to evaluate tumor progression.3,4 This approach can delay the need for aggressive treatment, and in many cases is turning out to reduce or eliminate the need for surgery, chemo, or radiation therapy.3

During this period of watchful waiting, there is an additional option that has been shown to lower PSA. A landmark study from the United Kingdom has demonstrated that a combination of four foods—a fruit (pomegranate), an herb (green tea), a spice (turmeric), and a vegetable (broccoli)—concentrated into a pill, dramatically slowed markers of prostate cancer growth by a median of nearly 64%.5

Working closely with the National Cancer Research Network, this formula was developed based on extensive documentation showing how certain foods function to slow prostate cancer growth. We begin this report with a critical review of this groundbreaking study conducted on human prostate cancer patients.

Why PSA Matters in Prostate Cancer

PSA and PSA kinetics are the primary markers to follow disease progress in men with known cancer of the prostate gland.83,84 But PSA is more than just a marker; we now realize that it is an enzyme that degrades the matrix proteins holding cells together.28 That is one way the cancer invades and spreads.

A tumor that produces a rapidly rising PSA, therefore, is one at risk for breaking out of the prostate gland itself and spreading either into local tissue or forming distant metastases, both of which place the patient at high risk of death.85

That’s why physicians and patients should follow PSA levels carefully once a prostate tumor has been discovered. And that’s why therapies that lower PSA are not just producing an encouraging marker, they are in fact demonstrably slowing disease progression and lowering the patient’s risk of dying.

Landmark UK Study: Food Pill Slows Evidence of Prostate Cancer Growth

Landmark UK Study: Food Pill Slows Evidence of Prostate Cancer Growth  

In June of 2013, the American Society of Clinical Oncology included in its program a report on a “food pill” that had a dramatic impact on men with prostate cancer.5 For those who don’t know, the annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is where many cancer treatment breakthroughs are announced to the world.

The study reported at the ASCO conference was an exploration of the role of four polyphenol-rich foods with known anti-cancer properties.5 The trial development team worked in partnership with the UK government’s National Cancer Research Network, which ensured the highest scientific credibility and quality assurance. They extensively scrutinized the clinical and laboratory data for foods that have a high chance of an anti-cancer effect. They came up with a specific blend of four cancer-fighting foods concentrated into a capsule designed to be taken twice daily. They then set out to test its effect in the most rigorous of scientific trials—a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial within which they examined its effect on prostate-specific antigen, or PSA.

The researchers recruited 203 men aged 53 to 89 years (average age 74 years) with prostate cancer proven by biopsy.5 Fifty-nine percent of the men had not yet undergone any treatment and were being followed closely with periodic PSA measurements, while 41% had already had a radical intervention (surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation) but had relapsed with climbing PSA levels.

The subjects were then randomly assigned to receive either a twice-daily oral capsule containing a blend of pomegranate seed, green tea, turmeric, and broccoli, or an identical placebo for 6 months. At baseline, there were no significant differences between the two groups, except that the placebo group was on average 4 years older than the treatment group. Neither the doctors supervising the trial nor the men knew whether they were taking a placebo or the test product.

The men in the study had their PSA levels measured at baseline, at 3 months, and at 6 months, to determine the rate of rise. The results were remarkable.

In the placebo group, PSA levels rose by a median of 78.5% over the 6-month period, while in the supplemented group, PSA rose by a median of only 14.7%, a statistically significant 63.8% difference.5

In addition, and importantly, 46% of men in the supplemented group had a stable or lower PSA by the end of the study, compared with just 14% of the placebo group; again, this was a significant difference, and suggested that in nearly half of the treated men, their cancers had stopped growing or had even regressed.

In another remarkable measure, just 7.4% of supplemented men being monitored by active surveillance or watchful waiting required a change in management plan, while 26% of those in the placebo group required a change in their management plan.5 In other words, the supplement directly supported the decision to defer care and avoid painful, costly, and invasive procedures in this group of men.

Following the success of this trial, the research team is designing a range of new scientific trials involving this unique fruit and vegetable blend collaborating with academic cancer centers across the world. These include men already taking androgen deprivation therapies, or those in PSA remission following successful primary treatments such as surgery, brachytherapy, or radiotherapy. They are also partnering with clinicians outside the urology cancer field to determine its effect on osteoarthritis, chronic breast pain, hot flushes, and even tinnitus, and hopefully the results of these trials will be available by early 2015.

Let’s now look more closely at each of the ingredients in this new prostate-cancer-fighting food pill, to see what each one brings uniquely to the formula and how each reinforces the other to reduce the risk of prostate cancer progression.

What You Need to Know
Functional Foods as Powerful Combatants Against Prostate Cancer

Functional Foods as Powerful Combatants Against Prostate Cancer

  • Prostate cancer becomes a killer when it invades or metastasizes; prior to those events it can be detected and successfully treated.
  • But too many men with prostate cancer undergo needless and invasive surgery, chemo-, or radiation therapy.
  • A new pill containing concentrated forms of four functional foods has now been shown to significantly slow the rise of PSA, the major marker of prostate cancer progression.
  • The components, pomegranate, green tea, turmeric, and broccoli, have all independently been shown to have protective effects on prostate tissue; a new study demonstrates that they can work together in concert to slow the disease in men who already have prostate cancer.
  • Each food component works by different, but powerful, epigenetic mechanisms to modify the way prostate cells regulate their growth and development.
  • Using all four in one simple pill optimizes both prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, without significant side effects.