More patients are saying ‘bottoms up’ to nutritional cocktail supplements for prostate cancer as a way to further support prostate health
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer for man, second only to non-melanoma skin cancer. It is also one of the leading causes of death from cancer among all races, as well as among Hispanic men, and has patients clamoring for the best combination of supplements for prostate cancer.
Furthermore, more than 31,000 men died from prostate cancer in 2018 (the most recent year for which such data is available). Additionally, more than 211,000 new cases of prostate cancer were reported in that same year.1 Given these numbers, it should not be surprising to see many men looking toward vitamins and other nutritional supplements to help boost their immune systems against development or progression of prostate cancer, or to help offset symptoms associated with treatments such as chemotherapy.
Let’s take a closer look at the popularity of vitamins and supplements for prostate health, as well as the trend toward “prostate cocktails,” or a mixture of nutritional supplements to achieve optimal results.
How popular are nutritional supplements for prostate cancer?
A survey found that as many as 60% of men with a familial history of prostate cancer were using vitamins or supplements in general, and one-third of that group was using supplements specifically for prostate health.2
Similarly, a 2004 study from the journal Urology found that approximately 70% of men participating in a prostate cancer screening program reported using vitamins to treat symptoms, while 21% used herbal supplements.3 A 2008 study found that nutritional supplement use among prostate cancer survivors ranged from 26-35%.4
Prostate cocktail supplements
As mentioned previously, one interesting area of research into prostate health alternatives has focused on a mix of individual supplements to produce a wide spectrum treatment effect. Below is a small sampling of some of these research results.
Pomegranate, green tea, broccoli, and turmeric: A 2014 article in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases compared the effect of a pomegranate-based food supplement against placebo in terms of PSA levels for a group of 199 men with localized prostate cancer.5
At the end of six months, the men taking the food supplement had a median rise in their PSA of 14.7%, as compared to 78.5% in the placebo group. The researchers thought this might signify that the supplement mix could slow the growth of prostate cancer.
Lycopene, selenium, omega-3, grape/pomegranate juice, and green/black tea: A 2017 article in the journal Clinical Nutrition reported on the effects of a nutritional supplement blend that featured lycopene, which is the active ingredient in tomatoes.6
A group of 79 men, who were set to undergo a prostatectomy, were randomized to receive either 30 mg of the supplement daily or a control diet for three weeks. At the end of the study, there were no differences in PSA values between the two groups. However, the researchers found that men with intermediate-risk prostate cancer did show lower PSA values.
This would seem to suggest that lycopene-based supplements may be beneficial for some men with prostate cancer, depending upon their risk level.
No matter how you look at it, a diagnosis of prostate cancer can be frightening. Fortunately, more men these days are saying “bottoms up” to nutritional cocktail supplements for prostate cancer as a way to further support their prostate health.
- Prostate Cancer Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated June 2021. Accessed November 2021.
- Bauer CM, Ishak MB, Johnson EK, et al. Prevalence and correlates of vitamin and supplement usage among men with a family history of prostate cancer. Integrative Cancer Therapies. 2012;11(2):83-89.
- Barqawi A, Gamito E, O’Donnell C, Crawford ED. Herbal and vitamin supplement use in a prostate cancer screening population. Urology. 2004;63(2):288-292.
- Velicer CM, Ulrich CM. Vitamin and mineral supplement use among US adults after cancer diagnosis: a systematic review. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2008;26(4):665-673.
- Thomas R, Williams M, Sharma H, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial evaluating the effect of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement on PSA progression in men with prostate cancer–the U.K. NCRN Pomi-T study. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases. 2014;17(2):180-186.
- Paur I, Lilleby W, Bøhn SK, et al. Tomato-based randomized controlled trial in prostate cancer patients: Effect on PSA. Clinical Nutrition. 2017;36(3):672-679.