If you have prostate cancer or are at risk of developing prostate cancer (essentially, everyone with a prostate) this should be of interest to you. Eating a diet rich in whole plant foods (vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, legumes) has been shown to reduce your risk of developing cancer and of cancer recurrence.
Why I Love Phytonutrients:
Plants are loaded with anticancer compounds (phytonutrients) which concentrate in your tissues, making them less hospitable for cancer cells to grow. Unlike chemotherapy or hormonal therapies, phytonutrients don’t just attack one or two targets in a cancer cell…they attack many. This is very important because cancer is rarely due to just one abnormal cellular process. Hitting multiple cellular targets in a tumor cell at once is more effective than just focusing on one.
**Read my previous blog post on using plant foods as “chemo”
The POMI-T Study:
A recent study, presented as a podium presentation, at the world’s largest cancer conference (ASCO, 2013 annual meeting) reported that prostate cancer patients who took 2 POMI-T capsules per day (comprised of 4 whole plant ingredients that have each been shown to possess anticancer activity) for 6 months versus a placebo had a a remarkable anticancer effect:
- At 6-month follow-up, the median increase in PSA was 63.8% lower in the supplement groups than in the placebo group (14.7% vs 78.5)
- In addition, PSA levels were stable or lower than baseline more often in the supplement group (46% vs 14%)
I’m impressed with these results, as this was not a small study (203 men) and it was designed quite well using a control group that received 2 placebo capsules per day. All the men had presumed localized disease (no evidence of prostate cancer spread to other parts of the body), but had progressive PSA rises either after treatment to their prostate (surgery or radiation) or while on active surveillance (no prior treatment).
We don’t know the exact anticancer mechanisms involved that produced these results, but they did not cause any noticeable changes in cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, or C-reactive protein (a measure of systemic inflammation).
Importantly, there was no significant difference in side effects among the men taking placebo or POMI-T.
What’s In POMI-T?
The 4 whole plant ingredients included:
- Broccoli (Brassica Oleracea), florets and stacks
- Turmeric (Burcuma Longa) root
- Pomegranate (Punica Granatum L) seed and whole fruit
- Green Tea (Camellia Sinesis) leaf
The major phytonutrients in these plants are called, polyphenols, which have been shown to have a variety of anticancer properties (i.e. anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic, anti-metastatic, pro-apoptotic, etc.); these 4 plant ingredients have no phytoestrogenic or hormonal effects, so the anticancer benefits likely are a result of the polyphenol properties.
**Read my previous blog post on polyphenols.
Synergistic Effects Of Phytonutrients:
The benefit of using whole plant ingredients versus isolated extracts from the plant is that within the whole plant material there are hundreds of phytonutrients, many of which likely have anticancer effects that have yet to be discovered.Theoretically, this difference yields superior synergistic effects when taking the whole plant ingredient compared with an isolated extract. If you then combine 4 different whole plant ingredients in one capsule, the opportunity for synergistic multi-targeted anticancer effects goes up even more.
Why Take A Supplement When I Can Just Include These Ingredients In My Diet?
If you can, definitely try to include these foods in your diet. I much prefer that my patients consume anticancer phytonutrients as part of their diet versus using a supplement. Make sure you eat or drink (…vegetable juices) a variety of colorful plant foods every day, as they all contain different phytonutrients; the plant pigments are often potent phytonutrients. Additionally, you need fiber in your diet for gut health, immune support and detoxification purposes. The ingredients in these capsules don’t contain much fiber.
For those who want to take a shortcut and make sure they get these 4 evidence-informed anticancer ingredients in their system every day, POMI-T is a great option.
The Bottom Line:
I am very impressed with the results of this 6-month study, but wish we had longer term data to see if the anticancer activity persists.
I already tout the potential anticancer benefits of eating a diet rich in phytonutrients with my patients. Now, I have even more enthusiasm about the quality of the evidence behind this recommendation.
POMI-T is NOT A TREATMENT FOR PROSTATE CANCER.
Make sure you have first discussed this with your cancer care team before taking POMI-T as the individual ingredients have the potential to interact with other therapies you may be receiving (POMI-T safety information page.)
As POMI-T is a whole plant food source of antioxidants (not a high-dose antioxidant supplement), I am less concerned that this might reduce the effectiveness of either chemotherapy or radiation therapy as a result of the free radical scavenging effects of the polyphenols.
**Read my previous post on my thoughts about using antioxidants during chemotherapy or radiation therapy