12 natural compounds that fight prostate cancer

12 natural compounds that fight prostate cancer

An overview of twelve bioactive natural compounds, and the foods that contain them, each shown in research to have a potent effect against prostate cancer and its prevention.

Over the past few years a surge in the number of quality research studies has shown that there are natural, bioactive compounds in foods that can play a serious role in preventing and fighting prostate cancer. Here are twelve such compounds and the foods that provide them. However, much of the research was very clear that in order to get the required physiological dose, you may well have to supplement (Chris Woollams).


1. Curcumin – A polyphenol that has been shown in research to reduce metastases in prostate cancer(1). Particularly, it has been shown to restrict bone metastases(2). It is the primary active constituent of the root turmeric (about 3% by volumes) and you should take it with black pepper and fat/oil to get it into the blood stream.

2. Green tea – The active ingredient is EGCG and there are a number of studies covered in a review by the National Cancer Institute that EGCG can prevent prostate cancer. It has been shown to find its way into the prostate gland where it slows prostate cancer cell growth and reduces PSA and IGF-1 levels(3).

3. Ursolic acid –  is a pentacyclic triterpenoid and is established as a cell growth regulator. Research shows it can increase muscle mass and decrease white fat in the body. Other studies indicate it can cause cancer cell death. It is also a weak aromatase inhibitor. Found in holy basil, prunes, bilberries, cranberries, apple peels, rosemary, oregano, thyme. Research(4) in this magazine’s Cancer Watch shows you should take it with either curcumin or resveratrol to stop prostate cancer growth. 

4. Resveratrol According to the Sloane Kettering website, this polyphenol can block prostate cancer growth in several ways – It helped reduce prostate tumorigenesis through a reduction in prostatic levels of mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) activity and modulated steroid hormone-dependent pathways to inhibit prostate cancer cell growth”. There are several studies on this(5). It can also make chemo and radiotherapy work better in this cancer(6). It is found in red grapes, blueberries, cranberries, peanuts, pistachios, cocoa/dark chocolate

5. Tomatoes – The primary active ingredient is lycopene, a carotenoid and proven antioxidant. One study in the National Journal of Cancer concluded that men who ate 5 or more helpings of tomatoes a week had a 35% lowered risk of prostate cancer and a 53% lowered risk of aggressive prostate cancer. A 2014 study concluded ‘Dietary intake of lycopene was associated with reduced risk of lethal prostate cancer, and with a lowered degree of angiogenesis in the tumour (blood vessel growth)’. It was also associated with lowered levels overall of prostate cancer, even indolent prostate cancer. In men at high risk of prostate cancer, taking lycopene for 6 months(8) reduced PSA and stopped prostate enlargement. One issue is bioavailability; lycopene and tomatoes are best consumed with a little fat, like extra virgin olive oil. But a 2010 review on the benefits of tomatoes for health(7) concluded it was not just an antioxidant at work. Lycopene has shown benefits when LDL (bad fat) levels are high; a 25mg supplement of lycopene can reduce LDL by 10%. There is a meta-review on lycopene and its abilities to reduce cholesterol (11). 

6. Fish oils – a 2014 study that suggested that large doses of fish oils were linked to higher levels of prostate cancer has been highly criticized as prostate cancer is known to be a highly inflammatory disease and omega-3 in fish oils is highly anti-inflammatory. Sure enough, a 2016 study from the University of California concluded that omega-3 inhibits infiltration of ‘tumour associated macrophages’, immune cells which play a significant role in prostate cancer development. Omega-3 from fish reduced the number of tumours and size of tumours(9). 

7. Pomegranate – Contains Ellagitanins and has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. A long-term study has shown that consuming pomegranate juice could slow the progression of prostate cancer even when orthodox medicine had failed. Another study showed pomegranate can block prostate metastases(10)

8. Broccoli – Contains a number of ingredients active against cancer. For example, sulforaphanes, known to kill prostate cancer cells according to Oregan State University Medical School.  But to get the broccoli to yield its high sulforaphane content, you need to add an enzyme myrosinase – found in mustard, horseradish, wasabi, chilli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and sprouting seeds. Glucosinolates are broken down in the gut when raw, and myrosinase also helps them yield bioactive compounds such as indole 3 carbinol, known to act against oestrogen-responsive cancers, and non-estrogenic cancers via different pathways. However, this action does not occur if the broccoli is cooked. Broccoli powder is one of the main ingredients in POMI-T which has clinical trials behind it showing it reduces PSA levels.

Go to: Foods NOT to eat if you want to avoid prostate cancer

9. Ginger  The Department of Biology in Georgia State University showed that ginger could kill prostate cells in vitro, and that 8 weeks of eating ginger in mice halved tumour size. Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory and blood sugar lowering benefits. Other studies have confirmed this and shown ginger inhibits prostate cell growth.

10. Black Cumin Seed Oil – Black seed oil from Nigella Sativa has been found by researchers at Tulane Medical School to kill prostate cancer cells. Thymoquinone (TQ) the main active ingredient, has been shown to suppress the growth of aggressive prostate cancer and reduce tumour size. You rub the oil as close as possible to the prostate. Several studies have shown it can be successful in treating hormone-sensitive and hormone-refractory prostate cancer(13).

11. Capsaicin  the pungent active ingredient of chili peppers has shown in multiple studies that it kills prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. It has anti-tumour properties and reduces tumour growth in animals. It causes cell cycle arrest and triggers apoptosis (12)

12. Quercitin  A powerful antioxidant flavonoid, quercetin was shown in 2014 research from the China Medical School to kill prostate cancer cells in vitro. There are also other studies showing it reduces cancer progression but these now need to be transferred to in vivo studies. Quercitin is found in apples, cherries, peppers, red wine, citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables

Go to: Prostate cancer, symptoms, causes and alternative treatments

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1.     /cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3360

2.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4060744/

3.     /cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=1007

4.     /cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=4062&Title=Three%20foods%20work%20jointly%20to%20starve%20prostate%20cancer

5.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3521661/

6.     /cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3337

7.     http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1559827610387488

8.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18156403/

9.     https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27338236

10.  /cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3488

11.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21163596

12.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4811481/

13.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3252704/


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