By: Sandeep Godiyal,
Three independent researches conducted between 2004 and 2009 identified green tea, turmeric, and tomato and broccoli combined as the top “superfoods” against prostate cancer. Wisconsin researchers, headed by Vagar Mustafa Adhami, offered substantial evidence that polyphenols from green tea are effective in the prevention and treatment of cancer of the prostate. Meanwhile, researchers from Kentucky, led by Damodaran Chendil, disclosed the efficacy of curcumin, the main component of turmeric, as a radiosensitizer. Likewise, Kristie Canene-Adams and her team of scientists from Illinois and Ohio documented the effectiveness of the tomato-broccoli combination against the disease dreaded by men.
The glyco-protein secreted by the prostate gland, called prostate-specific antigen (PSA), is the most clinically used marker in the detection of prostate cancer. The level of PSA serum is reduced by agents that lower the level of testosterone. Such agents include leutenizing hormone-releasing hormone agonists, antagonists and anti-androgens, as well as 5a-reductase inhibitors.
Green tea is considered a “superfood” against this type of cancer, because its polyphenol content is capable of decreasing PSA levels in human prostate cancer cells in a culture medium. The effect of the moderately water-soluble polyphenols on PSA levels is dose-dependent. Additionally, its constituent, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), also contributes to its efficacy against prostate and other forms of cancer.
Curcumin is a natural carotenoid and polyphenol which may be isolated from Curcuma longa or turmeric, a rhizome. Owing to their structure, carotenoids are scavengers of free radicals, which make them great anti-oxidants and boosters of the immune system of vertebrates, humans included. Curcumin is also an effective anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic. Studies have demonstrated that curcumin inhibits the growth of a number of tumors when used in combination with radiation therapy. In prostate cancer, curcumin overcomes the effect of prosurvival gene expression induced by the exposure of cancer cells to radiation.
Although the Canene-Adams, et al. study was performed in rats, the results are encouraging, because tomato alone and broccoli alone reduced the tumor growth by only 34% and 42%, respectively. However, when tomato and broccoli were combined in diet, proliferation of tumor decreased by 52%. This finding provided scaffold to earlier recommendations from public health authorities to increase their intake of nutrients from a variety of plant sources. In this respect, combining tomato and broccoli produced a synergistic effect in combating prostate cancer.
In conclusion, green tea, turmeric, tomatoes and broccoli are the top “superfoods” proven to fight prostate cancer. There are also other foods that work against prostate cancer including pomegranate and juice from the fruit; other cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, bok choy or Chinese cabbage and cauliflower; and soybean. Research methods have been modernized, but today’s scientists are going back to naturals, glamorized as “superfoods”, for succor against disease. Indeed, the power of food plants over prostate cancer emphasizes the value of nature in man’s fight for good health and long life.