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Superfoods help to fight cancer

Published on 03 June 2013 11:30 AM

A selection of 'superfoods' can help sufferers of prostate cancer fight the disease, according to new research.

A six-month study involving 203 cancer patients found that eating capsules containing the essence of broccoli, pomegranate, turmeric and green tea gave positive results on a test for prostate cancer know as PSA.

PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, is a chemical produced by the prostate. PSA levels can be measured in the blood and are often raised when a man has prostate cancer. But they can also be raised when a man has a less serious condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia, which causes the prostate gland to enlarge.

Testing for PSA is complicated by the fact that all men have slightly different levels of PSA, so it is hard to say what level is 'normal', and what is 'high'. This means that not all men with high PSA levels have prostate cancer. And not all men with prostate cancer have high PSA levels.

During the study, the researchers found that patients taking the supplements had PSAs that registered 63% lower than those who did not.

'Superfoods'

Broccoli, pomegranate, turmeric and green tea are rich in polyphenol and are believed to have anti-cancer properties. But the findings of the trial, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago, show scientifically for the first time the effects they can have on the progression of cancer.

Consultant oncologist at Addenbrooke and Bedford hospitals, Professor Robert Thomas, said the research has drawn on the hospitals' quality of care, their work alongside various cancer charities and Cranfield University's research capabilities to produce findings that could have a significant impact around the world.

Prof Thomas said whole food supplements could be used alongside the promotion of healthy lifestyles and eating to help millions of men in their struggle with the disease.

The men involved were divided into two groups, with some given the capsules, while others were given a placebo. As well as the PSA benefits, there were next to no adverse effects and there was much less need for the patients to undergo 'potentially toxic therapies' after the trial.

Copyright Press Association 2013

Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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