Research News

Help patients prevent prostate cancer with these foods

June, 2017    |

According to new research from The University of Texas at Austin, several natural compounds in food could thwart the growth of prostate cancer. These include apple peels, turmeric, and red grapes.

Researchers used a new analytical approach to screen several plant-based chemicals, rather than testing a single agent. They found that together, a variety of these substances can shrink prostate tumours.

“After screening a natural compound library, we developed an unbiased look at combinations of nutrients that have a better effect on prostate cancer than existing drugs,” says corresponding author Stefano Tiziani, assistant professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Dell Pediatric Research Institute at UT Austin. “The beauty of this study is that we were able to inhibit tumor growth in mice without toxicity.”

The researchers tested 142 natural compounds on mouse and human cell lines to see which were able to inhibit prostate cancer cell growth. The most promising ones included ursolic acid, found in apple peels and rosemary; curcumin, found in turmeric; and resveratrol, found in red grapes and berries.

“These nutrients have potential anti-cancer properties and are readily available,” says Tiziani. “We only need to increase concentration beyond levels found in a healthy diet for an effect on prostate cancer cells.”

The study also discussed demonstrates how the plant-based chemicals work together. When ursolic acid was combined with either curcumin or resveratrol, it blocked cancer cells from absorbing glutamine, which they need to grow.