You know how they say you should feed a cold and starve a fever? Well it turns out guys may be able to starve a case of prostate cancer too, simply by feeding themselves some downright delicious foods.
Researchers at the University of Texas recently completed a study that confirms we hit the nail on the head when we advised you to sprinkle on more turmeric, munch on more apples and pop more grapes to reduce your cancer risk.
According to the research, published in the journal Precision Oncology, specific compounds found in certain foods including turmeric, apples and red grapes could stop prostate cancer cells in their tracks.1
More on that new research in a moment, but let’s take a quick look at what we already knew about the effects these foods have on cancer.
Slash cancer risk with kitchen secrets
Turmeric is both a powerful anti-inflammatory and a potent antioxidant. Lab and animal studies have found that curcumin, the active ingredient in this golden spice, helps keep tumors from growing by cutting off their blood supply.
In one study, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, a group of guys with precancerous colon lesions took curcumin for a month. The extract slashed the number of threatening lesions by 40 percent.2
But it’s not just turmeric that could put up a fight against cancer. It turns out an apple a day may keep the oncologist at bay too.
When researchers placed pulverized apple skin in a petri dish with liver cancer and colon cancer cells the ursolic acid packed apple skins suppressed the colon cancer cell’s growth by 43 percent and liver cancer cell’s growth by 57!3,4
And resveratrol rich grapes have shown promise in reducing the risk of bowel cancer, and inhibiting tumor growth.5
Starve prostate tumors with this triple threat
In the new study UT researchers bravely broke with tradition. Instead of researching just single compounds—the conventional approach—they also explored combinations of substances.
Those of us focused on natural health understand that an individual substance can work synergistically with another to have a greater benefit than either could alone. But this is often overlooked by those in the mainstream.
The researchers worked their way through a library of natural compounds to identify the substances that had the best chance of fighting prostate cancer better than drugs. They pinpointed 142 likely candidates which were then tested both alone, and in combination, on mouse and human cancer cell lines.
Next the researchers tested the three most promising active ingredients on mice:
- ursolic acid
When the plant-based chemicals were used as tag teams, combining ursolic acid with turmeric or with resveratrol, it supercharged their effectiveness. The nutrient combos prevented the prostate cancer cells from chowing down on a common amino acid, called glutamine, which they require to grow.
In other words, they essentially starved the prostate cancer cells to death.
You can get more of these cancer fighting compounds in your own diet. Simply snack on more apples and red grapes, and use more turmeric in your favorite dishes. Or look for supplements online or in any natural food store.
1. “Combinatorial treatment with natural compounds in prostate cancer inhibits prostate tumor growth and leads to key modulations of cancer cell metabolism,” npj Precision Oncology 1, Article number: 18 (2017)
2. “Phase IIa Clinical Trial of Curcumin for the Prevention of Colorectal Neoplasia,” March 2011, Volume 4, Issue 3
3. “Antioxidant activity of apple peels,” J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Jan 29;51(3):609-14
4. “Antioxidant activity of fresh apples,” Nature. 2000 Jun 22;405(6789):903-4
5. “Cancer chemoprevention: Evidence of a nonlinear dose response for the protective effects of resveratrol in humans and mice,” Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 298ra117 (2015)
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