Herbs and Prostate CancerJune 4, 2009 Written by JP [Font too small?]
Last week, I posted a column about the potential of a low-sugar diet in the management of prostate cancer (PC). Today I’d like to share some information about a polyherbal supplement that may be an excellent accompaniment for men who are at high risk for PC. The product in question is composed of many traditionally revered herbs and spices, such as ginger root, green tea, holy basil, oregano, rosemary, skullcap, turmeric and more. But what really sets this formula apart is the considerable amount of scientific study that has been devoted to it.
A new trial published in the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology makes a strong case for an herbal blend called Zyflamend in men with HGPIN, which stands for high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. (1) These are lesions that are thought to increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.
This 18 month study was conducted at Columbia University and New York Presbyterian hospital. It involved 23 men diagnosed with HGPIN, whose ages ranged from 40 to 75 years old. Their PSA (a common marker for prostate cancer) was relatively high, with an average score of 6.1. The researchers tested the participants blood every 3 months and also conducted prostate biopsies every 6 months. The results of this data collection are as follows:
- A reduction in inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein and NF-kappaB) was noted by the 18th month.
- 48% of the participants demonstrated a 25%-50% reduction in PSA levels by the 18 month mark.
- 60% of the volunteers showed completely benign prostate biopsies at the end of the study.
- No significant side effects or significant alterations in blood chemistry were observed.
These changes indicate a slowing or, perhaps, even a regression in prostate cancer risk factors. The scientists tested for levels of inflammatory markers because certain forms of inflammation appear to spur the growth of prostate and many other cancers. (2,3,4)
Zyflamend’s Supplement Facts
Two Vcaps Contain
|Rosemary (leaf) 100 mg supercritical extract and 50 mg extract (23% total phenolic antioxidants [TPA]-34.5 mg)||150 mg|
|Turmeric (rhizome) 10 mg supercritical extract (45% turmerones-4.5 mg), and 100 mg ethanolic extract (7% curcuminoids-7 mg)||110 mg|
|Ginger (rhizome) 54 mg supercritical extract (30% pungent compounds – 16.2 mg, 8% zingiberene-4.3 mg), and 46 mg ethanolic extract (3% pungent compounds-1.4 mg)||100 mg|
|Holy Basil (leaf) extract (2% ursolic acid-2 mg)||100 mg|
|Green Tea (leaf) extract (45% polyphenols-45 mg)||100 mg|
|Hu Zhang (Polygonum cuspidatum) (root and rhizome) extract (8% resveratrol-6.4 mg)||80 mg|
|Chinese Goldthread (root) extract (6% berberine-2.4mg)||40 mg|
|Barberry (root) extract (%6 berberine-2.4mg)||40 mg|
|Oregano (leaf) supercritical extract (4% TPA – 1.5 mg)||40 mg|
|Baikal Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) extract (17-26% baicalein complex including baicalein and baicalin – 3.4-5.2 mg, and 0.4-0.9% wogonin – 0.08-0.18 mg)||20 mg|
Zyflamend has also proven itself in several laboratory experiments. This type of research is very important because it helps scientists to identify the mechanisms by which a substance works. It also aids in getting funding for human trials and assists researchers in knowing what to look for in the studies. Here’s a brief overview of what’s currently known about how Zyflamend combats cancer.
- A 2007 study discovered that this herbal blend slowed the growth of prostate cancer cells primarily by calming various inflammatory substances in prostate tumor cells. What’s interesting about this research is that the antiinflammatory effects were much broader and affected a larger number of inflammatory markers than most conventional medications do. (5)
- Another 2007 experiment determined that Zyflamend inhibited cancer growth and spread by down-regulating the activity of Nuclear Factor-kappa B, a substance known to promote cancer cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis (spread to other sites in the body). (6)
- A 2005 laboratory trial found that Zyflamend reduced COX-1 and COX-2 activity (inflammatory substances) and provoked a 40% reduction in “androgen receptor expression”. Androgens are sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone that appear to play a role in PC development and progression. This particular study found a marked suppression of PC cancer cell growth and an increase in PC cell death due to exposure to Zyflamend. (7)
The primary ingredients contained in this herbal preparation are also known to have powerful antioxidant properties. For instance, one of the key players in the formula is Hu Zhang, a rich source of resveratrol, which modern science is studying for its possible “anti-aging” properties.
There are two caveats that need to be mentioned with regard to Zyflamend. 1) This is a potent natural medicine. If you’re taking prescription medications, it would be wise to discuss (with your doctor or pharmacist) any possible interactions between this natural remedy and the synthetic drugs you’re taking. 2) The makers of this supplement utilize a CO2 (carbon dioxide) extraction process that allows for the fat soluble components of the herbs and spices to remain intact. This contributes to the efficacy of the product, but also gives it a very pungent smell and taste. Therefore, it is recommended that you only take Zyflamend with food, never on an empty stomach. If the issue of “taste repetition” is still troublesome after trying it with food, try putting the Zyflamend soft gels in the freezer. The freezing process delays the dispersal of the soft gel contents, which could help better tolerate them.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
Tags: Cancer, Inflammation, Prostate
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Men's Health, Nutritional Supplements