Grapeseed may reduce risk of prostate cancer

The well-known Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle Washington is the source for a large recent survey on supplements for cancer prevention. (We’ve already discussed on this blog their 2010 survey highlighting an association between fish oil supplements and lower risk of breast cancer.) This new research, published in May 2011, focuses on grapeseed supplements and reduced risk of prostate cancer.

More than 35,000 male participants from 50 to 76 years old were recruited for a detailed baseline questionnaire in 2000-2002. Upon follow up five years later, 1,602 prostate cancers had been registered among study participants. Any use of grapeseed supplements among the 35,000 participants was associated with a 41% reduced risk of total prostate cancer. There were no associations between prostate cancer risk and use of chondroitin, coenzyme Q10, fish oil, garlic, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucosamine, or saw palmetto.

This large survey study follows after a number of preliminary lab studies of the anti-cancer effects of grapeseed. See the Memorial Sloan/Kettering website for more information:

NYBC stocks Grapeseed Extract from Jarrow.

Reference: Brasky TM, Kristal AR, Navarro SL, Lampe JW, Peters U, Patterson RE, White E. Specialty Supplements and Prostate Cancer Risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort. Nutr Cancer. 2011 May;63(4):573-82.

Mastic Gum: a traditional remedy for gastric reflux disease becomes the subject of new lines of research suggesting its potential application to prostate cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and cardio- and hepato-protection

Mastic Gum is a resin that has been traditionally used (especially in the Eastern Mediterranean) as a remedy for gastric reflux disease and to protect the stomach and duodenum.

These traditional uses are now supported and enlarged by some clinical and other research data. Here are some of the most intriguing new findings concerning Mastic Gum:

1. A study published in 2007 underscored the potential of mastic gum to prevent or manage prostate cancer. According to this line of research, this protective effect may be achieved via an inhibition of nF-KB–interestingly, that’s a cellular protein that HIV also hijacks to help produce more of itself.

2. Another recent investigation looked at the use of 2.22 grams of mastic per day among patients with Crohn’s disease. Not only did this dosage help in this small pilot study, but two markers of inflammation were significantly reduced, including interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Again, it’s interesting to note that both of these markers are also often elevated in HIV disease.

3. Last, a 2007 Greek study showed some benefits for mastic gum in managing the lipid profile and being liver and heart protective. These findings tend to support the long-held traditional reputation of mastic.


He, et al. Mechanisms of antiprostate cancer by gum mastic: NF-κB signal as target. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2007 Mar;28(3):446-452.

Kaliora AC, Stathopoulou MG, Triantafillidis JK, Dedoussis GV, Andrikopoulos NK. Chios mastic treatment of patients with active Crohn’s disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb 7;13(5):748-53.

Triantafyllou A, Chaviaras N, Sergentanis TN, Protopapa E, Tsaknis J. Chios mastic gum modulates serum biochemical parameters in a human population. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Apr 20;111(1):43-49.

For more commentary, see the NYBC entry:

Mastic Gum

Saw Palmetto for enlarged prostate: The National Library of Medicine/NIH Rating

The National Library of Medicine, which is a service of the National Institutes of Health, publishes ratings on a number of dietary supplements in order to help consumers judge their effectiveness. Below is the NLM rating for Saw Palmetto for Enlarged Prostate/benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).(

The NLM Grade for this use of Saw Palmetto is “A” or “strong scientific evidence for this use.”

Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hypertrophy/BPH)

Numerous human trials report that saw palmetto improves symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) such as nighttime urination, urinary flow, and overall quality of life, although it may not greatly reduce the size of the prostate. The effectiveness may be similar to the medication finasteride (Proscar®) with fewer side effects. Although the quality of these studies has been variable, overall they suggest effectiveness.

For further commentary and dosing recommendations, see the NYBC entry on Saw Palmetto (Jarrow). In addition, NYBC stocks