Three foods starve prostate cancer of glutamate

Three foods starve prostate cancer of glutamate

Three natural compounds - ursolic acid, curcumin, resveratrol - consumed in combination can inhibit prostate cancer cell growth by restricting glutamate consumption, according to researchers at the University of Texas, Austin using animal studies; each also has known properties against cancer stem cells.

First, the researchers tested 142 natural compounds on both mouse and human prostate cells in vitro, to understand which compounds had the greatest potential and that the results would be consistent between mice and men.

Then the most promising bioactive compounds were tested in mice with prostate cancer. Stefano Tiziani, the assistant professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Dell Pediatric Research Institute led the team, which concluded that three nutrients in particular had significant benefits.

The three compounds were:

  • Curcumin, the active ingredient and about 3 per cent of turmeric root;

  • Resveratrol, found in red grape skins, blueberries, cranberries, cocoa, pistachios and peanuts;

  • Ursolic acid, found in Holy Basil, pistachio nuts, rosemary, thyme, Arabica coffee, eucalyptus and the outer peel of many fruits such as apples.

What was important was that using ursolic acid with either curcumin or resveratrol stopped cancer cells using glutamine to grow. Glutamine is an amino acid, often used as an energy source by cancer. In other words, these three compounds could starve the prostate cancer.


Chris Woollams former Oxford Biochemist and a founder of CANCERactive said, “The three compounds are all known to have strong anti-cancer benefits from previous research studies. Here, they were used in combination and blocked the uptake of glutamate, an essential nutrient for prostate tumours to grow. It is possible you could consume good levels of the foods in your Rainbow Diet, but it is probably better to add a natural supplement of each on top to deliver a good dose. These findings have significant implications for other cancers which use glutamate, for example GBM, where glucose is restricted."

Other bioactive compounds that were interesting included sulforaphane (in sprouting seeds and broccoli), 6-shogaol (in ginger) and EGCG (from green tea).

Go to: Foods that increase prostate cancer spread!


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The research was covered in the journal Nature -

2018 Research
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