Phytochemical rich food studies and prostate cancer

This page describes the previous and ongoing studies which have evaluated phytochemical rich food supplements. The previous largest significant study was the Pomi-T, published 10 years ago. The latest double blind national trial, which started in September 2023, is called the YourPhyto study which has been featured first as it is the most current. Other prospective cohort studies are also summarised on this page:

  • The YourPhyto Study >>

  • The Pomi-T trial >>

  • The PSA-MRI correlation Study >>

  • The Tokyo Women's study >>

  • The Tea and prostate cancer cohort study >>

  • The broccoli and prostate cancer study >>


The Your Phyto Study

This study is evaluating the next generation of phytochemical rich supplements in combination with a probiotic vitamin D complex. This national, ethically approved RCT started in September 2023.

Aims: It aims to establish whether boosting the diet with a lactobacillus probiotic (Yourgutplus) in addition to a phytochemical-rich food supplement (Yourphyto) will influence PSA progression, prostate-related symptoms and strength in men with early PCa compared to placebo.

The intervention: The probiotic capsule will contain 10 billion colony forming units (CFU) of 5 lactobacillus strains with built-in prebiotics.  The phytochemical-rich capsule will contain whole foods which have previously reported potential benefits for men with prostate cancer in epidemiological, laboratory and prospective studies. The ingredients of both supplements have been shown to have a high safety profile.

Cohort: Men with histologically proven, early PCa early not taking androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), managed with active surveillance or watchful waiting.

Method: Following written informed consent, all participating men (180) will be given the phytochemical-rich food supplement and asked to stop all other over-the-counter supplements. There will be a double-blind, randomised (1:1) allocation of the probiotic supplement or placebo.  The supplements will be taken twice a day for 4 months. 

Outcome measurements: Prostatic Specific Antigen doubling time (PSAdt) will be taken at baseline and 4 months. Uniquely the study will be measuring strength as a marker of overall wellbeing. It will also be assessing prostate symptoms via:

  • The International urinary symptoms questionnaire

  • The International Erectile Function score

Sponsors: The study is sponsored by Bedford and Luton Hospital trusts and the supplement have been supplied, at no cost the thre trials unit, from the manufactures, who had (or will have) no influence in the trial design conduct, analysis or publication of the study

For more information: Please refer to the Yourphyto website



The Pomi-T Study: A randomised double blind placebo controlled trial of a polyphenol rich dietary food supplement in men with prostate cancer


This randomised controlled trial has now completed. The results were announced as a full oral presentation at the world's largest and most prestigious cancer conference ASCO in 2013. The full paper was published in a Nature Journal in 2014. In 2016, a further trial was conducted and published which confirmed the very low progression of PSA in men taking Pomi-T on surveillance but also confirmed that this correlated with underlying control of disease seen on MRI (read second paper).

The supplement used in this trial had the highest practicable quality assurance, including specific test for authenticity, purify and lack of heavy metal or bacterial contamination of the ingredients. In addition, an independent academic body performed mass spectrometry to ensure no unexpected additives were present. The original manufacturers agreed with the clinical trials committee to continue this high quality assurance programme but unfortunately unregulated copies have since appeared on some UK and international websites. If you are interested in taking Pomi-T we recommend you refer to the original regulated website and avoid discount stores which may not adhere to the same quality assurance.- link to Pomi-T website.


Background to the study 

An increasing numbers of published studies have linked polyphenols, the natural plant based phytochemicals found in healthy foods, with a lower risk of chronic illnesses such as dementia, arthritis, skin aging, macular degeneration and more recently cancer [Rezai-Zadeh], [Maclarty]. Women with early breast cancer taking higher than the recommended “5 a day” amount of fruits and vegetable have been found to lower their risk of recurrence risk by one third especially if combined with physically activity [Pierce 2009]. Breast cancer recurrence has been demonstrated to be lower amoung women regularly drinking green tea [Ogunleye 2010] or eating foods rich in dietary lignans [Buck 2011], isoflavones and flavanones [Boyapati 2005]. A full scientific review of the evidence for polyphenols and cancer has been conducted by the trials team and can be downloaded free.


Although the benefits of boosting the diet with polyphenol rich whole food supplements for individuals with cancer have been investigated in small phase II studies, they have rarely been evaluated within an adequately powered Randomised Controlled Trials. For this reason, the UK’s government’s clinical trials design committee decided to set up a national trial to investigate whether there are any anticancer benefits. These committee green tea, broccoli, turmeric and pomegranate of chose these foods as they originate from separate categories (spice, herb, fruit, vegetable), hypothesising that their diverse polyphenol profile would have synergistic action whilst avoid accumulation of one particular phytochemical. Each ingredient has also demonstrated anti-oxidant activity, protecting cells from carcinogenic exposure, as well as direct anti-neoplastic activity within previous laboratory or phase II trials:

  • Green Tea, rich in epigallocatechin gallate, blocks ornithine decarboxylase resulting in reduced proliferation, angiogenesis and de-differentiation in cancer cell lines. A meta-analysis of 5000 women showed that regular consumption had reduced breast cancer recurrence. Phase 2 studies have demonstrated reduced PSA in prostate cancer [Mclarty, Ogunleye Porrini, Liao].

  • Pomegranate, rich in ellagic acid, which in cancer cell lines reduced proliferation, apoptosis and adhesion. In 3 phase II studies it prolonged PSAdt and reduced oxidative stress [Retitig, Lansky, Malik, Barber, Rocha, Wang, Pantuck, Carducci, Paller]. 

  • Turmeric, rich in capsaicin reduced growth, invasion, migration, and TK activation of EGFR. In cancer stem cells it prevented progression to prostate, bowel and breast cancer but had no affect on normal stem cells. In humans has demonstrated Cox-I anti- inflammation effects [Kakarla, Shah, Zhang, Dorai] 

  • Broccoli, rich in iothiocyanate, in cell lines slows growth and promotes apoptosis. In humans after regular consumption it alters genetic signature, down regulates promoting genes, up regulate cancer suppressor genes [Gasper, Joseph, Heinen].


Two hundred and three men, aged 53-89 yrs (average 74 yrs), with prostate cancer (95% Gleason 6/7, 5% >7), 59% managed with primary active surveillance or 41% with watchful waiting (WW) with a progressive PSA relapse following previous radical interventions were randomised to receive a Pomi-T or an identical placebo for 6 months. The randomised process produced no statistical difference in baseline characteristics except the placebo group were slightly older which, if anything would be more advantageous to the placebo group. The power calculation and independent statistical analysis took place at Cranfield University and men were recruited from across the UK. Enthusiasm to enter the study was overwhelming. The trials team completed the quota 10 months ahead of schedule (see graph).


Quality assurance: This non commercial academic trial received peer reviewed sponsorship from Prostate Action, was designed by NCRI Complementary Therapies Research Committee, adopted by the UK’s NCRN and independently audited to ensure it adherence to European Good Clinical Practice Guidelines. The manufacturers performed in house analysis to ensure authenticity and purity and a further independent mass spectrometry was performed to confirm purity. Statistical evaluation was independent to the trials unit. 


Results: Two men from each group men withdraw before the first 3 month evaluation.  of the remaining 199 men, the median rise in PSA in the Pomi-T was 14.7% (95% CI 3.4-36.7%) v 78.5% in the PG (95% CI 48.1-115.5%). This difference of 63.8% was significant (ANCOVA p=0.0008). 18.6% more men stayed off interventions at the end of the trial in the Pomi-T group. There was no significant difference between any of the pre-determined subgroups.


Secondary end points: There was no effect on average serum sex hormone analysis: Testosterone 13.4 nmol/l (nr 9-29) FSH 9.2 iu/l (nr 2-12), LH 7.4 iu/l (nr 2-9) There was no effect on cholesterol, INR or BP amoung men taking warfarin or ramipril. MRI scans, taken routinely as part of their AS protocol, were retrospectively evaluated. 35% had no visual disease, 15% had progressive disease with significant rises in PSA (removed from trial) 50% had visual disease with no progression, no man remaining on Pomi-T had MRI defined progression. There was a 14% difference in urinary symptoms (mainly urgency) and a 6% difference in joint pains although these two endpoint were not predetermined in the statistical plan so need further varification.


Conclusions: In this cohort of men with prostate cancer managed with AS or WW this study demonstrated 6 months of Pomi-T  demonstrated highly statistically significant short term favourable effect on the percentage rise in PSA compared to placebo. It was well tolerated without any significant adverse effects or concomitant drug interactions and resulted in significantly more men remaining on AS or WW avoiding the toxicities and expense of medical interventions. No change in testosterone levels occurred in men taking Pomi-T and disease seen on MRI correlated with PSA dynamics.


The PSA - MRI correlation study 

A second evaluation has taken place involving men who have continued to take pomi-t post trial. It specifically addressed the issue of of whether PSA correlated with underlying changes in Cancer size seen on MRI. It involved men followed for up to 2 years on active surveillance. 

The results, as shown in the adjacent picture, should a 100% correlation between PSA and underlying disease indicating that the PSA effect on the main Pomi-t trial was unlikely to be just a chemical effect but related to actual prostate cancer itself - read full paper

The trials team has now designed a RCT  evaluating  a polyphenol rich nail balm with the aim of reducing chemotherapy induced nail damage  this trial is underway - read more.

The team has also performed two evidence reviews summarising the evidence for polyphenols and exercise. A further evidence review examining the Biology of exercise has been write with Coventry University and Stacey Kenfield from the University f South California and been published in the British Journal of Sports medicine and is available to read here.

The trials unit are moving on to evaluate the evidence for a polyphenol rich supplement to improve arthritis and  exercise levels. In the mean time they have successfully designed and conducted  a double blind randomised trial of a polyphenol rich nail balm to stop distressing chemotherapy associated nail damage. This trial known as the polybalm study has been published in ASCO 2017.... read more


The Tokyo Women's study

The effect of a boosting phytochemical rich foods for women’s cancer survivors on arthralgia, mood and hot flushes. 

Yanagisawa Y et al (2021). J Nurs Women’s Health 5: 168. DOI: 10.29011/2577-1450.100068

Background and rationale: Late toxicities such as arthritis, low mood, nail changes and hot flushes are common after breast, other women’s cancers and after menopause in general.  As well as causing discomfort impacting quality of life, persistent arthralgia can  compromise the effectiveness of adjuvant therapies by reducing compliance to hormone treatment. Discontinuation rates of hormone therapies such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors have been recognised  in up to 30% of women suffering from arthralgia and stiffness. Poor adherence to AI therapy has also been associated with worse disease-free and overall survival from breast cancer. In addition, arthritis can significantly  impact patients ability to exercise, which  can lead to an exacerbation of further  symptoms and complications  associated with  cancer. In particular, regular exercise can mitigate  the risks of weight gain, hot flushes, fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, erectile function, arthritis itself and osteoporosis, as well as improve  mood and sleep patterns. Restricted mobility may have even more sinister consequences for patients, as cohort studies have consistently linked a reduced relapse rate and improved survival benefit amongst those able to be physically active after several different types of cancer, including breast cancer.....

Epidemiology studies have linked higher intake of polyphenol-rich foods with better gut health mood and less arthritis. Lab studies show these foods reduce intra-articular inflammation and oxidative stress,  allowing greater mobility although, up until now, clinically relevant, intervention studies in humans have been lacking. A whole food nutritional supplement can be a convenient way to boost intake of polyphenol-rich foods and ensure sustained  intake throughout the day. For this study the OTC supplement Pomi-T was selected given that  it has demonstrated a high safety profile in a randomised trial in which participants also reported improvements in joint discomfort. Pomi-T also contains no phytoestrogenic polyphenols, which may potentially would have been a concern post breast cancer...

How was the study conducted:
This was an open label evaluation of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement (Pomi-T) supplied to volunteer members of a Japanese Women’s Cancer Support Group, Tokyo. Joint discomfort, mobility, mood and hot flushes were recorded at baseline and after 2 months Pomi-T using validated peer reviewed questionnaires. 38 of 44 (87%) completed pre and post forms (average age 48, range 26-62 years).


The Pomi-T supplement consisted of a vegan capsule containing 150mg whole pomegranate fruit powder (Punica granatum) ; 30mg ground green tea leaf (Camellia sinensis) of 5:1 extract (equivalent to 150mg of whole leaf); 150mg whole ground turmeric; 150mg whole ground broccoli florets (brassica oleracea). The Swiss manufacturers (Helsinn Integrative) are adherent to good manufacturing practice guidelines and perform in-house analysis for authenticity and purity from heavy metals and pesticides on each batch. It was supplied free to the women volunteers by the Japanese distributor PT Plus (Higashi Kanamachi 5-48-28, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo 125-0041, Japan).


Results: There was a statistically significant improvement in mean mood scores was 1.9 (19.96-18.06), with a paired T-test of p=0.01.  Mean reduction in hot flush score was 6.68 (38.41-31.71), with a two tailed sign test of p= 0.016. Mean reduction in joint pain, stiffness and immobility was 3.84 (25.21-21.37), with a two tailed sign test of p=0.011. In practical terms this represented about a 10% improvement in symptoms. Positive comments from individuals (Table.1) were received from 30 of 38 (79%) women and included an unexpected reduction in hay fever symptoms in 8 (21%) of women.


Conclusion: This open labelled study demonstrated that symptomatic women with breast and other had a statistically significant reduction in arthralgia, hot flushes and improved mood after consuming two capsules of Pomi-T per day.  This evaluation did not formally measure hay fever symptoms, and the comments from the participants were spontaneous. This was not  completely unexpected,  as polyphenols have previously been investigated for their anti-allergic effect in models and in human clinical trials [97, 98]. This evaluation took place in late spring in Japan, just before the “Cherry Blossom” season which is  associated with a higher pollen count. It would be interesting to repeat this evaluation focusing specifically on the effect of Pomi-T in individuals who suffer from hay fever  over a  similar time period using designated formal measures of allergy symptom severity.

Read more on the Pomi-T website


Barber ( 2006) Prost Can Pros Dis.9(4): 407-13.
Brasky (2011). Nutr Cancer. 63(4):573-82
Bauer (2012). Integr Can Ther. 2012 11(2):83-9.
Boyapati (2005) Breast Cancer Res T.92:11–7.
Buck (2011).  JCO, 29 (28). 3730-38.
Carducci (2011). JCO, 29: 7, 11.
Chaoyang (2011) Arch Intern Med 171(6); 507-15.
Chuang  (2011)EJC 47, 1808-16.
Clarke (2006) Urology 67 (6): 1257-61.
Heinonen  (1998) J Nat Can Instit ; 90: 440-9
Gasper AV (2010) Molecular Cancer 2010, 9:189.
Giovannucci (2002) JN Can Instit, 94: 391-398.
Handler (2007). Chem Pharm Bull. 55(1): 64-71
Haris (2014) EJC 50, 1223-1231

Heinen (2007) EJC 43; (18) 2707-16.
Joseph (2004) Nutr Cancer, 50(2):206-213.
Kakarla (2010) Res treat 122(3):777-85
Malik  (2005) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA.
McLarty (2009). Can Prev Res: 1940-6207.
Ogunleye (2010) Breast Cancer Res T 119(2):477.
Paller (2013) Prost Can & Prost Dis 16, 50-55.
Pantuck (2005) J Urol. 173:225–226.
Pierce (2007 JAMA 298(3): 289-98.
Porrini (2008) Nutr Metab Cardio:80(4):353-61. Shah (1999). Bio Pharm., 58(7): 1167–72.
Thomas (2013) JCO. 31, Suppl; 5008
Thomas (2014) PCPD (nature.com/pcan ) Jan 1-7
Tung (2005) Can Epi Biomarkers Prev; 14;669
Wang (2011). Integr Biol (Camb);3:742–754


Administration: Lifestyle after cancer: Cancer treatments: Symptoms

About us
Site map
Contact us
Links to support groups
Trials & research
Other health issues
Submit a poem
Making a living will

Order a nutritional test

Traveling advice

Measure patient satisfaction

Quit smoking
Weight Gain
Sun exposure
Sleep hygiene
Bone Health
The Pomi-T trial

Healthy bacteria

Hormone therapies
Targeted therapies
High frequency ultrasound
Complementary therapies
Lifestyle strategies

Common tests

Having a picc line

Support drugs

Preventing a sore mouth

Preventing nail damage

Hot flushes
Joint pains

Hair loss
Nail damage
Sore Lips
Hot flushes

Weight gain

Breast tenderness

Receive our monthly lifestyle research updates

This book, with a foreword from Paula Radcliffe, contains research based guidance showing how diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes can; help avoid cancer, cope with treatments side effects; slow progression and prevent relapse ..more Micro-nutrient testing empowers you to make dietary choices specific to your personal make up. This test analyses over 50 of the essential blood micro-nutrients and recommends specific dietary and supplement advice to ensure you have the best possible nutritional status to help fight cancer and aid recovery from treatments ..more


Vitamins & Cancer:


Vitamin A

Vitamin B

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K & K2


Essential minerals & cancer:










Specific foods & cancer:


Green Tea




Organic food?

Process sugar


Fats & cancer:


Unhealthy fats

Healthy fats

Omega 3

Omega 6


Healthy fats in meals


Other issues & cancer:


Gut health

Chronic inflammation

High blood sugar

High cholestreol

Healthy recipes

Cycling and prostate ca

Lifestyle tips Aide gut health Micronutrient tests Protect nails
Amazing polyphenols