Nutraceuticals and prostate cancer prevention: a current review

Nat Rev Urol. 2010 Jan;7(1):21-30. doi: 10.1038/nrurol.2009.234. Epub 2009 Dec 8.


Nutraceuticals are 'natural' substances isolated or purified from food substances and used in a medicinal fashion. Several naturally derived food substances have been studied in prostate cancer in an attempt to identify natural preventative therapies for this disease. Vitamin E, selenium, vitamin D, green tea, soy, and lycopene have all been examined in human studies. Other potential nutraceuticals that lack human data, most notably pomegranate, might also have a preventative role in this disease. Unfortunately, most of the literature involving nutraceuticals in prostate cancer is epidemiological and retrospective. The paucity of randomized control trial evidence for the majority of these substances creates difficulty in making clinical recommendations particularly when most of the compounds have no evidence of toxicity and occur naturally. Despite these shortcomings, this area of prostate cancer prevention is still under intense investigation. We believe many of these 'natural' compounds have therapeutic potential and anticipate future studies will consist of well-designed clinical trials assessing combinations of compounds concurrently.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / trends
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diet therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*