Why wholefood supplements?

Two types of supplements are available: one is made from chemicals extracted from food or is made synthetically which are called vitamin and minerals. The other is supplements made from concentrating whole foods. If these foods have good benefits, then a supplement made from them is a good way to improve a poor diet or for someone not eating enough of these foods. They can also enhance a good diet with the benefits they provide to make the diet better.

The majority of studies, to date, have studied extracted chemicals which is the first group: vitamins and minerals. Some have shown a benefit.

More recently academic attention has turned towards the study of concentrated whole food supplements, particularly foods rich in polyphenols and other phytochemicals such as herbs, spices, green vegetables, teas and colourful fruits which have appeared to be beneficial in environmental studies.

Pomi-T capsules is an example. So far, the largest trial analysing phytochemical-rich food extracts is the National Cancer Research Network Pomi-T study. This study combined four different food types (pomegranate, green tea, broccoli and turmeric) in order to provide a wide spectrum of synergistically acting nutrients, whilst at the same time avoiding over-consumption of one particular phytochemical which may happen. eg if you take a full strength turmeric capsule the body response will be different than the level of tumeric provided in Pomi-T. It involved two hundred men, with localised prostate cancer which was managed with active surveillance or watchful waiting experiencing a PSA relapse.

The results, announced as an oral presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference Chicago, showed a statistically significant, 63% reduction in the median PSA progression rate compared to placebo. This is an excellent result.

In the UK, the Institute of Preventative Medicine have plans to include Pomi-T supplement into the next national prostate cancer prevention study. This study will be recruiting men with a higher genetic risk of prostate cancer identified in the national RAPPER study co-ordinated from the Institute of Cancer Research. Further trials are being designed involving individuals with skin, colorectal and bladder cancer. In the meantime, a trial is passing through the regulatory process to investigate whether the natural anti-inflammatory properties of these ingredients could help joint pains after breast cancer.


1. World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. AIRC: Washington; 2007.
2. Key TJ. Fruit and vegetables and cancer risk. British Journal of Cancer 2011;104:6Ð11.
3. Block G, Patterson B and Subar A. Fruit, vegetables and cancer prevention: a review of the epidemiological evidence. Nutrition and Cancer 1992;18(1): 1Ð29. 4. Scalbert A, Johnson I and Satlmarsh M. Polyphenols: antioxidants and beyond. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2005;81(1): 215S-217S.
5. Bauer CM et al. Prevalence and correlates of vitamin and supplement usage among men with prostate cancer. Integrative Cancer Ther 2012;11(2): 83-9.
6. Uzzo RG  et al. Prevalence and patterns of self-initiated nutritional supplementation in men at high risk of prostate cancer. British J of Urology Int 2004;93(7): 955-60.
7. Hu F et al. Carotenoids and breast Cancer risk: a meta-analysis and meta-regression. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2012;131(1): 239-53.
8. Tung K  et al. Association of dietary vitamin A, carotenoids and other antioxidants with the risk of ovarian cancer. Cancer Epi, Biomarkers & Preven 2005;14: 669.
9. Banim PJ  et al. Dietary antioxidants and the aetiology of pancreatic cancer: a cohort study using data from food diaries and biomarkers. Gut 2012;62(10): 1489-96.
10. Chaoyang L et al. Serum alpha-carotene concentrations and the risk of death amongst US adults. Archives of Internal Medicine 2011;171(6): 507-515.
11. Joseph MA  et al. Cruciferous vegetables, genetic polymorphisms and prostate cancer risk. Nutrition and Cancer 2004;50(2): 206-213.
12. Song-Yi , et al. Legume and isoflavone intake and prostate cancer risk: The
Multi-ethnic Cohort Study. International Journal of Cancer. 2008;123(4): 927-932.
13. Giovannucci E, Rimm EB, Liu Y, et al. A prospective study of tomato products, lycopene and prostate cancer risk. J of the Nat Can Inst 2002;94: 391-98.
14. Knekt P et al. (1997) Dietary flavonoids and the risk of lung cancer and other malignant neoplasms. American Journal of Epidemiology 1997;146: 223Ð230. 15. Le Marchand L, Murphy SP, Hankin JH, et al. Intake of flavonoids and lung cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2000;92: 154 Ð160.
16. Rodr’guez-Ramiro D,  et al. Cocoa-rich diet prevents azoxymethane-induced colonic preneoplastic lesions in rats by restraining oxidative stress and cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 2011;55:1895-99.
17. Sun CL, Yuan JM, Koh WP, et al. Green tea and cancer risk: The Singapore Chinese Health Study. Carcinogenesis 2007;28(10): 2143-2148.
18. Wu LL et al. Urinary 8-OHdG: a marker of oxidative stress to DNA and a risk factor for cancer, atherosclerosis and diabetics. Clinica Chimica Acta 2004;339(1-20): 1-9.
19. Song F, Qureshi A and Han J. Increased caffeine intake is associated with
reduced risk of basal cell carcinoma of the skin. Cancer Research 2012;72(13): 3282-89.
20. Loftfield E et al. Coffee drinking and cutaneous melanoma risk in the NIH-AARP diet and health study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2015;107(2): 1-9.
21. Pierce JP,  et al. Influence of a diet very high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat on prognosis following treatment for breast cancer: the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association 2007;298(3): 289-298.
22. Buck K, Vrieling A, Zaineddin AK, et al. Serum enterolactone and prognosis of post-menopausal breast cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology 2011;29(28): 3730-38.
23. Zhu Y, Wu H, Wang PP, et al. Dietary patterns and colorectal cancer recurrence and survival: a cohort study. British Medical Journal Open 2013;3(2):e002270.
24. Boyapati SM. Soy food intake and breast cancer survival: a follow up of the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2005;92:117.
25. Ogunleye AA, Xue F and Michels KB. Green tea and breast cancer risk of recurrence: A meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2010;119(2): 477.
26. Shanafelt TD, et al. Phase I trial of daily oral polyphenon E (green tea extract) in patients with asymptomatic stage 0-II chronic lymphatic leukaemia. JCO 2009;27(23): 3808Ð3814.
27. Ornish D, Weidner G, Fair WR, et al.; Intensive lifestyle changes may affect the progression of prostate cancer. Journal of Urology 2005;174: 1065-1070.
28. Pantuck AJ  et al. Phase II study of pomegranate juice for men with rising PSA following surgery or radiation for prostate cancer. Journal of Urology 2005;173:225Ð226.
29. Heinen MM, Hughes MC, Ibiebele TI, et al. Intake of antioxidant nutrients and the risk of skin cancer. European Journal of Cancer 2007;43(18): 2707-2716.
30. Swann R et al. The DietCompLf study: A prospective cohort study of breast cancer survival and phytoestrogen consumption. Maturitas 2013;75: 232-240.
31. Reuland DJ, et al. Upregulation of phase II enzymes through phytochemical activation of Nrf2 protects cardiomyocytes against oxidant stress. Free Radical Biol and Med 2013;56: 102Ð111.
32. Johnson I. Phytochemicals and cancer. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 2007;66: 207-215.
33. Gasper AV et al. Glutathione S-transferase M1 polymorphism and metabolism of sulforaphane from  broccoli. Am Journal of Clin Nut 2005;82: 128-91.
34. Sood et al. Induction of Human Breast Cell Carcinogenesis by Triclocarban and Intervention by Curcumin. Biochem and Biophys Res Coms 2013;438(4): 600-6.
35. Kim HY et al. Effects of phenol-depleted and phenol-rich diets on blood markers of oxidative stress, and urinary excretion of quercetin and kaempferol in healthy volunteers. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2003;22(3): 217-223.
36. Morse MA, LaGreca SD, Amin SG, et al. Effects of indole-3- carbinol on lung tumorgenesis and DNA methylation in mice. Cancer Research 1990;50: 2613-2627.
37. Boyle SP et al. Absorption and DNA protective effects of flavonoid glycosides from an onion meal. European Journal of Nutrition 2000;39: 213Ð223.
38. Sandhir R. Quercetin improvesc mitochondrial dysfunctions induced by 3-nitropropionic acid: Implications in Huntington’s disease. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Basis of Disease 2013; 1832 (3): 421-430.
39. Hecht SS,  et al. Effects of cruciferous vegetable consumption on urinary metabolites of the tobacco-specific lung carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)- 1-(3-pyridyl)-1- butanone in Singapore Chinese. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers &Prevention 2004; 13(6): 997-1004.
40. Smith JS and The Food Safety Consortium. Brush on the marinade, hold off the cancerous compounds. ScienceDaily 2007;June 28.
41. Carlsen MH,  et al. The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements used worldwide. Nutrition Journal 2010;9:3 1475-2891- 9-3.
42. Malik A et al. Pomegranate fruit juice for chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2005;102: 14813Ð14818.
43. Lansky EP  et al. Possible synergistic prostate cancer suppression by anatomically discrete pomegranate fractions. Investigational New Drugs 2005;23: 11Ð20.
44. Rocha A et al. Pomegranate juice s inhibit cell and molecular processes critical for metastasis of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 2012;136(3): 647-58.
45. Somasundaram S, Edmund NA, Moore DT et al. Curcumin inhibits chemotherapy-induced apoptosis in models of cancer. Cancer Research 2002;62(13): 3868-3875.
46. Park EJ et al. The pharmacology of resveratrol in animals and humans. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) – Molecular Basis of Disease 2015; 1852(6); 1071-1113
47. Butterfield DA and Keller J. Antioxidants and antioxidant treatment in disease. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 2012; 1822: 615
48. Zhang HN, Yu CX, Chen WW, et al. Curcumin down regulates gene NKX3.1 in prostate cancer cell lines (LNcaP). Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 2007;28(3): 423-430.
49.  Dorai T. Therapeutic potential of curcumin in human prostate cancer. inhibits tyrosine kinase activity of the epidermal growth factor receptor. Molecular Urol 2000;4(1): 1-6.
50. Iqbal M, et al. Dietary supplementation of curcumin enhances antioxidant phase II metabolosing enzymes in mice. Pharmacology & Toxicology 2003;92(1); 33-38.
51. Handler N et al. Synthesis of noval curcumin analogues and their evaluation as selective cyclooxygenase-1 inhibitors. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2007;55(1): 64-71.
52. Yang CS, Maliakal P and Meng X. Inhibition of carcinogenesis by tea. Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology 2002;42: 25-54.
53. Mudduluru G et al. Curcumin regulates miR-21 expression and inhibits invasion and metastasis in colorectal cancer. Bioscience Reports 2011;31(3): 185-97.
54. Pietinen P,  et al. Diet and risk of colorectal cancer in a cohort of Finnish men. Cancer Causes and Control 1999;10(5): 387-96.
55. Voorrips LE  et al. Veg and fruit consumption and risks of colon  in a prospective cohort study: The Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer. Am J
of Epi 2000  1;152(11): 1081-92.
56. Liao J,  (2004). Inhibition of lung carcinogenesis and effects on angiogenesis and apoptosis in mice given green tea. Nutrition and Cancer 2004;48(1): 44-53.
57. Harris HR, Orsini N and Wolk A. Vitamin C and survival among women with breast cancer: a metanalysis. European Journal of Cancer 2014;50(7): 1223-1231.
58. Hercberg S , et al. The SU.VI.MAX Study: a RCT of the health effects of antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Archives of Internal Medicine 2004;164(21): 2335-42.