Vegan Health ArticlesProstate Cancer and Cranberries
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From Michael Greger, M.D.

I hope everyone had some cranberry sauce on their tofu turkey! :) Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in North America. The current hormonal treatments we have for this disease have a number of toxic side-effects and only seem to be able to control cancer growth for a few years before the cancer mutates and becomes resistant to the treatment. Researchers desperately needed to come up with a treatment that was effective against even advanced disease, but whose side effects were tolerable. Researchers at the University of Western Ontario came up with cranberries.[3]

Cranberry extracts have been found to have antitumor effects against a number of other hormonally regulated human tumors like breast cancer, so they tried dripping a few millionths of a gram of ground up cranberries on a number of human prostate cancer cell lines in petri dishes. They found that the growth of even the chemotherapy resistant cancer cells was successfully inhibited.

Of course you can't patent cranberries and make monstrous profits off them, so researchers tried to identify the compound that was responsible for the anti-tumor effects. They ran through all the well known phytonutrient compounds in cranberries and came up dry. They concluded that the anti-cancer compound in cranberries remains a mystery. While they continue to try to isolate "the" active compound so they can put it in a pill and bankrupt some poor seniors who don't have prescription coverage, how about we just eat some darn cranberries!

But how to eat them, though, without all the corn syrup and sugar in processed cranberry products? I'm sure there are lots of good suggestions out there, but what I do is just put a spoonful of cranberries in my morning flax smoothie. :)


[3] Journal of Nutrition  133(2003):3846S.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.