How does one distinguish between supp... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer
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How does one distinguish between supplements that reduce PSA as opposed to masking PSA?


Lower PSA levels are only desirable if the lower PSA levels are caused by lower cancerous activity.

If you are using PSA to monitor your cancer, you may want to avoid curcumin (and some other supplements)

19 Replies

Hi jronne

Studies have been undertaken in the Pomi T supplement in UK. The first study showed quite significant PSA reductions in men on AS or WW. The follow up MRI study showed this was at least in part down to tumour size reduction.

GP24 in reply to julianc

PomiT contains "a blend of pomegranate, green tea, broccoli and turmeric". The turmeric part could be Curcumin. The study just showed a lower PSA value for the PomiT users compared with the placebo group. However, as Allan writes, Curcumin and green tea will lower the PSA value without affecting the cancer.

Seems like some people for whatever reason keep creating contraversy about use of anti cancer foods, herbs and spices. This "masking" slogan they have used time and again.

There are some of the forum members who went and tested reality of this "masking business" by checking PSA with spices and then, without spices and DID NOT see any significant difference. In my own case, herbs and spices have not only improved PSA, ALT,Hb, levels but have also controlled symptoms and some side effects.

If there is PSA masking...tell me what is the mechanism of this masking . Also, how do peoples symptoms improve, if is just masking. This is utter non sense to scare people and make them use extremely expensive and very toxic treatments and not even think about any COMPLIMENTARY treatments.

Its just like telling a person to keep eating lot of sodium and keep pushing lot of blood pressure pills on him OR telling a diabetic to keep eating lot of sugar and keep increasing the dose of Insulin.

Is there anyone who is interested in your well being...NO...I think you as a repeat customer fits their agenda better. Use your own mind because only you are your best friend.

Magnus1964 in reply to LearnAll

The key word here is "complimentary". Supplements are to be used with conventional medicine.

LearnAll in reply to Magnus1964

That's why I used Capital Letters. Someone should not confuse complimentary treatments with alternative treatments. Complimentary treatments are like side dishes to main meal in the plate.

Gemlin_ in reply to LearnAll

LearnAll wrote: ...tell me what is the mechanism of this masking...

This is how I understand it, please correct if totally wrong.

-It is the more potent form of testosterone called dihydro-testosterone (DHT) that stimulate prostate (cancer) cells to produce PSA.

-It is an enzyme called 5α-reductase that converts testosterone into DHT.

Some plants (green tea, curcumin, .. ) inhibit 5α-reductase!

So the chain is:

some plants inhibit 5α-reductase -> testosterone is not converted to DHT ->PC cells produce less PSA -> PSA is masked

LearnAll in reply to Gemlin_

What about EGCG (green tea) and Curcumin (turmeric) causing apoptosis of cancer cells..both androgen dependent and androgen independent..

Like Nalakrat said ..just PSA is not enough to assess status of cancer...take a composite picture with levels of ALP. Albumin, Hemoglobin, AST,ALT,LDH, CRP and of course NL ratio and Pl ratio. + scans. _ performance status. Put all this info together ,only then you will know real state of affairs.

hansjd in reply to Gemlin_

To me that sounds like a 'real' reduction in PSA not a 'mask'. If there's less testosterone being converted to DHT and as a result PC cells produce less PSA, that a good thing. My understanding is that DHT 'feeds' the PC cells. If it's less then they can't grow as much. The reduced PSA is therefore 'real'. True ?

tom67inMA in reply to LearnAll

re "tell me what is the mechanism of this masking", have you ever asked yourself how PSA is measured? I only know bits and pieces of the answer myself, and it does not involve people looking for PSA molecules with a microscope.

Rather, the PSA test, and many other blood tests, rely on reagents ( that react with the PSA (or other molecule to be tested), and then that combined molecule is something that can actually be measured.

If you intentionally wanted to interfere with this test, all you'd need to do is to introduce a molecule that interferes with the reaction between PSA and the reagent. For example (and this is educated speculation on my part) the reagent is probably "docking" onto the PSA molecule at a specific point. If you make a molecule similar to the reagent that docks to the same point, but isn't picked up by the test, then you've just masked PSA.

Curcurmin is in a class of molecules that reacts with a broad range of other molecules. It's quite conceivable it could both interfere with cancer, and also interfere with the PSA test result.

And of course what's lacking in all these discussions is any quantitative statement of how much masking actually occurs. Have we heard any stories of healthy men with a working prostate and normal T levels having undetectable PSA on a screening test because they drank an herbal tea the night before the test? No? Then I'm guessing we're talking changes on the order of 10% and not orders of magnitude.

At this point in this stream-of-consciousness reply I've lost track of which side of the debate I'm on. But let's just say that "masking" refers to interfering with the PSA test process as opposed to actually lowing the PSA.

LearnAll in reply to tom67inMA

Because of any hypothetical possible "masking" I stop all herbs/spices 36 hours before my lab tests. Doesn't mean I am stopping Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic, Boswellia, Amla , Giloy leaf ,Guava leaf and sour soup leaf drinks and so forth. I am convinced enough about their benefit after reading over 500+ pages of research papers done about these herbs and spices.

I have no problem if anyone chooses to avoid them..its his life..his choice. Freedom to choose is our motto.

You are continually obsessed with PSA---some prominent members here have warned about doing ultra--to the 3rd Decimal PSA's--that this can play with your mind in a not so good way.


Upon being questioned by me on my PSA rise after beginning adt vacation this is my MD Anderson MO’s response:

“When patients receive ADT on an intermittent schedule, the PSA tends to increase soon after the testosterone starts to recover.

There is a chance that if we manage to control the tumor microenvironment with anti-stromal agents (such as statins), antimetabolic agents (metformin), anti-inflammatory products (curcumin), etc, we we delay progression...“

billyboy3 in reply to 6357axbz

that is true but as long as you keep pc feeding off testosterone, you can go for many cycles, and thus add years to your life. The other benefit of IHT is that it gives your body time to recover from the damage that ADT does, so is HIGHLY recommended for those whose cancer responds in this narrow band of treatment.

Sadly, as with all current treatments, once pc becomes hormone resistant, this treatment modality fails, but with luck, it has brought you both time and a higher quality of life during this treatment phase.

It is still not widely accepted because of the added costs associated with more tests being required coupled with added costs of drugs, i.e. lupron x one month costs over 50% more than if one takes a three month dose instead of three one month doses, or even more if compared to a one injection for six months. It also increases medical costs etc. but the fact is that IHT does work for many and has been under utilized as a starting point in ADT treatment.

I live for my off cycles, but am now reaching the end cycle of this treatment modality. NO regrets and I owe so much to those who recommended IHT and also to those who gave their lives up to go on research drug trials for which, I have a beneficiary. I hope that my drug trials will likewise help the next generation coming behind us.


Some keep spending huge amounts of their remaining time on the planet by concocting and attempting to use everything in the kitchen sink to ward off the progression of advanced prostate cancer. It continues to be a sad event propagated by some on this site, when there is NO scientific proof that beyond anadotal changes that any supplement or combination therein will do anything to alter the course of their disease.

Again, without scientific measurement of what their body is in need of, if it is, there is NO point in overloading the body with mountains of various supplements. Further, until one can establish how much one is short how much to take and for how long, you are simply spending huge amounts of money and your VERY VERY VALUABLE TIME, in spinning your wheels. Sadly, you may be doing real harm and negatively impact your body's ability to battle your pc.

I would love it if someone on this site actually had some answers to the above but ALL have hidden the truth and facts, yet keep pushing for us to take supplements.

Wow, so sad and tragic.

My husband has been taking POMI T and now I am reconsidering. I wonder if that is showy his PSMA scan did not show enough avidity at PSA .94, when it did years ago when he was at 1.36. Hmmm.

Does anyone have info on modified citrus pectin? Does that mask PSA?

There could be more to the role of PSA. It may actually stimulate growth of PCa.

Thank you all for this lively and valuable discussion.

I am particularly interested in the assertion that curcumin (an possibly EGCG and others) act by a mechanism of 5-a-reductase inhibition of the conversion of T to DHT.

I would appreciate any reference to the science / research establishing this.

If so then the corresponding reduction of PSA would be an accompaniment to actual repression of cancer growth (and hence PSA release).

To make PSA tests comparable over time it does make sense to take a holiday from such supplements prior to PSA testing.

I found this yesterday about cucumin :

Curcumin Inhibits Prostate Cancer Bone Metastasis by Up-Regulating Bone Morphogenic Protein-7 in Vivo

Thus it is also possible that the PSA isn't masked, but drops really down.

My husband with Gleason 9 (4 +5) and stage IV PCa had amazingly no bone mets. Very good news for us! I suspected yet for a long time that he had no bonemets because since 2010 (and his other cancer: thymoma) he's taking curcumin all days. The small encapsulated thymomanodes also stopped to develop since 2010 when he began to take curcumin. He never had chemotherapy.

How many days before a psa test should my husband stop his supplements? He’s taking POMI-T, lycopene, broccoli extract, and modified citrus pectin. I can’t find any info on half life’s of these.

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