No More Myths: Prostate Cancer, Flaxseed and Pomegranate

By: Mark A. Moyad, MD, MPH | Posted on: 21 Sep 2015


There is a silly myth on the internet about flaxseed causing an increased risk of prostate cancer. What few people realize is in one of the largest dietary clinical trials ever done in prostate cancer, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, flaxseed was shown to be both heart and prostate healthy—and it costs pennies a day!

Taking 30 grams of flaxseed powder before surgery to remove the prostate appeared to work as well as if not better than a low-fat diet, based on a study from Duke University.

When it comes to pomegranate, I do not believe the juice or the pills work any better than placebo (I hope I’m proven wrong). I have seen many “natural products” like these come and go during my lifetime. “Natural products” like lycopene, shark cartilage, green tea supplements, saw palmetto and zinc have never proven to be prostate- or heart- healthy.

About the Author

Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, is the Jenkins/Pokempner director of complementary and alternative medicine in the Department of Urology at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He is the primary author of more than 130 medical journal articles on the subjects of lifestyle changes and supplements (more than any other expert) and has given more than 5,000 medical lectures to consumers and health care professionals. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is the author of 11 books, including The Supplement Handbook: A Trusted Expert's Guide to What Works and What's Worthless for More Than 100 Conditions.