The UK Phyto-V study

Inspired by Thomas et al 2022.[1]

Photo by Stéphan Valentin on Unsplash. I’m pretty sure there’s some tumeric in the middle there.

ASCO – American Society of Clinical Oncology
PSA – prostate specific antigen
CFU – colony forming unit

key to acronyms

Whilst I am still watching the blue line fade from my lateral flow tests, I thought this would be a good time to highlight a paper published by my friend Rob. He is a clinical oncologist from up the road a bit (Bedford and Cambridge). He is a very friendly and unassuming chap, who over the years I have known him has picked up numerous awards and accolades. He has been named oncologist of the year in the UK and picked up a best paper award at ASCO in recent years.

His Pomi-T study was the first to demonstrate that a concentrated polyphenol rich whole food supplement reduced the median rise in PSA in men with prostate cancer in an active surveillance programme.[2]

The clever thing about this study was that rather than try to extract a key molecule (the reductionist approach) they combined different polyphenol rich extracts from 4 quite different types of whole food sources – fruit, herb, vegetable, and leaf.

His recent paper, published in the journal COVID, combined a similar phytochemical rich supplement with a probiotic / prebiotic combination and compared this with a placebo plus the probiotic / prebiotic combination in patients with symptomatic COVID-19 (n=147).

The probiotic element was 10 billion CFUs of 5 species of lactobacillus, and the prebiotic was 200mg of inulin – a plant derived starchy fibre. The phytochemical whole food based supplement included 5 different sources including fruits, roots and a flower – orange, pomegranate, turmeric, Japanese knotweed root, and camomile.

The results were quite dramatic, with a doubling of the improvement in cough and fatigue after a month and an improvement of 5-fold in subjective well-being in the group receiving the phytochemical rich supplement.

2-fold improvement in cough & fatigue

5-fold improvement in subjective well-being

There were some other interesting findings from the entire cohort who took the probiotic / prebiotic combination capsule (n=126). Whilst those with acute infection would be expected to improve anyway, 97 had long term fluctuating symptoms for an average of 120 days at baseline. In this subgroup significant improvements were also seen.

In the whole cohort (n=126), in terms of fatigue, men improved more than women, as did the elderly compared with the younger, and the hospitalised compared with the non-hospitalised. All these differences seem to make sense in terms of more potential improvements in gut dysbiosis or greater predisposition to the disease.


Rob (Professor Robert Thomas MD) was not able to attend the webinar but I subsequently clarified with him that the probiotic / prebiotic and the phytochemical supplement come as separate capsules as they cannot be combined together. Both can be found at and the combination costs just under £30 for a one month supply.


1          Thomas R, Williams M, Aldous J, et al. A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial Evaluating Concentrated Phytochemical-Rich Nutritional Capsule in Addition to a Probiotic Capsule on Clinical Outcomes among Individuals with COVID-19—The UK Phyto-V Study. COVID 2022;2:433–49. doi:10.3390/covid2040031

2          Thomas R, Williams M, Sharma H, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomised trial evaluating the effect of a polyphenol-rich whole food supplement on PSA progression in men with prostate cancer—the UK NCRN Pomi-T study. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 2014;17:180–6. doi:10.1038/pcan.2014.6

Declaration of interests MC