Pizzas can be healthy too, cut prostate cancer risk

Oregano, Used As Seasoning, Kills Cancer Cells

London: It may not be low in calories, but eating pizza could actually be good for you — only if you add oregano to it, for a study by an Indian-origin researcher says the seasoning is a powerful weapon against prostate cancer.

    Supriya Bavadekar and colleagues at Long Island University have found that oregano, a seasoning commonly used in pizza and other Italian food, has the potential to become a powerful weapon against prostate cancer.

    Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the prostate gland and usually occurs in older men. Recent data shows that about 1 in 36 men will die of prostate cancer.

    Current treatment options for patients include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and immune therapy.

    Unfortunately, these are associated with considerable complications and/or severe side effects.

    Baacadekar and her team studied carvacrol, a chemical in oregano. Added to prostate cancer cells in the lab, it rapidly wiped them out. Left for four days, almost all the cells were killed, the Daily Mail reported.

    Tests showed it triggered the cells to kill themselves. The oregano chemical could now be used itself as a treatment against cancer, or as the blueprint for a more powerful drug, say the researchers.

    Bavadekar, a pharmacologist, said, “Some researchers have previously shown that eating pizza may cut down cancer risk. This effect has been mostly attributed to lycopene, a substance found in tomato sauce, but we now feel that even the oregano seasoning may play role.

    “If the study continues to yield positive results, this super-spice may present a very promising therapy for patients with prostate cancer. A significant advantage is that oregano is commonly used in food.

    “We expect this to translate into a decreased risk of severe toxic effects.

    “But this study is at a preliminary stage and further experiments are needed to get a better idea of uses in the clinic.”