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