Eating Oregano Could Cure Prostate Cancer?
Commonly used seasoning has been found to contain a powerful chemical that could help in the battle against the UK’s most common male cancer.
Humble herb oregano could be the newest innovation in the fight against prostate cancer. In lab tests in New York, chemicals found in the plant, which is commonly use to flavour tomato-based Italian dishes such as pizza, wiped out prostate cancer cells.
There are around 37,000 cases of prostate cancer diagnosed in the UK each year and it claims the lives of more than 10,000 men. Though treatment for the illness has a good rate of success, it also commonly causes unpleasant side effects including impotence and incontinence.
More research is required but scientists hope that oregano, and its cancer-fighting chemical carvacrol could eventually be the base of a side-effect free treatment option.
“A significant advantage is that oregano is commonly used in food and has a 'generally recognised as safe' status,” explained Dr Supriya Bavadekar, from Long Island University, who worked on the research. “We expect this to translate into a decreased risk of severe toxic effects.”
Though pizza has been linked to reducing cancer risk before, thanks to the lypocene-containing tomato sauce, chowing down on the favourite food might not actually do any good. The team warned that when oregano is digested in its natural form it could break down the carvacrol before it has the chance to do any good.