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.
They 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 an even 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 very preliminary stage and further experiments need to be conducted to get a better idea of uses in the clinic."