Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in males, particularly older men. The majority of prostate tumors grow slowly, and do not extend beyond the prostate, at least for many years. Other types of prostate cancer are aggressive, and can spread quickly to other parts of the body. Now research has identified a nutritional approach to dealing with this disease.
A new study from Rutgers University in New Jersey says that tumeric shows promise in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer. Tumeric is a spice with a warm, peppery flavor and a mild fragrance that evokes orange and ginger. Tumeric is used in preparing curries, ad it is responsible for the bright yellow color of ballpark mustard. It has been called “Indian saffron” because of its deep yellow-orange color.
Tumeric is derived from the root of the Curcua longa plant. Its deep orange flesh is protected by a rough brown skin. The spice has anti-inflammatory properties that make it popular in both Chinese and Indian traditional medicine. Throughout history is has been used as a condiment, healing agent and a dye for textiles.
The Rutgers scientists combined tumeric with phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), the chemical that is found in cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, watercress, cabbage, winter cress, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi and turnips.
This naturally occurring substance has been proven to inhibit the growth of tumor cells and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells produced in the laboratory. Mice treated with PEITC have had reduced development of breast and prostate cancer. In addition, PEITC is selectively toxic to lung cancer cells, and clinical trials are testing its effectiveness in preventing the development of lung cancer in people who smoke.
The researchers report that in experiments with lab mice, curcumin (a substance in tumeric) and PEITC, alone or combined, proved to have significant cancer-preventive properties. This research supports the opinion of many alternative health experts, who believe the combination of cauliflower and tumeric is one of best ways to prevent the growth and spread of prostate cancer. Many scientists also believe this combination helps prevent breast cancer and leukemia in young children.