Numerous studies have suggested the curry
spice turmeric can help fight off cancer.
And new research suggests it might help protect against
-- and even treat -- prostate cancer, especially when
combined with a substance found in cauliflower, cabbage
and other kinds of vegetables.
Researchers at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey,
found that a combination of turmeric (also called curcumin)
and phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) was effective against
prostate cancer. PEITC is abundant in a group of vegetables
that includes cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, winter
cress, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi and
"The bottom line is that PEITC and curcumin, alone
or in combination, demonstrate significant cancer-preventive
qualities in laboratory mice, and the combination of PEITC
and curcumin could be effective in treating established
prostate cancers," Ah-Ng Tony Kong, a professor of
pharmaceutics, said in a prepared statement.
He and his colleagues created mice with human prostate
cancer tumors to test the effectiveness of PEITC and curcumin.
"Despite convincing data from laboratory cell cultures,
we knew little about how PEITC and curcumin would perform
in live animals, especially on prostate cancer,"
Kong said. "So, we undertook this study to evaluate
how effective PEITC and curcumin might be -- individually
and in combination -- to prevent and possibly treat prostate
The mice were injected with PEITC or curcumin, alone
or in combination, three times a week for four weeks.
The injections began a day before the prostate cancer
cells were placed in the mice.
The study was published in the Jan. 15 issue of Cancer