December 30, 2009

Beat prostate cancer
with this one-two punch

I've known for years that the curry spice turmeric inhibits prostate cancer. In India, where curry is a staple, prostate cancer is uncommon. I've traveled to India many times and I've seen firsthand how effective this spice is. But I've just learned that there's a way to make this spice even more effective.

A group of scientists from Rutgers University in New Jersey made the discovery. They were well aware that the active chemical curcumin gave curry its cancer-fighting qualities. The scientists also knew that phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) also has anti-cancer qualities. PEITC is a naturally occurring compound in cruciferous vegetables. So they wanted to find out how effective the combination of curcumin and PEITC would be in fighting cancer.

The researchers conducted the study in two parts. First, they injected mice with curcumin or PEITC, alone or in combination. The injections were given three times a week for four weeks. The day after the very first injection, they also injected prostate cancer cells.

They found curcumin or PEITC significantly slowed the growth of cancerous tumors. Using PEITC and curcumin together produced even stronger effects.

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The second step was to see if the combination would help mice with well-established tumors. Their results showed that PEITC or curcumin alone had little effect. However, when they used both chemicals together, the combination significantly slowed tumor growth.

The cocktail appeared to inhibit tumor cell division. It also induced apoptosis (programmed cell death of abnormal cells).

The researchers said that "PEITC and curcumin alone or in combination possess significant cancer-preventive activities." They also said that the combination "could be effective in the cancer-therapeutic treatment of prostate cancers."

Wow! What have I been telling you for years about the power of plants? Imagine if this report were about a cocktail of patented chemotherapy drugs. It would have been on the front cover of every newspaper in the country. But you can't patent a head of broccoli - so this wasn't newsworthy.

Right now, you can't get PEITC in supplement form. And it's not yet available as a doctor-administered injection. While I expect that to change before too long, you can get plenty simply by eating cruciferous vegetables every day.

Curry's compound, curcumin, is available at any health food store as a supplement. I suggest 500 mg twice daily for most people. And now I suggest you take the supplement any time you eat cruciferous vegetables.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

Ref: Science Daily ( 2005/03/050326114810.htm).

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