Laboratory data suggests carvacrol may have anti-prostate cancer activity


A presentation at the Experimental Biology 2012 meeting in San Diego this week has suggested that carvacrol (a chemical found in the herb oregano) has activity against prostate cancer cells in laboratory tests. We hasten to point out that this sort of test does not necessarily mean that carvacrol would ever be shown to have activity against prostate cancer in man.

The least “hype-ridden” report on this presentation that we could find appears to be the one on the Science Daily web site. If you were to believe the report from our friends at the Daily Mail, you might get the mistaken ideas that (a) all pizza contains lots of oregano and that therefore (b) eating pizza would cure or prevent prostate cancer. Neither of these assertions is necessarily (or even likely to be) true.

If we summarize the limited truths related to the data reported by Dr. Bavadekar and her colleagues in San Diego, it comes down to this:

  • Carvacrol is a chemical that is, most certainly, found in extracts of the herb oregano.
  • Carvacrol can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in certain types of prostate cancer cell in the laboratory.
  • After about 4 days, carvacrol (at an unspecified concentration) was able to eliminate all prostate cancer cells in the laboratory environment.

This would make carvacrol just another of the literally thousands of compounds that have been shown to have effects like this on selected types of prostate cancer cells in Petri dishes in laboratories around the world!

Being able to demonstrate that carvacrol itself (or even a drug based on the chemical structure of carvacrol) is effective and safe in the management of prostate cancer is many orders of magnitude more difficult … and has nothing whatsoever to do with eating pizza!

7 Responses

  1. Has to be margarita, though … hold the pepperoni and the sausage!

  2. I don’t know. I had two pieces of sicilian yesterday and I have to say — I feel pretty good about it.

  3. Before this report, my PSA was 4.7, and my biopsy had show Gleason 3 + 3. Started taking 2 Oil of Oregano pills a day; 2 months later, the number was 3.23. Coincidence? Who knows

  4. Hi Mark, that’s very encouraging news. I’m getting some oregano oil for my brother (PSA 4.9). Best of luck in your battle. …

  5. I read several articles on oregano oil and decided to start taking the product. I purchased pure oregano modified with oil from a health food store and started taking it about 4 months ago. My PSA previously was 4.7, and I went through the freeze treatment [cryotherapy] and my PSA went down to less than 1 and I am scheduled for an update this month. I am hoping that the oil, along with the treatment will keep my PSA in check.

  6. To the patient listed above, in reply to my previous comment about oregano oil, you were scheduled for an update in December 2012. What was your experience then?

  7. To ED Wilson: Please give us an update! Did your PSA continue down, or what?

    Please, …

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