April 5/New Delhi/Deccan Herald -- Prostate cancer is on a rise in India, but using turmeric regularly in food reduces chances of the disease.

A study conducted in Japan on curcumin, another name for turmeric, showed positive results in preventing as well as curing prostate cancer. The researchers believe it can be used for manufacturing medicine.

“Curcumin is used as a supplement in Japanese food. Indian foods also use it as a spice. The study conducted in Japan can be used in Indian conditions too," said Dr. Shigeo Horie, professor and chairman, department of urology, Teikyo University, Tokyo, Japan. Horie’s team conducted a clinical trial in patients who did not have cancer but had high Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA), indication of prostate cancer.

“After six months ,we saw PSA went down by 50%. High PSA can be either due to cancer or inflammation of the prostate. Curcumin can control both,” he said. Laboratory tests on cancerous cells also showed the curing effect of turmeric.

"Soy was already known for its preventive quality. Turmeric has been added to the list now," he said. Japan and India have lower rate of prostate cancer compared to most western nations. “I believe curcumin has played a role in it. But, now, as the incidence is increasing in these two countries, we need to find ways to prevent it," said Dr Horie.

A common use of curcumin in Japan is to control the hangover after excess intake of alcohol. “It enhances liver enzymes which is good to digest alcohol. What people do not know is it helps in prevention of cancer,” said Horie.

 From the April 6, 2012, Prepared Foods’ Daily News