In XXI century cancer still is one of the leading causes of death. Several Cancer Centers and Cancer Societies are looking for effective cancer treatments and nowadays many experts start looking for natural anticancer remedies which were used by ancient medicine in China, India and other Asian countries. Natural products and natural molecules are already available in nature, and this is why they have been used by ancient medicine for at least hundreds, probably thousands of years. Curcumin has long been used in Asian medicine to treat a variety of dieases. Now some research suggests that this spice may help prevent or treat cancer.
During last decade valuable information was collected about anticancer curcumin properties. Unfortunately most studies were performed in laboratories and most effective anticancer functions of this spice were discovered in animal experiments. But still some clinical trials in humans were performed discovering its effectiveness on various diseases, including multiple myeloma, pancreatic cancer, myelodysplastic syndromes, colon cancer, psoriasis, arthritis, major depressive disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.
Curcumin has been used in Asia for thousands of years and it is a major part of Siddha medicine. The roots of the ancient Siddha medicine are intertwined with the mythology and culture of the ancient Tamil civilization that existed in the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula. Its origin goes back to B.C 10,000 to B.C 4,000.
What is curcumin?
Curcumin (so called “curcuma”) is a yellow-orange pigmented spice commonly used in Indian cooking. Actually curcuma is a part of Turmeric – a plant native to southeast India which is well known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anticancer properties.
Spice curcuma can be found in most supermarkets. Unfortunately it has pretty poor oral bioavailability (a low percentage of what you consume is absorbed) and thus should be enhanced with black pepper extract (so called “piperine”).
Curcuma is the main active ingredient in Turmeric – it is a very strong antioxidant, which means it may decrease swelling and inflammation. It is being explored as a cancer treatment in part because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer.
Curcuma exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects and its anti-inflammatory effects seem to be quite protective against some types of cancer progression. At the same time, curcuma has additional anticancer effects that are independent of its anti-inflammatory effects and thus is a heavily researched molecule for both cancer prevention and cancer treatment.
Curcumin anticancer multiple strengths
Curcumin was extensively researched and has been found to have numerous health applications. Nowadays there are two well known natural substances which are proved to be anticancer – curcumin and vitamin D. Curcumin has the most evidence-based (proved by several scientific publications) effective anticancer properties.
According to Dr Mercola (//www.mercola.com/Citations/index.htm), the curcumin has the ability to modulate genetic activity and expression – both by destroying cancer cells and by promoting healthy cell function. It also promotes anti-angiogenesis, meaning it helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth. As for its effect on molecular pathways, curcumin can affect more than 100 of them, once it gets into the cell. More specifically, curcumin has been found to:
Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells;
Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor;
Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body;
Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation;
Help prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth (angiogenesis).
Curcumin selectively targets cancer cells and does not adversely affect healthy cells.
Curcumin appears to be universal anticancer product just for about every type of cancer.
Research has also shown that curcumin can work synergistically with certain chemotherapy drugs, enhancing the elimination of cancer cells.
Studies in people are still in the early stages but laboratory and animal research suggests that curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy.
“Curcumin is capable of inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis) within triple negative breast cancer cells.
Sun XD, Liu XE, Huang DS., Zheijian Provincial People’s Hospital in Zheijiang, China
Ancient medicine did not have sophisticated medications but old fashion doctors were very successful in treating many diseases by using herbs and spices. Hippocrates (the father of Western medicine) was…
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.