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Turmeric Spice Extract “Curcumin” Helps Prevent, Slow Down, or Destroy Many Cancers
Anthony Chapdelaine, Jr., MD, MSPH, Exec. Dir./Sec.*
Many thousands of published laboratory, experimental animal, and human studies of curcumin demonstrate curcumin’s ability to kill individual cancer cells, slow tumor growth, and prevent or slow cancer from spreading.
Curcumin is a polyphenol that gives turmeric spice its yellow color. (Polyphenols are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substances found in vegetables, fruits, soy, and many other foods.) Since it doesn’t absorb very well, studies often use large daily doses of curcumin (such as four grams). However, highly-absorbable “bioavailable” capsules of curcumin have been available for years that provide up to eight times better absorption than curcumin by itself. Two or more capsules daily are used, depending on the problem.)
Research consistently shows that curcumin works in a number of ways to prevent or stop cancer. Here are a few:
Energy Starvation. Curcumin starves cancer cells by preventing them from getting energy from glucose. It does this by decreasing the cancer cells ability to produce ATP (the “energy” form used by a cell), by lowering the levels of ATP, and by changing higher-energy ATP into lower-energy AMP.
Anti-inflammation. Curcumin a powerful anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is the initial cause for most chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Curcumin interrupts inflammation signals in cancer cells.
Prevents New Blood Vessel Growth. Curcumin helps to block “angiogenesis” (growth of new blood vessels) by cancer tumors. Since cancer tumors typically grow rapidly, they promote (trigger) growth of new blood vessels to provide their increased nutritional needs. Curcumin thus helps to inhibit the growth and spread of cancers.
Cancer Cell Elimination. Studies repeatedly confirm curcumin’s ability to prevent colorectal tumors by decreasing the precancerous areas in the colon (aberrant crypt foci), by increasing cancer’s cellular death rate by turning on a “suicide” gene in the cancer (apotosis), and by decreasing the cancer’s growth and spread by decreasing the survival of cancer stem cells.
Cancer Cell Shrinkage. Animal studies show that curcumin given to animals with implanted hormone-negative breast cancer tumors shrank the tumors and caused them to die more easily. (Chemotherapy doesn’t work well for hormone-negative breast cancer).
Decreases Cancer Hormone Production. Curcumin slows the growth of prostate cancer cells through various methods. One way is by decreasing the testosterone hormone produced by cancer cells (which would otherwise cause treatment-resistant tumors).
Alters Cancer Proteins. Curcumin affects the DNA inside cells that enable a normal cell to change into a cancerous cell. Curcumin altered RNA inside lung cancer cells implanted in mice, which decreased the cancer cell’s ability to make the proteins it needed to grow and spread.
* The Coalition for Advanced Cancer Treatment and Prevention a project of The National Fund for Alternative Medicine