Turmeric is often considered the same as curcumin. However, turmeric is the plant. They harvest, clean, dry and pulverize the root into a powder. Curcumin is the ingredient that makes it so powerful. Since the turmeric root has only about three to five percent of curcumin it has to be extracted in order to be used as a medicine. It is most effective when used as an extract.
Curcumin has so many great benefits such as reducing inflammation, accelerates healing, eases arthritis, boost cognitive function such as memory and concentration. Stimulates neural activity and prevents cognitive degradations such as Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia. Regulates blood sugar and fights depression. All this and more makes curcumin similar to a pharmacy all unto itself.
Today I want to focus on the benefits curcumin has with the prevention or treatment of cancer. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and is one of the reasons it’s a top herbal approach to cancer. It has been linked to reducing cancer cells in the colon and as an inhibitor of tumor growth.
First, you need to know the best way to use curcumin for maximum benefit. In order for the curcumin to get into the bloodstream it needs to be taken with a fat such as an olive oil and black pepper. The piperine in black pepper enhances the action of the curcumin. By adding curcumin to any diet, you are adding a cancer preventative measure as well as a way of slowing down cancerous growths.
Now let’s see how this amazing ingredient works. Curcumin works due to its ability to inhibit enzymes such as COX-2. COX-2 causes inflammation which can be a precursor to cancer. Curcumin activates a gene that suppresses tumors and cuts cancer cells off from their fuel and oxygen sources. It kills large B-cell lymphoma cells to prevent the cancer stem cells from re-growing which ends the spread of the cancer or apoptosis.
Another compelling research with both turmeric and turmeric oil is that it has anti-mutagenic properties. This means that while it is preventing and reducing cancer cells it is also impairing the energy-generating structures in the cancer cells. It is functioning as a secondary treatment for a variety of other cancers.
Based on a 2011 study conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, researchers found that the curcumin extract effectively differentiates between cancer cells and normal cells while activating cancer cell death (apoptosis). Investigators concluded, “Curcumin exerts its biological influence through epigenetic modulation, a process that continues downstream staying one step ahead of adverse genetic influences.”
Another study was conducted to investigate how much curcumin colorectal patients could safely take. In the trial, participants took 3.6 grams, considered to be a high dose of curcumin. The results revealed that high doses of curcumin didn’t cause ill effects among colorectal patients.
It has also shown incredible promise in the prevention of cervical cancer and reduces the risk of breast cancer from HRT. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory property blocks the factors that induce human papilloma virus and activates cancer cell death within the uterine lining.
While it may not absorb well into the bloodstream it does absorb well into the colon lining, protecting the colon from cancerous tissues. It can also protect against prostate cancer by reducing the expression of sex hormone receptors in the prostate gland.
When used with chokeberry extract it can stop the spread of malignant cancer cells. Researchers from the Department of Natural Sciences at Middlesex University found that the Aronia berry does kill the glioblastoma line of brain cancer cells (U373) while the curcumin stops it from producing new cells and spreading.
If you could eat something as tasty as turmeric and be able to prevent or fight cancer why not add it to your table. You will find it in our pantry as a blend. In a shaker, we mix a third of curcumin to a third of black pepper and a third of garlic powder. Shake it well and add to whatever you are cooking.
Remember, the purpose of this series is to share the knowledge that I have learned about alternative medicine. I am not advocating that you quit seeking or stop using traditional medicine. I am sharing so that you know there are other options that can also be worked into your health plan if desired.
To learn more about turmeric feel free to check out these references: