Today, it’s the hottest thing in cancer research.
The MD Anderson Cancer Center, UCLA, Harvard and Tufts are just a few institutions currently focusing on this cancer-fighting powerhouse.
‘No cancer has been found, to my knowledge, which is not affected by curcumin,’ said Professor Bharat Aggarwal in an article in Cancer Watch in April.
Aggarwal, from MD Anderson, conducted a study showing that curcumin reduced tumour size in pancreatic cancer patients.
‘The reason curcumin is so effective against cancer is that it hits not just a single target or cell signaling pathway but dozens of targets implicated in cancer,’ he said.
Here in the UK, Professor Will Stewart from the University of Leicester has just been given a 1.1M pound grant to research alternative cancer treatments – and curcumin is a top priority.
Stewart became interested in the curry spice when he discovered that the Indian and Pakistani communities in Leicester had 70 per cent less chance of developing bowel or colon cancer.
Curcumin has been shown to have an affect on the following cancers, according to clinical research:
- Colon (Magad GB, Anticancer Research, Nov‐Dec 2002)
- Bladder (Chadalapaka et al., 2008),
- Breast (Bachmeier et al., 2007)
- B Cell Lymphoma
- Cervix (Javvadi et al., 2008)
- Prostate (Hong et al., 2006)
Recently a man living in Canada, called David, contacted me telling me his daughter had brain cancer – grade 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme:
‘It’s pretty much the worst kind of brain tumour,’ said David. ‘I couldn’t look my daughter in the eye at age 18, having just seen her come out of her second brain surgery and say, ‘ Beth this is it now, they’re just counting down the days and weeks and months really,’ so I started researching.’
David discovered that a bioavailable form of curcumin can effectively block brain tumour formation, and eliminate brain tumour cells.
And so, after consulting with leading cancer experts, Beth is now complimenting her conventional treatment with a potent curcumin extract, along with cannabis oil capsules (but that’s another story). ‘We are upbeat and taking alternative action to move forward,’ said David.
In Cancer Step Outside The Box Ty Bollinger describes the myriad of ways in which Curcumin combats cancer:
‘Curcumin can … protect cells against xenoestrogens because it can fit to the same receptor as estrogen or estrogen‐mimicking chemicals. In a study on human breast cancer cells, curcumin reversed growth caused by a certain form of estrogen by 98% and growth caused by DDT by 75%.’
Curcumin can also protect against the damage caused by radiation – and let’s face it, after Fukushima we could all do with bolstering our defenses.
But the benefits don’t stop there.
The over achieving spice can also aid cancer recovery, by boosting levels of glutathione.
When I interviewed integrative practitioner Chris Kresser last year, he emphasized the importance of this antioxidant. According to Kresser, when we have enough glutathione, it’s like wearing a ‘bullet-proof’ vest:
‘It protects us from oxidative damage and when your glutathione levels drop – that’s when problems can happen.’
The skinny on supplements
There are hundreds of Curcumin capsules out there, but unfortunately most of them are poorly absorbed.
New research has, however, focused on improving the bioavailablity of the spice.
One formula you might be interested in is called Curamin – which contains a special form of curcumin called BCM-95®. This is the product Beth is taking and it has up to 10 times the bioavailability than standard 95% curcumin extracts.
It also contains boswellia and the enzyme nattokinase, which alone boasts some important cancer-fighting properties. (Nattokinase is able to break down fibrin – responsible for blood clotting as well as a cancer tumour coating).
Fresh turmeric root – if you can get hold of it – is also a nice way to supercharge your system.
Mum likes to add the bright orange root to her daily juice. She also now eats curry regularly (it has replaced spaghetti as the comfort food of choice) and she occasionally treats herself to a chocolate and turmeric facemask.
According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone, when applied topically Curcuminoids can: ‘…provide the skin with many benefits, including increased radiance, decreased pore size, and, with continued use, a reduction in fine lines and discolouration.’ (Nature & Health Magazine, April-May 2012)
All of which more than makes up for the stains on the sink and towel.
(Quick note: The author of this blog will be on holiday next week – enjoying a Pimms in the sun (weather pending) for the Queens Diamond Jubilee. See you in June!).
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