June 01, 2019
Turmeric- The Miracle Spice Role In Preventing Cancer
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.
It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.
Recently, science has started to back up what Indians have known for a long time — it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1Trusted Source).
These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.
Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. It’s around 3%, by weight (2Trusted Source).
Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day.
It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.
Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin.
Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000% (3Trusted Source).
The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness.
Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.
Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled cell growth.
There are many different forms of cancer, which still have several things in common. Some of them appear to be affected by curcumin supplements (33Trusted Source).
Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level (34Trusted Source).
Studies have shown that it can contribute to the death of cancerous cells and reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors) and metastasis (spread of cancer) (35Trusted Source).
Multiple studies indicate that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumors in test animals (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source).
Whether high-dose curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like piperine) can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be studied properly.
However, there is evidence that it may prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system like colorectal cancer.
In a 30-day study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day reduced the number of lesions by 40% (38Trusted Source).
Maybe curcumin will be used along with conventional cancer treatment one day. It’s too early to say for sure, but it looks promising and is being intensively studied.
Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric#section6