What if I told you there was a powerful cancer preventive sitting in the spice aisle at your local supermarket? In fact, more than 200 studies show the power of this yellow spice to fight cancer and maybe even enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy.
That's right, it's turmeric for cancer prevention. If you're not familiar with turmeric it's a relative of the ginger family and is commonplace in Indian cuisine. Possibly, as a result of eating this spice daily, Indians have few instances of cancer when compared with Westerners.
Turmeric for Cancer Prevention
Researchers at Kansas State University found that certain spices, including turmeric can reduce by 40% the levels of carcinogenic compounds formed when meat is grilled, boiled or fried!
Studies at the University of Texas shows curcumin - the active agent in turmeric-inhibits the growth of skin cancer and slows the spread of breast cancer.
Other studies show turmeric can enhance chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
A study published in the British Journal of Cancer, found curcumin actually killed cancer cells. They are now testing its effectiveness on oesophageal cancer, a common cancer in the U.K.
How Does it Work?
It's a component of turmeric-curcurmin-that researchers think real pharmacology agent in the spice. While research is still learning exactly how it works, the studies show it affects 700 genes and over 100 pathways once it's in your body.
It's successful at finding and killing cancer cells by blocking and redirecting messages from your brain to the cells. It also blocks a protein necessary for tumor growth. Plus, it prevents the transformation of normal cells to cancerous.
It's a Powerful Antioxidant
As an antioxidant, turmeric combats dangerous free radicals that turn normal cells into cancerous ones. While free radicals enter our bodies through the air we breathe and are a natural part of life, they can be dangerous because they're unstable molecules and are constantly looking for another electron to make them whole.
They'll take this from another molecule whenever possible which then makes that one unstable.
Antioxidants like turmeric stabilize these molecules. Preventing free radical damage will protect your health from disease and aging.
If your goal is cancer prevention, adding turmeric to your diet by regularly eating curries and other Indian food is a good step.
If you already have cancer, you'll want to discuss with your doctor how much turmeric you'll need and you should take it. As the literature emerges from the science realm, the facts continue to build for the benefits of using turmeric for cancer prevention and even as part of the treatment.