No experience is quite as shocking and disturbing than to hear the doctor say you have been diagnosed with cancer. And Americans confirmed their fear of the dreaded disease when they listed it in a 2011 survey[i] as “the most feared disease in the United States.” Therefore, we should take special notice when a doctor from one of the most prestigious research universities in the world, Johns Hopkins University, begins to extol the mounting scientific evidence of a natural “anti-cancer” agent. What is that natural agent? It is the common Indian spice we know as turmeric, and it is the same spice that gives curry dishes their bright gold and yellow hue.
300 Publications Report the Turmeric Health Benefits for Cancer
Dr. Saraswati Sukumar is a Johns Hopkins medical oncologist, and she reports “We have close to 300 publications (that cite turmeric) for its anti-cancer effects. Many diseases, such as colon cancer and other types of cancer, are being traced to inflammation.”[ii] And therein is found the underlying reason this spice is getting so much study worldwide among the clinical research groups. It has been found to be an exceptionally potent anti-inflammatory agent in the human body, and yet it comes with none of the nasty side effects that steroids and other pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs carry.
Famous MD Anderson Cancer Center Confirms Their Interest in Turmeric as a Cancer Fighter
The world-renowned University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is certainly knee-deep in cancer research trying to uncover the next cancer fighting pharmaceutical drug that will at last be an answer to the dreaded disease feared by more Americans than any other. But amazingly, on April 21, 2011 researchers published a groundbreaking scientific review of their research on…. Turmeric. Their praise of the potential turmeric health benefits as an anti-cancer agent was extensive and free flowing. “Curcumin, the active component of the perennial herb turmeric, is one of the most powerful and promising chemopreventive and anticancer agents, and epidemiological evidence demonstrates that people who incorporate high doses of this spice in their diets have a lower incidence of cancer.”[iii]
You Don’t Have to Wait on the Drug Companies to Start Receiving these Turmeric Health Benefits
The beauty of natural health solutions for solving chronic health problems is that they often can be found in our own spice rack, as in the case of turmeric. Dr. Sukumar, the Johns Hopkins medical oncologist we cited above says “The better way to take it, I feel, is to use it in your cooking very extensively. If you have any sauté, just sprinkle it in. The moment you heat oil and add turmeric to it, it now becomes completely bio-available to you.” But many people don’t like the spice’s flavor, or they feel they cannot ingest enough daily in their diet to make a difference. For those people, taking an inexpensive turmeric supplement twice per day is a good alternative to get the marvelous turmeric health benefits. But keep in mind that one of the challenges with supplemental turmeric is that humans have an extremely poor absorption of curcumin (turmeric’s active ingredient) in the gastrointestinal tract. When we take a powdered form (as capsules), the curcumin itself is not absorbed but breaks down into a number of metabolic products which are much less beneficial than the curcumin itself. However, mixing curcumin with fish oil, coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil greatly increases absorption – up to seven times improvement. Just take your curcumin capsule, split it open, and empty it into a spoon containing the oil and then stir that into water to consume. If you don’t want to fool with that mixing mess and want a relatively inexpensive supplement form, use the curcumin phytosome complex supplements that are readily available in vitamin supply stores everywhere. Recent research has shown that this form’s bioavailability in the human body is approximately four times better than plain curcumin.[iv] For just maintenance purposes take 400 to 600 mg of turmeric phytosome (standardized to 18-22% curcuminoids) in capsule form twice a day. For therapeutic treatment of more serious inflammatory conditions, double that amount. Few side effects have been reported beyond occasional nausea, diarrhea and allergic skin reactions and those can almost always be eliminated by cutting back on the dosage initially and gradually increasing the dosage to desired levels.
Worry Less About Cancer – Do What You Can Now – Enjoy Turmeric!
So these scientific developments have a wonderful call to action for most of us who worry about the dreaded cancer diagnosis from our doctor. Start to enjoy one of the top cancer preventive and anti-cancer agents on the planet – consume turmeric by eating the spice in your foods or taking the supplements now.
[i] What’s Your Most Feared Disease? Mayo Clinic News 2-25-11
[iii] Epigenetic changes induced by curcumin and other natural compounds. Genes Nutr. 2011 May;6(2):93-108. doi: 10.1007/s12263-011-0222-1. Epub 2011 Apr 24.
[iv] EuroPharma’s BCM-95 Curcumin Superior in Absorption. April 14, 2011.
Written by Tom P. Vick, who runs and regularly contributes to an online database of natural health treatments for chronic health conditions.