Have you heard that turmeric may help protect you against cancer? According to many scientists, this cooking spice contains ingredients that fight cancer development through many ways.
Modern medicine is still requiring more studies about turmeric and cancer, but you may try adding some turmeric to your dishes if you wish. As little as one teaspoon of turmeric a day is all it takes.
What Is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice that is related to ginger. It is used as a seasoning in Asian cuisine and is the main ingredient in curry powder. This spice has long been used in a wide range of herbal treatments.
How Can Turmeric Help Fight Cancer?
Turmeric contains phytochemicals and nutrients with several beneficial effects such as protecting body organs from damage, reducing cholesterol levels, improving blood-vessel health, controlling inflammation, combating infection, and more.
Curcumin, turmeric’s most precious component, is very effective against cancer, too. It prevents the formation of, and neutralizes free radicals, or molecules that destroy other molecules in healthy cells and tissues.
It enhances the effect of antioxidant enzymes in the body and also acts as an antioxidant itself. It stops DNA changes that lead to cancer, as well as interfere with enzymes that are needed for cancer progression.
To Give You An Idea
Research shows that there are low incidences of certain cancer types in countries where people eat 100 mg to 200 mg of curcumin daily. This implies that eating turmeric may have helped reduce their risk of getting cancer. (1)
In one study of chronic smokers, those who took curcumin have significantly lower levels of mutagens (substances that cause cell mutation) in their urine. This means that their bodies handled these cancer-causing substances better than chronic smokers who didn’t take curcumin. (2)
In another study, 25 pre-cancer patients who were given curcumin experienced improvements in their health status. This points out to curcumin’s ability to stop pre-cancerous changes from developing into cancer. (3)
Cancer patients who have received chemotherapy and turmeric had fewer cancer cells than those who got chemotherapy alone. Radiotherapy patients also benefitted from the experiment because turmeric protected their healthy cells from radiation. (4)
One study in 2008 says that among 25 cancer patients who were treated with curcumin, two of them had tumors that shrank, while the others exhibited increased levels of immune system substances that neutralize cancer cells. (5)
In experiments done with mice exposed to carcinogens (cancer-causing substances), curcumin stopped the spread of breast, skin, stomach, and colon cancer. Tumor cells in Petri dishes stopped replicating when curcumin was directly applied to them. (6)
Curcumin’s ability to reduce inflammation is seen as a contributing factor to its effectiveness against cancer. Some observations link inflammatory responses to cancer development. Aside from this, it also blocks toxic compounds from reaching and interacting with bodily tissues.
Turmeric is useful against cancer because of the following reasons:
- It contains phytochemicals and nutrients that have several health benefits.
- It fights against free radicals that damage cells.
- It increases the strength of cancer-fighting substances in the body.
- It stops healthy cells from transforming into tumors.
- It slows down the growth and spread of cancer cells.
- It manages inflammation.
- It shields cells and tissues from toxins.
And these are only a few examples of the power of turmeric as it comes to preventing and fighting cancer.
FYI: if using turmeric make sure to add a healthy fat or some black pepper to increase curcumin’s bioavailability. Click here for more info.