Turmeric for Cancer? Study Says the Spice Shows Promise
The spotlight shines on a common kitchen spice
A major breakthrough study shows what many of us in the alternative health community have suspected for some time – that turmeric for cancer is truly worth noticing and researching. It’s about one hundred times less toxic than chemotherapy, and possesses noteworthy anti-cancer properties.
Scientists from the UK have demonstrated for the first time in patient-derived colorectal cell lines that a turmeric extract (curcumin) is an effective aid for enhancing conventional chemotherapy and that it may be even more effective all by itself. Curcumin is highly available in elevated concentrations in turmeric.
Published in August 2015 in Cancer Letters, “Curcumin inhibits cancer stem cell phenotypes in ex vivo models of colorectal liver metastases, and is clinically safe and tolerable in combination with FOLFOX chemotherapy” finds that a diet high in diet-derived curcumin not only aids chemotherapy patients, but might be able to circumvent the need for chemo entirely.
Turmeric for Cancer? The Spice Gets to the Root of Cancer
The study addresses the role of cancer stem cells in contributing to cancer malignancy, why conventional treatments like chemo are often unsuccessful, and how things like turmeric for cancer may be viable options.
The study suggests that traditional cancer treatments aim to reduce the volume of a cancerous tumors (the number of cancer cells in a mass); but the ‘mother-cells,’ the stem cells of the cancerous growth, are relatively untouched by chemotherapy and can actually increase as tumor volume decreases, making cancer even more dangerous.
Conversely, curcumin found in turmeric helped to reduce cancer stem cells. This is an incredible conclusion.
The abstract states:
“Here, we utilised patient-derived colorectal liver metastases (CRLM) to assess whether curcumin may provide added benefit over 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) in cancer stem cell (CSC) models. Combination of curcumin with FOLFOX chemotherapy was then assessed clinically in a phase I dose escalation study. Curcumin alone and in combination significantly reduced spheroid number in CRLM CSC models, and decreased the number of cells with high aldehyde dehydrogenase activity (ALDHhigh/CD133−).
Addition of curcumin to oxaliplatin/5-FU enhanced anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects in a proportion of patient-derived explants, whilst reducing expression of stem cell-associated markers ALDH and CD133. The phase I dose escalation study revealed curcumin to be a safe and tolerable adjunct to FOLFOX chemotherapy in patients with CRLM (n = 12) at doses up to 2 grams daily.”
The researchers suggest curcumin as an adjunct to chemotherapy for treating colorectal cancer – and also suggest that the same curcumin may be just as effective without chemo, if not more so.
The authors add that their findings have suggested for the first time:
“that curcumin may enhance oxaliplatin/5-FU-based chemotherapy in models derived directly from patients for whom the treatments are ultimately intended.”
Curcumin found in turmeric specifically addresses ‘spheroid formation,’ a cell configuration that indicates stem cell-driven cancer progression. It also downregulates cancer stem cell-associated markers (e.g., ALDH activity, CD44, CD166) and other chemical signals associated with cancer formation (e.g., insulin-like growth factor, epidermal growth factor, and Notch).
These are all indications that curcumin can target the cancer stem cells at the root of malignancy.
The researchers even attest that curcumin outperformed the combination of chemotherapy plus curcumin in decreasing cancer stem cell spheroid formation. That means turmeric, all on its own could halt stem cell proliferation that forms cancerous tumors.
This study added to many more on turmeric and curcumin compounds proves undeniably that cancer can be reversed with simple foods. Curcumin has also been shown in over nine studies to decrease brain tumor size in animals by 81%. Researchers at UCLA have also found that curcumin is able to block cancer growth.
Why Turmeric may Eventually Rise Above Chemo
Chemotherapy is extremely toxic to the body – but turmeric is effective in killing cancer stem cells and also has no toxic side effects. This one huge reason why turmeric for cancer would be so desirable.
Over a decade ago, in September of 2004, the CDC and NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health) released a dangerous-drug alert entitled “Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings.” The alert warned that working with chemotherapy drugs and other common pharmaceuticals can be a serious danger to your health. Now imagine taking these drugs to ‘cure’ your cancer. Every oncologist knows that cancer drugs alter DNA, cause genetic mutations, and damage the body.
Dr. Glenn Warner, known for using alternative medicine to treat cancer patients, once said:
“We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain.”
Yet all the while, simple, cost-effective solutions are being swept under the rug. Turmeric is just ONE of them.
The secret is out; turmeric extract is more amazing than Big Pharma wants us to know. With antibacterial and anti-inflammatory abilities too, turmeric is truly a miracle spice. A simple food compound basically knocks chemo off its high horse – and this finding is simply stated in the paper, without so much as a single firecracker being lit. In my view, this news deserves a parade with banners and an enormous fireworks display.
Parade or not, I’m adding more turmeric to my diet. Will you?
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.