How does Curcumin Work in Cancer?
Curcumin is the most active phytochemical compound of Turmeric which has many medicinal properties and has been used in Ayurveda from many years. Curcumin in Turmeric helps to kill the cancerous cells in our body. Turmeric contains four Curcuminoids such as Curcumin, Desmethoxycurcumin, Bisdemethoxycurcumin, and Curcuminoids. Out of these four curcumin consists 77% of the curcuminoids.
Benefits of Curcumin
There are numbers of benefits of Curcumin such as:
- For cancers: liver, breast, colon, lung, brain, leukemia and prostate cancer.
- Cure Metal toxicity (mercury, selenium, zinc, arsenic, iron, and fluoride.
- Dry eyes
- Cure arthritis
- Helpful for spinal cord injuries
- Curcumin for diabetes
- Regulation of liver functioning and correction of anemia
- Relieves intestinal worm and infected wounds
- Reduce inflammation and itchy sensation, pain, and swelling
- Its natural detoxifier
- Useful in urinary tract infections
- Cure microbial infections
- Cure inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis
- Helpful for neuroprotection.
- Stimulate your gallbladder to release bile.
The curcumin is derived from Turmeric. Turmeric is also known as Indian Saffron, Haridra and Haldi. It is a spice grown in many Asian countries. It belongs to the ginger family and is the main ingredient of curry powder. The medicinal properties of Turmeric are bitter, pungent in taste, dryness, and lightness in qualities, hot in potency and undergo pungent taste after digestion. In Ayurveda, there are tridosha (Kapha, Pitta and Vata dosha), and Turmeric balance all the three doshas. Due to its bitter, pungent taste, it balances Kapha and Vata and because of its hotness it balances the Vata. The major chemical constituent of turmeric are curcumenes, curcone, curdione, cineole, camphor, bornel, curcumins, and B-sitosterol.
The research on Curcumin has shown that it has anticancer property and it seems to be able to kill cancer cell and prevent more spreading of it. It has the best effect on breast cancer, stomach cancer, bowel cancer, and skin cancer.
Unlike Chemotherapy drugs which have been prescribed during cancer treatment are known human carcinogen with over 20 side-effects on our body. The Chemotherapies harm the healthy cells of our body but curcumin has the ability to kill the cancer cells without harming healthy cells. In some case, it has been shown that consumption of Curcumin along with Chemotherapy killed more cancerous cells than chemotherapy alone. From the Ayurvedic point of view, Curcumin has been studied from decades.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it interferes with the cellular signaling of cancerous cells and stops its further development. One of study in 2011 on Turmeric has shown that Curcumin extract from Turmeric effectively differentiate between normal and cancerous cells and activating the apoptosis of cancerous cells without harming normal cells. Apoptosis is the natural function of our body which causes cell death. Curcumin also inhibits the metastasis (spreading of cancer cells to other parts) during cancer.
Some of labs results have found that:
- Curcumin helps to inhibit the COX-2 enzyme which is the main inflammation causing factor, which can leads to the formation of cancerous cells.
- Curcumin activates the tumor suppressor genes and which further fight against cancerous cells.
- Curcumin also inhibits and prevent our body from regrowth of cancer stem cells.
- Curcumin kills the large cell B-cell lymphoma cells which are the main reason for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The absorption of curcumin in our body is not easy and it is not highly bioavailable. Curcumin is not soluble in water so it is better to combine it with some healthy oils such as coconut oils, olive oils. You should avoid sunflower oil, soya, and vegetable oil because these are pro-inflammatory oils and contribute to cancer. One of the studies shows that pepper contains a phytochemical piperine which increases the absorption of curcumin in the human body.
Telomerase is the enzyme which helps for extension of cell life and also allowing it to replicate. In cancerous cells, the activity of Telomeres enzyme is very high and due to which there is the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. Curcumin has shown to regulate the over expression of Telomerase enzyme and prevent the uncontrolled cell division. In normal cells Telomerase activity is normal. Curcumin regulates the dysregulated signaling that leads to excessive self-renewal of the cells. Curcumin regulates such signaling pathways and suppresses the formation of tumor in the breast. So ultimately Curcumin maintain the normal signaling by protecting it from oxidation and inflammation.
The best way to incorporate more Turmeric and Curcumin into your diet can enhance the cancer treatment by killing more cancerous cells. For this, you can grate Turmeric root and add them to your recipes. Use Turmeric powders on eggs, soup, and sauces. You can also rub it on raw chicken, fish, and vegetables. To make a healing tea, you can grate some turmeric and gingerroots and boil for 5-10 minutes. Strain and add one tablespoon of honey to it. Drink this tea two times a day for better improvement.